Spring was lovely while it lasted, all of 2 days! What a difference it made, to be able to garden without a jacket, feeling the warm sunshine on your back with the birds singing away proclaiming their territory and the frogs doing what frogs do at this time of year in the pond !
The next day we had twice as much frogspawn and a single frog was left quietly keeping guard (dark blob, top left) not like last year when they arrived late February and made such a noise croaking each time we passed.
The hellebores just seem to be getting better and better, such a delight to see the sunshine on them instead of the continuous dull weather we have had for so long now.
Crocus open at last for any passing bee, have heard a few buzzing round the woodland and in the greenhouse.
Snowdrops get better and better as each day goes by with more opening all the time.
Rheum palmatum has stirred from its slumbers in the bog garden and is beginning to grow into what will become the most fantastic leaves.
Also bestirring itself in the bog garden is Primula denticulata. This is the first primula to flower in the bog garden and once they start, the others can’t be far behind. I must get a move on and tidy this border ready for the explosion of all the different primulas which will flower over the next few months.
In the veggie garden, the rhubarb has started growing and we are looking forward to picking it already!
The first of our Corydalis to flower is Beth Evans, she looks lovely nestling among the snowdrops, the others will follow soon, but for some reason she is always first.
More and more narcissus are opening each day, soon the predominant colour in the woodland will be shades of yellow and not the white of the snowdrops.
The Chaenomeles by the back door is flowering non stop now that warmer weather has arrived, it started last November and there have always been a few flowers out since then.
The colours on the back of the hellebore petals match the new shoots of Paeonia mlokosewitschii which are just emerging from behind the hellebore. This hellebore has cream on the inside of the petals.
Ypsilandra needs its old leaves tidying up so that it can look presentable, its rather a strange plant, but I like the flowers and its strange name!
My first cowslip in flower, the first of many in the drift that we now have to the right of the bog garden.
There’s now lots more yellow in the garden, now that Narcissus Tete a Tete has started opening, they are such lovely little bulbs looking as if a patch of sunlight has dropped to the ground even when it is dull like today.
The wild pulmonaria is flowering everywhere, they seed around with gay abandon and I have to remove quite a number each year, but always leave a good number as it is a favourite of the bumble bees!
Cardamine pratensis or Cuckoo Flower or Ladies Smock, whatever you want to call it, with the mauve flower, is thoroughly at home in the woodland and is spreading nicely forming good ground cover. I must take some pieces off and plant them in different parts of the woodland as this is the larval food for the Orange Tip butterfly.
Euphorbia Blackbird just gets better and better every time I look at it, once again, must make more of this as I think it will contrast nicely with ferns, hostas and heucheras in the woodland.
As you can see from the label, this snowdrop is called Baxendales Late. This is usually my last snowdrop to open and will last until the end of March or even into April when there are lots of other flowers to take over from all the snowdrops that have been keeping me happy from Christmas onwards!
Looking back from the bridge over the ditch, the sides of the ditch have quite a lot of planting on them, the flowers of Euphorbia robbiae are just starting to open, but I will have to watch it as it has a tendency to run!
The new Hamamellis intermedia Diane has been planted, on the left, we now just have to wait for it to grow and look like a burning bush with the sunlight behind it.
This is what I am calling Snowdrop Hill at the far left hand of the woodland where the ground rises to form the Devon Bank boundary. It’s also where I have been planting my new special snowdrops, they look a bit forlorn at the moment but in a few years should have increased nicely, well I hope so anyway! I think I will also plant some hostas, ferns and heucheras for interest in the summer when it is shady with all the leaves on the trees.
I think it is obvious that this is my favourite part of the garden at the moment, soon my fickle heart will be drooling over the snakeshead fritillaries which are in the bottom right hand corner looking just like untidy grass, but for now I am content with watching all the snowdrops opening, there are still a few specials which flower towards the end of March. Our two days of spring certainly made a difference to the garden and to me! I have just seen the lunchtime weather forecast and they are predicting snow for Devon next week-help!!