It's all about the buds...
The hydrangea behind the bottom shed has begun to find its way. It would be ideal to eventually cover the whole of the front of this shed as it's in the shade. It clings to the surface by means of tiny aerial roots, much the same as ivy. They are notorious for taking their time to get going, so it could take another year or more before it really shows me what it is capable of. I wouldn't advocate growing it on a house wall because like ivy, it can damage the brickwork. Along a wall, fence, shed or garage is perfect though. I have seen these in their prime and so am prepared to wait.
This evergreen clematis seems to have done well so far through the winter and is now putting on new growth. We planted it late last year so perhaps this year we will be able to train it to cover the framework we have created around the water butts.
Fat, beautiful and exciting. The buds of the restored rhododendron are swelling nicely. It's like being a kid all over again shaking a gift and wondering what surprise lies within. I cannot wait to find out what colour it is!
Sambuccus nigra. I am planning on moving this plant when it warms up a little. It's not quite in the right place and we have to push it to one side to get past it. I plan on moving it to where the fence came down. So it can fill out the space properly without the threat of being damaged each time we pass it.
Not the best of shots, but buds are making themselves known on the largest of the hydrangeas in the front garden. There are buds on the other two, smaller hydrangeas too.
Beneath the large hydrangeas nestle a clump of snowdrops. It's not easy getting a good macro shot without decent equipment, but you can just make out the markings on the inner tepals (the petal-like structures). I am going to divide the clump once they have finished flowering to spread them out beneath the shrubs. This should be done while they're 'in the green', that is while the leaves are still visible, as it encourages a good strong growth for the following winter.
Around the garden are signs that spring is in the air. It might not feel like it to us, but to the birds who have been practicing their favourite tunes and the bulbs and flowers around the garden, spring is just around the next corner. In the containers hyacinths are beginning to emerge.
And the cyclamen are still going strong. I don't think they have stopped at all, despite the snow.
The pink garden is going to need some more focus this spring. Everything is a bit...flat. There is plenty of ground cover with primroses, ferns and heucheras, but it just needs a little something to bring the eye upwards. There is of course the tree and foxgloves but nothing to give it a bit of structure and depth. I shall consult my literature and come up with a plan...which of course is what winter for a gardener is for.
Primula, primroses, polyanthus. I can never remember which they are. They are however perfect colour for the cold weather and cheery nonetheless.
Oh yes...Bumblebee's rhubarb! We will have to keep a better eye on this so we get to eat it before something else does. I need to get a black bucket over it.
It took me quite some time to get the focus right for this shot. I think these flowers are a little premature as winter hasn't finished with us just yet. Thankfully there are plenty of other buds forming along the stems to take over.
Did you know that the crocus comes from the iris family and that people started cultivating them in 500BC? It grows from a corm (not a bulb) and each year a new corm forms above the current one to create next year's flower. Saffron comes from a certain species of crocus and is used in cooking, fabric dyeing, perfume and medicine. It takes some 80,000 plants to make 1 ounce of saffron. They are harvested by hand and 90% of the worlds saffron is produced in Iran.
And on that note, raise a glass to bring in the month of March!