The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.

April's no Fool


Spring is a funny old bean. We had high temperatures at the end of March, followed by a cold snap with snow and a few days of miserable rain.  Well ok, the rain is forgiven as they're expected "April showers".

The frogs had a right old time in our tiny puddle and while the first batch of spawn wasn't too impressive, several days later a massive batch appeared.  Unfortunately it seemed to be filled with silt from the bottom of the pond and after a little research, we took the decision to remove the large frogspawn clump and keep an eye on it in a bucket.

Well both batches seem to be progressing nicely with the black dots now wee black commas so we took the decision to return the bucket load back to the pond.

There's still a bit of cloudiness in the big batch but it's much clearer after its little holiday in a bucket. 

The wisteria has so many buds!

It's shaping up to be a spectacular Hanami this year with all our cherries poised ready to explore into blossom 

Ringing in some changes


As the weather improves, our spring clean continues. 

We've removed the stakes for the two newer birches in Mugwart's Retreat and laid a thick mulch of bark for the little path.

The stake has also been removed from the Tibetan cherry in The Yen.  I love how the rich bark shines in the sunshine. 

Rhododendron Christmas Cheer (in March). There aren't many blooms this year for some reason.

Buds across the whole garden are swelling with the promise of blossom in the coming weeks. 

The last of the ferns have had their spring tidy up as the new fronds emerge. 

More buds, this time skimmia.

In the patio borders, some new bulbs.  These are fritillaria uva-vulpis. 

And a new heuchera.  This is h. Midnight Rose and we've planted it in one if the troughs that edge the seating area on the patio.

Another new dark leaved heuchera has been planted in the Terrace Border. 

This corner of the Terrace Border dries out very quickly due mainly to the acers that overhang the fence.  The irises love it of course but the astrantia isn't as keen so we've added a thick layer of last year's bagged compost with some enriched topsoil to that end to see if we can improve its quality of life. 

We have spent a good deal of time in the front garden this weekend.   It was time to split the snowdrops.  With clumps now planted further beneath the hydrangea, in the space the lilac rhododendron used to occupy, where they will quietly die back over the next few weeks.  Next year they will bounce back into flower and brighten up this dappled spot beautifully.   We have also added some primula veris - the native cowslip - to extend the season in the same space, along with a few handfuls of purple crocuses. 

It looks a little sad at the moment but it's all about planning.  Next year this will look so pretty.  In the meantime the new fronds will soon emerge from the dead-looking knuckle of fern and fill the gap.

The ground beneath the acer at the top of the steps has also had some injection of colour with crocuses and further clumps of snowdrops.  The tulips are waiting in the wings for their moment on stage, and we've squeezed in some Saxifrage balls between the rocks that make up the edges.

This time of year, scent is amazing around the garden to draw in early pollinating insects and this Osmanthus Burkwoodii is no exception.  The tiny flowers are pleasantly powerful,  and handily at nose level to get right in there for a good sniff!

The bright red cornus stems have been cut back now the leaves are unfurling.  Erysimum Bowles has been popping out purple blooms all through the winter, and a clump of dwarf narcissi flanked by dusky pink hellebores is backed by new leaves emerging from rosa Maigold and clematis Warsaw Nike on the fence.  At the back, fresh hemerocallis foliage is quick off the mark once the weather begins to warm.

In the window view bed we removed the hebe that didn't take and planted a new ceanothus.  We had a spectacular one in our previous garden but they aren't very long lived up here.  We already have an upright variety against the boundary wall. This one should look so pretty here with its blue flowers that the bees find irresistible. 

To complete this entry, and before the cooler weather returns next week, I'll leave you with some more spring blooms.

Happy gardening x

Marching into Spring


I adore spring.  It really makes my heart sing.  Today the wind was less cold and the sunshine was becoming warmer.  Don't mistake me, I'm not ready to ditch my winter coat and gloves just yet but to turn my face into the warmth of the sun, with my eyes closed, listening to the birds singing their hearts out and catching the scent of hyacinths, really really lifts my spirits.