In like a lamb and out like a lion, and that’s just the first week!



The battleship grey skies and cold temperatures have returned, with even a light covering of snow this morning, heralding (according to the long-range forecast) a rather more wintry March than we had last year.


The new Lonicera hedge “Great Expectations”!

Still the Good Lady was able to take advantage of some better weather in the early part of the week with some frenzied hoeing, concluding the work we were doing last weekend on the rose beds. The herb bed too has been hoed over as have the two vegetable beds in the rear part of the walled garden. The GL too planted out some Lonicera (shrubby honeysuckle) cuttings that had rooted over the winter to make a low hedge around one of the vegetable beds. These rooted amazingly quickly in the late summer and over the winter and will very quickly establish, although they are likely to require 2 or 3 trims a year. The other vegetable bed has lavender round it. These plants we grew from seed last year and are still quite small although we should get some good flowering in the mid-late summer. The box cuttings we took in the autumn have come through the winter well and these should be showing signs of root as the spring advances. When large enough, these too will be used to edge some of the borders.

wpid-20130309_100517.jpgIn the greenhouse, the sweet pea seeds have been planted, together with some ‘All the Year Round’ lettuce, some mysterious ‘trial’ leeks and some assorted wild flowers. It’s pretty early for seed-sowing here, but none of these need much heat and I’m hopeful that we’ll get some bright weather over the next few weeks which will bring them through. We’ll probably leave the herbaceous seed for a few more weeks, though, until the overnight temperatures are more consistently above 0 degrees C.

wpid-20130309_095613.jpgTaking a wander-round this morning, it was good to see the Primula denticulata (the drumstick primulas) starting to emerge from their basal cluster of leaves; we grew quite a lot of these from seed a couple of years ago and their flowering season is quite long. The first little flower of our Pulmonaria ‘Sissinghurst White’ has also appeared in the shade border – a picture will follow in a few weeks’ time when a few more have emerged!


A. palmatum ‘Sangokaku’

And finally for this week, I was very taken with the coral-pink stems of our new Acer palmatum ‘Sangokaku’ which we put in a year ago – it’s certainly giving our red-stemmed Cornus a run for its money!

24 thoughts on “In like a lamb and out like a lion, and that’s just the first week!

  1. Winter is still holding on on this side of the pond, too. This is the week when my students head south for spring break and I head north to Maine. Last year at this time, the snow was gone and I was out pruning shrubs in my shirtsleeves in 70F temps! This year is more normal; the ground is mostly still covered with several inches of snow, which is melting slowly in temperatures that are just a little above freezing. If enough of the snow melts, I still may get the shrubs pruned before I have to go back to Pennsylvania in a week.


  2. The weather here today is bizarre. I look out of my office window and see bright sunshine, 10 minutes later a snow blizzard, then bright sunshine, then snow all in the space of an hour. I really hope this will be the end of winter as it turned into a guest outstaying its welcome


  3. Despite the weatherman’s prediction of snow, snow, and more snow… it never quite panned out. Snow is all but melted now, just needs to warm up so buds can begin to pop. Thinking the Lion may be saving his entrance as March’s grand finale. Won’t be the first time.


  4. Two days ago two crates of perennials that were sown last autumn were put out to harden off, they are back in the greenhouse now !! Like the Acer by the way.


      • I am loving my hellebore here–another tough plant that tolerate these hellish Virginia summers. I continue to tuck them in any bit of shade and they reward me. I even have some in a full sun bed. Go figure!


      • Quite agree. They’re lovely things. We have a few here, all at different stages of development, oddly enough. Some are flowering and have been for some time, some are just unfurling their new growth, and then we have a monster of a yellow lenton lily which is like a large beached octopus! Great plants and some lovely new varieties being bred…


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