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- May and June in the Parsonage Garden

Garden diary
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The silver moon, now, shed
A flood of trembling light,
On tower, and tree, and stream;
The twinkling stars shone bright:
Nor misty cloud,
Nor stain was seen,
O’er all the deep
Celestial  green.

Cottage Poems, Patrick Brontë, 1811
This year the arrival of May seemed to spread a mystical and enchanting light over the garden, as if the abundance of white flowers were dancing in the moonlight and enhancing even the shadiest corner. There was an air of anticipation as the next couple of weeks brought out an abundance of pinks, mauves and blues reflecting the moorland planting which was soon turning to a riot of colour in the sunnier beds with the clouds of bobbing aquilegia , yellow and orange poppies and then the full-bodied red poppies. Even with this generous show , Nature, at the time of writing, is  still tempting us to dream of heady days of perfumed roses as both the Emily and Charlotte roses are heavy with buds yet a little tardy with their petals this year. Fortunately the wind and rain has done little so far to dent the sheer generosity and delightfulness of the planting of all the different corners of the gardens.

Naturally, and very often, the time spent appreciating the fruits of their labours is all too brief for gardeners, and we have been busy replenishing many corners and planning ahead. Geoff has kept the lawns meticulously manicured, with early morning visits so as not to intrude on the peace and tranquillity of our garden visitors. Jenny has scoured the beds for the few weeds that do find space amongst the packed borders and has rescued any seedlings in need of transplanting. She has also tended Branwell’s garden and refreshed the planting to enhance the strong colours with geums and gerberas. We had the happy task of selecting new perennials to refresh other borders and returned with dogwood, viburnum, lysimachia, hemerocallis and sedums, to name a few. New delphiniums and hollyhocks have been placed by the front door, too. The welcoming riotous pots by the front door of the museum have been refreshed, as have all the containers in the rear garden. When someone asked how the apprentice was doing, we weren’t sure whether they meant Theresa or Stanley but it was clearly Stanley as he wanders from bed to bed keeping a careful eye on us and even following us over the wall to the compost heap!

The biggest change recently has been the removal of the large conifer behind the Sisters. This did cast a large shadow over that part of the garden and little could grow beneath it.  Already the London Pride heads are standing up again and we have placed a large new planter on the stump, planted with a Sambuca with feathery lime-green leaves to filter in the welcome sunlight and cast an airy feel over that side of the garden. For me, Theresa, as a newcomer to the Parsonage garden, every week brings new delights of colour and perfume, and given the care and attention bestowed on this magical space, I am sure that there is so much more to come this year….
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