The continuation of a relatively cool airstream has meant an outstanding spring bulbs season so far. We still have a few snowdrops, even now, although the spotlight is now firmly on the daffodils, with most of them in bloom.
If truth be known, I’m actually quite pleased that next week is to be cool, as this will hopefully mean we get a good long flowering spell from these, surely the cheeriest of spring flowers, almost guaranteed to put a smile on your face! I’m not sure how many varieties we have here in the garden, but we do have quite a few and I thought I’d feature a few on this post.
Very pleased to see the hyacinths coming out too with their evocative scent; we grow them in dry, dusty soil in a south facing position round the front of the house – in common with the daffs, the local rabbit population makes no attempt to snack on them!
Nice to see some real growth in the borders, particularly the south-facing one. The forsythia is in full bloom now and the buds on the tree paeonies are really starting to open .
The hostas are unfurling and the Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum) is at its best at the moment, a sea of writhing serpents rising up out of the ground. We’ve got it in a few places in the garden where it spreads easily; we also have a variegated one in the shade border but I’m not so taken with that. What is good in the shade border at the moment are the Pulmonarias;
I’ve mentioned our white one before, mistakenly calling it ‘Sissinghurst White’ in previous posts, but it’s actually ‘Ice Ballet’ according the invoice that I dug out the other day; our other one, ‘Blue Ensign’, is now out with an intense blue flower, and mauve buds. Oddly so are some dwarf daffodils, perhaps ‘Minnow’, which I really can’t recall planting there. The Good Lady thinks this could have been the gardening exploits of a rather horticulturally-challenged, not to mention forgetful, squirrel!
The grass-cutting season has started, certainly in the walled garden. We have more to cut here now, as we put the two productive vegetable areas to grass late last summer; we’ll mow these as we do the main lawn, leaving the bulb areas under the fruit trees un-mown until later in the summer. We have been growing some wildflower seed in the greenhouse which is coming on nicely and which we’ll plant in these areas shortly. The grass round the front of the house is much more exposed and it will be a couple of weeks before that needs attention.
In the greenhouse, all the hardy annuals we planted a couple of weeks ago are now through, I’m pleased to say, although some of the perennials are a little more leisurely in their germination. They are starting to come through now, though, so one shouldn’t give up hope too early! Probably starting next weekend, we shall be pricking the seedlings out into modules, a time of year when the greenhouse is at its most productive.
This last couple of weekends, I have been working over the borders, removing grassy weeds, willowherb and creeping buttercup, all very determined to withstand the rigours of the hoe. I don’t like hoeing at this time of the year as there are many interesting seedlings coming through and I prefer to wait until I know what they are before I remove them. Lovely to hear the hum of the bumble bees, though, as they feed on the early flowers of the wall-trained gooseberry – worth having if only to provide this early food-supply!
Spring is definitely here. Daybreak comes before 5am now, we have daylight until beyond 9pm, and there is warmth in the sun when she chooses to show her face. A new flock of proud mums and their newborn lambs have arrived in the field; each day they gain a little more strength and a little more confidence. The buds are starting to break on the fruit trees but I’m just hoping that they don’t fall victim to the late frosts scheduled for next week. This is what happened last year over much of the UK, leading to an almost non-existent apple and pear crop. Fingers crossed that they will be okay this year.