Gardening in between rain

The wet weather continues and I keep slowly plodding along the border edges in between the showers and when the grass doesn’t squelch upon walking on it. That only adds up to a few hours here and there in between days of rain and monotonous, grey, overcast skies. Northern temperate-climate people are usually snowed-in around this time of year; I’m “rained-in”.

Re-edging the Landing Pad

Despite the weather, I can see changes happening gradually in the garden as the plants are starting to wake up. Most recently, the Camellias are starting to flower. The Magnolia even tried a “test” with a single flower, the aubretia’s just gone ahead and fully bloomed anyway. The cyclamen have been caught by surprise and are racing to catch up to flower. The crocuses are finishing and the snowdrops are saying, “we started first!” as they set seed.

Rain-battered Camellia flower

The flowering of the various large, inherited Camellias signals the “proper” start to the new season in the garden, despite the fact that other plants have been flowering months before over the winter. I love it when these large shrubs burst into flower, though they usually do so around mid-March so we’re pretty early this year due to the mild weather. We haven’t had snow yet and though this coming week might see me de-frosting the car on some mornings, I’m not going to be shovelling the driveway any time soon.

More Camellias

Winter jobs are continuing and coming up soon will be pruning of shrubs, roses and the beech hedge in particular. There’s no thought to new areas I want to work on. I made a start on the large herbaceous border last year and I’ll just continue that this year. I’m hoping that I won’t be distracted by other jobs that pop out of no where, in previous years there’s been the removal of a large row of bamboo clumps, assembly of an urn, completely re-doing the front border, creating a compost heap and all those sorts of odd-jobs that you try and “fit in” between what you’re actually supposed to be doing.

Some “caught-by-surprise” Cyclamen

Meanwhile, inside the Strelitzia has had one flower and there’s been long pause as it prepares to open about four flowers at once, with some more coming after. It’s going to be an impressive show, just as soon as it starts….any week now…

Electric-blue Scilla in the patio wall


  1. Isn’t that scilla exciting? My Mum loved alpines, and if you had to inspect them with a magnifying glass, so much the better! I think that’s why all the daffs in my garden are miniature. Tete a tete is the commonest, but is also a wonderful spreader, ever year the bulbs multiply well and there are more and more, which makes the garden cheery. And I have primroses everywhere…. wild, of course, I never planted a one – but at this time of the year up they spring, and some in the most unexpected places! Lovely gentle harbingers of the better weather to come. Some helebores surprised me for I never even saw the buds form, and suddenly there they were in full bloom. And back to the alpines…… mostly not to my taste but I do have one in a large gravel-filled dish outside the front door. A saxafagia, apricot pink with about 30 flowers this year, and about 3 inches (after 7 years oif growth), across the entire plant! Sring’s coming Sunil.


    1. Hello Mrs Mac, I can hear the enthusiasm screaming from your comment :-). I think the patio wall is the only place in the garden suitable for alpines, as the rest of the garden is too wet, heavy and overrun with big plants for alpines. My harbinger is Spring are the large camellia shrubs – hardly “gentle” or “subtle”. I can’t wait for Spring to arrive either but I hope it doesn’t come with yet more rain!


  2. We love Scillas and all other blue-flowered bulbs. Last year everything was sodden well into May. Bad enough for the gardeners, disastrous for the farmers, who couldn’t get out and plant until weeks late.


    1. Hello Jason, I heard about the delayed/late planting due to field being flooded well into late spring. On a much smaller scale, we’re still having intermittent showers and the garden is too wet to work in, in the breaks in-between. We’re hoping the rain eases off as Spring advances to give me some time to get the winter jobs done!


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