The long and the short of it.

Wandering around the garden yesterday, I was struck by how colourful half of it was, the other half looked terribly naked compared to the borders with all the bulbs and flowering shrubs. The naked half is where the borders were flooded in the winter and each time we now have heavy rain they flood again. I’ll start with lots of long views with colour from all the bulbs, perennials and shrubs that are flowering at the moment. We have lost the wonderful sunshine that we had last week and it is now a lot colder with the wind coming from the north and east instead of the south, but even so, the colours seem to pop on a dull day.

Starting with the view that I can see from the back door, which is at the side, my eye is always taken to the red camellia in the background, when it flowers at this time of year. At one time I had bluebells under Viburnum plicatum Maresii but they didn’t like the wet soil and frequent flooding and eventually died out. I have replaced them with camassias which do like wet soil.

The rockery is where there is quite a bit of colour at the moment, lots of blues. mauves, yellows, white and pinks with more colour coming soon from all the little rhododendrons and azaleas.

Prunus Kojo no mai is looking beautiful at the moment, completely covered in flowers, it also links the rockery to the border beyond.

Nasrcissus Thalia is now flowering everywhere, I keep adding more bulbs each winter but feel I still need more!

Narcissus St. Patrick’s Day was only 2 days late opening, it opened on March 19th. It contrasts nicely with the brunnera in front of it. The other narcissus is N. Geranium.

Looking back from the archway just before going into the woodland.

This is the first view that I see from the bridge as I cross into the woodland, there is a lot going on at the moment. Just a few weeks ago it was all white with snowdrops, now there is lots of colour from all the other bulbs flowering at the moment.

Rusty pheasant has been doing his duty, not many flowers have been damaged at all.

Quite a few of the fritillary bulbs have 2 flowers on each stalk so I hope this means that they are happy!

The wood anemones, Anemone nemerosa, are definitely happy, they are spreading quite rapidly, slow to start with but making up for it now!

This corner is full of honesty, Lunaria annua, most of it has come up white, which takes over from all the white of the snowdrops.

Five plants have come up purple, I must mark the stems of these plants with purple wool that I have,  so that I can hopefully get more purple plants from the seed.

Back out of the woodland, looking across the rockery to the circular lawn beyond.

Almost back to where we first started, the drumstick primulas, Primula denticulata, in the foreground look very happy where I’ve put them, I was hoping it was damp enough for them there, and it seems to be as they are increasing, thank goodness something likes my wet soil!

Back to the back door, this primula flowers all winter, on and off and is increasing nicely, must move some of it to the other side of the rockery. The rockery is proving a good place for primulas as I can put them on the north side of little shrubs so that they are in the shade and also at the base of the rocks where the rain collects and makes it nice and moist.

The other border where there is a lot of colour at the moment is the driveway border. This is mainly primroses but I noticed that it is almost time for Paeony mlokosewitschii to be flowering, she is showing quite a few buds already and it is still March, our recent sunshine must have brought her on!

As I said, it is mainly primroses here, the wild one and it has made itself at home, seeding everywhere, even into the gravel drive when the seedlings here are used to populate differnt parts of the garden. The forget me nots are starting to open and they both look lovely together.

Somehow this dark primrose has appeared, hopefully I won’t get any wishy washy colours seeding around!

Up by the house, hiding the gas tank is Camellia Margaret Davies, she is a beauty!
She has beautiful white flowers with the petals edged in pink. All my camellias have done really well this year with lots more flowers than usual. I  looked back to posts last July and August to see if we had a very wet spell, which is when the buds are forming on the camellias and rhododendrons,  we certainly did and are now seeing the benefit!

Now for the not so pretty!

This is the worst border down by the greenhouse and the field next door. this used to be filled with various shrubs, a silver birch tree, numerous perennials and bulbs. The silver birch tree died and was removed last week, there were 5 Cornus Westonbirt, but even they died, I suppose sitting with their roots in water for months on end was too much for them. Bulbs have all died and most of the perennials too. My Graham Thomas rose on the corner is surviving, but only just,  along with all the day lilies, but they have loved all the wet! Loving it even more is Lysimachia  Fireworks which is spreading everywhere, most of that will have to come out!

I have been doing a lot of reading over the winter and think that the way for me to plant is with marginal plants as they like the winter wet and then don’t mind the soil drying out in the summer, which is what my border does. I have lots in my pond, which you never get to see as it is so overgrown!, that I can split and bring down to their new home. Also I can plants things like dahlias which will be taken in for the winter and kept dry. I can also sow lots of candelabra seeds and split a few things in the bog garden. More camassias can be planted and I will try sprinkling fritillary seed and see if they can take being under water for a few months. I can see that I’m going to be busy, but I really must get the other half of my garden looking presentable once more!

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10 Responses to The long and the short of it.

  1. Your views are magnificent. It’s interesting to see your areas where you are making plans to enhance. I must learn by your patience, Pauline, not to get frustrated when a plant doesn’t do well in one location.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Susie, you’re very kind! I think gardening teaches us patience, you can’t rush plants, they have to take their time to decide if they like the soil and conditions you are offering them.

  2. snowbird says:

    A wonderful tour! So many delights. Yes, I can imagine that many plants refuse to grow where it floods. I love your Paeony.

    • Pauline says:

      It’s just a question of finding the right plants Dina, now that conditions have changed over the past few years.The paeony Molly the Witch is always the first to flower of all my paeonies, but the others aren’t far behind, I don’t think I’ve ever had them almost flowering in March before!x

  3. Denise says:

    What a tour of your beautiful Spring garden Pauline, I thoroughly enjoyed it. A flooded area certainly presents problems but I am sure you will succeed. That Camellia Margaret Davies is so beautiful. I can’t grow them here but was lucky to be in Cornwall last week (yes, in that beautiful weather) and saw lots at Trelisslick Garden!

    • Pauline says:

      Denise, you were so close, if you travelled on the M5, you were just 5 minutes away from me! You chose the best week to come weatherwise, this week it is so much colder, back to winter. I’m so glad you enjoyed the garden at Trelissick, it must be looking wonderful at the moment with all its camellias.

  4. Cathy says:

    What a lovely post, Pauline – it shows how hard you have worked over the years and how you never stop thinking of how to improve it

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Cathy, it is all beginning to look how I imagined it 30 yrs ago when there was nothing here except all the ancient trees, And yes, there is always room for improvement!

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