There was a lovely verse in a poem by Shelley which started:
Summer was dead and Autumn was expiring,
And infant Winter laughed upon the land
All cloudlessly and cold
This year’s infant Winter has hardly been cloudless and cold – YET. We are at least a month ahead in some of the bulbs and shrubs that usually flower as a sign of Spring already, not just shooting, but flowering in full glory. This covers daffodils, anemone blanda, daphne bholua, prunus accolade and others. Some of the magnolias are trying hard to burst out but we are doing our best to restrain them! A couple of weekends ago the bulbs were looking so lovely that we had a short-notice opening for people in the village – we are grateful for those who came round and shared the garden with us. They were all wise enough not to offer to help me prune the ramblers on the kitchen garden walls.
We have planted another 15 trees, mainly Acers and Prunus, to give increased Spring flowering and Autumn foliage colours. We have also filled in some corners with new roses, some of them being species to give us colourful hips in the Autumn.
The first of the storms recently has damaged our Cedar Atlantica, planted in 1975. It is brittle and has had previous damage from high winds. The branches landed on a venerable tree peony but the lower parts of the branch stopped more than modest damage to it. We hope that you will see it flowering if you come to our first NGS opening on Sunday 10th May (from 2.00pm).
All best wishes to our friends who read this.