One of the joys of having a garden is discovering things appearing for the first time in a season or watching the progress of green spears as they push and swell and triumphantly emerge with fresh new growth; I was therefore overjoyed when I discovered these two unexpected beauties this morning. There is a history to this Clematis cirrhosa ‘Jingle Bells’ and it has clearly been biding its time before it was ready to shine – since it was moved to the new clematis colonnade about 18 months ago it has gradually crept up its post, being the first to reach the horizontal slats above, and last year it was one of the few clematis that changed homes and still flowered (well it had one flower, and that was in the middle of April!) You can see the blue sky behind it and my heart was certainly soaring up there to make this discovery!
I love these sunny winter days when the garden is not full of luxuriant growth and you notice little details that you might otherwise miss; they are also great for jobs that need more than just a bit of pottering, like making a start on the stream overhaul. The forecast was dire yesterday, with heavy rain and strong winds predicted, but the day started dry so I got on with things in the morning to make inroads before the rain came. As it was, although there was a little dampness in the air later it was early evening before the storm reached us and even so we did not feel the full brunt of it.
Although I had successfully delayed tackling the stream (but mentioned it several times) for what seems like ages, once I start something I am usually quite diligent and must have spent a good few hours adjusting the one bank, building it up under the liner with soil and spare cobbles, knocking mortar off the rocks that had already been lifted and repositioning them. The other bank, which is higher and smothered with a range of ferns that started as tiny plants when the stream was first constructed, is so attractive that I have avoided making any changes to it whatsoever, although it seems unlikely that any seepage is coming from there anyway. The ‘bottom’ end is still to be tackled and there is one particular low point to be checked, but the replaced rocks will not be mortared in place yet and the flow will be monitored for as long as necessary. At the moment there has been no noticeable drop in water level since the pump was restarted – surprising as our most recent conclusion was that the fault was around the reservoir; lovely to hear it running again regardless of water levels though!