Wednesday, 23 April 2014
Spring has truly sprung
Suddenly the garden is full of spring. Life has been so full of driving and journeying and worrying about both my father and my father in law, both failing in different ways at different ends of the country, that I don't seem to have looked at the garden for a few weeks. Last time I looked the beds were empty and covered with sticks and old leaves, a mute reproach, not mulched or weeded or showing signs of having had any loving attention. Wandering around in the sunshine a couple of days ago I found that all sorts of things had emerged and filled out and burst into flower, quite without assistance from me or anyone else.
Erythronium Pagoda is flowering with a graceful beauty that makes me feel I need to wash the whole side garden with it. It took a long time to decide that it was happy here and for two or three years my three plants sat quietly, throwing out the odd flower spike but certainly not colonising or establishing in a way that looked permanent. Over the last year or so it has decided to settle down. It looks quite different, the leaves glossy and full, the flowers suddenly abundant and the whole plant pushing out into the surrounding soil. I love it.
There is a variegated white flowered honesty which I grew from seed (thank you Karen) illuminating a shady corner against the dark bulk of a hedge. These simple flowers look far better here than splashy tulips which I keep for pots and the cutting garden, allowing just a few graceful Ballerina tulips into the garden right next to the house.
In the field the Tenby daffodils have gone over but the Thalia are still flowering, as are our fabulous crop of dandelions.
Up by the shepherd's hut we planted three amelanchier in the autumn of 2012. Last year they looked rather sorry for themselves. just three little sticky things with some little sticklike dogwoods behind them and the odd bit of blossom clinging on rather forlornly in the coldest, snowiest spring for a generation. This year the amelanchiers do look like trees, admittedly rather tiny trees and they are all blossoming. I suppose they are about four feet high, just over a metre. I can't wait until they are fifteen feet or so, about five metres, and higher than the shepherd's hut. That will change the whole way that corner of the field works, providing some privacy for the hut to add to the sheltering embrace of the holly trees behind.
Here is the hut last winter in the snow. The amelanchiers are just out of shot on the left. They will grow at a rate of about a foot a year so I might have to curb my enthusiasm but I can see them in my mind's eye, which is how most of my gardening works.
There are violets at their feet, not the carpets of violets I have in mind but little clumps determinedly fighting off the self sown foxgloves. I might need to intervene in that little territorial dispute, or perhaps I should just leave them be and see what happens. It would be sad to lose the violets though.
As beautiful as any of the flowers are the emerging leaves of the whitebeam, silvery grey and perfect.
I don't have a picture which in any way does them justice and now it is raining gently.
There are creeping buttercups and couch grass invading the new beds in the field and bindweed twining up the jasmine but just for today let us admire the way things want to grow and take pleasure in the now.