Moving On

clematisChloris was saying in her blog recently that it is hard to keep on top of what’s new in the garden at this time of year, and for me the last couple of days have certainly provided proof of this general statement. I have been observing the fattening buds on Clematis alpina ‘Constance’ (above left) for a few weeks now, and was aware that there were also buds on C alpina ‘Frances Rivis’ on the pergola that borders the paved area – but the flowers (above right) on the latter completely took me by surprise yesterday. Like Constance, Frances did not really flower last year, but unlike Constance this was probably as a result of very heavy pruning and tidying up the year before; as a rule she is never the first of the two to flower, and in the past it has been mid April before either of them have burst forth. Not only that, but Frances’ flowers are substantially larger than previously! What’s going on?!

Equally exciting yesterday was the sight of a Fritillaria meleagris in bud in the woodland – but trumped today by another one already in flower and a never before seen bud on its white cousin in the species snowdrop border! Slow down! Please! Or perhaps I don’t really mean that …… just that spring has such a surfeit of delights in the garden and it is hard to know how much one can take……

fritillariesTurning my back on these floral delights I have taken advantage of the mild dampness to move the Malus ‘Royalty’, a red leaved crab apple, which has been cramped for a number of years between a dog rose in the hedge and the old apple tree that is home to Clematis montana ‘Marjorie’. Not only this but it has partially obstructed a pathway with its lower branches and has been unceremoniously pruned more than once. The dog rose itself having been pruned heavily last year and the adjacent ivy cut back, a spot in the hedge now seemed a more sensible location. It has never been given the chance to shine, nor have the red leaves and dark pink flowers been admired as much as they should – and strangely now that she has been moved she look so much taller than she ever did and is clearly ready to make her mark. The space left by her removal would just suit one of the new witch hazelsΒ  – which may indeed have had something to do with the move……


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20 Responses to Moving On

  1. Chloris says:

    You are right everything is coming out so fast it is making me dizzy. Amazing that you have Clematis alpina out, how lovely. I saw my first lily beetle today so watch out.They are partial to frits too.
    I promised you some Cyclamen coum seedlings before I went away. If you send me your address I will send them. I might just tuck an apricot Violet in too.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh Chloris – that would be TOO kind, surely, as your apricots are so precious…..? I’ll email my address and see how you feel when you are ready to send…! I will indeed look out for lily beetles as they were in evidence last year, although only on lilies. I am really surprised by the alpinas but they are very lovely – Constance is such a beautiful colour.

    • I’ve squashed 2 lily beetles already, found on narcissi. It’s not a good start as they have polished off my crown imperials in the past. I’ve started spraying with a systemic pesticide already. Not very organic I know!

  2. Christina says:

    I smailed as you intended when you mentioned the witch hazel; I was thinking before I read that it was the reason for the removal (I mean moving) of the rose and crab apple . mine has buds by the way!

    • Cathy says:

      Buds on your Malus? The dog rose was an innocent bystander as it was chopped back last year as it kept attacking us when we went to see to the chickens, but I was looking at places for the witch hazels and moving the crab apple suggested itself. It was never happy there anyway but looks quite pleased with itself now. I will have to be careful if you are beginning to read my mind now…! πŸ˜‰

  3. Julie says:

    The crab apple is going to look fantastic – that space was made for her and I can see what you mean about the space she left being perfect for a witch hazel! I do not have any early clematis or fritillaria in my garden yet. Apart from snowdrops and daffodils I have largely started from scratch here so I am building up the plantings slowly year by year. I think I may need to add some early flowering clematis this spring. Fritillaria are on my list but will have to wait a while. I am also finding that spring is romping by at too fast a pace – it is so easy to miss things when so much is happening.

    • Cathy says:

      Would you believe I started from scratch too, Julie? Virtually nothing but grass, hedge, apple trees and a some soft fruit dotted about. But at least this way you will know that it is yours, through and through. I do recommend early clematis – but they are VERY early this year!

  4. Annette says:

    I’d say we take in as much as we possibly can, Cathy. It’s such a wonderful time of year, just wish it’d get drier again. Your clematis are a little ahead of mine. Looking at the pics with the tree I’m a little confused as they don’t look the same at all. You’re not cheating, are you? πŸ˜‰

    • Cathy says:

      You can see why I was surprised Annette – I thought it didn’t look the same tree either! I think the tallest parts must have been lost in the clematis and apple tree. I am certainly prepared to like it more whereas it had been a nonentity for most of its time so far πŸ™‚

  5. Yep it’s all happening out there! πŸ™‚

  6. bittster says:

    I know what you mean about everything moving along so fast…. except here it just won’t get started!

  7. Anna says:

    Can’t believe that your clemmies are already in flower Cathy and now worried about my ancient alpina which is only just breaking leaf! I think that ‘Royalty’ is going to appreciate her new headquarters.

  8. Cathy says:

    It will, it will… πŸ˜‰

  9. Cathy says:

    It will, it will…. πŸ˜‰

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