Friday, 31 January 2014

first signs of spring in the woodland garden..

The end of a damp and raw January. And one of the wettest on record.

But look, in sheltered spots and even up on our hill, nature is stirring.

Snowdrops (galanthus nivalis) are flowering and look great in groups under trees. Today's interesting fact is that it is 2 degrees Celsius warmer inside a snowdrop flower than in the surrounding air. Ideal for early flying spring insects.

We have a couple of groups of spring flowering cyclamen coum whose pretty little flowers are trembling in the cold wind. I mark where these plants hide in the soil by driving in stakes and attaching a wire label. Friend Jenny saw one of my labelled stakes and remarked that that plant didn't look very healthy. You're looking at a wooden stake. For heavens sake. I let it pass.

And blousy old Corsican hellebores (helleborus augutifolus) are in splendid green flower too.

helleborus augutifolus
This a big weekend in the woodland garden. Nate and Duncan are coming over on Saturday to take a horse chestnut down. Then we can extend the path up to the drive by the wizards tree ....... and get planting!

Mahonias and choisyas will be planted to continue to screen the garden from the drive and the newly-planted drive border. We'll add viburnum tinus and aucuba japonica (variegated laurel) as well.

The next stage of the woodland garden is to plant the cultivated elders that will form a group together. Then to begin planting the hazels that will create our 'platt' and give the next section its character.

The under-storey will be hostas, bergenias, tellimas, tiarellas, heucheras, gerenium paem and gerenium nodosum. Ooooh. Roll on Saturday!!



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