The garden is coming to life, and although there is still far too much bare earth for my liking, I can comfort myself with the knowledge that a transformation is underway.
The new Clematis armandii is in flower and, although quite small (and rather early), what little perfume it offers is a treat. Two years ago we had to remove its enormous predecessor and, although essential building work left no alternative, it felt criminal to be cutting down such a fabulous plant. Each year in late March or early April its scent would waft through the windows on every floor of the house. Last year, although in the throws of reinvigorating our garden, I felt as though I had completely messed up – first because we had to cut down the armandii and second, because I managed to kill a lilac. Both were plants I valued for their flowers, their perfume and their role as seasonal heralds. So it’s good to see the armandii back, now I need to replace the lilac.
Every morning I spot more bulbs emerging. Some, such as Iris ‘Katherine Hodgkin’, below, I’ve been awaiting eagerly, checking progress daily and photographing obsessively.
Others I can’t even remember planting…
These mystery bulbs, peeping out from a tangle of old Paperwhite leaves, look a lot like tulips, with a few alliums thrown in for good measure. But when did I put them in this pot, carefully layered beneath the Paperwhites? I’m impressed that I did it – because it’s clear that it was me, it couldn’t have been anyone else – but I have absolutely no recollection of having been so organised. It will be interesting to see what comes up.
These irises – Iris reticulata ‘Cantab’- have been popping up in various places around the garden, and now that they have appeared I can see better where I should have planted them. I can also see that I really need to think about more ground cover.
I was looking enviously at a mass of snowdrops in a local front garden this morning, trying to work out why they looked so lovely (aside from the obvious fact that snowdrops are lovely). Gradually it dawned on me that it was because they were emerging from a carpet of dull bronze leaf litter, rather than dull, in the boring sense, bare earth. Below are the lovely Iris reticulata Springtime which are also in the wrong place.
Elsewhere in the garden I can see that my tulips are pushing up through the soil, and some show signs of having been damaged by Sybil during her high speed nocturnal circuits. I have started erecting temporary barriers fashioned from bamboo canes and lengths of netting, chicken wire and green mesh. They look ridiculous and really unsightly, but I can’t think of any other way to ensure that my precious tulips aren’t trampled. Once the leaves are up a good few inches, I think I’ll be able to take the barriers down. At least I hope so. If not, my garden will look like a weird zoo for plants. Not the plan at all.
And last, but by no means least, Joe has managed a temporary fix for the computer.