The sap is rising and the plants in my garden have sprung into action in no uncertain terms!
A couple of weeks ago I pruned my Rose bushes, and they are responding vigorously:
It's the same with the Dogwoods:
I haven't pruned the Cotinus, which is still recovering from a near-death experience in the Autumn of 2015, but it's not hanging back - it's covered with little black buds splitting open to reveal new red leaves like these:
Even my Rhubarb is beginning to show a certain amount of promise. It always starts off with small leaves, but normally goes on to produce some huge ones later on.
The site where my Rhubarb grows is far from ideal, being partially shaded and very close to a massive Leylandii tree in my neighbour's garden. That tree sucks up all the available moisture and has rendered the nearby soil very dry, which is not good for Rhubarb, so a couple of years ago I moved it into a big deep container filled with rich home-made compost, in which it has rebuilt its strength very nicely.
Elsewhere in the garden I have another issue - something is eating the flowers on my Fritillaries:
I have looked carefully to see if I could find the culprits, but in vain. I have in the past seen Lily Beetles attack the seed-pods of Fritillaries that have finished flowering, but I've never seen whole petals eaten like this.
In the raised beds there's more welcome news. The Radishes I sowed alongside my Broad Beans, only a few days ago, have germinated:
In case you're wondering, the grey thing at the right of that photo is the frame of the protecting cloche.
Since I'm writing today mostly about shoots, I think the PSB qualifies too, doesn't it?
As some readers will know, I have two "Early Purple Sprouting" plants, one grown from Mr.Fothergill's seeds, and one from Marshalls. The contrast between these two plants is very marked. This one is the Mr.Fothergill's one:
And this is the Marshalls one:
I'm going to finish my post today with a photo of something that is finishing, instead of starting: a Hellebore.
My Hellebores have done better this year than previously. As the plants mature they produce more and better flowers. I think the fact that we have not had much heavy rain during their flowering period has helped, because the blooms have not had so much of a battering.