Spring has arrived overnight – suddenly the cherry blossom has weight in it, tulips have taken over the reins from daffodils, bluebells are elbowing their way into every bed and plants like epimediums, fritillaries, erythroniums and the wonderful Virginian bluebell ‘mertensia’ that I had not thought about for ten months – all are demanding admiration.
The opening for the National Garden Scheme over the weekend of 10th and 11th June is not far off so that too is in our sights.
It is an exciting time to be gardening because most things are budding and looking healthy – I love the sparkle on new rose leaves at this time of year and the Canary Bird Rose is already out in the courtyard. But like everything in life, gardening is full of ups and downs and there are times when one has to say to oneself ‘nothing in gardening really matters’.
I will share my downs as we, I think, do not often do?
A large cercidiphyllum has never come back into leaf as I feared would happen after last year’s drought and needs now to be felled; a beautiful abutilon sulked and died from some care I did not give it – possibly drought; those were the worst effects of last year. This year a late frost has turned a favourite shrub from a beautiful to miserable specimen because I failed to protect it. Worst of all we have discovered tulip fire so a large number of tulips have to be removed immediately. Now I must think what to plant as their replacements for the next three years before tulips can be used again.
People seldom talk of their failures in a garden – most people have them at some time or other and like many things, perhaps they are better shared?
By the time of the Dower House June opening on 10th and 11th June, I will have forgotten about tulips and perhaps even replaced what has died; philadelphus, deutzia, delphiniums, hostas, alliums, indigofera, clematis, sweet peas and roses will be spilling out their joy all over the place – and no doubt amidst the joy, I shall be worrying about slugs.
Why do we garden? Because it is such an adventure!