End of Month View: a Hint of Spring

Helen, the Patient Gardener, has picked up the reins of the End of Month View again after a short break during which Steve of Glebe House Garden took charge; thanks to both of them for providing a platform for us to share monthly reviews of our gardens.

Here at the Pink House, the end of January has seen a burst of activity from both the garden and the gardeners . Neither may be apparent from today’s photos but, rest assured, that’s how it is. You may just be able to pick out green shoots in the square tubs in the picture above – these are tulips. Elsewhere, there are crocus starting to flower, buds on the Tête a Tête, snowdrops-a-plenty, hellebores opening, and the first signs of new growth on aconitum, geranium, sedum and many more. In the meantime, we can still enjoy the witch hazels, mostly clustered around the streamside area:

On the woodland flower the primroses throw up blooms throughout the year, but amidst them are now stirrings of (probably) 1000s of wood anemones and emerging shoots of bluebells, promising Much Joy – and note how the early morning sunshine projects a golden path through the woods.

From the bothy and at ground level there does not appear to be much going on in the main herbaceous beds and the clematis colonnade, but things are definitely stirring there too:

The native snowdrops are very evident in the woodland edge, but apart from the double flore pleno their buds remain firmly closed – come back next month to see them in full bloom and to see how much of a splash the hellebores make:

The bold borders are relatively bare, but nevertheless there are still subtle signs of activity:

… as there is the blue and white border, where two thirds of the curved bench have gone AWOL as part of our on-going bench repainting programme:

After its overhaul, the rose garden looks empty but expectant, although the first leaf buds are breaking on th new roses. Even in their first year, I can expect a reasonable of growth on these 6 new plants. Round the edges, I have been nurturing more Uncina rubra to fill in the gaps in this narrow grass border and will get them planted out within the next few weeks. All these fences are in need of another coat of paint or two but unlike the benches this will have to be done in situ!

Back towards the house, the special snowdrop border is in disarray as I have been digging out all but the snowdrops and hellebores. If you look at the photo on the left you will see why as this is just one example of a lattice pot of snowdrops being invaded, in this case by a very active pulmonaria. Several pulmonaria and hardy geranium, all white, have been hoiked out and replanted in the nearby hedge border which they should be tough enough to cope with. There are a few green heuchera to come out too, in due course, which should leave a more friendly and less competitive environment for my preciouses.

If you are unsure where some of these areas fit in the garden as a whole, don’t forget there is a map to guide you – just click on The Garden tab above – and don’t forget to visit Helen’s blog to view several other gardens at the end of January too.

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26 Responses to End of Month View: a Hint of Spring

  1. Cathy her garden comes back to life little by little. The tulips in the pots between the two lattices will be beautiful when they bloom. In the forest 1000 wooden anemones! It is incredible that there are so many: they will be beautiful among the primroses. The repainting of the fence and the blank benches is very good. The Hamamelis are beautiful. And the rest of the flowers that are awakening or growing bring us closer to Spring. Greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      I think I started out with just 100 wood anemones (the Spanish translated as ‘wooden’ which sounds really humorous, as they are anything but ‘wooden’!). They spread very easily once they are established and now there is a carpet of them down one side of the woodland

      • Cathy must be a wonderful sight. I am curious to know what kind of anemones are: St. Brigid, Japanese, soft, coronary, Caucasian canadensis, fulgens, virginiana, stormy, … Thank you very much. Have a good weekend. Greetings from Margarita.

  2. Ian Lumsden says:

    I do like to see fallen leaves in the winter garden, if only because I can’t keep up with the winter chores. The good thing is that they rot down, improve the soil and disappear when the warm months arrive. And I’ve never found a tidy way of changing the borders. You should have a superimposed before and after post showing the inevitable transformation.

