Changes in the garden have begun as Winter moves into Spring and we head towards all plants in full leaf by May. The transition is slow but steady and I especially like the dry, rusty leaves on the beech hedges in contrast to the fresh, green leaves of the box balls and parterres.
There are signs of Spring all over with new flower-heads emerging on the Hydrangea petiolaris. It’s such a good plant: it self-supports against walls or fences with suckers on the base of the leaves and although deciduous it is bare for as little as three months. It’s now smothered in shiny, fresh green leaves and the flowers will soon open to white.
The emerging buds on Clematis armandii are really beautiful and almost my favourite stage…
But the perfume comes when the flowers are fully open which they are today.
The lilac had about three blooms last year but today it’s smothered in masses of emerging flowers. One stem is seen here against the beech hedge and there are at least fifty or so to open in May. I’ll really want to pick the blooms but my darling late mother always warned against it. Does anyone know the source of that superstition and should I dare to defy it?
The shrub that keeps on giving, Chaenomeles japonica, has been in flower on and off since before Christmas. I am not sure it even dropped its leaves this winter…