What a crazy January/February! One of the main distractions has been this:
Not only were we daft enough to buy a puppy (I could stop there). Not only were we daft enough to buy a puppy, but we chose one born near Ilkley in West Yorkshire which required two weekend trips up north – one to choose her and one to pick her up. Kiri (Labradoodle x Golden Doodle) arrived home on 10th February and has been terrorising both us and 10 year old Nimbus ever since!
A more miserable February happening was both the OH and me getting flu. I was stuck in Richmond too ill to travel, and he was stuck on the IoW, likewise. Consequently there was no TLC to be had. I thought the ‘kids’ might look after me, but as soon as the daughter realised how poorly I was, she decamped to a friends’. Conversely the son didn’t, but after two days’ worth of the odd pat on the back and a couple of cups of peppermint tea, he too succumbed! I don’t think I’ve been so wiped out for decades and am still not 100%. (I made a new year’s resolution to climb the five floors to my office and, up until the flu, I did so without fail at least once a day when I was in London, but I haven’t been able to face it since). As you can imagine energy for gardening has also been a little thin on the ground.
The final thing that happened was that I was promoted at work (something that’s been lined up for months but for various reasons has been delayed). The joke is that almost as soon as it was announced I went down with the flu and had more days off sick (four) than I have in the previous decade!
Anyway, back to the garden. Finally, in the glorious weather a couple of weekends ago I got out and started some clearly/pruning/weeding. There’s masses still to do but at least I’ve made a start.
The usual twirl takes us firstly past the troughs. There should be Minnow Narcissi coming here, but I’m more excited that I’ve got away with leaving the Pelargoniums out over the winter
On to the Veg Patch which has been cleared apart from some cutting plants – three plants of Dianthus barbatus ‘Green Wicky’, a Peony (Coral Charm)and three new roses for cutting.
I treated the Diving Lady to some Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’ for her pool.
The Swing Beds have had a bit of a weed but all the roses still need pruning and I must do some dividing and general rationalisation.
In the Grass Bed there is plenty of self sown Cerinthe and masses of forget me nots and bulbs coming. I still haven’t bought any more Stipas, but I have planted up some seedlings in pots, so the plan is to try to replace them along the whole back of the bed.
The Mid Century bed is also a mass of Cerinthe, accompanied by a massive self sown Euphorbia. (I pulled one out last year, but this one, left behind, is really taking over!) In the centre you can still see the Erysimum Red Jep flowering. I’ve taken cuttings of this so will be able to introduce it elsewhere in the garden.
In the Oak Bed, the Hellebores have bulked up
and the Hamamelis ‘Arnold’s Promise’ is finally looking properly established.
The bulbs in the Bronze Bed are nearly all still in bud – but the ones picked for my Monday vase were very quick to bloom once brought into a warm kitchen.
More Hellebores in the Shady Bed, but the inherited white rose which used to do quite well here, despite the lack of light, has keeled over during the winter and needs digging out.
Next, the greenhouse, where there were some cuttings and seedlings here when I took these photos in late February, but since then I’ve planted hundreds more seeds and everywhere’s starting to fill up.
Which is a little tricky, as I’m sure you can guess who hasn’t spring cleaned it yet….
And to finish, another shot of mademoiselle. Butter wouldn’t melt….