New Year Fresh Start!
We finally pulled out the last stretch of monstrous dead leylandii hedge around the Winter Garden- what a transformation! Sun streams in now lighting up the Cornus stems, bounces of the evergreens and views open out to the cattle field behind. We have shuffled around the planting and put in some lovely backbone shrubs- Cotoneaster franchetii, Viburnums, Pyracantha, Mahonias, Osmanthus and holly- now all I need is for the thousands of tiny winter bulbs I planted to flower in carpets for our NGS winter Open Garden day-23rd March.
Scillas, Crocus, Iris reticulata, Iris danfordii, Iris histrioides Kathryn Hodgekin and George- a rich vibrant violet, great planted amongst yellow Cornus and with contrasting snowdrops....that’s the plan anyway- last year the voles munched their way through a convenient ready meal of these tiny bulbs. The long awaited carpet of Iris Kathryn Hodgekin finally appeared – a sad single flower! This year I’m vigilant- vole watching- there are even more of them now- perfect little holes amongst the plants that the dogs put their noses into and channel along. They totter about drunkenly in front of me in broad daylight – not even trying to run away, probably too full of bulbs. I thought I would be cunning and plant up a contingency supply in the polytunnel ready to plant out the night before- only to find a mouse has just eaten all the bulbs there too! How does anyone manage to produce those effortless carpets of winter flowers that just appear in casual drifts?
Maybe we just need more owls.