Spring is my current favourite season and in some ways might always be my favourite (in Summer I shall say this of Summer, shhh). I think I even know why Spring is my favourite, its because I eagerly wait for its return. I do not even realise at first that this is happening, but when it finally turns up its like ‘there you are! Where have you been? I’ve been waiting sooooo long for you!’ It’s the equivalent of standing by one of the lions in Nottingham’s Market Square waiting for someone and trying to look like you are not (this is actually impossible to achieve). Enough of lions, move on.
Though of course I could stick lions briefly to consider whether ‘if March comes in like a lion it goes out like a lamb’? Now that makes me have to think back to what it was doing at the beginning of the month, which I think was not very much its been pretty mild these last couple of weeks, so what happens if it comes in like a lamb I wonder? It is getting colder again at the moment so it might be going out like a chilly lion?
We have just had the Vernal Equinox which means the year has moved onto a new phase and it is now officially Spring in my world. It’s a good time to have a quick look at the Spring Border, to see if it looks Springy and it does. I would like to tell you that I planned the Spring Border completely, siting it specifically by the Bramley tree as it creates nice shady conditions for much of the year but in Spring before the leaves arrives it has good clear light. This is sadly not completely case but there are elements of truth in it. The Spring Border came into being as when I first moved into the house I had three buckets of hellebores looking for a home. There was very little border anywhere at that point but I thought that the hellebores would like the part-shade by the side/to the rearish of the Bramley and the soil was good and fairly moist despite being so close to the tree. The hellebores loved this border, flowered well and started to self seed merrily. The next Spring I bought some Erythronium ‘Pagoda’, I dotted some around the garden but where they grew the happiest was in the same spot close to the Bramley. The other side of the tree I planted some Fritillaria imperialis and these grew equally well and made a nice link from the Conservatory Border to what was then called the other side of the Bramley border. By the time the next Spring was coming I was already thinking I had a Spring Border on my hands and I wanted to add to it, so in went some pulmonarias. Apparently not everyone likes these plants and I can understand why, the pink/blue habit of the flowers is a little odd and the leaves are a little spotty (which as it is called lungwort I tend to think of the spots as phlegm, moving on…) yet bees love them and they do pop up rather wonderfully and flower away despite what the weather is throwing at them, so I am rather fond of them.
Last year the Spring Border got a bit of a boost. It got planted up with some Primulas from the Thompson and Morgan trial I have been taking part in and they added some great bright colour. There is also a small Acer ‘Orange Dream’, also from Thompson and Morgan and that is doing well too. There is also a camellia in the corner of the border that sulked for a couple of years but now is starting to flower quite well.
Whilst feeling flushed with success I expanded the border considerably last Autumn as part of a general major border/lawn re-negotiation of territory (a negotiation the lawn always loses out too, never mind).
So at the moment it is looking rather bare for about half of the border’s now size, but that will be remedied, oh yes.
(This last photograph was taken several weeks ago on a frosty morning)