Excuses, Excuses..

 

The bank 056 Wm

 

March

 
 

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February

 

Well there’s been a little bit of progress on the bank.

Although it has to be said the eye has left the ball somewhat this month. I’ve been waylaid by multiple shrub relocations and the completion of the hedge around the lawn. And then for the past few days the weather has been dire. Seeing half an opportunity on Monday I dashed out hoping for an hour or so of weeding only to be showered with hail after the first five minutes.

 
 

The bank 053 Wm

 

Not waving but drowning..

Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’

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Self seeded wild grasses are so thick up here that I’m effectively turf cutting. When it’s very wet the clay soil is almost impossible to separate from the grass, making it difficult to weed without throwing away great wads of earth. In any weather it’s been a slow process, picking my way up the slope with a hand fork, carefully extricating the grass from any surviving plants.

 
 

Muscari 004 Wm

 

Muscari and Primula vulgaris

 

But there have been one or two changes. You can see from the top photos that the Anemanthele lessoniana (Pheasant’s Tail Grass) left of centre has moved. After my frustration last year with one of its contemporaries further down the bank I came to the conclusion that a single plant on its own doesn’t always work so well. Especially when the plant is big (they can grow to about a metre high and as much wide) and the space relatively small. I think I described it then as something akin to ‘The Blob’ having descended from outer space. So this year I have rounded up the isolated examples, complete with assorted offspring, and offered them residence in a capacious abode up on Elephant Pass where hopefully they can spread to their hearts’ content and provide me with a substantial drift.

 
 

Bush Clearance 013 Wm

 

Anemanthele lessoniana. The more the merrier. Seven in all, two out of shot.

The elder statesmen with the benefit of a short back and sides, the youngsters enjoying the wind in their hair courtesy of Storm Katie.

 
 
 
Bush Clearance 014 Wm
 
 

They’ll also help to soften the foundations of a former building.

Our original plan had been to demolish the structure but having rationalised it a bit more, or more to the point the amount of work involved, I wondered if suitably colonised by plants it might actually look quite rustic. Its origins are undoubtedly far less romantic. My first theory that the ‘steps’ left of centre above might have served as an ancient horse mounting platform was called into question by the discovery of modern breeze blocks. But, hey ho, covered as it all is in moss and ivy, who’s to be any the wiser?

 
 

Rhododendron 008 Wm

 

Back on the bank, one of the only two unmolested rhododendrons left in the garden. This one was lifted as a self layer a few years ago, a straggly looking thing. And now, here it is, covered in buds.

 
 

Magnolia sieboldii 003 Wm

 

Magnolia sieboldii

Oh dear. It has suffered from wind rock and probably a couple of years ago too I’m ashamed to say. It had settled comfortably into its lean, sufficient to require the two of us to get it back upright.

There is a tried and proven technique. Mike drills a hole in the nearest of the old conifer stumps and inserts a metal eye. I then apply my full weight (fortunately in Spring there’s always a fair bit of winter excess) to the trunk of the tree and haul it in the required direction whilst the rope is pulled taut and secured with a knot. In an ideal world the tree tie would have been placed a little higher up the trunk but I was fearful of wrenching the multi-stemmed tree apart.

 
 

The bank 055 Wm

 

Here’s one we did earlier.

It gives me confidence that the rope does, eventually, lose some of its eye catching whiteness. I’ve no idea what this tree is. It bears the most gorgeous late Spring blossom, followed in Summer by tiny fruits. They never last the distance, the birds make off with them before I can even be sure what they are. I thought perhaps crab apple, but it may even be a cherry. Hopeless, me, when it comes to trees. This year I’ll take more detailed pictures and perhaps between us we can identify it. Somehow it managed to survive in the middle of a copse of conifers 50′ high. No wonder it’s such a peculiar shape.

 
 

Cornus kousa 'Wieting's Select' 010 Wm

 

No doubting the identity of this one though.. Cornus kousa ‘Wieting’s Select’ is absolutely smothered in buds this year.

It’s going to be a picture.

 
 

Helleborus 'Penny's Pink' 007 Wm

 

And finally, I couldn’t leave the bank without a quick snap of this serendipitous combination..

