It’s alive!


I’m supposed to be working, but the council have appeared and started clawing up the road, creating an effect in my head and basement office not dissimilar to being in the dentist’s chair.

Lovely weather, plus incredible racket – a little light gardening?

I was walking around wondering where to start weeding (so many weeds, so little time, even this early), when I realised that the Clethras I thought had succumbed to the snow were showing signs of life.

This one, I think, is C. alnifolia, because it suckers like mad. I can forgive it the suckering for this year, as I’m just pleased to see it alive. Inspired by my discovery, I checked some of the other possible casualties, and there are even the beginnings of tiny shoots on the Agapanthus.

Most of the ferns are beginning to show signs of spring, too, except for a huge Dryopteris which we had to move in order to squeeze in the potatoes. But they’re tough things, and I’ve shoved them around before without any dying on me, so hopefully it will soon start to look a bit more like its near neighbour:

I had some disasters among the pots this year, as well: many just weren’t up to the frost even though a) they were supposedly frost proof, and b) we got off lightly compared to most of the country. So there had to be some emergency repotting – I had tried to hold the pots together with my trusty Duck tape, but it didn’t work for long – at just the wrong time. But the lilies seem to have shrugged it off, and are looking promising.

These had been in the same pot, with an annual top-dressing, for years and had always provided an excellent show. They are very, very fragrant and I’ve even had walkers calling at me over the wall asking what the scent was when the lilies were in full bloom. Fingers crossed…

In the top corner, I thought I’d lost a fuchsia. It’s just a common-or-garden, westerly-coasts-of-the-British-isles, growing-like-a-weed fuchsia, nothing special. But it was a cutting from my mother’s last garden and reminded me of childhood summers, of popping fat crimson buds on the way to the beach. Luckily the winter has just cut it back rather enthusiastically (which, to be honest, needed doing anyway).

Some of the other fuchsias might not be so lucky, mind: I’ll have to wait and see on those. Hopefully I won’t have to wait too long; though everything is later than usual (but about a fortnight earlier than last year), boy, are they catching up.

All the birches – I have three, and they’re all comparatively young – have suddenly gone ping, revealing that though a few individual branches have been lost, the trees are just fine. I’ve been giving it some consideration, and I think birch leaves are probably my favourites. Beech are fine, yes, and chestnut, and hazel – but baby birch leaves:


I suppose I ought to do some catching up myself – I can finally hear the council guys packing away…


2 Comments Add yours

  1. “Ping” is exactly right – and I love birch leaves too, though beach run a very close second, and now I come to think about it, unfurling Rowan leaves are rather beautiful…

    So glad you are seeing signs of life where you feared things lost – fuschias always keep me guessing until late, but generally come back eventually, just when you have worked out what you are going to replace them with, must be the fear. Mine is from a cutting of a cutting of my Nan’s, similarly evocative memories. Glad the council gave you the excuse to go out and watch the pinging!

    1. kate says:

      Thanks for that suggestion about the fuschias; I am going to work out exactly what I’m going to put in place of my (previously) lovely white fuchsia, and go and tell it. Hopefully it will feel the fear too – and I’ll take a look at my rowan on the way…

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