I have decided to try and write a regular weekly slot looking generally at what is going on in the garden. Hopefully as the weather improves I should have some exciting changes to share with you.
Starting today, I can tell you that the garden looks pretty much the same as it has for the last month! I am very fortunate to have two large yew trees and a few laurel bushes so there is a fairly green outlook all year, but the view has been the same now for quite a few months. The snowdrops have had a fantastic long season and have only just gone over. As ever, I am very sad to say goodbye to them. In their place the various narcissi and daffodils are coming out slowly.
I noticed today that the forsythia is finally trying to flower. What a contrast this is to last year. My diary entry for 24th March 2012 records a temperature of 18 degrees. A recently planted magnolia soulangeana was in flower, as was the weeping pussy willow, the cherry trees and the forsythia . THe hyacinths were in full bloom and the tulips had fat flower buds. On the bright side, this year I still have it all to look forward to!
Most of the action this week is happening in the greenhouse, which is crammed full so that I can barely walk about. There are bulbs in flower, spinach ready to eat, all kinds of seedlings which need pricking out and bare root hellebores, lily of the valley, dicentra alba, peonies and agapanthus, which I daren’t plant out until the soil is more hospitable.
Outside I can share with you the narcissi in bud, a beautiful primrose and some crocus in a large pot. There is also a trug full of snowdrops as lifting, splitting and replanting snowdrops in new areas is a major task at the moment. The woodland is looking more colourful as the snowdrops fade and the primroses and narcissi take over. There is still no sign of the solomen’s seal, dicentra, lily of the valley or hosta’s. Hopefully they will reappear soon. I still have hellebores and ferns bought earlier in the year to plant in this area. I don’t want to dig too early though, as I am bound to choose a spot already taken, so will wait for the planting to emerge before adding to it.
The main borders still have little to report, although I am getting on with weeding and pruning roses, fuchsias and hydrangeas whenever I feel it is warm enough to go out. As the season gets going I will write about the kitchen garden in a separate post. It has been flooded for most of the winter, so I fear that the lavender bushes and tulips that looked so beautiful last year will not have survived. I also have two beds of peonies for cutting that might not have made it, but the next few weeks should provide the answer as their red shoots start to emerge (or not if they have drowned). In the cold frames there is kale, chard and spinach as well as a variety of annual flowers ready to go out and seedlings of beetroot, leeks and spring greens in the greenhouse. I really need some warmer weather so that I can clear the greenhouse and cold frames and get on with sowing more seeds!