Garden Macro Photography: April 2018

Finally some variety!

As many of you will know, I started taking macro photographs of things in my garden at the end of last year, in winter. Not the best time to start, as it's often always cold and there isn't much about. Speaking of cold, I should mention March, where my macro photography seems to have been... mislaid... The problem in March was the snow. In our garden it caused everything to retreat, so there was very little sign of life at all. Then, when it came to macro time, everything was buried under snow. As such, I simply didn't bother!

Anyway, lets get on with this month! The main photo is our helleborus which, after a couple of years of not flowering since we planted it, has finally sprung to life! Next we have some herbs! In March last year I installed a herb garden. At the end of the year, I put the herbs into the greenhouse to overwinter. Now the sun has come back out, they've sprung to life! (As always, you can click or tap the photos to enlarge them.)

Marjoram 'Sweet'

As it is now spring, we've had a lot of weeds appearing. Apparently having loads appear out of nowhere all of a sudden is the sign of a healthy garden... Most of the weeds are incredibly destructive and very boring, so sometimes I'd rather have an unhealthy garden! It would certainly save time! However, I did take this photo of a dandelion (one of many) before I ripped it out!

The pansies are in full bloom as usual. We have really good pansies and manage to have them flower all year round, which is nice as even when the rest of the garden is bare or just green, there's a tiny bit of colour somewhere!

The primroses are flowering now too:

We have a few bulbs of a variety of early-flowering giant tulip. This photo is of the last one alive, and will soon die back until next year.

You know how they say that a weed is just a flower in the wrong place? Well this is certainly the case for the grape hyacinths that we have all over our garden. I think there are about 50 individual ones. The only problem is they are growing through the gravel in the front garden and it looks a right mess! I love these flowers though, so once they've completely died back, I'm raking the gravel out of the way, digging up the bulbs, and replanting them in the border next to the gravel. That area is a bit sparse at this time of year, so putting these there and closer together than they are now, will make a lovely start to spring! (I'll also be putting weed membrane down underneath the gravel afterwards, as it's the dandelions favourite hang-out!)

We also have lots of these growing in the borders on either side of the steps up to our front door. I planted the bulbs for these, and I cannot for the life of me remember what they are! They are absolutely tiny, and didn't put on much of a display last year. I'm happy to say that this year has been fantastic!

The buds on the Japanese maple, which I mentioned last time, have flowered now. These pretty, tiny white flowers will soon become red leaves, which will produce more buds and flowers next year. I adore this plant, as it provides a nice variety of colour throughout spring and we often get people commenting on it.

There are buds on the hedges now too. The grow is a little behind this year, because of the cold March we had, but it means I haven't had to start trimming them regularly yet, so I'm happy about that! 

The large white butterfly chrysalis is still there. To be honest, I'm getting a little impatient with it now! I'm so eager to see the butterfly emerge - and I'll probably have a little cry if it isn't successful!

Now, on to my favourite new part of our garden! We've got a pond! I've wanted a pond since we moved in, so at the end of March I finally got around to doing it. I'll be blogging about that separately, but I have some photos of the pond plants (as close as I could get because of the water!) and the accompanying planting I did.

Yellow loosestrife - this will grow over the next couple of months

Yellow flag - this is a water iris which should grow quickly

Willow moss - this is a natural oxygenator,
and means that the pond doesn't need a pump to supply oxygen

Marsh cinquefoil - this is a relatively small plant,
which will have dark red flowers

Aquatic forget-me-not

Thanks to our new pond, I've learned that millipedes are bloody stupid! This is not an aquatic life form, but a land based creature that thought it would go for a swim - and quickly (to its ultimate cost) discovered that it can't swim! Unfortunately, this is not the first nor will it be the last. I've fished several of these out since the start of the month. The line "If you build it, they will come" has a bit missing. It should read "If you build it, they will come... and then drown."!

We also have hard rush and a dwarf variety of water lilly in the pond. The water lilly is right at the bottom, and hasn't started to grow yet. The hard rush is really boring, but necessary for insects like dragonflies (fingers crossed!) that like a place to cling on to. As such, I haven't bothered to take any photos of them. That covers the water based plants, now on to the accompanying planting scheme.

The pond is completely surrounded by white spar gravel, with broken up paving slabs at the very edge. (I'll write about the reasons for this in a separate post.) Along two sides, I've planted heather. Heather reminds me of the moors of the Peak District, and make me happy. The heather wasn't flowering when I bought it, but once it was planted it burst into life!

After the heather I've planted some complimentary plants. (Again, I'll blog about those in more detail at another time.) Here they are:





We have an erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'. I'd never heard of this plant before, and I bought it because I think it will look nice!

We have several other new plants near the pond, but at the moment they are just little bunches of leaves. Once they start to grow and flower, they'll no doubt feature in a macro photography post.

That's all for this month! I'm excited to see our newly planted section develop over the coming year!

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