It’s funny how things turn out. I set out this weekend with the aim of spreading the four bags of wood chips that have been sitting in the garden for the last two months. Whilst, this was actually quite quick to do with the smaller border in the front garden getting a thick mulch and the bottom path getting a top-dressing, I found myself drifting into doing more. I think this is the first weekend for some months when my gardening hasn’t been all about completing time sensitive tasks but more about just being outside in the fresh air.Instead of tidying around the house and lower garden, as has been mine habit for some time, I decided to tackle one of the more neglected parts of the garden – the old bog garden which is now a woodland border and in need of a good tidy up. The planting here is predominately ferns including a beautiful Regal Fern (Osmunda regalis) just going over, a host of Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis) which fill much of the border when in leaf and a self-sown Harts tongue Fern (Asplenium scolopendrium). They have been doing so well I have decided to make ferns the real focus of this border and so out came a scruffy Lysimachia which is showing potential to take over the border. I have replaced it with a large Japanese Fern Holly (Cyrtomium falcatum) which has been sitting in a pot all summer waiting for a new home. It’s funny that I have been wondering where to place the fern for most of the year and its new position is just so right that I’m surprised it wasn’ t obvious to me sooner.
What you can’t really see is that the border is full of snowdrops just pushing their way through the soil, much earlier than I would have expected. They are more advanced that Galanthus ‘Ding Dong’ which is normally one of the first to flower at Christmas, as the name suggests.
It isn’t only the snowdrops that seem to be ahead of the game. I also discovered this hellebore full of flower bud; and the camellia also has plump buds when it isn’t due to flower until next Spring. I guess the plants are a little confused by the cold snap we had followed by mild weather. It will be interesting to see how it plays out this Winter and Spring.
All in all I found myself pottering away outside for around four hours over the weekend. I feel like I have almost found my old myself and my enthusiasm for the garden is sneaking back. Plants and plans are beginning to creep back into my late night musings which makes a nice change to stressing about work issues. I suspect I should have pushed myself outside more some time ago.
But for now I am in need of another batch of wood chip to top dress the border and top path.