Easter Greetings!

 wpid-20130330_172239-1.jpgAfter a week of almost nightly snowfalls, the garden has been slow to shed its white mantle, very different from late March last year when we enjoyed temperatures in the low 20’s C.

Much of the garden is still snow-covered, with the area between the yew hedges and the shade border still covered by 3-4 inches. Most of the lawn too is still covered, although nearly all the ground outside the walls is now snow-free, as are the south-facing borders in the walled garden, where the sun has had an effect.

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The shade border remains snowbound!

Despite daytime temperatures struggling to exceed 5 degrees and overnights dropping to -4 degrees or so, marked by opaque, frosted greenhouse glass, the garden is gradually coming back to life.

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the alpine primulas

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P. denticulata

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Flowering currant

Almost as soon as the snow disappeared off the alpine querns, the primulas with their simple blue flowers and serrated leaves have burst into bloom. Indeed, it is primula time of year, with the polyanthus continuing to try to put on a show, and the P. denticulata pompoms starting their journey skywards. The first daffodils have made it just in time to adorn the Easter table and the flowering currant has continued to push out it drooping blossom.

Meanwhile, the first of the herbaceous continues to produce its early ‘tufts’ of new growth, a welcome sight in the bare borders.

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the photogenic Polyanthus

In the greenhouse, some welcome sunshine in the last few days has finally triggered the sweet peas, leeks and early lettuce from their torpor. Despite no real warmth outside, the temperature in the greenhouse today reached a very acceptable 18 degrees C, so we have continued with our seed-planting – herbaceous perennials and some biennials at this stage. The summer bedding and perennials requiring a little more warmth to germinate we’ll do in 2-3 weeks’ time, when the overnight temperatures are comfortably in positive figures.

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Tree paeony bud

While growth has been held back this year (we still have some very decent snowdrops and even aconites in bloom), a succession of very cold nights has had some benefits. We should see fewer pests this year and after a very wet winter, the soil has been nicely ‘freeze-drying’ which should make it quite friable for putting in the new trees and shrubs we purchased a few weeks ago, still sitting in their pots awaiting release!

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the Walled Garden during the week

Spring perhaps is finally here.

The weather forecast hints that we may now have seen the last of the winter snows. Perhaps, for those in similar climes, this is the same for you?

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dark-leaved Hellebore

Wishing you a very Happy Easter!

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34 Responses to Easter Greetings!

  1. debsgarden says:

    Oh, the bugs! We have had two very mild winters back to back, and already we are being bothered by gnats worse than we usually see in August! We have had plenty of cold, wet weather, but little of the hard freezes needed to kill those swarming creatures. Your primulas are lovely. Happy spring!

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  2. It’s wonderful to think milder weather may be on the way, although it snowed here in London again yesterday. Your polyanthus and primulas look beautiful!

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  3. I love your purple primulas and the smell is exquisite. When we first came to Cornwall when I was just 6, we lived near a primula nursery and the smell takes me right back.

    We’ve been hearing about your snow. We’ve had only a sprinkle here but the winds are bitter and we are also getting temps of 0 and -2 with the wind chill taking it down to -7 at its worst and that’s in Cornwall! I hope your Spring comes soon it’s been a long winter but, as you say, the soil has had a good frosting which will make it easier to work..

    All the best to you 🙂

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    • Nice to hear from you and thanks for sharing your memories. It’s amazing how evocative certain smells are and how they can take you back to a certain point in time. For me its the deciduous azalea, R. Luteum.
      You have had it cold in Cornwall. I do hope your plants are okay- I suspect you grow quite a lot of tender stuff?

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  4. Anna B says:

    Hello there! I hope you had a wonderful Easter! We managed to get away down south, it was still cold there but no snow. I can still see some snow in Leeds from my office window now! Sounds like a lot is happening in your garden though and great temperatures in your greenhouse! I would much prefer to sit in mine all day than to sit in work 😉

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  5. I’m relieved to say we are finally transitioning to spring. Btw, I didn’t know until recently that there was such a thing as blue Primulas. Lovely!

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  6. Bill S says:

    Lovely to see the colour coming back into the garden, just need a good summer now. The serrated edge primula is primula marginata I believe.

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  7. despite the snow your daffodils and ribes are ahead of mine which seem to be very late this year, I’m glad your snow is finally going, love that little alpine primula, some of my p.denticulata are flowering they are such tough little plants and p.vulgaris, Frances

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  8. This spring has been slow in emerging. I thought I wasn’t going to have any tulips, but they are beginning to come up. I hope all this means we get to enjoy it for a longer period of time. Happy spring!

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  9. Carolync says:

    A few warm days have teased us into thinking Spring is here, but wisdom tells me anything goes… still. Such is our Spring, most years. Our Easter was delightful… hope yours was, too!

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  10. Holleygarden says:

    I think we’ve finally seen the last of our freezing weather. Spring, surely, is finally on its way! I hadn’t thought about the benefit of fewer pests. Good to look on the bright side!

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  11. So happy for you that your garden is beginning to wake up. It is so uplifting, isn’t it? I love your primulas. Are they difficult to grow? I’m interested to try them but I know almost nothing about them–they’re rarely grown around here. I don’t know if that’s because people aren’t adventuresome or because they don’t thrive here. Perhaps we are too warm?

    Happy Easter and happy spring!

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    • Thank you for your kind comments! Primulas grow very easily here – cold certainly doesn’t seem to be a problem! They’ll grow in sun and shade, but do like to have damp (not necessarily wet) feet! They are one of the first plants to show signs of draught – quite shallow-rooted! The alpine ones are very hardy and seem to thrive on neglect! And a very Happy Easter to you!

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  12. Beautiful post. Happy Spring!

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  13. Here in New England the ground is still covered in white but we are making some headway with the melt. The Iris are starting to poke through the edges of the garden but none of the bulbs have come up yet. But, it hasn’t snowed in over a week so that’s good. 🙂

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  14. Good to see your garden coming back to life!

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  15. Good to hear the snow has benefits for you and that spring is arriving in the midst of the snow….our foot of snow melted last week to reveal blooms, but snow is returning tomorrow but it shouldn’t last…long range we are getting seasonable temps…here’s to the arrival of spring finally….your gardens look incredible in rain, snow and sun.

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  16. Helen Johnstone says:

    Our snow, which fell a week ago, has only just gone and we had no where near as much as you. Things are starting to appear in teh seed trays and I have more to sow today. I am now playing spotting the shoots appearing in the garden and trying to remember what plants they are

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  17. Pauline says:

    Good to see the snow going for you at last, let’s hope that is the last of it for this year! Your primulas are a sure sign that spring isn’t far away, they don’t seem to care what the weather is doing do they? Love the serrated edge to the leaves on your alpine primula, do you know which variety it is?

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