from The Weatherstaff PlantingPlanner – intelligent garden design software
The glorious sunshine of the past few days has beckoned me out into the garden. It’s always a little sad to see the cheery daffodils going over. Like the earlier snowdrops, I watch for them with eager anticipation but they are over too swiftly. This time, though, even as I pinch off the dying flowers, I’m distracted by signs of growth all around me.
Everything happens so fast at this time of year – blink and you miss it. A few days ago, the view from one kitchen window was dominated by a magnificent Magnolia stellata, swathed in white flowers and looking as though someone had tied white ribbons to every branch. In the opposite direction, our Amelanchier canadensis was equally heavy with blossom. For a little while, every trip to the kitchen had me marvelling from each window in turn. Now, the ground beneath each small tree is scattered with petals. Already the display is waning.
All around the garden, though, there’s a parade of Easter belles, ready for their turn in the limelight. So what’s next?
The flame-streaked Prinses Irene tulips are opening by the garage, their fiery colours contrasting vividly with the cobalt-blue of their ceramic pot. Waiting in the wings – in the border next to the fence, my very own Sissinghurst White Border – are the green-white buds of White Triumphator tulips, poised to open into elegant, pure white flowerheads with flaring petal-tips.
In the same border, white dicentra is in flower, pretty heart-shaped lockets strung along stems which arch over a mound of ferny foliage. So, too, are the drumstick primulas, spherical clusters of white with tiny yellow eyes.
Guarding the edge of my fruit bed is the step-over ‘Falstaff’ apple, where the deepest pink buds are opening daily to pink-flushed white apple blossom. In the summer, the raspberry canes will be shoulder-high here but for now, it’s the apple tree, underplanted with tufty purple chives, which catches the eye.
The charming downy-soft, pasque flower signals that Easter is just around the corner. There’s a good-sized clump here now and I have to resist the urge to stroke the softly furry, nodding purple heads as I pass. When Easter is over, I’ll have their silky, silver seedheads to look forward to.