Helleborus ‘Penny’s Pink’, which seems to have been blooming for months, and Pulmonaria.

 

Onwards and upwards.

 
 
 

Linking to Helen’s End of Month View at The Patient Gardener. Click through to find out what other gardeners have been up to this month, or maybe even join in too?

 
 
 
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2017-02-15T19:30:06+00:00 March 31st, 2016|Tags: |82 Comments

82 Comments

  1. Bumbleabdme March 31, 2016 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    An entertaining read, as always. Thanks for brightening my day. It’s also always nice to know others are also enduring an almost impossible task in the persuit of a lovely garden. Keep up the good work Jessica. X

    • Jessica March 31, 2016 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      There are just not enough hours in the day. Or should that be DRY hours in the day?

  2. Backlane Notebook March 31, 2016 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous combo – the hellebore with the pulmonaria. I like your idea for straightening trees-it’s so satisfying when a simple solution works. Backbreaking task eliminating heavy clay and self-sown grass but would it help if covered with black plastic for six weeks?

    • Jessica March 31, 2016 at 7:42 pm - Reply

      I would do that if there weren’t already perennials mixed in with the grass. Or at least there might be, if any survived. I did clear the bank once before, but it grassed over again. I’m hoping that Helen’s meme will keep me on track this time.. it worked for the lower part of the bank last year!

  3. Linda aka Crafty Gardener March 31, 2016 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    The challenges of gardening on the slope continue, and you have made good progress, despite the weather not co-operating. I love the hellebores.

    • Jessica March 31, 2016 at 7:45 pm - Reply

      Hopefully now I’ve moved most of the shrubs that need it I can concentrate on the bank this coming month. With a bit of luck that will result in more to show at the end of April.. weather permitting!

  4. kate@barnhouse March 31, 2016 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    This erratic weather makes gardening even more fun, doesn’t it? I like the idea of grouping the grasses to soften the structure very much, looks like a great spot for them too. Thank you for the excellent tree straightening tips, I have one or two lurchers I might it on. Beautiful spring combinations, too.

    • Jessica March 31, 2016 at 7:52 pm - Reply

      I thought the fronds of the grass would look lovely cascading down the hill. I hope it works. My only fear is that the pink will be too much in the natural setting. If so I’d be almost tempted to snip the flower spikes out and grow the plants for the foliage alone.

  5. Sue Garrett March 31, 2016 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    I think you have managed to complete lots. I don’t envy you thr weeding of the clay bank.

    • Jessica March 31, 2016 at 7:54 pm - Reply

      It’s a lousy job. Even more soul destroying that I’ve done it once and let it get away from me again. I’m determined that this year all the grass and other weeds will be gone before they re-seed.

  6. Island Threads March 31, 2016 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    oh Jessica, I know from my own experience what removing that grass is like especially when boggy wet, but I’ve never had to do it on a hill like yours, you do though have some nice plants growing there, having the trees and shrubs should help soak up some of the moisture, the little cameos of small plants, muscari/primula and hellebore/pulmonaria are like beautiful jewels, Frances

    • Jessica March 31, 2016 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      As we’ve discussed recently I think the trick will be to get it as fully planted as I can as soon as it is cleared and then really concentrate on keeping it under control until the gaps close up. It’s an uphill task!

  7. FlowerAlley March 31, 2016 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    I see evidence of a lot of hard work in this post. Good job.

    • Jessica March 31, 2016 at 8:03 pm - Reply

      Thanks. Jobs like these can be very frustrating, it feels like you’ve made little progress after hours of work!

  8. Peter Herpst March 31, 2016 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    You’ve been a busy gardener and it shows! The bank looks better every time you post about it. Good for you. That last shot is gorgeous and since I have both of these plants, I may move things around a bit to see if I can recreate this in my own garden.

    • Jessica March 31, 2016 at 8:08 pm - Reply

      That combo suddenly stood out with the sun on it a couple of days ago. Possibly because more of the volunteer pulmonaria blooms were out. It’s very true that nature sometimes provides us with the best ideas.

