Today’s meander round the garden was more a quick dash in between the snow and sleet showers. As I’ve probably mentioned before, I’m a fair weather gardener, so luckily I managed to get a couple of hours in over the weekend.
Two little perennials are braving the weather to flower, a pretty clump of cowslips has been flowering all week up near the back gate, and a tiny blue anemone next to the pond has appeared, you do have to be looking closely to see that one though!
I’ve started pruning the roses, I’ve got quite a few, a hedge of Rosa Rugosa, a couple of climbing roses and several English Rose bushes from David Austins. Pruning roses always sounds so complicated, when to do it, how to do it, I’ve never felt particularly confident at how I tackle it, I took much reassurance from research done at Harlow Carr (the local RHS garden) when the roses pruned with a chain saw did just as well as those pruned more traditionally! As a rule of thumb, I usually start pruning as soon as the shoots start to appear, I cut out any dead wood then prune the branches by about 2/3rds. I try and prune above an outwood facing shoot where possible.
I moved three roses yesterday, they haven’t been in very long (a couple of years) so I decided to risk moving them. I’d bought them to train up the obelisk I made last year, they are English Roses that David Austin reckons are suitable for training over an arch or obelisk. I didn’t have any success as I found the branches too stiff to bend round the structure, so I’ve moved them and grouped them together to make one big rose bush. I now have to remember which beds had roses in so I don’t plant a rambler in the same spot. Somehow roses leave something in the soil when you dig them up which will kill any future rose planted in that area. My plan now with the obelisk is to have one rambler rose and several clematis.
Shoots from various bulbs are appearing all over the garden and the perennials are starting to make new growth, it’s all quite small still though so I’m still appreciating the evergreen shrubs, the stalwarts of the winter garden, giving a bit of colour. I’ve got quite a good selection of evergreens now, choisya, osmanthus, eunonymous, box…
We’ve had quite a few visitors to the bird table this week, a handsome bullfinch and his missus, I think they’re beautiful birds with their salmon pink fronts and black caps. We’ve also had a pair of greenfinches, great tits, robins and blackbirds.
There’s lots to do in the garden at the moment so I could do with the weather improving a bit, or I’ve got to toughen up!!