Nothing is so beautiful as Spring -
When weeds, on wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Hurrah, I am in love with gardening again. For weeks I have been looking out of the windows without the slightest desire to do any of the myriad tasks awaiting me and reflecting gloomily that I would probably never garden again. This morning I went into the (cold) greenhouse to find it warm and steamy. I opened a vent and even watered some of the poor plants overwintering in there.
Ten days ago the folk at Kew were telling disappointed visitors that delayed spring warmth would mean that five million bulbs would all burst into bloom at once. This is certainly true here (not the five million, obviously) but all the daffodils are coming out together. No more supermarket daffs for me! Here's a rotten picture of miniature daffodils lining a little path:
I've forgotten what all these are called but here is strange, shaggy old 'Rip van Winkle':
The picture I've chosen for the latest usericon is of Corydalis lutea
. It's one of those plants you have for a while, lose,
then it pops up somewhere else it would prefer to grow. Lovely ferny foliage and yellow flowers which last a long time.
This is the season for acid yellows. Here is one of my favourites Euphorbia characias
'Blue Hills'. The heads are drooping now, full of promise, then up they will perk for two months.
Or how about this little oddity, which flowers right on the ground?
It is Hacquetia epipactis
and I don't know how it survives in our soil. In the same shady corner is this little shrub, Daphne laureola:
This was grown from a seedling in the garden of a dear old friend, who was still gardening when he died, aged 96. I say gardening; actually he was whizzing around in a terrifying way on his mobility scooter, bossing me about while I did the gardening. There's more yellow from the catkins on the Corkscrew Hazel and the primroses everywhere, and purple from crocus and wood anemones.
This afternoon I actually went outside to work and was not put off when it began pouring with rain as soon as I had got the wheelbarrow out of the shed. I picked up a lot of litter and cut down Epimedium
It looks terrible, but if you don't take off the top growth you will never see the flowers, which are curled up underneath and will stand up later. I love epimediums and have bought many choice varieties from the plantsman's favourite nursery, Blackthorn. I have lost almost all of them but E.
'Sulphureum' is tough as old boots and will grow in any old patch of garden where you think nothing will do. This specimen is in far too good a site, wasting soil and sun and will be chopped up and moved later. It's good to have plans!
Hopkins was right about the weeds. Hairy bittercress is everywhere, those little white flowers waiting to explode all over the garden. If a weed is a plant in the wrong place, is this Chionodoxa a weed? It has seeded itself into asphalt and comes up every year without fail.
Vita Sackville-West pronounced this 'Tchaynadawksa'. Good grief.