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A look around the garden in early April...1


Hello, thanks for popping in. Would you like to come and have a look around the garden? Good….fasten your coat up and lets go…..I nipped to Wikos first thing this morning to buy a new stainless steel border fork. They have forecast rain for later in the week and the soil was so compacted after the awful winter we have had of prolonged snow falls and deep frosts I needed to loosen the top soil so the rain can soak in rather than run off. I despaired at finding any of my plants had survived the winter..
There were very few weeds growing and as I worked through the borders and I could see signs of new growth emerging from a lot of plants.

I started here either side of the steps from the patio.

Only a few Tete a Tete daffs and the primulas in flower here. The Christmas box was beautifully scented until a few weeks ago and the Nandina Fire Power seems to be recovering well. The Pieris have stood up well to the weather. They are really lovely when the new growth is red but they are quite nice now.Then I moved up the steps to the strawberry bed on the left

There are just a few Crocus (which I thought had deserted me) flowering here but it won’t be long before the larger daffs will be out and there are signs of life on the little Crab apple tree and the tulips are growing.

and then onto the Yucca bed on the right where the Dicentra are shooting up quickly. The smallest Yucca was bent down by the heavy snow so I think I will dig it out and move it somewhere else later……

Up a few more steps and you can see that there are a few plants waking up on the right side of the steps. The soil looked really compacted here but it was quite easily broken up.

The other side of the steps looks desolate…, but I am hoping the Hostas, Penstemons, Peony and Geums in here will soon show themselves.

Just above these looks a bit healthier with the Hemerocallis, Tulips and my favourite Viburnum shrub.Across the lawn and the Lt side border is filling out better with the Bamboo root taken from my daughters garden 2 years ago growing well now and the Stinking Hellebore looking lush. I love this one.(it’s a shame about the common name)

The Chionodoxa grape hyacinth and Ipheion are starting to come out.

Across the pond access steps the Snowdrops are finishing but the Sedge I planted there looks happy. There is a tiny suggestion of new growth starting from the Hosta by the window.

Mind your step. I don’t want you tippling into the pond. It’s not warm enough….
Further along the left hand border the Ponytail grass had to be cut down (it’ll grow again) and the Jonquil daffs look lovely. The little Privet bush is growing slowly . The tiny variegated leaves are so nice and bright through the year.

the Photinia Red Robin has hardly grown since I bought it about 3 years ago but the colour is good. The Ribes never fails to brighten up the trellis line.
This Cistus has stayed like this all through the winter. I thought it would have died down. Good old flowering current showing off behind it….

Its a bit bare further up but soon the Penstemons and Jacobs Ladders (Polemonium) will regrow and the tulips are coming along nicely as are the Geums..

Along the top border it’s lovely to see signs of the Peonies growing. A few more tulips and daffs to come and the Dianthus are yet to wake properly. The Leucanthemum are toughies and it’s not taken them long to emerge and bulk up. The Montana Clematis are putting on a lot of growth now too up the trellis along with the climbing rose.

Hop over the steps to the right side slope lawn and Bowles Mauve is looking good. I just snipped a few leggy bits off to tidy it up. The Juniper behind has to be chopped back every spring or it would try to spread it’s branches right across the garden….not bad for a sprig out of a bunch of flowers years ago and just stuck in the garden when the flowers died.!!

The daffs are almost open and there’s new growth on the Honeysuckle and clematis on the trellis. The Spireas are leafing up too.

Up a couple more steps and the borders round the flat lawn area are perking up a bit with a few daffs, Peonies and the Day lily growing. I am pleased to see that my lovely big Hebe is recovering from being weighed down by the snow. The large gap it made in the centre is getting less as it straightens up.

There’s signs of movement in the oriental poppy and behind the swing seat

Up another step onto the composting area and this blanket is colouring up and the Rhubarb is shooting up like a rocket.

Up the steps by the greenhouse now onto the top garden. The Tete a tete aways brighten this Lt side border along with this shrub, whose name I cannot for the moment remember, but it looks like I missed a branch that needs pruning out.

A few more daffs and the carpet is slowly creeping along to cover the retaining wall…

Round the back of the greenhouse…..ooh look! the baby Greengage is blossoming and across the lawn it’s Mother is too. The blossoms are usually out in March. Everything seems to be a month late this year.

Lets sit for a minute on the seat T made from half a Plum tree trunk and look up at the blossoms and behind us at the old faithful Primroses. Those Hebes were out of the trough on the front once they got too big and they seem to like it up here.

I am trying to fill this top garden with colourful shrubs. As you can see there aren’t many yet but I am slowly getting there…
I love this Ilex and have transplanted a root from it into the very top of the garden.

