With 2020 being a write-off for opening gardens, here we are a week away from April and we’re remaining optimistic for welcoming visitors soon. Last year, making the most of lockdowns, we spent considerable time creating some new areas in the garden and adding to older ones. A replanting of one area has seen a new grouping of Deutzias, while another has made better use of a boundary wall, sheltering the beautiful Philadelphus Mexicanus Rose Syringa.
As Christmas approached, we found that the roses were continuing to flower at the same time as the first spring bulbs were pushing their noses through the soil. It was unreal.
Since the New Year, we have had the fun of seeing hellebores and aconites coming through early and then held up by the snow and weather as you will see in our photos. Two of the current joys are companion Daphne Bholuas: Limpsfield and an un-named white one, which we bought a couple of years ago from Pan Global. Limpsfield has a deeper colour than the type, tinged with deep purple, and really glows in the winter sun. Both are well worth looking out for. Ours are in an unprotected area in the woodland garden and therefore open to a wider extreme of weather than if they had been planted in one of the borders. We hope that our faith in their hardiness is justified, but as their home is high up in the Himalayas, they should resist the wintry weather.
Although the most recent lockdown is not too encouraging for our earliest opening in April, we hope we should be okay once the vaccination programme has advanced beyond the 50% mark. As octogenarians, we are fortunate to have had ours!
In the hope that openings are possible, please make a note of the dates: Sunday 11th April, 2.00-6.00pm; Monday 31st May, 2.00-6.00pm; Saturday 12th June, 12.30-5.00pm. We are also hoping that private parties will feel able to make visits, observing whatever social distancing may be necessary. In these uncertain times we ask for no deposits.
It is good to be looking forward with the early bulbs giving way to daffodils and the blossom beginning to appear on Cherries, Crabs and Magnolias, as our photo shows with the Magnolia Sweetheart. Provided we don’t get any frost, we will have a good show for Easter.
Stay well and best wishes.
Ewan and Jenny Harper