  9. Christina March 31, 2016 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    Hi Jessica, oh, how I love the last photo of the hellebore and the pulmonaria! It is just perfect how the latter partly picks up the shade of the hellebore and partly contrasts it with this lovely blue tone. We gardeners live for combinations like this one, don’t we πŸ™‚ ?
    I think it was a good idea to move the Pheasant’s Tail Grass, it will look much more at home together with a group of his friends.
    Sorry to hear that weeding is so hard in this part of your garden. But despite the difficulties you have made good progress and I can’t wait to see what you have done with the slope in your report next month.
    Wishing you a little bit more garden friendly weather!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

    • Jessica March 31, 2016 at 8:13 pm - Reply

      I hope at the very least that I will have finished clearing it. It will be no.1 job over the next few weeks. That and ordering the plants that I’ll need to fill it. We had a gorgeous today and it was a real pleasure to be outside. Long may it continue!

  10. Christina March 31, 2016 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    The slope is really coming together; I expect the weeds do a fairly good job of holding the soil if there is a lot of rain if you want another excuse! Love the Hellebore combo!

    • Jessica March 31, 2016 at 8:18 pm - Reply

      They do, but I was careful to keep this part of the bank out of shot last year, it looked terrible! Some of the grasses and thistles grew taller than me. But I have the bit between my teeth now, they’re history. I hope.

  11. Pauline March 31, 2016 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    I couldn’t help but laugh, I dug out all my Pheasant’s Tail Grass the other day, I’m fed up with finding seedlings all over the garden, if I don’t get them out when they are tiny, they smother everything round them!
    Love the last photo, they look so good together!

    • Jessica March 31, 2016 at 8:22 pm - Reply

      I’m sure I’ll still be finding those seedlings, for years to come! But where they are now they’ll be doing me a favour if they spread. There’s a lot of cleared ground up there to cover. Isn’t it lovely when moving a plant solves two problems at the same time?

  12. LINDA from EACH LITTLE WORLD March 31, 2016 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    Isn’t that the way it always is: We work our tails off and then two plants bloom together looking gorgeous without our help. Your slope does make every job much more work that a flat surface. But it’s also what makes your property so special. We are going to use a similar rope technique to try to straighten a big rock that has seriously shifted over twenty years. Every time I work in front of it I worry it might fall on me. Don’t think it really will ….

    • Jessica March 31, 2016 at 8:28 pm - Reply

      Yes indeed. The pulmonaria is gradually working its way down the slope and has just reached the hellebore. Bingo! Good luck with the rock. Do you have a winch? It’s probably the most useful bit of garden kit we have for some of these heavy lifting jobs.

  13. Wendy March 31, 2016 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    The last photo of the hellebore and pulmonaria is fabulous. These are two favourite flowers of mine and the colours of yours look beautiful together. Good luck with the weeding!

    • Jessica March 31, 2016 at 8:30 pm - Reply

      The main drift of pulmonaria further up the slope has been absolutely alive with bees today!

  14. Donna@Gardens Eye View March 31, 2016 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    I’d say you have no reason to make any excuses with all the work you have done. With all our rain, I know how hard it is to weed in wet clay…impossible. I really love the foundation in the hillside and incorporating it with plantings is lovely. I was able to work for 3 days in some wet clay, but got things cleaned up…but now it will be raining for 3 days and then temps in the 30s and snow. i hope by next weekend to have one day of work in the garden. I have so many projects to get done.

    • Jessica March 31, 2016 at 8:32 pm - Reply

      It’s so frustrating when we can’t get out and get stuff done at this time of year, there is so much to do. I have been using rainy and windy days to get seeds sown in the greenhouse. I now know where all the leaks in the roof are!

  15. frayed at the edge March 31, 2016 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    I love the last photo. Our hellebore flowers are battered and faded, but still pretty!

    • Jessica March 31, 2016 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      Many of mine are going that way too, but ‘Penny’s Pink’ still looks like she did a couple of months ago.. in her prime! A great variety.

  16. Kris P March 31, 2016 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    I think you got plenty done this month, especially given the weather woes. I laughed to read of your difficulty identifying trees – I suffer from the same affliction myself. The hellebore/pulmonaria combination is perfect!

    • Jessica April 2, 2016 at 8:44 pm - Reply

      Given all the trees around here it’s pretty shameful on my part!

