Garden Report, March 2015

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They're saying that this was the warmest and driest February on record; corroborative evidence of this seemingly sweeping statement is to be found throughout the Garden.

Buds on magnolias sprung to life within the first couple of weeks of February, opened fully and by the end of the month were carpeting the surrounding area. Daffodils and narcissus have bloomed continuously all month long. Almost all of the primula are in bloom and the candelabra foliage has emerged and is growing rapidly which makes me wonder just how soon we can expect them to bloom this year. Azaleas still keep coming on strong all over the Garden (at least, where the deer have left them alone), much to the amazement of our early influx of visitors. Rhododendrons Dame Nellie Melba and President Roosevelt were in full bloom on the last day of February, a full two months ahead of schedule.

The gunnera in the East Garden looks amazingly vigorous and healthy although I wouldn't hazard a guess as to whether the older specimen on Oar Street will make it through this year. Most of it appears dead but there is one pretty decent looking crown that's producing new growth; if it can remain disease free this year then perhaps the plant will eventually recover.

The volunteers have been scrambling to keep up with the constant annual weed seed germination in addition to the usual battles against ranunculus ficaria and repens, spreading grasses and weedy groundcovers. But things look very good overall, and I am (very) slowly working our back stock of plants from the potting area out into beds as I get them cleared of weeds and worked up. Of course, this isn't made any easier by the very generous donations of volunteers and others which are completely irresistible as far as I'm concerned! And now we have 4 more gorgeous hellebores to get in thanks to Petalheads and my lack of self control when it comes to these particular plants.

Speaking of new plantings, if you have not seen the newly donated trillium kurabayashi, it is planted next to mossy stump this side of the bridge behind the NE corner of the house. What a wonderful donation.

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