Because my garden is almost entirely new I am desperate for the spring to come so that I can see what has survived the winter’s chill. So this morning I braved the rain to make an inventory of what is gingerly poking its nose out into the big bad world.
First the resident apple tree which totally ignored the building chaos of the last few years and produced a bumper crop of Bramleys last autumn. It is showing buds, even if not many.
Then the only other ‘mature’ resident – the glorious flame red azalea that I brought from Lawn Road. It sulked last year – too many builders, too much dust, too much noise and not enough tlc – although in the year of our arrival it had put on a fine show. Anyhow, this year I did find it a place I thought it would like and was generous with the iron based fertiliser and it looks promising.
But as for the newbies. My tiny corkscrew hazel has a fine crop of catkins and some healthy looking buds. We had a bit of a disaster with this in one of the storms as one of the chairs on the patio blew over and all but broke off one of its three little branches. With great care I created a splint from two pieces of bark and bound it tightly with lots of string and, fingers crossed, it looks as though it may survive.
The red heuchera at its feet looked a bit down at heel over the winter but is obviously loving the recent rain and was postively glowing this morning. And next door to it a geranium Rozanne is poking through the bark.
The clematis montana on the fence which did go in 18 months ago and did flower last spring is also showing a few buds while, on the mound under the holly tree, the alchemilla has poked through a few little leaves – while the wild strawberries are looking very healthy. (My theory was that the area under the holly tree is so uninviting for plants – steep, under a tree so no rain, very little sun – that even wild strawberries might struggle so would be less likely to overrun the rest of the garden. On that basis I was thinking of adding some wild garlic. Will I regret this?)
There are some signs of bulbs coming to life but in the last two days these lovely little Tete a Tetes have burst into flower – while some other very long term residents, the Forget me Nots, thousands of which I summarily removed last summer, are reminding me that they are not easily to be got rid of!