  17. CJ March 31, 2016 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    Oh that hellebore is sensational, absolutely gorgeous. Just about the best one I’ve ever seen I think. I know what you mean about carpets of grass weeds that end up coming up like turf and taking half of the top soil with them. I’ve been battling something similar down at the allotment today. Can barely stand up straight now! CJ xx

    • Jessica April 2, 2016 at 8:47 pm - Reply

      It’s really hard work removing all the grass and the trouble is it grows back again only too readily. If you see that hellebore, go for it. It’s a gorgeous colour and so vigorous. Normally hellebores sulk for me the year after planting.. this one just took off and goes from strength to strength.

  18. wherefivevalleysmeet March 31, 2016 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    Your Helleborus β€˜Penny’s Pink’ and Pulmonaria make such a pretty picture – good enough to frame.

    • Jessica April 2, 2016 at 8:48 pm - Reply

      Nature knows how to do it. I may have planted the hellebore, but the pulmonaria found its own way there.

  19. Sam March 31, 2016 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    You’ve managed to do loads despite the weather! Great idea to move those grasses together – a drift will look lovely. Love the primroses and muscari and the hellebore and pulmonaria. Perfect spring vignettes. Hope the sun keeps shining over the weekend ???? x

    • Jessica April 2, 2016 at 8:49 pm - Reply

      We’ve had glimpses of sun today, but still a cold breeze. It’s not quite pleasant gardening weather yet!

  20. CherryPie March 31, 2016 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    I am curious about the tree that you can’t identify, I look forward to seeing more detailed photos of it as it comes into flower and leaf. I am so glad my garden project is only minuscule in comparison to yours πŸ˜‰

    • Jessica April 2, 2016 at 8:51 pm - Reply

      The tree is starting to put out green shoots, so hopefully it has survived another year in its precarious state. I wish the trunk would thicken up a bit. I fear for it in strong winds such as we’ve had recently.

  21. germac4 April 1, 2016 at 12:03 am - Reply

    I’m enjoying following your spring progress, and admiring your, (and Mike’s) energy for the garden. Just wish I could come over with a few buckets and relieve you of some of that rain…enjoy!

    • Jessica April 2, 2016 at 8:54 pm - Reply

      If I’m honest I’m not feeling too bad about the rain at the moment. We’ve done so much replanting.. watering would be truly onerous if it weren’t for the rain. But I’ll place some buckets out regardless if you decide to ‘pop’ over!!

  22. casa mariposa April 1, 2016 at 3:53 am - Reply

    I’m rotten with tree ID, too. But I can identify a Christmas tree and palm tree at 20 feet so that’s something, I suppose. πŸ˜‰

    • Jessica April 2, 2016 at 8:56 pm - Reply

      All the different types of palm? I’m truly impressed!! πŸ˜‰

  23. kristinrusso April 1, 2016 at 4:49 am - Reply

    Beautiful pictures! This gives me hope that summer really is just around the bend.

    • Jessica April 2, 2016 at 8:58 pm - Reply

      Oh I do hope so Kristin. I’m so ready to feel the sun on my back again!

  24. Jayne Hill April 1, 2016 at 7:27 am - Reply

    No such thing as ‘excuses’. Instead, you have ‘reasons’ . . . and the recent horrible weather is an excellent reason for a delay in progress.

    Your idea of collecting all the grasses together is excellent and I suspect they will work much better together than dotted around. I’m about to do the same with primulas (could take a while, first got to clear an area for them to go into).

    • Jessica April 2, 2016 at 9:09 pm - Reply

      Isn’t that always the way? ‘Move plant’ is at least two jobs. The primulas will look good together too. Devon banks are a case in point, they are absolutely loaded with them at the moment.

  25. Vera April 1, 2016 at 8:11 am - Reply

    Your thighs must surely be the fittest around after working on that bank of yours! We had a much smaller bank in our previous house and that was left to go its own way most of the time, it always looked pretty though. No banks here, thank goodness, and most of the land is given over to animal grazing, but we are nearly at the stage of being able to plant shrubs around the borders, and that I am looking forward to. You always inspire me with the energy you have in regards to making a lovely garden.

    • Jessica April 2, 2016 at 9:12 pm - Reply

      I’m really looking forward to seeing what you do with the courtyard, it’s a lovely space.

