Weeks of beautiful weather, no frost since March and night time temperatures of around 10 degrees Celsius have left the garden firmly in summer mode. Alliums are flowering, as are self seeded antirrhinums. Tree lillies are growing an inch a day and the mix of annuals sowed outside just last week have already germinated.
The overwintered cuttings of begonias, fuchsia and pelargonium are romping away and are being hardened off in the front porch, out of the cold wind. The begonias and pelargoniums have been left out all night for the last two evenings and now I can barely restrain myself from rushing to plant everything out.
But, the big question is will there be more frost? It feels so unlikely – especially when just last night we were in the garden until past midnight. Yet the pretty useful gardeners almanac (not to mention the super trusty Beechgrove Garden) put early June (week 23/24) as the safe planting out date for this location. That is a full month away.
The fuchsias are definitely still coming indoors at night for a few weeks yet. But some of the pelargoniums (including cuttings from plants bought at RHS Tatton Park last year) are looking so lovely, it seems a shame to hide them away unless really necessary.
The one shown on the right has been flowering for a couple of weeks now and is on temporary display outside in the front porch, where it is sunny and fairly sheltered.
If I can control the desire to rush out and plant everything tomorrow, I shall probably hedge my bets by planting the tender plants mostly in pots and keeping a few back plants indoors just in case. Plus I’m taking cuttings from the cuttings, which root in a week or so just now, so there should be plenty of stock.
I’d be interested to know how and when other people decide it is time to brave it and move things outside for good.