Green Shoots

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Euphorbia characias

At long last, things are beginning to get going in the garden. I find winters very depressing and this year we took the plunge and went away for two weeks in February to find some sunshine in the Caribbean. It was wonderful but it also reminded me of how lucky we are to have seasons. In Barbados they have summer all year round. I came back itching to get out into the garden full of ideas and enthusiasm. The holiday obviously worked!_DSC0004

All around the garden the green shoots of spring are appearing. Time to get the slug pellets down before the Delphiniums get munched! They revel in the damp conditions and enjoy the annual mulch of mushroom compost._DSC0014

The rhubarb is almost ready for the first pickings. I have downsized from 9 plants to 3 as we couldn’t cope last year. There is only so much space in the freezer! I was delighted to find it transplants so well, hardly any check to its growth since being moved in December._DSC0013

The Clematis macropetala ‘Wesselton’ is about to unleash it’s beautiful violet blue double flowers to give a wonderful display right outside the garden room window which always lifts my spirits. I pruned this back hard for the first time after flowering last year and it looks like it was the right thing to do. I am always a bit of a wuss when it comes to pruning but it just goes to show that the plants respond and improve as a result of a good haircut!_DSC0011

It’s far too early for tulips but these little beauties obviously haven’t heard. Should be in flower next week! Tulips in mid-March, is that a record?!_DSC0018

I always start seed sowing too early but I was keen to fire up the propagator and get on with it. Just a few of the usual suspects here, nothing to get excited about. Masses of Lychnis chalcedonica in the corner, the majority of which will probably end up in the compost bin. Why do I never sow just a few? I know they will ALL germinate!_DSC0021

This, however, is a first for me, Heliotrope arborescens ‘Marine’, or Cherry Pie plant, which I saw again at Bourton House last year and fell in love with its scent. The head gardener told me she keeps it going each year by taking masses of softwood cuttings and keeping them frost free over winter. But you have to start with seeds! Looks promising at the moment.

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