Goodness, it has been a mad week for weather! On Wednesday it snowed for most of the day and although there was no great accumulation, it was enough to be winter. The snowdrops by the back door certainly lived up to their name but by evening the snow had turned to rain and the melt began. By Thursday the river was in flood again, carrying the meltwater and rain off the Welsh hills and winter was briefly put aside for a taste of Spring.
Up on the bank where I planted the new snowdrops, they have started to flower after the drenching. The soil has been washed down around their roots and they certainly look happy enough with the sun shining on them. I know they are woodland plants but curiously the best display down the lane where there are thousands of them is on the sunny side of the lane or at the gateway where the sun shines through. Has anyone else found theirs like sunny spots when they can get them?
So I have spent the day working on the garden, making the most of it being both milder and drier. I was actually working in a sweater today having shed the coat and the body warmer. I know! Daring! I’m trying to get on with the backlog of jobs as well as preparing a new bed for summer perennials. Happy gardening if that’s what you are doing this weekend.
Dramatic sky with electricity wires
So here we are trotting into February and late winter/early spring. Two days of brisk winds have dried the garden surface well and here on my glacial soil where the drainage is sharpish I was able to spend three glorious hours working in the garden.
That ongoing chore, edging the beds continues and joy of joys, I keep discovering the promise of lovely plants to come. Or at least, the labels of lovely things that were there. There is, alas, no sign of a tree peony near its label. Shame. Or a camellia. But new leaves of a white Astrantia major “Moira Reid” are just peeping through, as are the new leaves of Tiarella ‘Spring Symphony’ beneath the Mistletoe apple trees. It is a bit of a chore doing the edges, but being down on my hands and knees is the quickest way of learning about what is here.
I have been cosseting the two old apples we pruned in late autumn. I weeded out creeping bent grass, dandelions , the odd blackberry and nettle, all growing, which tells you the season is progressing. Afterwards I sprinkled sulphate of potash on the soil and worked it gently in. I am not very hopeful for one of the trees but will give it at least this season before deciding whether it can be saved or needs to come out. If pruning and feeding and hopefully a decent growing season don’t do the trick, I don’t know what will.
A little walk around the garden with me after all that digging? A spotted hellebore has joined the dark purple one. There are still two more to open their flowers . I cannot understand why I have not grown hellebores before. Oh yes, lack of space.
Under the Corsican pines coloured primulas are blooming their little heads off and beside the barn the Iris reticulata clump is in full flower. It’s about to be joined by some bright blue ones.
It is these little discoveries that brighten this part of winter, especially as there is so much that needs doing still. What is your next priority, garden wise? I’ve still got the rest of the edging, two boundary hedges to cut, the pond to clear…..and that’s before I start on the seed sowing. I am so glad I am happiest in the garden.