We British are known for our love of talking about the weather and none more so than in the changeable north-west.
I am as guilty as anyone. As our business is so weather dependent, we seem to spend a great deal of time poring over forecasts and squinting at the sky like old sea dogs, either wishing for rain or wanting it to go away! Right now it's the former, as we are experiencing hot, dry conditions, which involves whole days of watering on the nursery.
At last, however, our perennials are romping away! You can almost see them growing!
The early summer stars are coming into their own now. Salvias of all varieties are beginning to flower, and 'Viola Close' (image: above left) and 'Mainacht' (image: above right), both a deep vivid blue are looking particularly fine. If the spent first flowers are cut back, they will re-flower later in the summer; what's more, the bees love them!
Hardy geraniums or 'Cranesbills' are just out. A beautiful baby pink one called 'Pink Summer' (image: above), with large 10p flowers is my personal favourite. Who can resist? Not me!
Another really good hardy geranium is 'Rozanne' (image: above), which continues right through to autumn, effortlessly carpeting the borders (but not in an invasive way!) with attractive bright green foliage and large mid-blue flowers. Happy in sun or part shade, the cranesbills are an obliging breed, filling many a difficult spot with their interesting foliage and beautiful flowers. Look closely at a flower and you can see that many are delicately striped or have a pale eye - nature is a wonderful thing. In addition, they are great for insects, and low maintenance so what's not to love!
Our Beetham grown scented leaved Pelargoniums (images: above) are now available in the greenhouse, filling the air with spice. The different scents are amazing and must be smelled to be believed. There's even one which smells of basil!
So come along and see our ever changing scene. You'll be amazed, and most likely leave with a Pelargonium!
Alyson Woods, Nursery Manager