The dark days are over, spring has sprung (just about!) and we're now longing for some much needed, warmer weather! In fact, many of you will rejoice, as one of the seemingly longest winters that we can remember has ended.
Never has a blackbird's spring song from the roof of the potting shed been more welcome than this year. On the odd warm day, the birds are taking the opportunity to serenade us as we continue to re-fill the Growing Nursery for the new season; a season that seems a little reluctant to get into second gear! Actually, we have been very fortunate when you look at the snow regions, but still, herbaceous perennials are taking their time to emerge. The late snow has claimed some plant casualties too, but thankfully, not as many as we feared!
Above Left: Erythronium, 'White beauty' Above Right: Fritillaria, 'Crown Imperial'
Everywhere we look, we can see the beginnings of new growth. The Fritilleries are particularly fine this year, both the Lutes (yellow) and the Crown Imperials with their deep orange flowers. Natives of Turkey, they are happy in sun or part shade and their strong musky scent has added advantage of deterring moles, mice and other rodents.
Equally beautiful, but in a less obvious way are the Erythroniums or Dog Tooth Violets. Shade lovers flowering in April, the variety 'White Beauty', has swept black petals and a reddish centre. These are held over attractive mottled foliage which will remain for a while after the flowers have faded.
Weather permitting, we are also hoping to begin planting up our new show beds and borders, which will be located in the grassed area at the end of the Growing Nursery. These will allow us to show the full potential of our larger herbaceous specimens, such as Inula or Veronicastrum or some of the larger grasses which don't do themselves justice in small pots. You can see how these and other perennials might look in your garden, and maybe get some planting ideas too.
It has been really lovely to welcome our customers back after the winter break and to see that more people than ever are visiting us. We are extremely excited about this year's season and the new varieties that we are growing. Keep calling in, as the scene is changing on a weekly basis.