The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.

A blast of summer

As I write this entry, there is not a cloud in the sky save the vapour trails of aircraft taking their passengers on voyages to some far flung destination.  It is in the mid 20's up here in Yorkshire, higher no doubt further down the country.  What is more, I have this week off work to enjoy it.  I think we brought the good weather home with us from Italy.  Long may it last.

Italy is a good 8 weeks ahead of us in the garden.  Everywhere we went hung boughs laden with the heady scent of Wisteria and blossom.  Our own Wisteria is yet to unfurl even a leaf.

Back in the real world however, it was down to earth with a bump when a quick glance around the garden revealed very little had changed.  And then the sun came out and everywhere has come to life.

Further down the hill, magnolias are in flower, but m. George Henry Kern is a little shy and still content to fill out his buds.

Along with Acer Crimson King...

syringa Sensation...

The apple tree...

and the cherry tree prunus Kanzan, which seems to have had no ill effects after its bit of a prune last summer.

Above, the blooms of rhododendron Christmas Cheer is fading into a lovely baby pink.  However, below is a very sad looking acer which received what I assumed last year to be frost damage.  The other acers around the garden and those of our neighbour are budding up nicely.  This one has passed over into the great garden beyond.  I'm tempted to try something different here, a camellia Japonica perhaps. 

The Acer below is smothered in leaf buds.

A couple of weeks ago, I pruned back the cornus in the Yen Garden, and with the prunings, took cuttings.  Leaves have begun to appear on the cuttings already.  I will leave them in situ over the summer.

In the Long Border, the lamprocapnos spectabilis (formally known as dicentra spectabilis) is throwing up its delicate looking shoots, while in the Pink Garden the climbing hydrangea is once more coming to life .

The Long Border's narcissi display has been wonderful.  Pretty much all these daffs were bought as reduced pots costing around 50p for 5.

The first tulips to flower this year are these tall creamy white ones in the Terrace Border.  Meanwhile all the hellebores are still proving their worth.

Clematis Alpina willy in the Long Border has survived the winter unscathed, as has the sea holly in Terrace Border...I hope it flowers this year.

In the front garden, scented Osmanthus burkii is opening its blooms, to join a single clear yellow daffodil. I reckon more daffs are required for next year's display to cheer up the view from the living room window.

Also coming into bloom are the berginia clumps...

And pieris...

On the terrace, All the pots of spring flowers are showing off.  I've been gradually planting them out into bare patches as they come into flower, except for the hyacinths, which I've been enjoying at nose level on the table beneath the kitchen window.  The miscanthus (grape hyacinths) have been planted out since this shot was taken and now are happily blooming in the Long Border.

I love Spring. 

What a difference!

Just 4 days ago we had a foot of snow. Today it was a whopping 16c and glorious sunshine! 

In the garden, it's as though a switch has been flicked and spring has arrived.

The earth truly laughs in flowers. 

April Showers

Ok, not so much showers but heavy prolonged precipitation.  And not so much rain but snow.

It's a bank holiday Monday at the time of posting and the forecast is for temperatures to rise, turning this heavy snow to heavy rain storms.  Come the morning commute this white stuff should have all been washed away.

What's in a Name?

Many plants are named after loved ones or famous folk, some are named depending on the conditions they thrive well in, others by the colour of the flowers or foliage.   However there are yet more that are named according to the time of year they perform best.  I'm thinking Narcissus February Gold, which in my garden means March-April, the Christmas Cactus that is flowering again just now in March.  In particular I've been patiently waiting for my newest Rhododendron, Christmas Cheer to bloom all winter.  Today is 26th March. 

But isn't she worth the wait? What a shot of colour!

Talking of colour, All my narcissi cheap buys from last year are looking fabulous!

A Brief Respite

Before the next wave of winter arrives, I was able to take a wander around the garden to investigate what was new.  Whilst the light was not at its best, I am enjoying the lighter evenings.

Inside there are some new flower buds forming on the Christmas cactus.  

And the orchids are still flowering their socks off. 

It was Mother's day in the UK on Sunday and my wonderful sons bought me a Ceanothus "Italian Skies".  It did have to hide in the shed while the freezing temperatures hit to protect it, but once it's planted in the spring it should survive the average British winter.