A quick trip in May 2023

We were thrilled to nip back to Le Hot for a very short visit right in the middle of May this year. It meant that we saw all sorts of plants in flower that we usually miss! For instance the Iris pseudocorus alongside the entrance pond:

It was lovely to see the irises and arums out along the pond….

The wisteria on the side of the house smelt fabulous:

We are not often able to see our wisteria in full bloom!

and the Iris sibirica was displaying the extraordinary markings on its beautiful petals:

The markings of Iris sibirica are stunning, aren’t they!

Much of the back garden was not yet in bloom yet though – deliberately, its main season is high summer, which when we spend the longest amount of time here. Everything looked green and growing well..

The garden looking green and full in mid-May

At the top of the garden, a small Abutilon vitifolium was laden with its sweetly-lavender flowers:

Abutilon vitifolium all dressed in ethereal lavender

and a Viburnum plicata ‘Mariesii’ was gloriously decked-out on the tumbledown barn:

Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariesii’ in full glorious bloom

Two big thrills: One was how well the little wood we planted was starting to look like a …proper little wood! The trees coming into leaf and flower are starting to cast some real shade, and there is a palpable sylvan atmosphere down there now:

The trees are coming on nicely…….
Viburnum opulus in the woodland with its shining flowers

The other excitement was seeing three little heads popping up from the huge stork nest built on the telegraph pole in our garden. The parents have done a great job of building up the nest which was ravaged by the winter storms – let’s hope it will be big enough to support those three storklings when they are ready to fledge!

Three gorgeous storklings in the nest this year

Due to last year’s summer drought, and possibly the bitter cold in January of this year, we have lost a couple of plants in the Cottage Garden – a cherry ‘Kojo No Mai’, and a rose ‘Champagne Moment’, but we were lucky not to lose more, I reckon. A January storm brought down our ancient mistletoe-laden apple tree, so we will have to find somewhere else for when we need shade for summer lunches…

A rose story to finish. Most of the dozens of roses were still only in bud, but R. ‘Cecile Brunner’ was looking pretty on the pergola,

Rose ‘Cecile Brunner’ sitting pretty on the pergola

Last autumn, we had cut down an ancient and ugly climbing rose on the tower which we had inherited when we bought Le Hot in 2006, and have started training another rose in its place. Look what it’s gone and done – a massive strong shoot from those gnarly roots in the gravel! We’ll have to keep it now!

An unbelievable shoot from the decades-old rose we cut down…….!

We managed to get plenty of garden work done during our brief three-day stay, and it felt really worthwhile to come at this time. We’ll soon be back!

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