Monday, February 14, 2011

Sometimes, spring takes you by surprise


A sunny day today. (I'll just repeat that: it was A SUNNY DAY TODAY.) Still can't quite believe it. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to wake up and see the sun shining.
I've been fairly relaxed about the garden until now. It is still the middle of February, after all, and officially it's still winter. Apart from the odd bit of pruning, there's not much to do. (I'm averting my eyes from the pots of frosted mush that used to be my echeverias and eucomis.)
While I was sitting inside feeling complacent, however, Nature has been at work.

You expect to see daffodils poking their noses up through the earth at this time of year...


But I was quite surprised to see that Carex siderosticha 'Banana Boat' was getting into the swing of spring. I don't know why: like most sedges, it's as tough as old boots, despite its exotic appearance.

No surprise to see buds on Prunus incisa 'Kojo-no-mai' - it's usually in flower by the middle of March.

But I was quite surprised to see brilliant new leaves on Fuchsia magellanica var molinae 'Sharpitor Aurea'. Again, it looks so fragile - yet in my experience, it's usuallly the first hardy fuchsia to bounce back after the winter. I have 'Hawkshead' in the front garden, and that still looks as if it will never flower again. (It will, though.)

The new leaves of Sorbaria sorbifolia 'Sem' look as if they have turned pink after too much sunbathing. They darken down to green as they mature.

This euphorbia was a seedling that I found somewhere else in the garden. I thought when I planted it that it was Euphorbia mellifera, but I'm rather glad it's not, because E. mellifera is not quite as hardy and gets absolutely huge. This is Euphorbia characias subsp wulfenii, which looks spectacular in early spring. It's like a promise of things to come. I do hope that includes some more sunshine.

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