Readers who follow my garden pages will already have seen spring start to burst in our garden but blossom has been following blossom in such profusion over the last few weeks that it seemed criminal not to share them more widely. So…
Pictured above the the cherry tree in the front garden – a glorious site for anything from a day to two weeks, depending on the winds. This year, I am delighted to say, it was in full bloom for about ten days – now well over. And sheltering beneath it is a magnificent once-white camellia. I say once white as, for the first 20 years of its life (it is now about 30 years old), it was all white but over the last ten years it has started to produce first pink flashes on the white flowers, then pink flowers and now, as you can see, the occasional bright red sport!
In the back garden, meanwhile, our Ice Folly tick (courtesy of my good friend Prudence Nuesink of Body Talk) was in full bloom for about a month.
As you can see, Tawny Pipit, our lovely wire foal, has moved over to take full advantage of the new grass around their base….
Meanwhile, the wisteria which had laid dormant since long before we came here in the late 1970s only to leap into life, for no apparent reason, a couple of years ago, has wound its way through the pyracantha, the elder, the may tree and the acer and is also bursting into flower.
Over on the other side of the garden though, things are not so good. The whitebeam, is doing really well, although I think its lower branches need a bit of trimming, and the clematis montana is, amazingly, holding its own against the ivy, but my lovely golden ash tree is not looking at all well.
I was concerned last autumn as it had great sheaves of what looked like seed pods which I did not remember seeing in previous years. I did examine them carefully but they genuinely looked like seed pods rather than signs of the dreaded ‘die back’. But now it only seems to be putting out a few feathery leaves at the top of the branches – and I never remember it doing that before… So, immediately after Easter, I think it is a call to the tree man!
More encouragingly, the little apple tree that I planted two years ago is doing just fine. And, I have just replaced the weeping pear tree that was forced to give way to a football pitch fifteen years ago when my son was in his early teens! It does not look much just yet, but give it a year or two…
I am also making a third attempt on an acacia, the glorious golden robinia frisia. I have lost two to the wet and the north London clay over the last 20 years but inspired by my good friend Barbara Burgess (of D & D Chocolates) I am now going to plant it in a well drained tub in the hopes that its roots will not get waterlogged even if it does not grow to its full height.
However, more on that in a month or two. Along with updates on the roses and clematis growing up the mirror, the irises, delphiniums (assuming the slugs don’t get there first), the hostas in the ‘pondette’ and the pendulous begonias which have given us such a magnificent display in the hanging baskets over the last few years – and more… But, just before I go…
In order to make way for the new weeping pear (although I realise that at its current size this may seem unnecessary…) I took down a very elderly and scraggly laburnum. It had got overtaken by a honeysuckle which, if it flowered at all, did so very inconspicuously at the very top of the tree and certainly did nothing to perfume the garden! One of my less successful plantings. Both definitely in need of recycling… However, I did rescue a few of the smaller branches of the laburnum as it came down and they did, for a week, make for a rather lovely flower arrangement.