In between my parents staying, rain squalls, storms, family get-togethers, baking and work, I’ve only managed to do little bits and pieces to advance the winter clean-up in the garden; so I popped out into the garden just now to take a few photos and I’m going to provide a running commentary on each one.
The early crocus are starting to make an appearance. Granted this is only one of two flowers that I can see at the moment, I’m hoping the others aren’t far behind. I’m not sure whether the crocus in the Corner border are spreading or dwindling, they just seem to be migrating to different areas as far as I can tell. Anyway, this photo is proof that the flowering season continues in the garden without break – no matter how feeble is it. I’ll be bolstering the winter flowering with the planned winter border – coming soon; but not that soon.
I took this photo as it’s one of those pivotal moments. This is Erodium Pelargoniflorum, from the previous garden. It’s evergreen, hardy, drought-proof, bomb-proof, attractive to wildlife, flowers beautifully and self-seeds prolifically. In other words, if I let this escape out into the garden, I will never be rid of it. I will either end up with beautiful drifts of this plant as it self seeds all over the garden, or I will end up cursing it as it smothers everything in its path. It’s contained in the patio wall at the moment, but I have a feeling it won’t stay confined there for long.
In this small strip of border and around the Landing Pad at the bottom of the garden are these grass-like shoots emerging from the soil. They are definitely not grass, nor sedge nor chives, but Narcissus Bulbocodium Conspicuus (Yellow Hoop Petticoat daffodil) that I planted a year ago, this will be their second year and they appear to have bulked up, which is great as I love the flowers. They’re not the traditional daffodil type – they’re highly stylised, but they don’t seem to be weak and feeble like some over-bred varieties can be, these are short, slender, elegant, spreading and above all, cheap! They flower late for daffodils (April) so I’ll be looking at the green for some time yet.
It’s the time of year to cut ferns back to the knuckle, which is perfectly hardy to any frost and snow that may be yet to come. The ferns in the garden have been planted over the years and the majority of them have been grown from spores. To think that something smaller than a grain of dust has grown into this conglomerate of plants in just a few years is extraordinary. There are many more ferns in the greenhouse that are gradually bulking up and I want to plant them en-masse all the way along the bottom of the beech hedge that runs the length of the garden. The money we’ve saved is also staggering. Each knuckle in this picture could be the best part of £10 at a garden centre so it’s well worth trying to grow from spores. It’s not difficult, but it does take a long time and you’ll have ferns by the hundreds.
Here’s a small area of the garden I cleared earlier. Underneath the soil are Dahlias and I don’t know if they’re going to survive. They are planted deep, which puts them out of the reach of frost, but well within reach of soggy and cold clay soil. If the Dahlias survive, we’ll see the shoots sometime in May, which is a very long time for an area to stay empty. I’ll have to stud this patch with bulbs and other spring flowering plants that do their thing and are finished by summer, so won’t mind the dahlias sitting on top of them. I was going to put a group of three hydrangea here (despite there being room for about one). I may still revert back to that plan if the dahlias turn their noses up at the winter wet.