Spring brings early blooms — and a molehill invasion

We were away for the whole of January teaching at a mission in Sierra Leone and while we were away the moles had a field day. In the past we have had one or two mole hills which we have just removed and it usually hasn’t been a problem but this time they were everywhere and so huge. Because we were away so long the grass is dead where the molehills were and we have been busy trying to fill in all the hollows-we have visions of our open day visitors disappearing down a tunnel, never to be seen again!

In spite of this the early flowers have looked lovely, when we got back from Sierra Leone the small woodland looked wonderful with thousands of snowdrops- the Hellebores which normally flower at the same time didn’t like the freezing temperatures and flowered beautifully a month later. Lots of other Spring bulbs followed the Snowdrops, then the Primroses, Narcissus & Bluebells took over. It was certainly worth going for a little walk each day just to see what had popped up overnight.

My passion, apart from Snowdrops & Hellebores, is Meconopsis and I am nursing about 200 seedlings, having just planted them out in their final places.50 were grown from seed which I bought in Canada at the Metis Garden (fantastic garden) and the other 150 from the seed of a plant I bought of Meconopsis “Lingholm”. While everyone else here will be hoping for a hot dry summer, I’m afraid I will be hoping for it to be cool & drizzly so that they will feel as if they are still at home in Tibet! Now each day I am searching for flower buds on my plants — do I let them flower in their first year? – I have read so much conflicting advice. At the moment I don’t think I would have the heart to cut the flower spikes off but would have to sacrifice one plant to collect seed to try and grow more plants.

At the moment we are frantically trying to get our garden ready for our opening for the National Garden Scheme next month (June 12/13) — non stop weeding. We thought we were on top of the weeds but after the last lot of rain the weeds are popping up everywhere again – it never stops!

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