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The First Flush of Spring

Friday, 25 April 2014
At this time of year I am captivated by what is happening in the garden, there is such a sense of excitement and anticipation. Life is pulsing through the ground and erupting in every corner promising a floral firework display in the weeks ahead. The early spring flowers are slowly fading, making way for the start of summer planting. So if I seem to be a little absent or distracted from writing it's because I am being drawn out into my own piece of paradise by nature, I'm powerless to resist. Here's a glimpse of what I see.

In April 2007 on the day I moved into our home this Camellia was in flower, the rest of the garden was a bramble patch but somehow this exquisite shrub had managed to survive. Over the years I have trained it into a small standard tree and now every April it blooms for my birthday. Camellia prefer acidic (ericaceous) growing conditions so I top dress the soil with ericaceous compost annually. Once the last bloom has faded and dropped I prune any wayward or damaged branches adding the detritus to the compost heap.

 Lilac blooms a full month earlier in southern England than in Connecticut, when I moved there back in 2011 I was treated to its delicious scent twice in one year. My lilac is situated right next to the deck and creates a heavily scented archway between the house and the greenhouse. I love to watch the panicles sway against a bright blue sky, it's colour in motion.

 Alchemilla mollis is essential in any garden. The elegant serrated leaves open like a fan to a broadly palmate shape that capture water droplets and hold them like mercury glistening on the surface. The yellow flowers borne in summer fade to green and self seed veraciously.

 Dicentra spectabilis is easy to grow from seed, I add it to every garden I can. The stems are rather delicate and prone to break in harsh winds so it is best grown in a sheltered position but it is worth the extra care, the long delicate stems bear a profusion of pink heart shaped flowers. It's one of my favourite perennials and the white variety Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba' is so dainty and pure I've heard people gasp when they see it for the first time.

 A promise yet to come... the buds of peonies, day lilies and roses are swelling as the days lengthen.

I love a mystery and this delicate grass like plant is one I have yet to solve. The funny thing is I grew it from seed, nurtured the seedling to adulthood but I cannot remember it's name. Regardless I am delighted with the evergreen strap like leaves and the tiny blue flowers it has produced this spring make me smile, even more so when I try to remember its damn name... 

1 comment

  1. Absolutely stunning Emma. I can't wait to get stuck in with my garden. So exciting as I don't know what is in there but the previous owners are keen gardeners (not keen house keepers ahem) so it will be very exciting to see it change over the seasons. xx


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