    • Cathy says:

      I know what you mean, Ian, but my EOVM pictures are more for my records and I certainly don’t expect anyone else to find them intersting at this time of year 😉

  3. Joanna @ Gingham Gardens says:

    I can only dream of green and growing things. It’s sunny today and I believe the high today will be 2 degrees. Ugh, I guess I will have to live vicariously through you and other garden bloggers. Back to my dreaming and planning.

    • Cathy says:

      Most days this week it has been about 6 or 7 degrees C, Joanna, but it is menat to be dropping nearer freezing again next week

  4. Hoiked!? I am loving this new gardening term. Lovely to see winter turning towards spring.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh not really a gardening term, but more of a colloquial one – just meaning ‘yanked’ or pulled out or thrown roughly. I suppose I use it when I am removing something which either I don’t rate or which is really tough – ie no TLC involved

  5. tonytomeo says:

    It still looks rather wintry.

  6. Christina says:

    Seeing the garden come back to life is one of gardening’s greatest joys. Will you plant anything else in the snowdrop bed or will you keep it just for them?

    • Cathy says:

      Oh it definitely is, Christina – and it it still surprises me how early some things are to come through. I shall just be adding white annuals to the snowdrop bed, and more white bulbs in due course. I hope I have got a sufficient selection of white annuals in my pile of seed packets!

  7. Sally says:

    Shades of things to come! Wonderful that spring is on it’s way. We have a ways to go but it’s fun to see those of you whose spring is further along…..

  8. Pauline says:

    Such a wonderful time of year when everything is waking up again, each day sees new growth somewhere in the garden. Your wood anemones will be gorgeous when all in flower, mine don’t seem to be spreading as well as yours unfortunately.! Seeing the spikes of new bulb growth brings hope to the gardeners heart, in spite of the weather, they have made it through the winter!

    • Cathy says:

      Indeed, and I am sure that each year we think they don’t usually pop up as early 😉 Sorry to hear that your wood anemones aren’t spreading as well as mine – here they are fairly dry under the trees but I suppose there is a good layer of leaf mold now. Both trees and anemones were planted in 2000

  9. Love your reference to your snowdrops as “my precious.” Aren’t they just!

    • Cathy says:

      They are indeed, Linda, and all the more so as I usually lose a few varieties from year to year and an established clump is a real blessing

  10. Anna says:

    Interesting to read that you’re digging out the hardy geraniums and pulmonaria that you have planted in your snowdrop border Cathy, as they are both plants that are featuring in my slowly developing snowdrop border along with thalictrum and gillenia. I suppose it will take some time for some of the ‘drops to bulk up so I might have to do some ‘editing’ in the future. I’m thinking of planting one or two ferns too into the border. Did you/do you have any in yours?

    • Cathy says:

      Oh, that is a coincidence, Anna! I was astonished at how energetic the pulmonaria roots were and how they inveigled their way into the snowdrop pots, threatening the survival of the bulbs – a bit like a cuckoo 😦 Rather than risk that happening I decided to remove everything else that wasn’t bulbous which means that I can tease out any unwanted roots that appear in the future. As I do so I am removing the larger snowdrop clumps from the lattice pots to allow them to run free, but will keep the newer ones in the deep pots until I am fairly sure they are established. The lattice pots have served a purpose but they do restrict growth and anything that gets in is concentrated there, possibly to the detriment of the snowdrops. I won’t add ferns but there are some behind the bed, with a 2 brick high retaining wall between them, which they flop over. Losing a few snowdrops each year, I have decided not to take any risks with bed-fellows. Will say more in an email soon – promise!

      • Anna says:

        I’ve just had a closer peek at the third from bottom photo and can now really appreciate the problem with the pulmonaria roots! I think that that particular problem is a while off but will bear it in mind. Thanks for your email – will be in touch soon xxx

        • Cathy says:

          Admittedly it wasn’t too difficult to tease the roots away from the ‘drops once I had cut the sides of the pot to remove the contents, but it showed me how easily pulmonarias spread when they are happy and I just didn’t want to take the risk – and the geraniums were stretching out and putting down roots all around the original plants!

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