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Here We Are Again...Coming to brighten your garden!


Oh, the promise of spring.Lots of new leaves on Trees and shrubs, new shoots of deciduous perennials pushing through the ground, seeds germinating and lots to feel positive about generally!
But, there’s also the negative….I went down to have my dinner just after I started writing this blog and, whilst sitting there, Julie and I noticed a huge Rat coming under our fence from next door and climbing up the bird feeder. He was so huge, we thought at first iot was a squirrel but, no, it was definitely a rat. And it was coming from, you’ve guessed it,under next door’s decking.We had this same problem at our last house.Decking really is a nuisance…it creates the ideal home for rats.
Anyway….back to the positive promise of springtime in my garden.

The recent mild weather seems to have brought on this Calamagrostis Overdam on the wet shady side of the garden.

The Eupatorium which grew so huge last summer, is looking very sorry for itself. I read conflicting information on this plant (North american native).Some say it is semi evergreen others say it is deciduous and should be cut to the ground in winter. Well, I’ve gone paret way and we’ll see what happens. It does seem though, that it is a lat grower, not producing new shoots till May according to one web site…let’s hope that’s right!

But, I was really pleased to see this Hosta reappearing in what is the wettest, shadiest part of the garden.I feared I had lost it.

This decidous Agapanthus(Headborne Hybrid) on the warm, dry side of the garden is doing really well.

But, on the other, shadier, wet side of the garden, it’s a different story.There are just a few new leaves starting to show, amongst those of a Cranesbill geranium that sneaked to thgis garden in the same pot as the Agapanthus .

The Calamagrostis Karl Foerster on the dry, sunny side are flying away and should form good sized clumps by the end of this summer.

This Hakonechloa grass looked dead over winter(there was even some moss growing on the crown) but, it’s really getting going now.

You my notice some small piles of grass laying around on this border.They are dead blades combed out from the Festuca Glauca plants in the above photo. my idea is that the sparrows might take these for nesting material instead of chomping my Stipa Tennuissima plants…one of which you can see , looking pretty sparse!

Eryngium (Sea Holly) Planum brought from my last house, is coming through.

Nandina Domestica with stunning new red stems.

My poor Wisteria suffered at the other house whilst we were busy trying to sell etc and was neglected in it’s pot. The first few years I had it, it didn’t flower but, after a couple of reprieves, (I had threatened to compost it) and lots of pruning, feeding etc, I cajoled it to flower for a few years although, some years, the flowers fell off before fully opening. By the time we got it here, it was pretty poorly. Last summer I cut off some dead stems and planted it in the ground. It is shades a good part of the day but I was hoping it will, eventually, grow above the wall and get more sun. It out a lot of growth on last year. Anyway, it is showing signs of still being alive but it’s only green growth(leaves, not flowers)

The boys’ Conker tree keeps coming back year after year in the pot. They planted it (in a much smaller pot) over twenty years ago and it has moved house with us twice.

These Bunny Tails grasses (seedlings from those sent to me by Shirley(Tulip) last year) have come on in the greenhouse where they were in a pot with an overwintering Dahlia)

Clematis Marie Boisselot…lots of buds which is incredible as it was in flower throughout the winter.The one on the shadier, wet side is not so strong looking but has a fair bit of growth.

Pannicum Shenandoah……We really are quite concerned about this plant.I think it should be showing more sign of growth by now.It isn’t in the wettest or shadiest part of the garden but is showing very little signs of life at the moment. It was a stunning plant last year.

Lilies and Dahlias are all sprouting in pots….some a lot more than these.

There’s even some promise in the veg patch with these Leek and Beetroot seedlings braving the cold. I don’t think I will get great success though as it’s been so cold with more cold weather forecast for the next 4 days (not above 8 degrees during the day and 1 or 2 at night.) So, I can see myself sowing more later on.

I hope your gardens are showing promise too.
Happy gardening

More blog posts by paulspatch

Previous post: Hello GOY, First Spell In The Garden For A While!

Next post: Current Highlights And Lots of Promise in The Garden.



A few warm days have made a big difference......hope the cold weather to come doesn't spoil things.

21 Apr, 2016


Love the border in your fifth pic. paul. Not so keen on the Rat! Eek! You're right though...they do make great homes for all kinds of creatures. My MIL had a fox under hers! So far I've only seen a big toad near ours.

21 Apr, 2016


Yes, gonna be very cold.......the plants won't like it Linda.
That bed is where the rat is comng through, Karen, u dear the fence. I have spoken to our next door neighbour......she is horrified. I have pushed (with a wooden stake) a poison block through the hole under the fence under their decking and I'm going to go into their garden tomorrow and see if I can put a bait box under the decking. I have to be very careful using poison because of Paddy. I k ew there were mice under there because I've seen them and so has Karen next door but the huge rat was a bit of a shock!

