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.

38 comments:

  1. Elizabeth, it does seem as if Spring provides its own director and choreographer, picking up the hints and help given by friendly gardeners during other seasons of the year.

    Your garden views have brought me lots of cheer! Many thanks...and please do protect those pretty violets. xo

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    1. I do love the violets so will try to prevent the from being squeezed out. Then again, although the foxgloves can be thuggish, I love them too when they are all tall and spire like.

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  2. Your Whitebeam buds looks very much like our Mountain Ash here in New Brunswick, Canada.. They must be related.
    Lovely to see the blooms.

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    1. I think both are forms of sorbus gwen. Must check the variety for the white beam.

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  3. I can certainly feel and see spring has arrived through your lovely photographs. Everything you show looks fabulous, but I particularly love seeing your violets doing so well. I have patches of them, but not carpets as you some day wish for your garden. Now, that would be lovely!

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    1. Currently I have small puddles. I envisage a pool spreading out around the amelanchiers but that is a while off, if ever!

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  4. Similar story here - despite neglect on my part things are growing and the garden is taking shape. Wonderful to see fresh green leaves and primroses in profusion. Our swallows returned while we were away and it is good to see them swooping and soaring.

    We've got going on the kitchen garden but having made a late start last year through necessity - and found it made not a jot of difference - are not rushing too much. The soil is still so cold and wet. Patience is pretty hard at this time of year though!

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    1. Totally agree about late sowing and planting. It makes no difference at all as far as we can tell to hold off for a few weeks. Who knew?

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  5. Yes Elizabeth, unfortunately the weeds grow just as quickly - or more so - than our favourite flowers.
    I love that white honesty - in fact I love all your photographs. As you say, Spring has burst out all over.
    Sorry you have worry with parents - it is always so sad when things begin to wind down.

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    1. White honesty is a lovely thing. I must grow more of it.

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  6. Gracious! You have such a wonderful garden! The snow has finally gone; what remained yesterday has disappeared in today's all day downpour. With any luck, we may seen some signs of life, soon. Then I'll have to decide what to do with things. (Fortunately, just got some downspouts reorganized yesterday; they're keeping the water way from the house today.)

    Blessings and Bear hugs.

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    1. At least we haven't had snow to contend with this year! Hope yours is all gone now.

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  7. What a cheerful sight this Spring has been. I can sympathise with you having worries and distractions but your garden will surprise you while you're back is turned. This year I've had the chance to re-love our garden - it's a good tonic. xx

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    1. I am determined that the garden shall be a pleasure and a restorative although I am not quite sure how I will achieve that and learn to live with the weeds!

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  8. It is lovely to see so much doing so well in your garden. The warm sunshine is very welcome. You're right about the weeds; they'll always be there - but because they'll always be there I won't let them take away from the overall beauty of the spring flowers.

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    1. Exactly. Beauty is beauty, after all!

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  9. Your experience with the erythronium is comforting. I have a pink one (the only survivor of three) which has thrown up a single flower for the last two years. Pretty, but it hasn't really done much more than it did in the pot. Perhaps it is taking its own time to settle in.

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    1. Did you see the bit on erythronium in last week's Gardeners' World? Some really beautiful ones there at Wildside.

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  10. The mind's eye approach ... that could often be said of me and knitting!

    What may look neglected to the serious gardener looks really rather wonderful to this novice!

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    1. It could often be said of me and all sorts Annie! I do rather tend to live in my head.

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  11. So many beautiful things in your garden, isnt it comforting that our gardens just get on with it when we are forced to be absent. The erythronium in my last garden never did settle in, but I adore them, and am determined to find somewhere for them here. I have the first leaves opening on my new amelanchier, I'd love to think it will have blossom next year. Enjoy the beautiful bits of your garden and ignore the rest.

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  12. There is so much pleasure in a garden and yours is beautiful. So pleased it is thriving despite your cares and lack of time at the moment. Once the plants are firmly established they don't really need us so much.

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    1. It is very noticeable that the side garden which has been gardened for all the time we have been here is much better at being left alone than the beds in the field which long to return to grass.

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  13. As you say, our gardens share so many of the same blooms, although yours is on a much bigger scale (and better laid out and cared for as well!). I have lunaria growing wild at the edges, although I didn't know it's common name is Honesty (and mine's the more common purple bloom -- it's the "silver-dollar" seed pods I like to put in vases in the autumn, rather than the spring blossoms). My amelanchier isn't doing anything yet, but your post will send me out to have a look this morning -- They'd be wonderful in a wide swath, the way you describe yours, especially in a few years with the added height, the mass of white spring bloom.
    What is not noticeable in the photographs you share here today? The signs of neglect you mention. The good planning you did years ago has obviously resulted in a garden that can carry on without as much work, for a year or two or three at least. . . .

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    1. Whether the garden can carry on regardless depends very much on which bit! The new bits which have been carved out of field really want to revert to field. The older areas can be left to their own devices a bit more!

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  14. I heart the sparks of yellow from dandelions. Growing at my kitchen door, by invitation.

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    1. Now I could send you a hundred or so more if you like Diana! Free postage.

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  15. Lovely Erythronium! The great thing about plants is that they just get on with things while we are busy and then, there they are looking wonderful when we have time. The variegated Lunnaria seeds itself into great clumps which light up the garden.
    I am so sorry Elizabeth, I have just found your nice comment about my orchids in my spam. I can't think why. That is why you didn't get an answer. I must check it more often.

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    1. I am very much hoping the lunaria will self seed. I have the purple kind which I also like but this one is very lovely.

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  16. There's always so much to enjoy in your garden . It's beautiful all year round .
    Don't be too hard on the foxgloves .... their obliviousness to a less than wholehearted welcome make me think of stray cats .

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    1. I am actually very fond of foxgloves which is possibly why I have so many. They self seed and I tend to leave them.

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  17. Oh spring has definitely arrived in your neck of the woods Elizabeth. It's amazing how plants get on with their own thing without any human intervention. The area by the shepherd's hut will look fabulous when the amelanchiers are slightly taller. I think that dandelions deserve a prize for their tenacity.

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    1. I don't dislike dandelions (I reserve that for bindweed although even that in its place is ok). Funnily enough I had been feeling that the area by the hut was not right before everything came into leaf and now I think it is ok. Might just need something evergreen!

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  18. Spring has been here in Seoul for a few weeks now, with cherry blossoms and then a riot of azaleas everywhere, but the last few days have been grey and rainy and chilly and just ....somber - even sadder with the grief of this terrible ferry disaster permeating the country. I have been saving your post to read sort of like waiting on a delicious dessert after a blah dinner. I hope your garden is bringing some balm to your sore heart and helping to dispel some of the worries that I know must be ever-present these days.. I know it does me good just to see the pictures. xx

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    1. I have been thinking of you in Seoul following the ferry disaster. That must strike the entire country very hard. Yes, the garden is balm, on a good day!

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  19. Stunning. Isn't spring just so good for the soul??

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    1. It is. I love spring and May in particular is the most perfect time.

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