Snowdrops 2016

Thursday, January 28. 2016
Only ten days before our first NGS open day and though the ground is extraordinarily soggy the snowdrops are looking good. One bonus of this extremely warm winter is that the hellebores are much further forward than normal and intermingle with the snowdrops most charmingly. The beds are still full of weeds as the soaked earth makes weeding difficult so the garden will not be immaculate. I am hoping for a few dry days now.

The Prunus subhirtilla autumnalis which is usually so spectacular in January/February is over - another casualty of the high temperatures. It looked wonderful over Christmas but now all the flowers have gone. Cyclamen coum and crocus tommasinianus sprinkle the wilder parts of the garden with colour. We have to fence off paths where the crocus loves to seed itself.

Visiting Tim Ingram's wonderful collection of snowdrops today in beautiful sunshine made me understand why I just adore these plants. Underneath a light canopy of trees, mixed with hellebores, aconites, cyclamen and crocuses they hold such promise and hope that winter will soon be over. Tim has some lovely seedlings of Trym which is a delectable variety with clear dark green marks on the outers. He has selected one in particular, Copton Trym, which I could not resist and has today been planted in our garden and I hope will proliferate with subtle variations. Tim's garden and nursery at Copton Ash is open on Sunday 14th February 12 - 4

September delights

Tuesday, September 8. 2015
September is a favourite month (my birthday month) and I love the garden now. It is mellow and lush. The grass is brilliant green recently refreshed by an autumn deluge (2 inches in 24 hours).

Now is the time for brightness and brilliance. Dahlias in reds and golds; Red leaf sedums crawling with bees; zingy zauchneria; shimmering blue Perovskia. Yet my eye is drawn to the tiny refined Acis autumnalis, so pale and ethereal and the beginning of a great flowering of Cyclamen hederifolium. I spent a happy afternoon extracting corms from impossible crevices and replanting them beneath the Cratageus x permilis 'Prunifolia' umbrella which is already loaded with not quite yet ripe berries. This is the best Cratageus in elegance of shape and form and richness of fruit. Ours is 25 years old, 20 feet in height and delights from spring blossom to late autumn when its leaves are burnished a gleaming bronze.