Then there’s this one taken as a cutting from the one that I have forgotten the name of….

…and this gorgeous Berberis which will be smothered in beautiful red and white flowers soon. It’s a little devil though, if you get too close when mowing the lawn near it…

You can see I have a long way to go yet, but I am getting there slowly. this top bit was where we used to have our bonfires and garden fires until the green bin collection started. Last year I tried to grow some wild flower seeds but failed dismally. I only had half a dozen weedy looking plants come up…lol

This is why it’s so difficult to grow anything up here. I love this tree though it casts a lot of shade in the summer and it’s very thirsty.

The children learned to climb trees on her and for years they had a rope hanging from a high branch so they could launch off the wall and swing round the front and back to the wall…..happy times……
Lets go back down now. I’ll just call into the greenhouse to check the plants and seedlings. The Heucheras I split last year seem to be doing well. They can go into the cold frame now.

..and the cuttings I took for my daughter look to be starting into new growth.

These were mini plugs I bought to use as fillers if my seeds don’t do well.

Back down on the patio the clematis in the corner is clambering all over the Magnolia which isn’t showing any sign of waking up yet.

Turn around and you can see the blackbird nest in the Clematis round the kitchen window. It’s been a pleasure watching them renewing it from last year, flying in and out of it carrying moss and muddy bits from the pond. I didn’t think they reused nests but they obviously do.

Isn’t it great to see the Hellebore’s flowers opening up now. I seem to have been waiting an age to see them..

We will go in through the conservatory/playroom/ and put the kettle on. Your legs must be tired after climbing up and down all those steps. We can sit down and have a cuppa and a nice fresh made scone or two.

Ooh look the first Freesia flower is nearly open.

That scent can’t be coming from that yet. Oh! yes it’s coming from the Hyacinths I bought last week.

I have really enjoyed your company this afternoon and I hope you will come back for a visit in the summer when my garden is full of flowers. xxx

More blog posts by homebird

Previous post: 24th March in my garden......

Next post: New plants from our visit to Newark Garden Show today.



Well I have certainly enjoyed my walk around your garden, not to cold once I got wrapped up, everything is looking really good, I look forward to the summer so I can come again BA. thank you.

9 Apr, 2013


Thank you, I really enjoyed my walk around your lovely garden, it seems to be really starting to wake up now. You've got lots of beautiful shrubs and it all seems full of interest. Nice conservatory too, now where's that scone....:)

9 Apr, 2013


What a super blog Hb. such a refreshing walk around your lovely garden. Everything seems to be looking good, amazing after the winter we have had. Can I have jam with my scone please :)

9 Apr, 2013


Hi Homebird...
garden looking neat and pretty.
Thanks for the tour.
I like the stone walls :o)

9 Apr, 2013


wow what a wonderful blog, I too enjoyed the 'walk' around your garden and it is so more advanced than my garden, i cant believe you have blossom, although you say its late appearing mine is nowhere to be seen! thanks for sharing your garden with us:-))

9 Apr, 2013


Really enjoyed that walk homebird :-) its so nice to see things waking up at last its been such a long winter, the birds are getting very territorial here three male blackbirds fighting today and I've had a pair of robins helping me all day in the garden :-)

9 Apr, 2013


your garden looks really lovely, every little bit is cared for and tidy! you have some lovely plants ~ i really like all the different textures and greens, the plants near the pond are fabulous. i love the big old tree at the back and those scones sound really scrummy!

9 Apr, 2013


I'm glad you could come Yorkie. but 'BA'? Get your specs on....
Nice to see you Louisa and thank-you. You forgot to take your scone with you and I am sorry but T ate it......

Thank-you Grandmage, I'm glad you had time to look around with me. It's amazing how the garden can and does recover quickly isn't it. Strawberry or raspberry? :o))
Thank-you Tt. It's a pity you didn't bring the boys, we would soon have tired them out running up and down the garden fetching things for us. I wish there were stone walls down both sides of the garden. It would be brilliant for planting against.
Summer thank-you for popping in. The blossom is only out on the Greengage. It's always extremely early. I used to worry that they would be frosted and blown off by the winds but it always fruits well.
Thank-you Sinbad. It is lovely to see things starting to wake up. I honestly thought there would be a lot more losses after the poor summer then the long winter. It was a relief to find most plants were tougher than I expected them to be. :o)))

9 Apr, 2013


Hi Homebird - looking great and those steps are nice that go up your garden, lots of promise for you there ! That conifer thing looks like a taxus bacata - as I have loads of them , wonderful things. Wish I could grow Rhubarb , but just can't !!! lol . Happy gardenng HB - looks a treat

9 Apr, 2013


Lovely blog Hb....Your garden is looking great..Mine is still in rather a state, been so busy with the shop and no time for gardening....Im trying to get my dahlias sorted, there must be at least 100..Yikes!!!!

