At last a pleasant couple of hours in the garden. I really struggle at this time of year as with the short days I only get weekends to garden and then I have to do the weekly household chores first so gardening time is very precious.
I set off with the intention of preparing the ground to move a shrub which is driving me mad. It is in direct view of the living room window and is just wrong for the spot. I know where I want to move it to but of course this means moving other plants and so on. I should have done all this in the Autumn but time ran away and we had an early fall of snow. I decided that regardless of the timing I was going to get on with it so the first plant to be moved was a Helleborus foetidus (Stinking Hellebore). It has been moved up the garden to a woodland area I have been creating around a Prunus tree. It looks so much better in its new home which is a bonus. I hope it doesn’t sulk too long.
Of course instead of completing the job I became distracted with what was coming up in the garden, clearing leaves etc from around bulbs, cutting back old flower stems. I then decided that the spring bulbs would look much better against a mulch of compost. I discovered a Pulmonaria in flower and some Christmas Roses slowly unfurling. I was thrilled to see evidence that I haven’t lost my Eranthis which was a relief as everyone else seem to have been enjoying their flowers for a few weeks. Primulas are also beginning to reappear as are my Lobeilia Cardinalis and Delphiniums so I have applied a judicious amount of slug pellets. I often do this as if I believe that it gives the plants a real chance to get going rather than battling with the slugs later on in the year. It seems to work as my hostas are generally untouched.
I was particularly thrilled to discover a big fat red bud on my Tree Peony. I bought the plant last year at the Malvern Spring Show, planted it and then discovered it had died back. I thought I had neglected it and to be honest I was incredibly upset as the plant was not cheap and I was annoyed at my stupidity. However, I am an optiminst at heart and so I carefully potted up the sad looking stick and tucked it into a corner of the patio. It got covered with snow and was frosted but today there are distinct signs that I didn’t fail to look after it and all will be well.
Less promising is my Phormium much admired by Anna at Green Tapestry though she may change her mind now! It has been outside for some years and survived the snow last year and this but then we had two days of extremely cold and driving winds and I think this was just too much for it. I am hoping that it will re-shoot so when the cold weather is on the wane I will cut back the damaged growth and see what happens. Also my new Pittosporum is looking incredibly sorry for itself so this too may be a casualty.
Oh well you can’t win them all I suppose and loses can lead to new space and new opportunities.