Spring has Sprung – it’s official!

My garden is telling me that spring is definitely with us.  The birds are singing, choosing their mates, nest building with all the bits that I haven’t got round to tidying and sporting their wonderfully coloured plumage. There is frogspawn in the pond at last, it is so late this year, and at last there is new growth on most of the trees and shrubs – just in time for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day with Christina.

Gravel garden

This is the gravel garden at the back, looking across the lawn to the archway into the woodland. All the foliage you can see is with us all winter, making sure that the garden isn’t totally bare.


The Chaenomeles by the back door is now sprouting. We are so used to seeing the flowers of this plant, it is still flowering away, but this time it is the foliage which has to be photographed.

.Peony mlockosewitschii

Paeoni mlockosewitschii is stirring behind the Hellebore, the outer casing of the stems and flowers is just the same colour as the outer petals on the Hellebore. This was a happy accident, when I planted the Hellebore I forgot all about the peony behind as there wasn’t anything showing at the time!


The new growth on all the  buddlias is racing away, I think I just have a couple more to cut back, I must try and get them done today.

Forget me not

Forget me nots are everywhere, it won’t be long before they are a mass of blue flowers.


I still haven’t sorted my grasses out, I said last month that I must edit the number on the rockery and they are all still there, maybe by next month I will have done it!


I have little seedling plants of my wild Primroses in quite a few areas of the woodland and the front border. While driving along our country lanes we are treated to the wonderful sight of primroses covering the banks and verges, which got me thinking. I have the banks to the ditch between the back garden and the woodland with quite a few plants in them, but how much nicer it would be if the sides were covered with primroses as well, like they are in the lanes. If I plant them all at the top of the banks, they will then be able to seed downhill without any extra effort from me!

Pheasant with fritillaries

The pheasant is still on guard duty and doing his job very well as so far I can’t see any damage to the flower buds which are forming at the moment. All the messy grass like leaves are the snakeshead fritillaries which will be flowering soon, maybe within a week, fingers crossed!

Fritillaria meleagris

Not foliage I know, but I couldn’t resist showing you my first Fritillaria meleagris of 2015!

Snowdrop foliage

Even the foliage of the snowdrops which have finished flowering are still adding their presence to the garden with their lovely silvery leaves, these are from G. Little John.

Box Ginger Jar

It is almost time to clip the Box Ginger Jar, it is getting far too big and will need a severe haircut. It is also time to remove the old stems from the Stipa gigantea, usually these have been tumbled by the winter gales, but this year they are still quite presentable.


The furry, silver foliage of Verbascum pops up in various places throughout the garden, most are allowed to stay but if any are in completely the wrong place they are very easy to pull out.

Rose garden

All foliage in the rose garden between the house and garage, but I hope still interesting with a contrast of colour, shape and texture.


Lots of new growth on all the groups of Colchicum in the garden, they multiply every year so more get moved to new places.


Also lots of new growth on all the clumps of Hemerocallis.


All the Allium giganteum foliage is growing more each day, I can almost see it growing.

Tree peony

Tree peony foliage is so beautiful at the moment, it will turn more green as time goes by, but at the moment it is a build up to the gorgeous flowers that will come later.


The cardoon foliage gets better each year, thank goodness I cut the hedge back and managed to save it from oblivion!


I will leave you with a photo of the frogspawn that has turned up at last, but I really should have cleared the old foliage out of the pond, I don’t think I can do it now without disturbing the adult frogs which stay to make sure that all their babies are ok. Maybe I could clear it all except for the bits that are round the frogspawn.

I have enjoyed wandering round the garden looking for nice new foliage in the sunshine and with the birds singing, I feel that there is no better place to be than in a garden on a day like today. Many thanks to Christina at My Hesperides Garden for encouraging us to look more closely at the foliage in our gardens.

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40 Responses to Spring has Sprung – it’s official!

  1. catmint says:

    Verbascum – among my favourite plants. And you will have so many frogs. Great biodiversity. And that metal pheasant is perfectly placed. Wishing you happy spring gardening

    • Pauline says:

      These large Verbascum arrived on the wind Catmint, I have never bought one, but they add a real presence to the borders with their height. The pheasant is certainly earning his keep as we haven’t seen much of the real one in the garden, shhhhhhhhh!

  2. rusty duck says:

    It’s a great time of year isn’t it. I like the idea of encouraging the primroses to seed down the banks, that will look lovely.

    • Pauline says:

      It really is wonderful at the moment Jessica, so many new flowers opening each day. I think the primroses seeding down the bank should save me a lot of work, they can do it instead!

