Friday, 19 April 2013

"Spring" is here.

An upward move of temperature and the garden has kicked into gear. Tulips which were mere stubs have suddenly shot up by over three times in height in as many days. Herbaceous perennials in the borders have started to show more strongly and the earliest of the prunus are now showing flower, a bit of sunshine and the world takes on a whole different outlook. The only drawback now is lack of rain, from one extreme to another. I treated the grass (don't have lawns) with some "weed and feed" because I was assured that rain was on the way and have now resorted to watering it in. The only blot on this otherwise bright horizon are the continuous high winds we are experiencing which add to the drying effect and contribute to the extensive leaf burn caused by frost this year. I am very glad that these winds are early in the season, before there is any substantial growth, as they would wreak havoc later on.  

 Still not much colour showing in the garden so here are a couple of polyanthus. Interestingly the polyanthus is not a true species and has probably been developed from crosses between Primula veris (cowslip) and Primula vulgaris (primrose) although I don't know if any DNA research has been done on this question. The primrose (Primula vulgaris) is a true species although many of the cultivars are probably from crosses made with Primula juliae, in fact these cultivars are generally covered by Primula x pruhociniana when Primula juliae has been crossed with any member of the Vernales Section. Confused?

Primrose cultivar.
 If it seems I have only blue primrose cultivars in the garden this is unfortunately true as for some inexplicable reason all my yellow primroses have died out since last spring.
 Ranunculus ficaria syn. Ficaria grandiflora (Lesser Celandine)
  When is a weed not a weed? - when it is a Celandine! I don't care how invasive it is, I rip out handfuls every year, and I know it can be a real pest in some areas. This British native rates as a true harbinger of spring, its yellow flowers light up even the gloomiest of days in the early part of the year.

  I went to a talk by Tom Hart Dyke at the weekend "Tales of a Modern Plant Hunter" which, although  sometimes becoming more of a travelogue, was still very entertaining. More after I have read his book.


  1. How lovely to see spring blooms. Winter is still lingering on here in my part of Canada.

    1. Hi Linda.
      I love spring but this year it has gone on forever. We are currently 3 to 4 weeks behind last year.