It's a glorious winter's day. The sun is bright, the sky azure and the birdsong is developing a flirtatious key. All around the garden, buds are breaking.
Magnolia George Henry Kern
Rosa Special Anniversary
Clematis Royal Velours
Rhododendron Christmas Cheer
Wrapping up in hat and scarf against the chill, the garden was calling. There were a couple of jobs to be done while the weather held today. As the bulbs are flowering in the pots beside the patio doors, I'm gently teasing them out and planting out in clumps in gaps in the borders. Today were crocus and some more snowdrops. The crocus were yellow with a darker stripe and although their flowers are past their best, I've planted them in the patio arch borders for next year's display.
This pot of bulbs above will receive the same treatment, but the hyacinths below are going to come inside once their buds begin to open so we can enjoy their rich fragrance. They will then be allowed to die back naturally out of sight, leaving the strappy green leaves to feed the bulb for next year.
The other task was to attend to this acer in the Yen Garden. You may recall that it performed poorly last year. I wondered whether there was insufficient drainage. TMTC popped it out of its pot, improved the drainage with extra gravel at the base, along with more crocks over the single drainage hole and replaced the compost with a mix of John Innes 3 and a just bit of ericaceous compost, before replacing the pebble mulch. Now we wait.
I titivated the soil a little, removing a few weeds and cutting back dead foliage to tidy things up a bit and allow the crocus, narcissi and snowdrops room to shine. The papery heads remain on the hydrangeas all round the garden to help protect the buds, but one or two of the roses received their winter prune.
In the next 48 hours the "Beast from the East" arrives, dragging freezing Siberian temperatures and snow our way.
I'm not a winter person.