Will You Take Aloe-k At That..

Aloe polyphylla



Aloe polyphylla. Two seeds germinated so far. Anyone else see birds?

The seemingly unlikely concept of succulents growing submerged in water having been indisputably proven the remaining five seeds have now been chucked in the bowl. And in the meantime these two have spent their first night tucked up in cacti and succulent compost. Fingers crossed.

Gosh this seed sowing is so exciting. One could end up seriously addicted. Thank goodness it’s cheap.. and legal.


Primula veris


Primula veris (cowslip)

It’s even more satisfying when seedlings grow big and strong enough to make it out to the garden. These were sown two or three years ago and have rewarded all the interim TLC by flowering this year. Yesterday in the sunshine they were positively buzzing with bees.


Narcissus 'Avalanche'


Narcissus ‘Avalanche’

But before The Gardener can get too carried away it’s as well to point out that not everything goes to plan, no, not by any means. Last year I tried forcing daffodils inside the house for Christmas. Nothing. A few overly long leaves. Come February the pot was unceremoniously kicked out to the greenhouse for the leaves to die down before trying again this year. Well better late than never is all I can say. I suspect the sitting room provided insufficient light, or it was too warm. The fact that the largest window is right next to a five foot high radiator probably didn’t assist the cause.

Pungent aren’t they. I know some people cannot abide paperwhites inside the house. It’s as though Mike has had the glue can out and tipped it everywhere for good measure. They’re pretty though and very pleasant in small doses. Perhaps the greenhouse is the right place after all.


Cercidiphyllum japonicum


Cercidiphyllum japonicum

At this time of year I wish the clock would slow right down. Everything is poised, the leaves just starting to emerge, everything so fresh. And the light is just beautiful. It all seems so fragile. Perhaps because it is. We’ve still a way to go before we can guarantee an end to the night frosts.


Cornus kousa 'Wieting's Select'


The vibrant emerging leaves and buds of Cornus kousa ‘Wieting’s Select’


Peony 'Bowl of Beauty'


Peony ‘Bowl of Beauty’

Those who suggested that October is the best time to move a peony were absolutely spot on. That’s exactly when I did it and it seems to have emerged as strong as ever. I won’t hold my breath for abundant blooms this year but it’s alive and that’s the main thing for now.


Banksia blechnifolia


The aliens are back as well: Banksia blechnifolia


Erythronium 'Pagoda'


Erythronium ‘Pagoda’

The woodland is springing into life faster than anywhere. Its season is short, there is no time to lose. Once the canopy closes in overhead there is precious little light for blooms.


Erythronium 'White Beauty'


Erythronium ‘White Beauty’



Epimedium x cantabrigense

That gorgeous light again. It’s not difficult to understand why so many people have found renewed pleasure in nature over this last year. The cycle of the seasons continues even as the human world falls apart. After wandering through the garden late yesterday I’m resolved to take more time to stand and stare. Sunlit evenings aren’t always two a penny in this neck of the woods but when they do come along.. oh my.


Epimedium x versicolour 'Sulphurium'


Epimedium x versicolour ‘Sulphurium’


Magnolia x loebneri 'Leonard Messel'


Magnolia x loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’

It’s taken a few years to establish this shrub, but suitably settled it now blooms reliably every spring.


Clematis alpina 'Frances Rivis'


Clematis alpina ‘Frances Rivis’

We are so lucky, us gardeners, so much beauty right here on our doorstep. Just take a few moments, every day, to seek it out. It’s amazing the difference it makes.