Friday, 30 January 2015

Small signs of growth

I know it's far too early to expect Spring to be here, but I like to record (for my own reference purposes if for nothing else) when I see the first signs of new growth appearing in the garden. It gives me some encouragement as well, reminding me that Winter will eventually end - and the sooner the better, maybe!

Last weekend I saw these. They are leaves of Daffodil "Tete a Tete", pushing up through a carpet of Maple leaves.

Those bulbs are ones that have previously been grown in pots. Rather than storing them over the Summer (or even worse, throwing them away), I planted them in clumps of about 5 or 6 all along the side of the garden where the big Dogwoods grow. The foxes / badgers have dug up a few I notice, but enough will survive to bring a little colour to the border before the shrubs are in leaf.

This one is Tulip, in similar conditions. The stick is a marker to stop me digging it up and to protect it from animals.

Nearby, around the edge of my micro-pond are some Hardy Geraniums. Their new shoots are bright red, so easily spotted as they emerge:

This is also at the edge of the pond - Red-veined Sorrel.

Sorrel is one of those plants that once you introduce it to your garden it is there for ever, since it self-seeds very profusely. I don't mind having a bit of it around, but I'll certainly dig some plants up if they try to take over!

Nearby I can see the buds of Lily of the Valley beginning to swell:

Lily of the Valley spreads rapidly too, given the right conditions, so I have no hesitation about ripping it out if it tries to grow in a place where it's not welcome.

Around the trunks of the 3 trees in my back garden I have planted lots of Crocuses (again, ones that have previously been grown in pots), and these are just beginning to peep through. One of them seems to have produced its flower even before surfacing from underneath the weed-suppressing membrane:

Round the side of the house, by the back door, the Aquilegias are beginning to appear. The new leaves are bright purple when they emerge, gradually lightening as they get bigger. The straw-like stalks from last year's leaves will soon be in demand as nesting-material for the birds, so I try not to be too rigorous in removing them.

At the weekend I pruned my solitary Pear tree (it's grown as a minarette, so it didn't take me very long!). I noticed that the buds are beginning to fatten:

Last year this tree produced no fruit at all (it has developed a biennial habit), so hopefully this means that this year I will get a few fruit.

With the Blueberries, something would have to go disastrously wrong for me to get no fruit, since I have six plants, all of different varieties!

Finally, since we are talking about buds opening, let's take a look at the Hellebores again:

Yes, that's right, buds but STILL no open flowers. Soon, maybe, soon...


  1. Everything's slowly waking up again, it keeps me going through winter when I know that spring is on the way. I do the same thing with my container bulbs, there's lots of previous year's bulbs popping up in my borders now.

  2. I wish that I could get lily of the valley to grow well and flower. My mum always used to pick me a posy of lily of the valley for my birthday in May

  3. I so look forward to those first signs of spring as the garden comes back to life - unfortunately for us, we probably won't be seeing them for another 2 it's a chilly -13C.

  4. Lots of things getting ready to arrive! Can't believe the snowdrops are out already and the daffodils are getting pretty tall now too!

  5. Great minds etc.....I've just done a similar post about my back garden.The leaves seem to be as advanced here in the north west as further south,the Tete a Tete possibly more so but I'd guess that yours will overtake them through to flowering.

  6. I'm looking at all this new life just after reading about the winter storm warning we have that promises up to 20 cm of snow. Enjoy the green!

  7. Nice to see signs of spring coming along. Do you eat any of the sorrel? I have it in my garden too down the shady end but not tried eating it (it's a small garden and ironically the southern end is very shady due to an office block and large tree in the alley behind).

    1. No, I have not tried eating any of that type of Sorrel. It looks a bit tough to me. I treat it purely as an ornamental.


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