Pauline brings bundles of style, colour and enthusiasm to the gardening team. I love listening to her wonderful, lilting, french accent when discussing all things horticultural.
Today Pauline gathered low growing bulbs and perennials, including primroses, Ipheion uniflorum or Spring Star and Cyclamen, and the small Hart’s tongue fern from around the garden to carefully plant up the gaps between the steps.
I am hoping they won’t be overwhelmed by those Spanish Bluebells and Camassia that have found their way there too.
We also went into the woods to collect Hazel sticks for plant supports. These will be made in the coming weeks, as the perennials start emerging again in the warmer soil and longer days…
An early start at one of our jobs last week allowed me to share a cup of coffee with the client. You know how much someone loves their flowers when you see them languishing in jars and vases on the kitchen table basking in the spring sunshine.
and finally, more by accident than design, this combination of a grass and white crocus in a pot together… on some level, it works!!
This sad old broken terracotta pot still offers life to two plants that make their mark at opposite seasons of the year. Leucojum gravetye – a bulb that produces a snowdrop lookalike that is longer lasting than a snowdrop, taller, with strap like green foliage which really comes into its own now. It looks great naturalised in a woodland setting but at the same time looks fab in a pot. So I have just cut down the pot sharer, Miscanthus. This has produced loveley fresh leaves summer to Autumn with flowers that have lasted all winter. It is quite happy in a pot and generously shares the space.
Interestingly I have only ever just glanced at these Hellebores, absolutely enjoying the lime fresh flowers against the dark soil and taking in their early value in the Spring garden.
Taking more of an interest and a bit more time, I couldn’t believe the bee activity they created – particularly for the big fat early bumble bees.
Big -up Hellebore foetidus, the ‘stinking’ hellebore, a member of the buttercup family – Ranunculaceae.
Actually it isn’t noticeably malodorous, self seeds quite easily without being a nuisance, is an evergreen and of great value to the Spring garden and in Summer makes a great ‘foil’ for other plants providing a dark green backdrop and companion plant to nasturtiums for example.
These Willow trees provide a welcome dappled shade to the bog garden in summer, however they also cast unwanted shadows over the neighbouring property. Tree surgeons can be a costly affair over the lifetime of a Willow in the wrong place so it comes down to us, the gardeners, to pollard them each Spring.
Today was that day.
These bright orange stems from another Willow were used originally to create a wig-wam for the evergreen sweet pea to scramble up in the summer. The wig wam then took root…Such a lovely colour in the Winter picking up the orangey hues of the Euphorbia milifera behind.
Again, left to their own devices they would create unwanted shade in this lovely sunny border. So these are now coppiced annually in the Spring. They will grow back strongly over the year, just beating the everlasting sweet pea, to create a new support for it every year.
This Cornus ‘Midwinter fire’ has enjoyed another year of growth providing a dazzling feature over the dull months – as the name suggests.
I would plant many more, if there was space, as they look even better en masse.
Time for you to be coppiced too.
Along with more Miscanthus
And turning every corner now, colour is creeping back into our gardens..