As Spring really gets going, photography has to squeeze into the gentle hours of light- but whilst the light is gentle, it still packs a punch and I am often to be found crouching in the shade. Here you can see what I call the magical effect of euphorbias right now- I have way too many and will be culling them in the next month- but they really light up the garden especially in morning and evening low light. Mine are not distinguished in any way, plain old Euphorbia wulfenii, but, though they are rascals, I really value them in March and April.
Deinanthe really punches its way out of the soil. Each stem has a beefy little fist that shoves the soil aside in the pot. This is a small shrub that I probably wouldn’t bother with but for the foliage. The scrunched up pale blue flowers are not very exciting, but the foliage pretending to be a dahlia, looks as if it has had a friend with scissors insert a dart, making the leaf look interestingly cut. I really like the foliage, and in a pot in semi-shade, this thirsty little shrub looks very good as long as you turn blind eye to the flowers.
Hedera helix ‘Erecta’ suddenly had the right light on it a few days ago, so you can see why I love it. The tightly stacked triangular leaves which aim for the sky, even with a bend in the middle of the stem, are fascinating. It grows in stony, poor soil in full sun. Reminds me of Pringles in a tin.
Another ode to Spring euphorbia- most of which have plonked themselves by themselves, waiting to see if I will approve. Sometimes I do.
The lockdown has exacerbated my need for routines in the morning. It goes like this- first set up tea, second, take dog outside for 10 minutes (usually without my documents as we go just outside the gate, but, technically, I am in breach of regulations), back inside make first cup of tea. Yorkshire, of course. Then, with the mug, out to water and check on small plants in and around the barn. Then back inside to make second cup, which is required for the full tour of whatever’s going on in the garden- and sometimes, watering of pots. Two hours can pass like this, especially when full pot watering starts up. It is the best two hours of the day and keeps me from killing anyone!
This plant is such a joy. Ten months of the year it does a very good impression of being a Carex type grass, and for 2 months, it goes full-on Japanese elegance with twisting pure white flowers. I grew it ages ago from seed, and have been calling it grandiflora, but I bought the seeds from the wonderful Special Plants, and just today, having a wee look, I notice that Derry Watkins calls it ‘Procera’. I think I stand corrected.
I am very fond of a smoke bush. But being a sucker for a new variety, I bought Cotinus coggygria ‘Old Fashioned’ about three years ago. I am still waiting to be dazzled…but it is slowly but surely making progress, and I think this year I may at least be pleased if not yet dazzled. And I do love the early growth caught in morning dew.
I think I should start a ‘Tiny Wine’ fan club. This is so gorgeous all year round really. Not so tiny as the name suggests, mine is easily heading for 2m tall and 1.5 wide- but who wouldn’t want this in their garden??? Me, me, me…
Who would have thought that ‘Golfball’ produces flowers? I had no idea. They are remarkably Daphne-like, and for a moment, I thought that the Daphne next door had hit the hair dye. Only a few flowers, very small, well hidden, and scented. Goodness me.
From the fast-vanishing quince flower to the relentless beautiful bully that is Wisteria. It was here when we arrived, so it’s a no-name, and it does its very best to pull down the pergola under which we eat in the summer. The strength of it can be seen in the twisted trunks. But, now, with a million bees in it creating a serious noise, it is forgiven everything.