More spring moments

We had a few glorious days of sunshine and blue skies earlier in the week but back to rather grey weather again now. Am trying not to feel to frustrated with the weather gods.

Haphazard planting of tulips this year. I was surprised to see Tulipa ‘Request’ coming up in the big pot a second year in a row. I think I forgot they were in there and planted Tulipa ‘Sunny Prince’ and ‘Purple Prince’ on top – you can see these just coming up. Clash imminent!

The daffs are ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ and they were indeed early and have been going strong for a few weeks now.

I always grow a few Muscari armeniacum in pots. They don’t do well in the ground for me, my clay is too heavy for them I suspect, as they like to grow on rocky hillsides as per their Armenian origins.

My Viburnum carlesii has burst from pink bud into white flower now (making a harmonious combo with the Clematis armandii on the wall). It normally smells astonishing but the cold has taken the edge of it.

I love euphorbia at this time of year. They really capture that zingy spring feeling with their lime-green flower spikes. This one is Euphoria characias ‘Black Pearl’.

I have been doing a lot of propagation this month, not just seed sowing but also divisions, root cuttings and my first attempt at rose stem cuttings (a rescue mission: our neighbours cut down two roses and a wisteria climbing up the front house wall, much to my dismay). I also got nine new baby heucheras from one tired plant in a pot! I have a propagation workshop coming up on 29 April and I want to have a few examples ready.

Finally, over at the allotment I harvested more wild garlic, and also ground elder, Aegopodium podagraria! This is not a popular plant with gardeners, but guess what, it’s edible and the fresh spring leaves are something of a delicacy. It’s in the carrot family, and tastes like spiced up celery. We had it last night with Mexican-style burritos and it added a potent herbal punch.

That’s all for today. If the weather isn’t too awful I might get the shredder out and make some mulch for the borders.

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16 thoughts on “More spring moments

  1. Thank you for a most informative post, as well as some lovely flowers to admire. I’ve had no luck with Muscari (heavy clay here), or so I thought. I have two self seeded plants I noticed, both in areas of crushed limestone hard core, and now I know why.
    I had read that the Romans introduced ground elder to the UK as a food ‘crop’ which could be foraged, but I’ve not come across anyone who has tried eating it. With the current vogue for foraged foods it may take off I hope. I’ve certainly got plenty here.

    1. I think I will need to get hold of some crushed limestone hardcore in that case! I heard about someone who designed gardens based on hardcore and rubble, right plant right place I suppose. Yes I heard that too re the Romans, and also that clumps often grow near ruined monasteries as the monks used it medicinally.

  2. Oh my! How interesting about ground elder. We had it in abundance when we moved to this house and I was vigilant to dig it up for a couple of years.

  3. Muscari armeniacum: here is a variety that I don’t have and which should be added to the garden. But as Hortus says, the heavy clay soil does not suit them. I should put them near the others that are in the gravel of my driveway

    1. Good plan – if my gravel front path was wider – actually now that I think about it there is a section we use as a mini terrace, might try them there.

  4. I didn’t think I was a fan of euphorbia but that seeing the flowers up close is that photo has changed my mind. Lovely. I didn’t know about the Ground Elder. I’ve yet to try eating the hairy bitter cress – and I have loads!

  5. I get the thing about trying to find a silver lining with a weed like ground elder but nothing on this earth would induce me to plant it deliberately, no matter how good it tasted.

    1. Haha well am not really suggesting planting it, more taking advantage of it where it does grow. Although garden designers do use the variegated form – which is less vigorous!

  6. I actually prefer growing the smaller bulbs in pots so that I can have them on a table or bench at a level that I can see them. My weed of the moment is Hairy Bittercress which is also edible so I believe, in fact it might have been you who had some in a salad last year. I found it just too bitter.

    1. I personally didn’t find it particularly bitter – although it’s in the common name – but I think like dandelion you need to use the freshest young growth, it probably does get more bitter as it matures. The other thing with more bitter or sharp flavours is to combine them with something creamy or salty – here they eat a lot of chicory which isn’t great on its own, but nice with melted cheese or salty things.

  7. That viburnum is lovely <3 It will be something to enjoy when the weather warms for you, cross fingers! I have also been doing lots of propagation too.

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