Can’t hold back, Alys

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The first, slightly frost bitten blooms on Chaenomeles speciosa Nivalis, Tostat, February 2018

Alys Fowler, a gardening writer who I always enjoy reading, urges restraint in this morning’s Guardian.  She is, of course, quite right, especially if you have heavy soil, but with my stony (mostly) stuff, I have started tidying up a bit, doing the annual cull on bramble, the dreaded honeysuckle, giant dandelions- that kind of thing. But I am only talking about going into the soil about half a fork’s depth to remove the bad boys- which I kind of need to do, because the daffodils are half way out the of the ground.  And, although this may be wishful thinking, a few warm days would bring them out good and proper.  It’s a hard life being a bulb in my garden.  When they are obviously up, even I manage not to dig them up by mistake, but they have a dangerous life if I can’t see them.  I am, however, very good at replanting them straight away, although there are always one or two that get split.

The white Japanese quince, Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Nivalis’, is one of those plants I look forward to seeing at this time of the year.  There is a good article by James Wong on Japanese quince, though I always find him just a bit too boy-scout happy- possibly an age thing.  Back to the quince, it never fruits for us, or it may be that it has very tiny fruits that get lost in the undergrowth at the back of the border.  I inherited it in the garden when we arrived, and although it can suffer sapling invaders being so near to the ruisseau, it really draws the eye especially when everything else is brown and sodden.  The rain has been biblical so far this year.

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Moss on our stone walls, Tostat, February 2018

The sights in the garden are on the miniature side right now.  Bucketing rain, and only the odd sunny day, has fed the moss on the stone walls.  It is so green it is almost golden, and looks like the most expensive velvet fairy coat from children’s tales.  Some nice freckling has popped up on a couple of the hellebores, very dark prominent freckles and also freckles of the finest dust.  I love the surprises that you get when they mix themselves up.

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Deeply freckled Hellebore, Tostat, February 2018

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Faintly freckled Hellebore, Tostat, Fabruary 2018

And the same conditions that feed the moss, also encourages the very tiny maidenhair ferns, Adiantum raddianum I think, to have a go at establishing themselves in the nooks and crannies of the stone walls.

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Adiantum raddianum, Tostat, February 2018

Tomorrow it is promised that the rain will stop and sun will come out.


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