In terms of a review of the year as a whole, there is not a lot to say, with it being more a case of consolidation than of change, building on subtle changes made the year before, like moving snowdrops to the woodland, thinning the apple trees to introduce more light to the woodland edge border below, and extending the blue & white borders. Even the current project, despite the organised mayhem it has generated, will only bring about a subtle change to the garden. Within the garden as a whole, mixed weather patterns created uncertainty in flowering times but there were negligible losses from the previous cold winter and no problems with waterlogging during the last few rainy and unsettled months.
Let’s dodge the showers and have a ramble around the garden, starting with the view from the house, the adjacent streamside and the shrub border. The witch hazels and cornus stems are glowing in real life but, sadly, the effect is not as obvious in a photograph. All but one of witch hazels are now at least partially in flower, very quickly adding to Boxing Day’s total.
Walking through the woodland, you can see that more of the named snowdrops are emerging from the leaf litter and discarded beech nut cases, with one or two close to blooming. At the far end, from the bothy you can look out over much of the bottom end of the garden, although the chaos around the greenhouse is not yet evident. Recent winds kindly blew most of the fallen leaves into corners, where they were more readily bagged up and added to the leaf cage so, further emphasised by the view from the back of the shed, these parts look relatively tidy. By quickly trimming hellebore leaves today (after the photographs were taken), the woodland edge borders look neater
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I did pop out in the garden first thing on the Saturday morning but that was just for Mark to take a quick photo of me and my Rhubarb. The first Saturday in May is Naked Gardening Day, yes it’s a thing, and the only thing you’re supposed to wear is a smile, so here’s my contribution.
At this time of year a couple of my client’s only need me for a half day tidying their garden, where as most still need me to be in their garden for a whole day. When I get half days I take the opportunity to get bits done in my garden and this afternoon was no exception.
Now this hasn’t happened for ages, but nothing was going on this weekend. No cinema, no bell ringing, no seeing family. It was just me in the garden for the entire weekend. Obviously there was the usual shopping and household chores to do, but most of those were done on Saturday morning. It was then just me and my plants….it was beautiful.
Conifers may have a history reaching back 300 million years and cover wide stretches of the northern nemisphere but as garden plants they have long been out of favour. That may be changing. Innovative use at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show last year demonstrated how conifers can add structure to a garden in a relaxed way.
Maximising Snowdrop Multiplication: Utilising the “in the green” planting method is highly effective for snowdrops, particularly when aiming to increase their numbers. Follow these updated guidelines to effectively plant and cultivate winter snowdrops in your garden using this approach.
I have no idea what has caused this ‘flame’ in the garden, but perhaps it really does symbolise the heart of it. I was not aware of the flame while I was working in the garden today, removing and cleaning the bricks from the low retaining wall at the back of one of the bold borders, and it only became evident when I looked at the photos later. Looking at the wider picture, when there was about a third of the wall left to remove and clean, you can see that there is a glass sculpture in the border but, at the time the picture was taken, the sun (and it was a sunny day) was behind me and to my right, so it wasn’t shining through the glass. Curiously, as I perched on my makeshift stool, chipping away at the bricks with my lump hammer and chisel, I found myself thinking of earlier civilisations, chipping away with bones and stones to make their artefacts – so could I perhaps have been joined by ghosts from the distant past, huddled round their fire for warmth…?
Red is an attention-grabbing color in the garden. Bold, loud, and bright. And it plays well with other colors as well – pair it with orange and yellow for a hot, exciting bed, or blues and purple to created a deep, rich, moody tone. Here are some of my favorite red blooms for the garden… what reds are you loving in your garden?
As 2024 gets underway, we’ve taken inspiration from Janus, the god of beginnings, transitions and time, who looks both forwards and back. Our gardens have all featured in our pages in the past, but we revisit them here and take a closer look at how they’ve developed over time, and how they’re changing now their owners have new challenges to contend with.
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