Spring has sprung

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Can you see the bumble bee inside the flower? 

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How lovely to see the sun today and to be gardening without a coat. In my garden I had a huge laurel removed and its stump ground out on Tuesday and now I’m thinking about what to plant in its place.  The site is west-facing and the soil is wonderful well-drained loam, helped by the regular application of grass-cuttings. I remember  starting to dig out this border when I was eight months pregnant with my son. I was ordered to stop by my midwife so I got a man in and he ended up removing a skip-load of demolition and builder’s rubble. The local scouts delivered a trailer of well-rotted horse manure and I was ready to plant – the following spring.  My six-month-old baby boy sat on a blanket and we chatted and sang and laughed as I planted.  It was the perfect window of opportunity. I had thought of planting acer griseum (Cathy has a beauty and there is a fine specimen at Polesden Lacey) but to the left there is a pyrus pendula salicifolia (silver- leafed weeping pear) and to the right there is a Sorbus hupehensis so perhaps another tree would be too much. Now I’m wondering about stipa gigantea, under-planted with blue geranium, yellow crocosmia, blue agapanthus (all of which I have) and purple allium (which I would have to buy). Against the fence and twining through the trellis I would plant Clematis Etoile Violette (currently in a pot and needing to be in the ground).  There is a golden choisya to the right and a good clump of euphorbia wulfenii to the left of a Viburnum Bodnantense. The viburnum is anchored by Bergenia Silberlicht and there is more blue geranium, White Purissima tulips and a couple of clumps of yellow hemerocallis Hyperion growing here. There is also a good group of the Corsican hellebore to the left of the euphorbia. In my head and my sketch it looks ok but will the stipa have enough presence?  How do you plan a new border? 

Meanwhile at the allotment this afternoon …

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Anemone coronaria Sylphide. I will be planting another 20 anemone corms this weekend. 
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Sweet William, Blood Red Wallflowers and White Nigella, all sown last year
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Asparagus bed – only one more month before we start cropping again. 
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Red epicure broad beans are ready to be planted here. Just beyond is my 2016 seed bed ready and waiting and beyond that is where the sweet peas (Cupani and Royal Wedding) will be planted. I really need to work out where all my flower seeds are going to go. 
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Now the tulips are through I need to weed this bed – and then I will have space for flower seeds. 

 

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My unposted Monday vase. 

 

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Acer griseum at Polesden Lacey this week. I love the bark of this tree. It’s common name is paperbark maple. 

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Walking on the North Downs last Sunday. 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Spring has sprung

  1. Spring certainly has sprung near you! I love your backyard, it’s really beautiful. You reminded me of my son’s first spring, when he was a similar age as your son was, and all the time we spent working in the yard with him on a blanket or in the stroller nearby that spring. Little did we know we would move across the country by the end of that year, and we were glad to have done all that work before we needed to put the house up for sale. I love that anemone, it’s so striking. I’ve only recently become acquainted with anemones and I really like them now. I hope you have a good weekend, Sarah.

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  2. Your allotment looks huge! Wonderful to have so much space for planting. Have you thought about a camellia for your new bed? Or a wych hazel? X

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  3. I’ve always planned new planting schemes by starting with the skeleton – i.e. what’s going to be there all year round, whether it’s evergreen shrubs, grasses or trees, etc – then other shrubs, perennials and grasses, then fillers. Stipa gigantea is one of my favourite grasses and it is quite a presence if you have a group of them. I once planted an area with three, together with Crocosmia Lucifer and some deep-orange cannas. I can’t remember what else. Anyway, it looked fab. There’s so much to look forward to here, Sarah – your tulips, asparagus, all the wonderful summer flowers. Lovely. I’m waiting for some anemone corms to arrive in the post 🙂

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  4. If you’re going for impact maybe you’re considering the tallest and showiest Stipa gigantea ‘Gold Fontaene’. (Wisley, Beth Chatto, Knoll Gardens or Marchants might have named cultivars.)

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  5. It’s looking gorgeous in your garden, and I’m really envying you your lovely neat and tidy allotment. It’s a good time of year isn’t it, time to plan and sow and dream. CJ xx

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  6. Gosh – your clear allotment looks amazing, just ready to be filled up again! And your Sylphide – you really must have been whispering sweet nothings in her ear … 🙂 Interesting to see your bee on that particular hellbore – that’s where they have been spotted here so there must be something very attractive in their early nectar. With your border I suppose it will depend on the look you want to achieve – it might be too busy for an A griseum (which is quite slow growing – well it is here) which would look better with less at its feet. I am beginning to appreciate the benefit of grasses in drawing a border together but am still a grass novice! Pretty little vase by the way 🙂

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  7. Hi Sarah, nice blog! I have completed the tunic from the Vintage Crochet book and it is on my blog, it was a dream to make. I hope you get to make one too. Jeez I need to get to my alotment pronto! Jo x

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  8. Your knowledge of plant names and behaviours, best growing conditions etc is so impressive! My knowledge in that area is really miniscule. I enjoy my garden but don’t plant anything very ambitious, though you have reminded me I bought some anemone corns a couple of weeks ago that I should plant out soon. Have a great week X

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