Brighten up your day with Sue Grant’s weekly updates of what’s happening early doors in her garden this spring.
“And then came The Wind! After a week of extreme temperatures, sunshine, mists and drizzle, the heavens took in a mighty breath and then blew out over our gardens. In the blasts that followed over the weekend tender young twiglets were torn from the oaks and copper beech, and petals tumbled to the ground laying carpets of crimson, orange, cream and pink beneath the stripped rhododendron branches.
“I feared for my peonies and poppies: this spring they seem to have grown extra tall, with fat buds still balancing atop spindly stems. On Saturday I carried out emergency safety precautions with stakes and twine. Early on Sunday morning I braved the tempestuous squalls to inspect them. All was well. Above me the roaring rush of the wind coming across the fields culminated in the crazy swooshing, writhing and dancing of branches in the maples, lilacs and silver birch trees. Dramatic! Ordinary photos could not catch the drama: a video with sound was needed. Two hours later the wind had subsided.
“Earlier in the week we had Wednesday. Yes, we always do, but this one was different. Probably the warmest day this year. BBQ weather – if only we could all get together. In the peace of the early hours I watched the house martins, no longer squabbling but concentrating on nest building. I saw the wren popping in and out of the little gold cypress bush feeding its young, and I heard and glimpsed the great spotted woodpecker on my bird feeders.
“On the patio I just sat to enjoy the beautiful sight of the Clematis Josephine, flowering so early this year. Lush lilac blue double rosettes cradling fat creamy pompoms. This is only the second year for the clematis in its large pot and it has far exceeded my expectations.
“Then I walked to the other side of the house and gazed in despair at an enormous pile of woodchips. I should be grateful: the electricity board employee, while inspecting our overhanging branches, asked if we could do with woodchips from work being carried out not far away. A great free gift! I anticipated perhaps five barrow loads. Not 50!
“The pile took up our usual parking space. I covered it with polythene when drizzle was forecast. Two days later, the cover removed, it seemed ready to self-combust. The heat was intense. I had to be reassured that only steam, not smoke, was emerging. As a result a valuable block of gardening time, each day is spent loading bucketfuls of chippings into the wheelbarrow then puffing and panting my way up to the drier storage space under the fir trees. Perhaps I’ll appreciate them in two years’ time!”
See all articles from Sue Grant’s column about what’s happening early doors in her garden.