We have had a lovely few days, with a quite remarkable absence of rain and an equally remarkable presence of sun. It’s all right now, normal service is resumed and we have a grey, drizzly day – but everything enjoyed spring while it was here. Me included, and I even managed to sit outside with a cup of tea on a couple of occasions. Wearing a big sweater, but still – amazing. We basked (that’s me and the garden).
Just a touch of sun and warmth at this time of year brings everything on so quickly, but I can’t help remembering last year when it was positively summery in March and then appalling for the rest of the year. I do hope we are not in for a repeat… but I did purchase a SAD lamp this winter, so a crappy summer holds no fears for me and my vitamin D levels. As for the garden – well… maybe a big SAD lamp? Isn’t that what the sun is supposed to be? Hm?
I am, however, keeping my fingers firmly crossed because sun transforms gardens and makes them look wonderful. I’m also a fan of snow in the transformation stakes (I may regret saying this, if I am to believe the weather forecast) but drizzle does nothing for anyone or anything.
I think the sheer exuberance of crocuses is what I love the most. Snowdrops can be understated and subtle in their gorgeousness, but crocuses are brazen. They yell HELLO SPRING at anyone and everyone and, in a world of considerably accomplished floral show-offs, I have some truly blowsy trollops:
These were rescued from a bin at B&Q a couple of years ago by P, who felt they deserved a second chance. I’ll say. So no apologies for another crocus shot.
And it’s not just the daisies and the crocuses which have welcomed the weather. The daffodils have come on a treat from just a few days ago and the first of the doubles has opened, which is always a sign that spring has really got going. I hope they’re right, but we will see.
Even the anemones are burgeoning. I did have a couple opening earlier, but they were hiding behind the stems of the Rosa rugosa, quivering like timid little kittens. Now the clumps in the meadow are opening,
something which has unfortunately revealed that the bonfire heap covers the site of one of the larger clumps. Damn.
Down in the bottom garden my pulmonaria – new last year, a gift, thank you – is flowering its pink and purple socks off. That’s a result, and now it can spread, please. I’ve always had mixed success with pulmonarias, apart from one thug which throttled everything near it until I ripped it out, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.
Of course the camellias are still doing their thing, but I’ve been entranced by unfolding spring elsewhere, distracting me on my way to worship at the shrine of the double camellia. The Rosa rugosa hedges are, I think, a positive thing. They give me some privacy and divide the garden into rooms. The hips are gorgeous and the scent of the flowers is strong. On the negative side, they sucker everywhere. They also, somewhat paradoxically, die back mysteriously exactly where you want them to survive. You need armour-plating to prune them, and when trying to anything near them afterwards as there are inevitably some spiky, spiny pruned stems lurking in the undergrowth.
But just as I’m contemplating late hacking back, they do this:
and I haven’t the heart.
That sent me scurrying to my other roses, but only one has really got going. I’m a bit surprised as it’s the climber up the gable end, and needs some serious tying back. I’ve come to the conclusion that cutting down the big cedar has had the incidental effect of destroying the wind tunnel which used to rip up the side of the house. Now the whole garden is windy, but the directed intensity is diminished. I wonder how well this will flower when the time comes?
Of course, there’s also much more light than previously. I tend to forget this – and I’m amazed at how quickly I’ve adapted to the disappearance of the tree, taking the changed conditions for granted. I still miss it, though – but I don’t miss the negative effects it had on the garden (and whicih it was about to have on the house).
Soon I’ll be missing the snowdrops too, as they are just beginning to fade, so there’s time for one last shot of my beauties:
I am so very pleased with how well they have clumped up. It really is worth waiting, because eventually they reach a tipping point and the mice can’t keep up. Now I’m wondering about introducing aconites as well… maybe there’ll be some of those going cheap at B&Q…