Banish the Blues

A sprinkling of snowflakes this morning but not enough to down tools.

Looking out of the window this morning, to large expanses of clear blue sky, that have now replaced the lovely view of the Moon, Venus and Jupiter I woke up to. I am feeling strangely optimistic for someone who is about to spend the day in the cold pruning fruit trees. Yet there it is, a banishing of the January blues with the knowledge that the tax return is done and paid, the car passed its MOT, the insurance has been haggled over and the snowdrops are flowering .

Lady Beatrix displayed at Calke Abbey 2018

I love it when the snowdrops come out. They are so delicate, yet so amazingly resilient to all that the weather throws at them.

For me, Galanthus bring more than just the joy you feel when coming across a swathe of them in a lawn or a woodland. They allow my mind to skip ahead, as soon as I see a single snowdrop flowering, I think, crocuses next, swiftly followed by Daffodils, with my favourites the tulips hot on their heels and now we are in May with Alliums and it all seems so imminent, so possible that I can almost hear the Morris dancers bells jingling on Mayday.

Helleborus Orientalis in the frost

Looking back out of the window to Helleborus orientalis bent double with the frost I realise that it is not quite May yet! February is a busy month for me without the gardening, as 5 friends have birthdays, so it would be a shame to skip ahead quite so quickly. Plenty to look forward to in the garden too as my Hamamelis ‘Diane’ in just about coming into flower.

I love the label ‘Sunshine Raspberries’ in this picture taken by Madison Inouye via Pexels

In the news, the Golden Raspberries nominations have been announced. With Gotti, The Happytime Murders, Robin Hood, Winchester and Holmes and Watson all up for Worst Picture. The timing of these nominations and award ceremony provide us with the perfect timing window for pruning your Autumn Raspberries.  Cut the canes down to the ground before the awards ceremony on 23rd February and you should be set for some gold (and red) of your own when September rolls around.

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Pots, pots, pots… I am sure, many of you are not as lackadaisical (which until I just looked up how to spell, I had always thought was pronounced lapsadaisical. The things you learn!) as me but just in case you are, don’t forget to cast an eye over all the pots you have planted up for spring colour. I am constantly looking over my summer pots, as I water and feed them religiously but once I have planted up my bulb lasagne and winter foliage containers I don’t very often remember to check on them, (not my clients pots, just mine! In case anyone I work for is reading this!). Whilst they may not need as much attention as summer pots we can still have spells with very little rain and they can get swamped with leaf debris and pansies, cyclamen and violas may need deadheading. Make sure you check they are progressing well and are on the way to reward your hard work.

Well, I’ll leave you there for this week, start putting your thinking caps on, Successful borders, vegetable gardens and pots require thought and planning. Now is the time to consider what you want to experiment with this summer because it will be here before you know it.

Happy days in the garden x