9 Apr, 2013


Thank-you Paul. I will look the Taxus up. It has red fruits occasionally that look like red beads.
I am glad you are busy with the shop Moti. That's good. It will have been a busy time with Easter and Mother's Day. 100 Dahlias wow, I remember your beauties from last year. It's great that the nights are pulling out, so there will be more time for spending in the garden especially as they say the temperatures are soon to be warming up.

9 Apr, 2013


So nice to be able to get out and take stock of everything..and a lovely walk round your garden..I have been doing the same,digging the borders over,and splitting a Zebra grass again ! it grew so much this both halves moved to a different place..hopefully these will be their final positions :o)The plant you couldn't remember the name of looks like Choisya Sundance to lovely to see everything growing again now..nature knows best :o)

10 Apr, 2013


Lovely blog, your garden is looking good, and very interesting, mine just flat with borders! will be plenty to see in the summer, look forward to it. Bloomer..... I was going to say the same, I've just planted one, infront of my spruce, great minds hey lol. Enjoy your hols! :-)

10 Apr, 2013


Very nice to see that freesia opening up, the garden will soon be full of colour again :-) thanks for the walk around

10 Apr, 2013


Enjoyed the garden walk HB. You seem to have a very big garden, tho' the bigger the more work I guess. Everything is about a month late. My garden seems to have sunk in places over the winter. I'm going to have to top dress with some soil or compost to fill in the dips. Has never done this before. Thanks for sharing. Look forward to seeing it later on.

10 Apr, 2013


Thanks Bloomer, it is Choisya Sundance. I don't know why I never remember its name. We seem to have been waiting for ever to make a real start in the gardens haven't we. So invigorating to get out there at last.
Thanks Gralew. It took us ages to form some flat areas. I would love a flat garden, so much more you can do in it to provide interest. I do like the continual colour of the Choisya.
Thanks Sl. Since I stopped 'nursing' the freesias they have flowered every year...sods
Thanks Feverfew, it is strange about the settling in your garden. Sounds like there is going to be a lot of humping around of soil or compost. I dread having to carry compost and manure up my garden..... Getting lazy in my old

10 Apr, 2013


Well your garden seems to be doing remarkably well and looks ready to really spring into life with the sunshine that is surely to be coming soon. I can`t see a trace of any of my Hostas so you having said that yours cant be seen yet gives me a little hope that they are still waiting to make an appearance.
I like your little wall with the plum seat on it, bet its great to rest there in the shade when the sun is out.
You`ve been a gracious hostess Homebird and I thoroughly enjoyed the walk round your garden just wish you could magic me another of your scones.

10 Apr, 2013


I am amazed how quickly most things recover. It's only about 2 weeks since the soil was frozen and covered with snow. We had a trip to my favourite GC on Tuesday and bought a few more shrubs and plants for the very top bare area. I will be happy when I have it filled. I have Emily and Samuel for a couple of days now so we will almost certainly be gardening together and baking. The 2 favourite things they like to do. Sam saw a man digging over an area at the petting farm we took them to yesterday and he went over to pick up a Emily got a peck on the finger by a peacock she was feeding, so she has gone off them now.....

11 Apr, 2013


Your garden looks so neat and tidy Hb, I can't understand why mine never does at this time of the year ...or any time come to think of it:-) I have only one complaint, I would have liked some clotted cream on my scone:-))

13 Apr, 2013


Mmmmm! Clotted cream. Must get some in for next time..... I have been doing a bit more trimming and dead heading again today. I have pricked out a few plants in the greenhouse too. It was lovely in the sun but that wind was a bit blustery at times, nearly blew the bladdy door off the greenhouse

15 Apr, 2013


You are very lucky to have such a large garden we would be in our element......I was quite exhausted though by the time we reached the top, but, such scope HB.
Your soil looks really dry compared to ours which is still very wet from the winter, and is taking ages to dry out!! it all looks lovely and you have some great plant. Smashing blog.

21 Apr, 2013


Thanks Dd. We are lucky. I couldn't believe it today, I have almost emptied the 3 rain barrels since it snowed. Come to think of it we haven't had much rain since then to refil them and the garden dries out so quickly being west facing and prone to catch the winds. The top 6inches of soil was dry when I was digging the planting holes today.

21 Apr, 2013


Soil still very wet here too, but with all the wind we've had lately I've been watering the pots daily:-)

21 Apr, 2013


I had to water the new plants at the top of the garden this morning. It was freezing up there in the cold wind. No matter how much it rains the pots never really get enough water do they BA.

22 Apr, 2013

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