Is Spring springing?

I’d like to say it is, and there’s evidence in my garden that my garden thinks so too.  I was tempted out there for the first time this year at the weekend, and the plan was to have a bit of a tidy up, poke around a bit and not do anything too strenuous.  And I guess I didn’t really, but I did much more than I first thought, which included climbing into the trellised corner of the garden to quite literally tug at a vine that had grown into our cherry tree.  It wasn’t going to be good for any tree, let alone the tree that actually produces cherries.

It was time for the dogwoods to be cut too, so that next year we’re treated to some more vibrant red stems.  Cutting them always makes me nervous though so now I only cut some of the stems, so the plant has a chance of surviving.  I’ve had them since they were bare rooted plants, they’re now taller than me, so there’s quite some investment there - mostly of time, as bare rooted plants are a great and cost effective way to buy dogwoods.  I did cut an older plant back hard once, and that was the last I saw of it, hence my hesitancy.  And after I’d finished the green garden bin was pretty full for the first time this year, and actually it was good to be out there getting stuck in, of course the weather helped.

Back to the bulbs, they’re much prettier and worthy of photos.  This crocus did well to survive MOH’s leaf tidying skills, actually as you can see only fifty percent of it survived. He’d tried to stand the fallen stem up again though in the hope I wouldn’t notice...

A crocus among the ivy

The cyclamens have had a really good winter in our garden and now I’ve clumps of their highly decorative leaves around the garden, and I’m not complaining.  Some have even jumped over into the grass, which I’ll need to rescue before MOH fires up the lawnmower, as as the crocus discovered nothing is safe in his path.  I also need to find out if and how I can thin these and spread them even further around the garden, as it’s always nice to have plants repeating throughout a garden, for continuity.

A good winter for my cyclamens
The black grass has grown a bit but seems very slow to spread

The black grass has also done well, though it’s not spread as quick as I’d like.  I think I’ve plenty of little plants here, so another job is for me to find out how to maximise these.  What I don’t have to do though is find a way to help these miniature iris-like flowers spreading around the garden, they’re doing well enough on their own.  They’re not quite at forget-me-not level, but I’m keeping my eye on them, and I’m ready to unleash MOH if needed, they’ve been warned.

iris-like flowers that have self-seeded

I’m now even more convinced than I was before (and that was quite a lot) that the plants below are elephants ears and not hostas as I thought for many years.  They are spectacular though, have a great name and sit in a part of the garden where they enjoy the sun.  Even their waxy leaves are looking healthy and not quite as nibbled as they will be later in the year.

pink flowers and elephant ears
the euphorbias are on their way

Unusually though the euphorbias seem a little behind the other plants, but I guess that means we’ve still got their lime green loveliness to come - that’s something I love, and MOH tolerates.  Even I’ve given up trying to save them if they hop over into the grass, but that’s mostly because they are so plentiful so need to be taught a lesson or two.  The leaves in the background are thanks to the foxes, who’ve unbagged a black sack or two of leaves, for fun this winter.

I made an unexpected discovery in my succulent trug, and that’s foxgloves.  I’m not sure I want them there, but after years of no foxgloves, right now I’ll take foxgloves wherever they want to grow.  I had success moving them last year to where I wanted them, so I’m hopeful that I’ll be as lucky again this year, but not just yet.

foxgloves in the succulents

That’s the challenge with this weather, it’s lovely now, but is it here to stay?  A sharp frost could damage newly pruned plants, which in turn could jeopardise their flowering or suffer later on.  I caught our new neighbour enthusiastically cutting our jasmine this weekend too, which I wasn’t too impressed about.  I know they have a legal right to cut things that have grown over the fence, and I also know that pruning is addictive, but even so it was a little too enthusiastic for me and so I politely pointed out that it was the wrong time of year to be so keen, and I didn’t want to miss out on the flowers, or the scent the jasmine brings.  It was all very amicable, and there were apologies, so all very British, and I’m hopeful it’s just keenness rather than anything more.

sunlight on the fatsia

But while I was waiting and watching to see if I was being overzealous and over protective, I got to stand and admire the sunlight on the fatsia, they really are special plants throughout the year, and I’ve no idea where this one gets all its leaves from.  And look what else I spotted, some only just turning blue muscari, or grape hyacinths, I don’t think I’ve ever spotted them in this state before and I think this makes me like them even more.

a hint of blue on the muscari

It’s fascin to see how they appear to push their way out of the ground with their spear-like flower already formed.  Look to the right of the just-turning-blue muscadine, in the photo above.

Throughout the garden there’s evidence of bulb growth, so I know there’s more to come.  There’s a couple of daffodils out, and more on the way, and they’re even pushing their way through the cyclamen clumps, and I have to admire their willingness to grow and hope they’re not thwarted by a return of the Beast from the East, which was in full swing this time last year - it’s hard to comprehend the difference this year, isn’t it?

bulb growth and pretty markings on yet more cyclamen

The markings on the cyclamen leaves are also pretty special too, that’s another reason to rescue as many as I can from the lawnmower, when the time comes.  And after that initial poke around, I’m fired up for gardening again this year, and already my garden to-do list is growing, just like my bulbs...

How’s your garden faring as Spring starts to Spring?