The short answer is yes. We’re having a very mild start to the year, as described this week in The Guardian. But what’s the ‘normal’ starting time for Spring? The Met Office describe two different dates marking the beginning of Spring. ‘Meteorological Spring’ and ‘Astronomical Spring’ are based on different calendars and start on March … More Is Spring early this year?
The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size — Gertrude S. Wister I’ve been trying to avoid saying it – it seemed too soon – I haven’t written much on winter yet. But, on a mild sunny day, with a wide, blue sky, … More Spring
The Cambridge dictionary describes an acid test as ‘the true test of the value of something’. Well, that may be particularly true when it comes to assessing the pH levels in a garden. This simple test is one of the easiest things you can do to tailor your choice of planting to the conditions in … More Acid test
One of the things I love to do most in the garden is grow new plants. Whether it’s from seeds or cuttings, there’s something wonderful about going from a tray of soil to a collection of fully grown plants. I sew a lot in my raised beds, but I’ve been short of somewhere warm so … More Time to propagate
There are few things more predictable in the world of gardening than the ‘unexpected’ cold spell. Shoots are appearing everywhere, the green growth of young bulbs is thrusting upwards, life is returning and, although it may seem rather early, the warm days continue until you finally accept it – spring must be coming. You let … More A cold spell
In winter the garden is far from the heady days of burgeoning cut flowers and luscious crops, but there are still pleasures to be had. One of my favourite cut flowers is at its best in winter; the Hellebore brings an early flash of colour, each flowerhead like a jewel amongst the brown leaves and … More Little surprises
Already! Underneath last year’s growth, yesterday, I found the unexpected – shoots! Thick and waxy and with the deep enticing hue of a Malbec, the first tentative hint of my beloved peonies has already appeared. This takes us to the question of ‘cutting back’. Removing dead wood and old growth from borders is a task … More Shoots