  3. Rosemarie Eccleston says:

    So glad your “pheasant” is working well, Pauline. It’s definitely the best solution !
    Thank you for the sight of your first snakeshead too. Happy thoughts of what is to come. Here in Powys, things are coming on nicely too and I have more energy for garden (and allotment) work, resulting in more pleasure 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      I’m so glad to hear that you have more energy for gardening Rosemarie, it makes such a difference. The pheasant is doing his job, moving about each day to try and confuse the real one, so far, so good, hopefully there will be lots more flowers soon.

  4. Christina says:

    I knew you would have some lovely things to share Pauline. Thank you joining GBFD every month. You are certainly forgiven for the Fritillaria meleagris, I’m very envious that you have so many. I love the long shots across the garden showing off the great form and structure you have created. The Alliums look almost silver, really beautiful.

    • Pauline says:

      Compared to other foliage near them Christina, the alliums definitely have a silver sheen on them, such a shame that the foliage looks rather dreadful by the time the flowers appear!
      The long shots remind me how much I depend on evergreens over the winter so that the garden isn’t completely bare!

  5. Alain says:

    It really has come! Enjoy that most lovely of seasons. Here we will have to wait a few more weeks.

  6. The beautiful peony foliage tugs at my heart, I’m looking forward to seeing those blooms. And such a pretty picture of the lawn, it really gives a since of how well-organized your garden is.

    • Pauline says:

      The tree peony has huge dark red frilly blooms Marian, I don’t know it’s name, it was just in a box at the garden centre which said -Tree Peony -Red!
      I feel a bit guilty, the garden isn’t at all organised, I just show the tidy bits! I’m getting there, half the garden has snowdrops and hellebores, so that is the half that gets tidied first, I’m frantically trying to get the other half done before the flowers start flowering in those beds!

  7. pbmgarden says:

    Your rose garden view is not one I remember seeing this way before and I like its structure. The pheasant is doing its job well, on me at least–I was fooled for a moment. Glad you include the lovely Fritillaria. Last week I saw many Fritillaria used in a large floral arrangement and everyone gathered around, asking what that unusual flower was. I recognized it from seeing it in your garden, but had never seen it used indoors. Happy Spring Pauline.

    • Pauline says:

      I think I’ve usually photographed the rose garden in the summer Susie, when the roses are in full bloom you can hardly see the evergreen structure, it’s only in the winter and spring that we can enjoy it.
      I’ve never seen fritillaries used in a flower arrangement before, I would imagine they would last for quite a while as the stem is fairly firm, though I have to admit, I would prefer them in the garden!

  8. Spring is such a wonderful time of the year and your garden is looking wonderful. All the fresh green foliage is delightful and the blooms are a lovely sight. We are just recovering from our last snow of the season (hopefully) and buds of bulbs are visible in the garden once again. Happy spring!

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Lee, I think spring is pretty wonderful too! You had a much harder winter than we did, we saw all your snow on our news programmes, I’m so glad that your snow is on its way out and that you will soon be able to enjoy your garden once more.

  9. Chloris says:

    Lovely to see everything sprouting. My tree peonies are still in the bud stage, I get so excited when they start to unfurl. I think I need a pheasant like yours. The pheasant always appears in my garden in Spring just when the fritillaries are in bloom. Good to see you have one out already.

    • Pauline says:

      How do pheasants in different parts of the country, all know to eat the fritillaries Chloris?! Do they have a special means of communicating, I wonder? So far the rusty one is doing a good job, or maybe it was my daughter’s dog when they visited on Mother’s Day. The pheasant was chased across the garden and took to flight, we haven’t seen him in the garden since, we hear him on the field next door but so far, he seems to be staying away. I’ve told my daughter that I’ll hire her dog next March!

  10. Your photos are so gorgeous…I do so love this time of year when the first green shoots start to take form and the foliage on the shrubs starts to unfurl.

  11. debsgarden says:

    Thanks for that first shot! (And how wonderful that all that foliage persists through the winter!) I love the larger views, as well as the closer views of flowers and foliage. I tremendously admire your garden’s structure; it is a great combination of formal elements with the natural ones. I recently read there are more shades of green than any other color. Many of them must be in your garden! Happy spring!

    • Pauline says:

      I do like to see a bit of structure during the winter Deb, it makes me feel that the whole of the garden isn’t sleeping! I agree with you, there are so many shades of green for us to enjoy, as well as the silvers and golds!

