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Thursday, 11 April 2013

The garden in which time stood still

We've had late starts to spring before, but this is the first time that I've seen the garden start to spring to life quite early and then go into a sort of suspended animation! It's hardly been worth sharing photos of 'what's flowering now' as it's been the same plants for a month. Very little has changed over the last 3 weeks and what change there has been, has been so slow it has been barely noticeable (with the sole exception of the Forsythia, whose yellow blooms are hard not to notice). So time to post these pictures now as I see in the last few days a perceptible difference, just due to suddenly having more normal April weather - not yet warm, but a lot warmer than cold, with a bit of sun interspersed with heavy showers. Warmth is apparently coming our way from Sunday onwards and then I expect the garden will change dramatically over the course of the next week and I really hope for some riots of fruit tree blossom against a backdrop of blue sky...... I can hope, can't I?!

So for now I share my March garden pics, most of which were taken during the last week of the month. More pictures, fewer words.

Glory of the Snow (Chionodoxa)
taken a few weeks ago and has only just
finished flowering

The first flush of flowers from Aubretia
growing through a large lavender

A self seeded Oriental Hellebore flowers for the first time;
this is a paler pinky purple than the others that I have.
I love that they can cross, just like Aquilegias, and you never know what colour
you are going to get! Much like the multi coloured primroses in the background -
now I have far more pink ones that I had a few years ago.

Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles) in the background
with Photinia x fraseri 'Pink Marble' foliage in the foreground

Various Euphorbias by the steps leading up to the garage

Euphorbia Characias

The Euphorbias have given a sunny appearance to the front garden
whilst the weather has been miserable

Spot the little spider!

'That' purple leafed Prunus tree, which sadly was never really a
blast of colour as the leaves come soon after the flowers -
but this year it's been both seeming to happen at the same time.

I never tire of the catkins on
the Corkscrew Hazel
(Corylus avellana contorta)

So here's some more catkins!

A bit of blue sky that day!
Lake seen through a Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles)

These last two are poor quality due to being taken through double glazing but highlights how little has changed, and shows we still had some snow even at the end of March.

30th March - Hellebores, Primroses, and still
the first daffodils which have lasted for ages!

9th April - same flowers still in bloom, including 'that' Prunus tree again.
Against the trellis is my Honeysuckle which blew off the wall,
trellis and all, during a storm last year.

And so far the only sign of any fresh green leaves are on my Hawthorn, seen here against the backdrop of my big old oak tree. I'm so looking forward to seeing leaves again!


  1. Lovely to see your garden Mandy, even if it's not as far on as you would like it's good to see some life! I spent a couple of days clearing out the dead wood in mine this week - jobs I would normally do in February! Even the weeds aren't growing at the moment, although I'm pleased to report the daffs are finally out.

    1. Hi Ladybug - I don't mind too much as having the early spring flowers is better than nothing, but you know I looked back at my photos from last year and the cover photo here with all the green around the pond and cherry blossom was taken on the 12 April last year. How different it is this year! Just wanna see some green, but it is coming. Glad you finally got a chance to get some work done in your garden as I know you were getting desperate. I've just been ripping out brambles again this afternoon - never finished the winter jobs, let alone the spring ones. Hopefully some warm(ish) weather is coming to you in Wales soon!

  2. Wow, you have a lot going on! I don't know how you're able to grow both ornamentals and vegetables as I seem to only be able to focus on one or the other.

    For a couple of years I had a corkscrew hazel in a pot that I brought in every year as my Christmas tree. The kids called it my evil Christmas tree. I loved the catkin "ornaments." Someone stole it out of the yard one year and the kids were relieved that it wouldn't be in the house the following Christmas. The last few years however, they have begged me to get a new one as our Christmas tree :)

    Do you prefer comments here instead of Google, Mandy?

    1. Hi Rain Place - It's hard work at times but don't forget you have all your animals to deal with and I only have the feathery ones!

      That hazel sounds like a lovely Christmas tree. I always have dried branches in a vase as a decoration but a certain little kittie has destroyed half of them whilst leaping about like a loony! Funny how your kids have changed their minds :-)

      I really don't mind where you comment - it is easier to 'talk' on G+ and you have to remember to subscribe by email to get the reply from me by commenting here.... at the same time I don't want to appear like Billy No Mates with no comments at all, but it's not very conducive to a conversation, commenting and replying on a blog post! :-/

    2. LOL @ poor Billy No Mates. I always read your blog posts, but I think this comment here will be the third time I've commented on any blog... the second time being my earlier comment :) G+ has been stressing me out for months and though it's for different reasons than yours (I freaking hate that I don't get to see the posts I want), if you're wanting a break from notifications, I can help you out by not contributing to notification hell!

      I think when the kids were little they thought they wanted a "normal" Christmas and I just wouldn't have anything to do with one. One year we had a tiny live Christmas tree and we went to the beach and found our decorations. We put a shell on the top as our star. As I was making Christmas dinner my oldest kept saying, "Mom, the star is walking through the tree!" I told him to stop bugging me and making things up. Turns out he wasn't making things up, we had inadvertently made a hermit crab our star. Dunno why it took him two days to start moving. He musta been scared outa his little brain. I had to stop making dinner and gather the boys up and drive back down to the beach to release the Christmas star. We played down there in the cold rain and never did have the dinner. I think now they are at the age where they realize they have stories to tell, and our somewhat odd holidays are a part of that :)

    3. Commenting on blogs is quite daunting at first, my first time I ended up using my facebook profile as I wasn't sure how to do it any other way! Social networks are not worth getting stressed about, yet we all want to see everything and not miss anything but it ends up being info overload. :-(

      Your kids are going to be telling their kids and grandchildren about that story, I am sure! That's the funniest Christmas story I have ever heard. It must have been fun at your place. Your kids will have some great memories of their childhood and their 'crazy mom'. ;-)

    4. Hmph. I see what you mean. I have no way to plus your last comment.
      I'll do it this way


  3. Replies
    1. Hi Macrogears! Thanks very much - spring is nearly sprung! :-)

  4. I'm sure you won't have to wait much longer for your spring to arrive and your grass looks very green!

    Philippa x

    1. Hi Philippa - the grass is certainly green and was first cut at the end of January! According to the forecast it will be 13C today and 22C tomorrow!! I need to find me a T-shirt. :-)