Week 8 – Signs of Spring

This week in many places the weather has become much more spring-like, and I certainly welcome the signs of new life in the garden. This week is a celebration of buds and new growth! The picture is of Aquilegia – or Granny’s Bonnet – often turning up unannounced, and proceeding to self-seed everywhere. They’re not shy about combining their attributes either, so you never quite know what you’re going to get!

The lovely Hebe is a slightly more recent import from New Zealand. The array of available cultivars is dizzying, but they all have the same leaf structure – so are easy to identify. The setting of leaves either side of the stem in twos, each row at right angles to the next is called ‘opposite decussate pairs’. Hebe leaves and growth range from tiny to large, and the flowers are in an increasing range of colours, so there will be one to suit your garden.

The most recognisable sign of spring is the much-loved daffodil. These are only just pushing up above the soil, but in a week or so, this border will be a riot of yellows and creams. Daffodils will spread and come up every year if they’re happy where they are, so it’s worth making an investment, and thinking ahead to plant in the autumn – your early spring reward will be worth it!

Is it just me, or do these tulip shoots look like breaching whales, or sandworms (for the SF-crowd). Whatever they look like now, in a few weeks, they will have fully flowered, and their beautiful colours will significantly brighten up the garden. Tulips don’t always last for very long, and need replacing regularly, but there are so many to choose from, you can spend some time working through the range!

If you have one foxglove in your garden, in two years you’ll have dozens! Two years, because the humble foxglove is bi-annual, meaning that it germinates and grows a rosette of leaves one year, and flowers and sets seed the next. You have to be patient, but it’s worth the wait!

If you’d like some advice on Foxgloves, or any garden flowers, just drop me a line via email or the contact page.