Thursday, 19 March 2015

Awake, thou wintry earth

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”
A day off and some lovely time gardening.  The weather was changeable; cool in the shade, suddenly warm and lovely when the sun made a rare appearance.  We are trying to tidy up the garden before spring completely arrives.  There are definite signs of spring starting now.  A shrub I've had for a few years is flowering for the first time, it is quite exquisite, but I'm not sure what it is. 
Can anyone name this shrub?
 My spring garden is starting to look pretty.  The daffodils are in bud and the primroses and primulas are in full flower.  Tulips and bluebells are further behind, hopefully to greet us in April and May.

Mr C has planted his garlic and is now planting onion sets.  Garlic did well in the garden the last time we tried it, so hopefully we will have a glut.

We are also planting several fruit bushes - here are three gooseberry plants, and we have two blackcurrants and a further redcurrant.

The acid yellow of the spurge or Euphorbia is quite startling and cheers up the garden, most of which is still quite dormant.
I may need to make a trip to the garden centre to find another couple of these, they look really good the whole year.  I'm really keen to get on with growing flowers this year, I just need to thwart the slugs and snails!
In small pockets of the garden however colour and fragrance are appearing. From now onwards, the garden will only get more lush and green and I just cannot wait! 

Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn, "An Easter Hymn"

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Glimpses of spring?

Walking in woodland in Devon last weekend we saw a few signs that Spring may be on its way.  March is always a strange month, often you can get several warmer sunnier days and then suddenly the wind rises and the ice and snow appear again.  It is certainly too early to plant very much.  I did notice in Devon the daffodils are starting to come out, so in a week or two ours should appear.  In the meantime, in the woodland and at Hazel Cottage, the snowdrops are charming us.

Funghi doesn't seem to be quite so fussy about temperature as the flowers.  We saw this rather impressive tree funghi.  Does anyone know which one it is?

The primroses are coming up with their dainty pale yellow flowers.

“O fairest flower, no sooner blown but blasted, Soft silken primrose fading timelessly.”
John Milton

 The winter aconites were still plentiful if you knew where to find them.

We also spied the beginnings of ramsons or wild garlic.  Not yet ready to pick, but in a month it should be everywhere!

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
Anne Bradstreet