What a difference a month-and-a-bit makes! I’ve been very, very busy in the garden. After a long winter of being cooped-up inside the house a sudden flip in the weather from snow to double-digit temperatures and sunny skies had me out before you could say “mesembryanthemum”.
It’s only now, on a much colder, wet afternoon that I’ve had chance to take a few pictures of the garden with the remaining phone battery and have chance to sit down and write.
We last left off with the garden covered in a blanket of snow. That has long-since gone. The sun has been out, temperatures have been in the mid-teens (Celsius) and I’ve been playing catch-up ever since.
Plants in the greenhouse are desperate to be released onto the patio, but the patio needs its annual clean. The winter has been so mild that the Zantedeschia have stayed green in the greenhouse, never dying back; it’s even ready to flower soon. It’s also meant that we’ve had our pick of fresh mint all through the winter as it’s just kept on growing.
The lilies and hostas have also made appearances and are impatiently waiting to be placed in this year’s patio pot collection to be set out. Herbaceous perennials in general that have over-wintered in the greenhouse are suddenly waking up with the warm weather and wondering why they’re not out on the patio yet.
It’s also fern-unrolling time, where I go around every fern in the garden, sticking a metal straw into the crown and then I blow, hard. This causes the new season’s fern leaves to suddenly unroll from the crown, much like a party blower.
There are a lot of ferns in the garden and some of them are getting large so I may use a large gas-bottle of compressed air to save time in the future.
The blossom in the garden is well and truly out. The Amelanchier is looking particularly starry and this is the first year it has looked the part. Previous years have been spent getting used to its new position in the garden after spending a year or two heeled in to a temporary border. I’m still not sure how large this tree gets but if it looks like this all over, then I won’t be complaining. You can also see the obligatory clematis clambering up it, ready to flower (or die) after the blossom finishes.
The patio wall – which many years ago was all but hidden under a mass of rampant ivy – is looking picturesque now with cascades of flowering Aubrietia and candy tuft (Iberis Sempervirens) along its length. It’s also being joined by some Erodium Pelargoniflorum, which – despite being a beautiful flower – savagely self-seeds everywhere. It has followed us from our previous garden and has gained a tentative foot-hold in this one. I love the flowers of this plant but it’s ruthless colonisation means I’m wary of it spreading out into the borders.
All the Camellias apart from one late-flowering one at the front are in flower. They all look drunk too, weighed down by the sheer volume of flowers. I will collect buckets and buckets of spent flowers from the Camellias, turning the compost heap into a pink and red mass.
I will have to look into pruning the camellias so they bush-out and can better support the masses of flowers they carry every Spring.
The sudden appearance of all this Spring blossom a few weeks after a blanket of snow is a wake-up call and I need to quickly get caught up on the backlog of jobs so that the garden is ready for the summer.