Saturday, 30 March 2013

The Language of Flowerrs

I discovered a forgotten poetry book entitled 'A Present to the One I love' in a bedroom drawer. The poems are all anonymous and, despite being somewhat mawkish, I found the one below which seemed relevant to a garden blog.

Flowers Have Tongues

What flowers shall I select, love,
  To declare my heart to thee?
First, I will name the Moss Rose,
  An emblem of love in me.

Geranium Pink I prefer you
  To all the world so wide;
Mezereon, I wish to please you,
  The Violet, my love will abide.

Peach-Blossom, I am your captive:
  The Pink tells my love is pure;
Heart’s-Ease, you occupy my thoughts;
  Vervain, your conquest is sure.

Witch-Hazel, by love I’m spell-bound,
  Red Tulip, I declare it;
Valerian, do you accept my love,
  And live with me to share it.

The Honeysuckle and Heliotrope
  Avow my true affection;-
O point me to the Christmas Rose,
  To calm my sad reflection.

The Moving Plant I hope will touch
  Your breast with agitation,
And the green Palm a vict’ry speak,
  The Myrtle, love’s creation.

The Thornless Rose, I live for thee,
  The White Pink, thou art ever fair,
The Hawthorne tells me still to hope;
  Trefoil, we shall a Union share.

Friendship, like Ivy, will be the knot,
  Canterbury-Bell, shall constant be;
Then be it so, says Forget-Me-Not,
  Amen! Says the Everlasting Pea.

Still not gardening weather although the sun has shone today.
We did visit the wonderful Egglestone Hall Gardens yesterday and enjoyed the delicious coffee and scones in the newly-decorated tea room but the plants in the nursery gardens were hidden under a covering of snow so I wasn't tempted!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Put a spring in your step

Do not despair!

Winter aconites in Auckland Castle grounds

Spring must be just around the corner for, despite the night frosts and the cold, bleak days, the birds are stealing the linings from hanging baskets and  scrambling amongst the planted tubs, yanking out winter pansies, in their desperate need to prepare for nest building whilst creating such an upset in their wake.

Hellebores emerging
Daffodil and tulip bulbs are popping up all over the borders and we have been anxiously awaiting Norman's annual visit to prune back the overgrown leylandii and the crown of the old holly bush etc before the birds have had time to built their nests.

Almost despairing - today, despite the cold and rain, All Seasons Arboralists did arrive with their wood-munching machine. Within a few hours they had transformed the overgrown tangle of trees and shrubs at the bottom of the garden into a smart peripheral hedge.  The rampant white rambling rose, Kiftsgate, has been tamed, allowing the ancient apple tree some respite from the rose's tortuous thorns.

I can't wait now for some dry weather to allow me the opportunity to tidy up the rest of the garden, spring-clean the summer house and begin to plant both flower and vegetable seeds in the cold greenhouse.
Gro-bags and compost have been ordered from Pollards Allotments so I'm all set to begin gardening in earnest in 2013.

More hellebores - much more advanced, growingin the shelter of iris foetissimus

The greenhouse was cleaned and disinfected some weeks ago. Unfortunately, in my enthusiasm to capture the emerging spring bulbs on camera, I'd popped said camera into the pocket of my fleece whilst sorting out the cleaning of the greenhouse and, while washing seed trays in Jeyes Fluid, I leaned over and my wonderful digital camera disappeared into the soapy depths! Hence the paucity of garden images in the last couple of weeks.

Shy hellebore flower in close-up

I promise to do better in the future and spring into action very soon.

Friday, 1 March 2013

White Rabbits

From being small,on the evening of the last day of February, just before going off to bed, my aunt used to  remind me that the following morning,1st March,  I was to walk downstairs backwards repeating 'white rabbits'. I never asked why and now I'll never know. It was only as I altered the kitchen calendar this morning that I realised that once again I'd forgotten to do it.

February has been a difficult month -

One day - a sunny yet frosty morning

The next - the garden smothered in snow

Even so, while we were huddled together trying to keep warm indoors, miracles were taking place underground.

The winter pansies shook off the snow and greeted Kathrine Hodgkin, a delightful form of iris reticulata.

If gardening doesn't teach us anything else it should teach us faith in a future - as a sign of hope the elegant snowdrop is hard to beat.