There’s a lovely line by Dan Pearson in today’s Observer.
“I make a mental note of plants to greet the bees. Like them I want to feel that the spell of winter is broken, to know that growth is on our side.”
Having woken to another covering of snow this morning the spell of winter could certainly do with being shattered. Dan’s piece is illustrated by photographs of hamamelis, primrose and celandine, all of them that single tone of yellow that has to serve as substitute sunlight in the garden. It’s a shade of yellow that might seem vulgar at other times of the year; there are subtler tones of yellow and indeed the white narcissi, Thalia being a particular favourite, but the classic daffodil yellow hits the mark like no other.
Before the onset of bluebell blue there is an interim period of woodland white to seek out, with both wood anemone and wood sorrel filling that gap and the richest purple of wild violets to scrabble around under hedges in the course of seeking out.
Have managed to sneak in a few horticultural diversions to a weekend trip to see one dept of the in-laws. First off will be Rousham. Last time I visited Rousham it was winter (Christmas Day in fact) – Rousham is all about the bones of a garden so to some extent it remains the same year round, but it is all about light as well, so high mid summer light plays the garden very differently. Rousham has recently been acknowledged as one of the great UK gardens; it was in Monty Don’s Gardens of the World and Dan Pearson writes beautifully of it in his book Spirit.
Second horticultural event is Marchant Hardy Plants near Lewes. I’ve read enough copies of Gardens Illustrated in my life for this nursery to have entered my lexicon of great plant places. Let’s hope it lives up to it.
I’m in the midst of planning my own garden. One border in and planted. Raised beds in and ready for veg/fruit planting. Just the rest of it remaining.
Am not planning to base my planting design on council border planting but there is something lovely about that old school civic planting when it is done with conviction.