Despite the intensity of the wind accompanying Storm Doris as she visited the UK yesterday, damage in our own garden was limited to small branches and twigs, a redistribution of loose oddments and a good deal of flapping of the bubble wrap on the greenhouse exteriors. The bamboo windchimes shown above are only lying on the woodland floor because the small branch they were hanging from was detached. It all seemed strangely calm and still this morning now that Doris and her hyperactivity have moved on and I have taken the opportunity to observe and photograph foliage for a belated Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day, hosted by Christina of My Hesperides Garden.
Bulbs have continued to push their way through, with a few blooms of Tete a Tete now accompanying the green leafy spears, and tulip foliage now beginning to emerge too. The alliums will be in flower well before these though, and today I was admiring the tiny pinky-purple detail of what I believe will be Allium Christophii – I have added 30 more of these after admiring their long lasting effect in the borders last year and because they were planted fairly randomly I have not labelled them:
Giving most pleasure though are the seasonal stirrings of the herbaceous plants, re-emerging from their winter slumber and poking their familiar faces out from under the bedclothes once more:
Top row, left to right: the tiniest shoots of Primula ‘Harlow Carr hybrids’, grown from seed and last year bulking up and producing flowers from even the smallest of offsets; Echinops bannaticus ‘Blue Glow’, beloved by bees; hardy Geranium ‘Lace Time’
Middle: Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ sprouting again from the base of its collection of dead sticks; a dark leaved and scented polemonium, its label buried under a dollop of compost; new shoots on Clematis alpina ‘Constance’ and Surprise! Surprise! some flower buds!
Bottom: leaves of Anemone coronaria (red, white or blue?), grown for Younger Daughter’s wedding flowers and replanted in the borders; distinctive feathery foliage of aconitum, this one A ‘Napellus’; equally distinctive aquilegia foliage, invariably the first to emerge.
Just as the garden stirs in this way, so does my excitement in watching it, with new discoveries each and every day. Even without blooms, the presence of new foliage heralds the changing seasons and the longer and milder days, whereas more permanent foliage has sustained the garden and the gardener over the winter months. Christina recognises the value of foliage in its own right too which is why she hosts this meme, so do look at her blog to read about foliage in her own garden and check out links to other gardens – where many other northern hemisphere gardeners will be experiencing the same promising stirrings as I am.