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Clearing the decks

There's been a real feeling of Spring in the garden this week. The birds are singing cheerfully from 7am and we're now getting good afternoon light, with dusk at 5. Snowdrops continue to pop up everywhere including in the Woodland, where they have to contend with last year's fallen leaves. The garden is on the move!

With the dry and relatively mild weather this week, we've been back outside again, having put the finishing touches to the greenhouse. We've noticed quite a lot of activity in the borders, with snowdrops and aconites now fully through, and Pulmonaria and even Primula denticulata starting to colour up, so we've started to remove the final remnants of last year's herbaceous, as really only the teasels look respectable. This is quite a big job and takes about 10 days to complete, with the clippings heading for the bonfire pile. This is much too woody to compost unless it's shredded, and there's just too much material to make this worthwhile.

The cleared borders now look a little stark, although I rather like seeing this, as the contrast with them in midsummer is dramatic! We do have some shrubs in the borders of course, so it's not a complete barren landscape! And of course it won't be long before they colour up with the purples, dark- reds and whites from the drumstick primulas, accompanied by a flush of lovely new shoots and foliage, in all shades of green.

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