Winter has snarled its petulance to us this week, as January draws to a close, I hope it is one last act of defiance and we can move forwards into spring. Yet still today, as I walked to a wilder corner of the garden to take some snaps today ready for today’s blog, I was charmed by the scent of the early Soleil D’or Daffodils as it swirled around me.
As always at this time of year it is the very structure of the garden that holds the attention the geometric hedges, the topiary box, the repeat planting of the evergreen palms – they all help to hold the garden together in the leaner gardening months.
This month, we started to clear and edit the garden, clearing the latest of the storm debris yes but also from inevitable dead foliage that gathers around the base of the plants. It is surprising how much lighter a border can seem just by taking the light absorbing brown foliage away. The editing? well that is another matter and lead to one of those inevitable gardening disappointments that can sometimes happen but I have told myself that nobody died…yet!
The gardener set off full of enthusiasm to remove a straggly overgrown Rosemary that was overtaking a slower growing Olive tree in the corner of a courtyard. We had looked at it and discussed it at length and the Rosemary had to go. Part of my Mediterranean dream years ago when we planted the garden, was to sit under the olive tree and sip a glass of wine at dusk, beside the house. Well after fourteen years a young whip, had reached the top of the wall and just needed a little bit more room to thrive freed from the now vigorous underplanting of Rosemary. Alas, the gardener enthusiastically sawed along the bottom of the foliage and cut the Olive tree down, leaving the Rosemary still standing. I think I have two choices or is it three:- One, abandon the Olive tree dream, Two, accept that I can’t wait another fourteen years and search the internet for a replacement specimen or Three dig up one of the bigger trees that grow at the bottom of the garden, behind the Italian garden. As I said nobody died it is just a question of editing my dreams perhaps!
january has also been a time to restore the wheelbarrow fleet to full running order and a selection of semi retired barrows were ferried into Penzance for new inner tubes which resulted in an affluent selection of three working wheelbarrows!! There’s no need to fight now that we have one each! (for now)
The weather reports suggest we may well have some snow for Saturday into Sunday I wonder will I be talking about snow In February it will be the first for about three years here!
Gardens to visit this month
Cornwall has some wonderful spring gardens and at this time of year the established estate gardens of Trengwainton and Trewidden will have lots of spring interest. Both of these are typically cornish gardens from another era packed with plants brought back by plant hunters and pretty good tea rooms too – just right for stroll in the winter sunshine. Do check the links for their opening times though. That’ s all from the garden this month – see you next month to move on with the season!