  12. snowbird says:

    I do like your idea for the primoses! How lovely everything looks, you have so much colour and structure, it really holds the garden together beautifully. I have the same problem re cleaning my pond, too much frogspawn. It is late this year. I love all your box, and that lovely pot!
    I am looking forward to seeing what comes up in your garden throughout spring and summer.xxx

    • Pauline says:

      I hope the primrose idea works Dina! Most of the formality is by the house, as you get further away, the garden is more natural. The formality is lost in the summer when all the other plants are growing and flowering, the roses cover all the box balls, they are hardly noticeable!
      The pot was bought to mark our Silver Wedding, many years ago, shhh – it’s our Golden next year, wonder what I can by this time to mark it!

  13. Cathy says:

    The contrast of the hellebore and the peony shoots is especially nice. Lovely to see the first fritillary too. It definitely is all looking very spring-like!

    • Pauline says:

      A fluke Cathy, I had comletely forgotten about the peony when I planted the hellebore, it was a lucky accident! Last week we had beautiful spring like weather, we didn’t need a coat when working in the garden, but the forecast this week isn’t good, rain and frost, back to normal then !

  14. Cathy says:

    Don’t primroses look gorgeous when they are all out? Lovely. And your first fritillary! I noticed my colchicum today – they are bulking up and full of leaf and perhaps I ought to divide mine too. Do you find it quite easy to dig them up and split them?

    • Pauline says:

      I usually split my Colchicums Cathy, when the leaves are dying back and looking very messy, so far they have been successful when doing it this way.
      Primroses look so beautiful when they are planted en masse, I’m trying to get drifts of my favourite plants and the primroses are one of them.

  15. Caro says:

    Having spent yesterday in the garden with fairly numb fingers, I love your optimism that spring is officially here! 🙂 Everything is sprouting up in the garden here as well, lots of yellow as the cowslips have seeded everywhere so last year’s seedlings are now fully fledged. I’ll have to transplant a few so they spread even further! Do you cut the tatty foliage off your cardoon? My artichoke is looking very similar and I’m tempted to get rid of the yellowing leaves to let the new leaves shine.

    • Pauline says:

      I think the weather this week is about to prove me wrong Caro, we have frost forecast for a few nights! I just hope the newly sprouted leaves and flowers don’t get blasted by an icy wind. I’m letting my cowslips seed everywhere, mainly by the bog garden, a friend gave me 3 plants and said she wanted to see a drift in my garden, unfortunately she died before I managed a drift, but I think of her whenever my drift is in flower.
      Yes, I do cut off the tatty leaves of the Cardoon, but looking back at my photo, I see a couple of leaves that I should have removed. I usually wait until I see new leaves before removing the old ones.

      • Caro says:

        We had frost here as well, Pauline – and I’d just seen someone on the internet who’d planted out his sweet pea seedlings! Ooops! I do love cowslips, a drift would be heavenly and a lovely way of remembering your friend. Thanks for the advice re the cardoon, I’ve now cut off the big tatty leaves of my artichoke as the new foliage is well under way.

        • Pauline says:

          I’ve also cut off my couple of tatty leaves! There didn’t seem to be any damage to anything from the frost we had, I think some plants are more robust than we think.

  16. Angie says:

    It’s all go there Pauline – isn’t it a marvelous time of year. Each day there is something new to get excited about. As usual your garden is a real credit to you and thanks for giving the tip re dividing the Colchicums, I only wondered that myself this afternoon as I passed by my largest clump. You’ve saved me the bother of finding out.

    • Pauline says:

      I hope splitting your Colchicums works Angie! I wait until the leaves are yellow and the goodness has gone back into the bulb. It certainly is a wonderful time of year, something new opens every day, it is worth having a wander each morning!

  17. Annette says:

    Always a joy to visit your spring garden, Pauline! Frog spawn already? Seems very early but I shall check our pond later. So glad that the warmer season approaches! Enjoy your weekend 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Annette, I love spring in all it’s guises! Yes, we have frog spawn, but this is late for us, usually we have it in late February. Our warm weather seems to have deserted us for the time being, it is cold and wet now, but I think all the plants are enjoying the rain, it is a long time since we had any!

  18. Frank says:

    There are always so many little springtime treasures in your garden, it’s always a pleasure to visit!
    I hope the guard pheasant continues to work his magic. With your local pheasants multiplying you need all the help you can get! I can’t believe it’s nearly frittilaria time there, mine have yet to show the first sprouts.
    It’s going to be a good year 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Each day there seems to be something new for me to look at Frank. The pheasant seems to be earning his keep so far as there are no signs of damage yet! I think just a few days more and the fritillaries will be flowering – wonderful!

  19. Peter/Outlaw says:

    A delightful walk through your garden, Pauline! Thanks for taking us along. I’m very excited about the frogspawn as it means frog song later! Hooray!

    • Pauline says:

      A pleasure Peter, I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’m just hoping the frogspawn escapes any frosts as the top layer will suffer as it has in the past.

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