The garden is definitely showing signs of spring this week. Primroses are starting to flower and shoots are pushing through the ground in the borders. I think the slightly warmer temperatures and a few dry days have really helped. They have certainly cheered me up.
Sadly the badger also seems to have woken up and there were numerous holes around the garden where the badger had been seeking out the tulip bulbs. The badger’s visit have also resulted in my plans for a fern border being changed. My son has a wood store against the fence where the badger accesses the garden and the badger’s excavations have undermined the structure. We have come to the conclusion that the only way forward is to accept the badger’s presence, so on Saturday afternoon it had to be moved to a new location and I waved good-bye to the planned fern border. It’s not all doom and gloom as there is still some space for the ferns I had planned to group together and actually moving the wood store means I can access the compost bin better.
I was glad to see that my early intervention with the slug pellets has certainly benefited the Ligularia ‘Britt Marie Crawford’ whose foliage is looking shiny and healthy.
I managed to grab a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon in the garden and this allowed me to cut down many of the deciduous grasses. They had reached the point were they were looking incredibly battered and broken. In the past I have cut the grasses carefully, sorting through the new shoots to remove the old stems. However, having watched Carol Klein’s Life in a Cottage Garden and seeing her take the shears to her this year I was more gungho with my approach. I also cut back the foliage on the epimediums so that their flowers would be visible within a couple of weeks.
There was also time to pot up some plants I had received to review from the Plant Me Now plant scheme and the snowdrops which I bought from Avon Bulbs.
Then today, Sunday, has been a true horticultural fun day. I have spent the whole day emerged in the world of galanthus courtesy of the Galanthus Group, specialist group of the Hardy Plant Society. The group’s objective is to make the varieties of snowdrops more accessible to everyday gardeners and although many of the 80-100 attending were real experts there were also a few like me who knew nothing but didn’t feel out of place. We had two talks in the morning by Jim Almond and Joe Sharman, then after lunch we went off to visit a local garden, Ivy Croft, to admire the collection of snowdrops.
I will fill you in more with details of the day later in the week but suffice to say that I have finally discovered what the fascination is with galanthus. It isn’t until you see lots of different varieties together that you start to understand the sheer variety out there. I bought a couple to add to the three I bought earlier in the week and even better I won one in the raffle – a delightful Galanthus ‘Sarah Dumont’ which has a yellowish ovary.
I have lots of plans for the garden but I am really enjoying going to local talks and meetings as I am meeting interesting and knowledgeable people who are very generous with their knowledge and generally fun to spend time with.