Swell a Progress, Start a Scene or Two

The longer, warmer days have accelerated the progress of plants in the garden, as well as my own. I am gobsmacked by the rapid germination of seeds in the greenhouse, most of the survivors quickly gaining their first true leaves and looking as if they have every chance of eventually making it to the garden; the dahlias are showing the first hint of sprouts from the dry tubers, and even the candelebra primulas I sowed about 3 months ago are now a sprinkling of green in the seed tray. Throughout the garden there are new things to excite and delight, like growth on things that were new to me last year like clumps of Fritillaria uva vulpis and shoots on the perennial Lathyrus latifolia as well as the rapid growth of all the herbaceous perennials. The rhododendrons in the woodland that showed their first hint of colour less than a week ago are now nearly fully out, adding to the display of wood anemones which are now smothering the primroses.

I haven’t been splattering bleach about as the first picture might suggest, which I suspect was an unfortunate combination of the strength of the sun and the direction I was facing at the time (shoddy photography!). It is a few years since I seen as many flowers on this ‘red-hardy’ rhododendron, although I have heard it said that we can anticipate a good year for rhododendrons generally because of 2012’s rainfall. It will prove a good contrast to the bluebells which are now sending up flower shoots, something else we didn’t see last year although at this time last year the woodland was smothered in another D****’s P****, lamium.

More progress can be seen on the columnar fruit trees planted last year in the grass near the stream, to the right of the path looking from the house. Over winter the greengage ‘Denniston’s Superb’, pear ‘Concorde’ and cherry ‘Summer Sun’ looked like three dry sticks, so it was a relief when buds on all three unfurled this week, revealing flower buds as well as leaves. Growing them this way meant that they could occupy the relatively small space of this location, and I am relieved that they are settling into their location.


I have been pleased with my own progress today too, spending an hour this morning planting up the area I had been clearing and deciding I was happier with the newly constructed section of wall now the mortar had dried. Some plants had been ordered from Crocus and others were relocated from elsewhere in the garden. At the back are Sarcococca humilis, Viburnum tinus and a white camellia, with Clematis montana grandiflora to climb up the decayed hawthorn stump. In front of these are Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, white Japanese anemones, Liriope muscari, Astrantia ‘Shaggy’, Epimedium x youngianum ‘Niveum’, Luzula nivea, three of the bargain Primula denticulata and some self seeded white flowered honesty. There is plum ‘Czar’ on dwarf rootstock waiting to go in the area to the right. So, the area now has potential and I shall monitor the contents as they bulk up – it’s so much better than it was, and the species snowdrop border also looks better now the sarcococca and hydrangea have been moved (room for more snowdrops perhaps?!).


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9 Responses to Swell a Progress, Start a Scene or Two

  1. I like the way your wall and the garden behind it is shaping up. Looking forward to seeing future progress!

  2. Anna says:

    Oh you’ve been busy Cathy – the ironwork really fits in well – look forward to seeing how your new planting all knits together. Glad to hear that those dahlias are stirring 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Such a wonderful and exciting time of year, Anna – and I never cease to be grateful that I now have the time to take full advantage of it 🙂

  3. It’s so amazing the way everything grows like mad after a long, hard winter. Every year -in my last garden- I felt “oh dear, everything must be dead” and then surprise, surprise things pop up and grow to the wonder of the gardener standing by watching in awe. Now at long last I can have lots more tender plants and don’t have to shiver with fear all winter…nice feeling too.

    • Cathy says:

      I’m sure things have responded to the warmer days and higher light levels more quickly than usual as we had such a cold March and the increase in temperature since then was quite sudden – I don’t think things will catch up completely, but it’s great to have plum and damson flowers now rather than earlier as we can be more hopeful of some fruit this year. I suspect things I have lost over the years have not been through winter weather but more lack of attention at an appropriate time. It must be liberating to have a whole new spectrum of plants to consider growing!

  4. croftgarden says:

    I am amazed at how much you cram into your garden. I’m convinced you have a couple of acres somewhere behind the shed!

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