  26. Alison April 1, 2016 at 8:50 am - Reply

    I think we have all delayed progress this year, the season has been an odd one to get going and I had several weeks where I did very little.

    The hellebore and pulmonaria is just a joy.

    • Jessica April 2, 2016 at 9:15 pm - Reply

      Other than a few rare days it hasn’t really felt that much like Spring yet. Not just me, the seeds are all slow to germinate as well, in their cold soil. Let’s hope April will warm up!

  27. Linda P. April 1, 2016 at 9:58 am - Reply

    I’m catching up with your gardening news and can see how much you’ve done these last few weeks clearing the bank, planting a few more grasses and repositioning the leaning tree. Wet and windy weather doesn’t help, but every job done must be satisfying. We’re just off to our other place and it’ll be interesting to see what needs doing! Thankfully a relative has pruned the vines so that’s one less job to do.

    • Jessica April 2, 2016 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      Have a good trip Linda. I hope you’ll have plenty of time to relax and enjoy the views and the warmth, as well as the work!

  28. Rick Nelson April 1, 2016 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    Hi jd, I think I have commented before on Anemanthele lessoniana before but it is one of my favourite plants although you do need room and the winter sun behind it to give of its best. I remember seeing a picture of a steep stream bank planted out with it and have to say it was breathtaking. It seeds all over my garden and looks good in containers.

    • Jessica April 2, 2016 at 9:43 pm - Reply

      Once you have it.. you have it for life! It is beautiful and I think in its new location will look lovely. And it will have the sun behind it too.

  29. snowbird April 2, 2016 at 12:02 am - Reply

    I love those foundations, the grasses will really compliment them, Oh….have to say though, those grasses are the bane of my life, they seed absolutely everywhere, but I do love the plant, if only I could control the stuff!xxx

    • Jessica April 2, 2016 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      They do seed everywhere, as many grasses do. The worst for it (so far) is Briza maxima. I remember seeing it at a plant fair and falling in love with it. And probably paying a lot for it too. The next year it took over! Whoever said “one year’s seeding, seven years’ weeding”.. they had this plant.

  30. Linnae April 2, 2016 at 4:19 am - Reply

    Hi! We have clay soil and slopes everywhere you look, as well. I feel your pain! That stuff is terrible to work with–it sticks to everything! I hope the grasses like their new home.

    • Jessica April 2, 2016 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Linnae and welcome.
      I don’t know what I did, but every house I’ve lived in has had clay soil. It’s dreadful stuff. It’s wet now, but I know I’ll have a very small window of opportunity to get in there before it all sets rock solid. In summer it’s been known to bend my garden fork.

  31. Nib's End April 2, 2016 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    Here in Chicago, my roots are also wadded with clay. The trick is to get the weeding done in that small space between the days of wet and the impossible advent of iron. Dinner after dark is the order of each day when the soil is ripe for picking and planting. We had snow today and the poor daffs are shivering in their shoes, so weeding is well over a week away. The first dry day to dawn in the week to come, however, will have me out among the boxwood and lavender giving haircuts. We must press on or be overcome!

    • Jessica April 2, 2016 at 10:14 pm - Reply

      Hello and welcome!
      Snow. Urgh. It’s a rare thing here these days but we have no shortage of rain to replace it so I too am out all hours when the conditions are right. Weeding on dry soil requires a pick axe but I do find it slightly easier then and at least regrowth slows down. Planting is another matter. I feel sorry for the poor things I put in the ground sometimes!

  32. Charlie@Seattle Trekker April 3, 2016 at 1:53 am - Reply

    Love the photo series, spring is definitely on it’s way.

    • Jessica April 5, 2016 at 9:20 am - Reply

      Oh, I hope it is Charlie! Thanks.

  33. Janet/Plantaliscious April 3, 2016 at 7:33 am - Reply

    I love the hellebore with the pulmonaria. I feel your pain with the grass. It’s something I am battling with everywhere I deepened borders. Wish I’d killed the grass off before digging it up now, I spent half a day last week digging up lamb’s ears and teasing out the couch grass before weeding the area and re-planting. At least I get to do that on the flat! Your new grass grove will be lovely, much more impact grouping them together like that. And anything that survives being swamped by conifers deserves to be whatever shape it likes!!!

