I've been catching up on my garden today. Everything is growing so quickly at this time of year! The roses and irises are in bud and ready to burst. My clematis montana has blanketed the garden with white flowers in only two days.
Meanwhile, as I try to squeeze some delphiniums into my heaving borders I realise how dependent I have become on my spork.
I used to use a border fork or hand fork for everything, but a little while back I was given a spork to try out. I thought little of it and threw it into my car with my wellies and other tools and a promise to give it a test drive. Over the year I have used it to plant bulbs and perennials and whilst I remember thinking it was rather clever and worked well, it was only today (when I left my spork in the office and was forced back to my old hand fork) that I realised how much I love my spork!
The spork is a strange tool - halfway between a spade and a fork. Perfect if your soil tends towards the clay side (like mine!) it does the job of both tools without having to switch between the two. The sharp points are also great for splitting the roots of plants before planting, and they slice through with ease. Today my hand fork kept bouncing off the root ball, and I resorted to using my secateurs! I can't wait to be reunited with my spork...
Back in the borders, my Aquilegia vulgaris have just come into flower. Notice how the deep reddish purple of the stalk matches the stems of my paeonies. I often prefer the simple aquilegia flowers to the more fancy doubles. Another favourite is Aquilegia caerulea - which has large blue flowers and white centres.
At this time of year, my border is a calm wash of silvers, purple greys and blues, with accents of deep purple and cream. Key plants at this time of year include fragrant white Calamintha, and the white lilac Syringa 'Madame Lemoine' pruned into a tall multistem bush.