It was only a reference to EOMV by Jen of Duver Diary that reminded me that February has been and gone and I hadn’t posted an End of Month View! Not that it matters to anybody else but me, but it is a useful record of what the garden is up throughout the year and from one year to the next – this month’s post, therefore, is five days overdue…
Following the route of my usual ramble around the garden, let’s start with the view I see from the kitchen windows – there is a map of the garden under The Garden tab above which will help to guide you if need be. After a few weeks of making a new framework for the fruit cage on the paved area here (the only available space for such a task) the Golfer has completed that and it is looking rather tidier than it has done. You can clearly see the pansies in the pots in the foreground and tulip shoots in the others. Below is the streamside area to the right of the above view and I am sure you will agree that painting the fence dark grey (Cuprinol Shades ‘Urban Slate’) was a good decision, as it really sets off the planting in the shrub border:
I hadn’t originally planned to paint this section (and it involved clambering behind the shrubs which included several prickly roses), just the newer section down the side of the Coop, but having thoughtlessly tried a tester pot on part of the older section I really didn’t have any choice, but I am glad that I did and am thrilled with the result. The photos of the Coop and the semi-shady border beyond show the other sections, which look equally effective. Just inside the door of the Coop you might notice a lemon hanging about – this year I managed to buy a healthy lemon plant from Aldi, last year’s plan having been thwarted by The Beast from the East destroying their stock of citrus plants almost as soon as they went on display. It smells heavenly in there with several narcissi and hyacinth now in bloom
The semi-shady border, created just under 12 months ago, is doing OK but needs more planting. Hellebore ‘Anna’s Red’ against the back fence has been magnificent, and the Clematis armandii was barely more than a stick when it was first planted in the corner.
Turning back and walking down between the streamside grass and shrub border, we have our usual view towards the house from the other end:
As we continue our ramble, we head through the woodland, with primroses clumping up again and new foliage of bluebells and wild garlic appearing thick and fast. Not as obvious are the delicate leaves of Fritillaria meleagris, nor the first shoots of hundreds of wood anemones:
From the bothy at the far end we can look down over the main herbaceous borders and the revamped clematis colonnade with its underplanting of roses, before viewing them from ground level. I am pleased to see that, like the paved area, they are beginning to look much tidier! All the borders and new roses are sporting fresh and healthy new growth, a wonderful sight to see.
We now head through the woodland edge border, the snowdrops having suddenly shrugged their shoulders and decided they had had enough, but the hellebores are doing their bit instead, still at their peak. I have added some small new hellebores over the last couple of weeks, and found two or three more I had forgotten about, hidden (along with some pulmonaria) under mounds of ivy which I have been removing. Once finished clearing ivy, I will give the whole border a good feed.
The three bold borders are coming into life but with flowering still some time off, other than some species tulips which should be with us in a month or so. I worked hard on these borders in late summer last year, trying to bulk up the planting, so look forward to seeing how successful I have been – they certainly don’t look much at the moment:
Popping through the gate for a quick look at the working greenhouse, you might find that it is pretty full already, with ‘Winter Sunshine’ sweet peas planted in the bed on the right, pots of cuttings and potted up dahlia tubers on the staging on the left, and lots of seedlings in the section at the bottom end. Once I am confident that we have seen the last of the frost, I shall move the cuttings outside to make room for the exponentially growing trays of seedlings.
It is not easy to photograph the blue and white border because it is in two different sections, one of which is curved, so I have taken photos from two different positions this time. Like the other borders they are full of luxuriant new growth, reminding us how quickly some plants clump up again each year – aquilegia, aconitum and geranium are particularly good at this. And of course allium bulbs are always in a hurry at this time of year too.
Pressing myself against the fence I could nearly get all the rose garden into this photograph, both the original rose beds and the new terraced ones either side of the bus shelter.
Passing through the colonnade and past the main herbaceous beds we retrace our steps past the woodland towards the house and reach the snowdrop border. Like the native snowdrops these ‘specials’ suddenly declined to shine any longer, not helped by some exceptionally warm February days, but there are still a handful of later varieties bringing pleasure – and some lovely hellebores in the same border which can be enjoyed from the kitchen windows as well as in passing. Witch hazel Hamamelis ‘Strawberries and Cream’ is in the far right of the border, just visible in the right of the picture.
So that’s it for February, a time of speedy transition on the cusp of spring. Keeping a monthly pictorial record is a useful tool and I often refer back to it for all sorts of reasons; at this time of year, however, others may not find it especially interesting. Helen the Patient Gardener intermittently hosts the EOMV meme so you may find links to other EOMV posts on her blog