    • Jessica April 5, 2016 at 9:23 am - Reply

      Anywhere we try to reclaim land is always going to be a struggle, especially with grass. The seeds can lie dormant for a very long time it seems. And those roots! Unless every little bit is out it just comes back.

  34. Brian Skeys April 3, 2016 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    I admire your tenacity Jessica. Have you considered using roundup on the bank to kill the grass?

    • Jessica April 5, 2016 at 9:25 am - Reply

      I don’t want to use chemicals, given all the wildlife that lives up there too. But in any case, there are plants in with the grass. So unfortunately it’s going to be a case of repeated hand weeding. πŸ™

  35. Angie April 3, 2016 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    I admire your resolve Jessica. To our eyes you’ve done masses and what a difference you’ve made. i am trying to put right a wind swept Red Robin and I can tell you your attempt is a far prettier affair than mine. I could only find bright blue rope!

    • Jessica April 5, 2016 at 9:27 am - Reply

      We have some conifer trees held up with bright blue rope so I know just the stuff you mean!

  36. Amy April 4, 2016 at 1:26 am - Reply

    Ah yes, in an earlier gardening incarnation, I also weeded grass out of drenched clay… but never on that kind of slope! I think you’ve done a splendid job, and I hope the weather does its bit for a while! I love the promise in that shot of Cornus kousa; I remember your pictures of it from last year as it was so gorgeous.
    You’re ahead of me with the weeding at any rate; I let our winter-seeding mallow get the better of me on the west side of the property and know it’s only a matter of time and some rain before I get a whole new crop; must starting getting the stuff stopped before it can seed!
    And I love the idea of your plant-covered ruin πŸ˜‰

    • Jessica April 5, 2016 at 9:30 am - Reply

      When you have a large area it can be almost impossible to keep up with self seeding plants, especially after a bit of rain. Is hoeing an option for you? If the soil gets dry enough this summer it’s something I want to try here.

  37. Growing Nicely (@JillAgardens) April 4, 2016 at 10:17 am - Reply

    I love those hellebores and pulmonary together, it’s nice to see your progress…keep up the good work!

    • Jessica April 5, 2016 at 9:31 am - Reply

      Thanks Jill. Dodging the showers at the moment, but hopefully I can make a bit more progress this week.

  38. Julieanne April 4, 2016 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    The ruins of the old building do look very rustic, I would have never guessed there are any breeze blocks there. Nature will take over and it will look like a romantic ruin.

    • Jessica April 5, 2016 at 9:32 am - Reply

      I hope so, it’s a better bet than trying to demolish it anyway. And carting all the debris up the hill!

  39. Amy April 6, 2016 at 5:58 am - Reply

    I’ve not liked trying to hoe the mallow as the roots are so tough. My preferred technique is to slice them just below ground, using the big spade. I then can haul them away by the hair of their heads. As they’re annuals and more or less done for the season, there’s no issue with getting all the roots out (thankfully, as they have taproots from hades). But those seeds…. πŸ™ Please pardon the additional rant — all done now πŸ˜‰

    • Jessica April 6, 2016 at 5:37 pm - Reply

      I can understand the rant. We have something here with fluffy seedheads (I’m about as clueless with weeds as trees) but if I let it seed I’m done for the following year. Its saving grace is that it’s fairly easy to pull.. no tap root!

  40. Chloris April 6, 2016 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    What a brilliant idea for tree straightening. I agree about the grasses, they look much better growing en masse. I’ m looking forward to a closer look at your mystery tree. If its a cherry it should have horizontal brown marks on the trunk unless it’s too young. When I was a child, I found that if you scratch these marks they turn orange. I don’ t have much time to scratch my cherry trees these days.

    • Jessica April 6, 2016 at 5:59 pm - Reply

      That is a very useful tip, thanks Chloris. I shall be out tree scratching forthwith.

  41. Natalie April 9, 2016 at 11:05 am - Reply

    So green and beautiful, sigh… we got a dump of snow the other day. Love that last pic!

    • Jessica April 10, 2016 at 7:11 pm - Reply

      No snow but it’s bloomin’ cold. Doesn’t feel very Spring like here either.

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