21 Apr, 2016


Its quite common to get rats under decking - one reason I'd never have it -that and the upkeep. Good for you taking action on next door's! Perhaps you could sabotage their watering system while you're at it! We do get the occasional rat but it makes a good lunch for the cat...
Your heuchera and acers are looking great. The leeks will probably catch up soon - they aren't much behind the ones I've got under glass, and they are hardly moving at present.. Its amazing how things do catch up when the weather improves.We hope...

21 Apr, 2016


Yes, fingers crossed Stera! But, this weather is so changeable and so cold, it doesn't help!
Their grass is looking a right old state at the moment so the watering, alone, didn't do much good. Mine isn't great but that's mainly because of the lawn being under water for large parts of the winter and spring.

22 Apr, 2016


Its lovely to see all the plants emerging again Paul although no sign of my Eupatorium yet, its always quite late. I cut mine down after its finished flowering in autumn before the flowers go to seed as it seeds itself around otherwise.

22 Apr, 2016


Paul there is certainly a lot happening in your garden - you are going to have a lovely show later on when things warm up - mind you like us all - you will have plenty of weeding to do as well no doubt !! - Jane

22 Apr, 2016


Everything seems to be coming on nicely. Your soil doesn't appear as wet as mine, and your Hosta far more advanced. Not seen any rats from under next doors shed, but there is still time.
I was under the carport, potting, out of the rain with the adjacent conservatory door open, when a male black bird landed 2 ft from me, walked, no hopped actually, into the conservatory and started digging the soil out of my pots of seedlings. The cheak, the damage!

22 Apr, 2016


Ha ha...they are opportunists, these birds(as are the rats!) I have dug many many bags of top soil, grit and manure in Siris, as well as digging out lots of clay but, still very wet. I think we probably have a high(ish) water table too .
I hope for lots of colour Jane.....the weeds will be here, inevitably. In fact there are quite a few already growing on the veg patch which I dug and weeded just a few weeks ago.
Yes, JayKaty, I understand the Eupatoriums to be prolific self seeders although, I hoped not so in my wet soil. I did leave some f the seed heads on as I noticed they seemed to be Particualrly attractive to the little wren who's been visiting on and off since Autumn.

22 Apr, 2016


Looking good, love it when all the plants start peeping through :-)

22 Apr, 2016


Yes, especially when it's the first spring after planting them like this is for my plants. I've been doing some research and I'm hoping the info is correct that it's not unusual for Pannicum to reappear late in spring so, fingers crossed it may still come back strongly.

22 Apr, 2016


Paul, that Heuchera is a stunning colour, do you happen to know the name of it?

The Hakonechloa looks really healthy and I love the Conker tree!

I had forgotten how cute those Bunnytail grass heads are, glad they are thriving for you.

Not good news about the Rat, I can't stand them and don't know what I would do if I saw one in my garden, the urge to kill it would be strong I think!

Let's hope the weekend isn't too chilly ...

22 Apr, 2016


Your garden is looking great Paul some wonderful colours there love the bunny tail grass .

I ve read that Wisteria needs so many hours a day sun on it it also said if not watered well through June they wont flower not sure how much truth there is on this.

I ve had the same problem Paul my neighbour put decking down a few years back I watched it on my bird table like yours I to thought it was a squirrel watching it s run as they say they stick to the same run it went into next door under thier decking a few days later my bird table I saved hard for was stolen . I also get them from the grave yard side to so now I no longer feed the birds.

22 Apr, 2016


That's awful 3d - what a mean trick. Did the thief have to climb over a wall or was there access through the gate?

22 Apr, 2016


Yes, I think I may have to stop feeding the birds.
I went next door and put some poison blocks down under the decking.
What kind of low life would steal your bird table?

22 Apr, 2016


It certainly is a wonderful time of year, Paul! So much promise. I have a very old wisteria. It didn't flower for at least ten years, and then not very prolifically, but for the last twenty years it has been smothered with flowers. There's hope for yours yet!

23 Apr, 2016


Hope so Melchi....I'll keep feeding it.

24 Apr, 2016


Neither Paul I got the rat man in from the council who was a friend of the next door nieghbour which I did nt know until I heard them talking in the garden after I told him where it went under next doors decking so he also went next door as she had kids he went to lay poison there to she was nt a happy bunny. On the fence right by the bird table on the side of her garden I had hung a sun face a water feeder for the birds that was on the floor broken when I returned home with bird table missing so I took it that the bird table was lifted over her fence catching and unhooking off the nail I hung the water feeder on as they lifted it over.

24 Apr, 2016


So, the neighbour took it?

25 Apr, 2016


Hope your Panicum Shenandoah is showing more signs of life by now? I guess they were sulky when it was so cold . . . mine is only just beginning to show some growth now, at last, in early May.

8 May, 2016


Yes, small shoots have now been showing for a week or so Sheila. Slow but, at least it's still alive.

8 May, 2016


3d, you didn't need that....

8 May, 2016


Yes Paul but I have no proof

8 May, 2016

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