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Tua Pek Kong Rules, the Mitcheldean Garden 2019
The Wall Part 2 - May

This page is part of a series of garden blogs from 2019. Click here for the index.

As soon as the wall was erected, I popped over to Drybrook to organise the wood for the cladding and within a week I had cut and fitted the batons and painted the wood to cover it. As I write in early June, I'm still waiting for the extra row of bricks to be applied, the dahlias are almost ready to go in and the fuchsias to go in front of it are sulking in the shade of the hawthorn hedge. Never mind, the rest of the garden is going great guns... The geraniums are our 'bed hoppers', I move them into any empty bed for a bit of temporary colour, the tulips behind the wall being finished. Come May of course it's time for the rhododendrons and azaleas, this one was our classic, the others while attractive are no longer as compact as this one.

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The greenhouse was given over to young plants, variously our seedlings, those from mail order and those from the nursery at Bromsash. Outside, the hanging baskets were being prepared and the dahlias started.

Descending from the top of the garden, this was a 'first'. Several years ago we bought an unwanted 'tree peony' and now with the sycamores gone, at last it has flowered. Unusual, undoubtedly, but not in the same league as the normal variety.

The pink Weigela (Florida) is now a solid performer with a fair number of small flowers but it needs a lot pruning. Behind the honeysuckles are rapidly colonising the home built archway and the top shed is now covered in a third honeysuckle.

We have learned to treat our clematis as expensive annuals, we have never got them right, they produce stunning flowers and then curl up and die, maybe this time will be different but I doubt it.

The fancy tulips at the front were coming to an end and the colour was now provided by the azaleas, the orange deciduous specimen is, perhaps, the most spectacular. Yuehong was dressed for an excursion to Lydney (see below).

The snapdragons were flowering so they could go out nicely mixed up although we were short of red ones this year. By the time they replaced the tulips, the white azaleas which are the last to bloom looked good.

The alliums are a 2 week wonder, but the roses should perform on and off all all summer. All suffered badly in last year's drought, some like this Blue Moon are recovering, others need more time and encouragement. No doubt there will be more in the next installment.

Our bluebells now get full sun and so were at their peak by the end of April and shown last month. On the other hand, those in the woods up at Wigpool came 2-3 weeks later.

However hard we try, we'll never match the Spring Gardens at Lydney Park which are open to the public on Wednesdays and Sundays in May. Our first visit in 2013, was an unrepeatable experience as a late cold snap meant almost everything flowered together but this time was also impressive even if you had to look for highlights. These days Yuehong always looks like a British lady, now I had to pretend to be a mature British gentleman.

Rob and Yuehong Dickinson