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Six on Saturday 5th of January 2019

img 3966 e1546677386697 Six on Saturday 5th of January 2019

A massive happy new year to you all and a great colder start it is as well. The first few days here in Hampshire has seen the mercury drop down to -5c, bringing the coldest snap of the winter so far, lets just hope we get a few days of this to kill off the bugs that were everywhere after last winter. I don’t know where the time has gone since Christmas, I had so much planned to carry out over the Christmas break but I don’t seemed to get too far with it all, but thats life.

The garden is slowly coming to life isn’t, so many bulbs are sticking there little heads above the ground. Some of these little further coming delights will be in flower very soon and doubt will feature very soon on the six on Saturday theme.

until then, I hope you enjoy these six

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The snowdrop cometh! Yes it’s start of the early snowdrop season and here is one of my favourites and indeed also named after one of my favourite birds, Galanthus ‘Lapwing’
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2) Edgeworthii are one of my favourite shrubs for a small garden and for winter interest. This beautiful shrub just gets better as the winter goes on until these buds open into stunningly scented flowers in February/March
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Bird feeders, we are hoping that we will attract a few more birds into the garden, over the past few years, I have seen more and more passing by and I would love these feeders to be used. Wildlife adds a 4th dimension to the garden and it’s wonderful to see it around
img 4001 Six on Saturday 5th of January 2019

 

The first of my double primroses are just starting to flower, so lovely to these coming back this year

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This prostrate rosemary is so reliable! It’s been in this chimney pot for a few years now and still flowers every winter. It is such a great little plant
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Adding mulch to the borders is such an important job in any garden and once I have done the first winter tidy up, I like to add the mulch soon after. This particular mulch is pretty new for me and I will be giving it ago during the next 12 months and seeing what happens

Well that’s my six done for this week, I hope you enjoyed them and if you would like to see more, please go to the excellent Mr Propagators site and there will loads more on offer

I will give next weeks a miss but I will be back in two weeks with more six things that are happening in my own garden, until then, take care and happy gardening

Posted on 16 Comments

Six on Saturday 24-02-2018

img 2176 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018

I do not believe it!!! A totally dry week here in Hampshire, one that’s flown by but still a totally dry week and what a difference seeing the sun has made. The soil is slowly drying out, as are all my work clothes and nature is springing into life so much quicker. The daffodils that line the roads near my house are showing more and more colour now, the cherry tree buds are swelling and wherever you go, new fresh leaves are slowing pushing out of their buds. Downside is that I did my first lawn mow this week, looked beautiful afterwards but I still hate mowing!

My six this week are of my garden, mainly as I fear my dear readers are getting a little bored of my humble patch. I am also away this weekend so please excuse the lack of responses, I will as ever respond in the end, I just maybe a little slower than normal!

So without any more playing around I give you (drum roll please) my six on Saturday!

img 2188 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018

Yes my daughters Venus fly plant is now flowering! The flowers aren’t that massive just the camera angle but still quite beautiful, never seen one flower before, I am guessing it will die after flowering but I maybe wrong

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Started my rose pruning at home as well, got all the ones I wanted pruned and looking smart for the new year

img 2176 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018

Iris Rhapsody has just started flowering, it’s the last of my regticulata types to flower for me at home. I have fallen for these and I think my collection maybe growing even more next year!

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The playhouse is done!!!!! Well apart from the roof but that’s a job for a few weeks time, all the inside is done and ready for the kids to enjoy

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Yes at last all my paper white narcissus are opening and the scent is a delight to the senses, really enjoying having them in the garden

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img 2199 1 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018

Ok this isn’t my garden or a clients garden although I did find this carpet of snowdrops while off to look at a job, I am hoping the the stunningness of the pic will allow Jon to forgive me!

hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from My garden. If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, have fun in the garden

Posted on 18 Comments

Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

img 2083 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

February is disappearing rather fast now with only one more Saturday left before we hit March. The mornings are certainly much lighter and as for the evenings,it’s almost light until 6pm now. Another month and the clocks will change and spring forward, at last we will be able to do a little more in the garden at home after finishing work. I still can’t believe the amount of rain we had, everywhere seems so water logged and it’s a surprise for us this Saturday, it’s the first one in 6weeks when I shouldn’t be raining, that is going to be so nice indeed.

Well it’s confession time, I was planning to do a six from a clients garden this week but I got caught up in the rose pruning so umm I didn’t get around to it sadly, so somehow I managed to get another six from my own garden, helped with a bit of sun I may add!

img 2075 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

Primroses to me signal the start of spring and even though this is a large flowering hybrid, it just looks full of promise and very delightful as well

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Ahh yes there will be a couple of snowdrops I think this one is called Sibbertorf white and it’s one of the pure white forms with only a tiny bit of green on the flower

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And then there’s Rosemary Burnham, one of my all time favourites, I love theses forms with green veining on the petals

img 2073 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

My paper white daffodils are nearly flowering, a tad earlier that I planned as they are under planted with some crocus, that Um where supposed to come up first and the paperwhites in end of April, oh well that’s gardening!

img 2078 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

My prostrate rosemary is just starting to flower once more I love having this in an old chimney pot, I think it really enhances the flowers and foliage,

img 2083 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

My beautiful Edgeworthii is now open and in full flower, the courtyard garden is filled with its stunning scent but it was totally amazing to see my first butterfly of 2018, a red admiral, land on it and feed on its nectar. Wow took my breathe way!

I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from My garden. If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, have fun in the garden

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Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

img 4029 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

Though my blogging, I sometimes get invited to some special open days and it was a lovely surprise to be invited up to Nottinghamshire to visit the place that really ignited the winter opening of gardens for snowdrops, Hodsock priory. They have been opening for snowdrops here since 1991 and currently welcomes over 20,000 people to enjoy the 4 million snowdrops on this privately owned 800 acre family estate. It has been in the safe keeping of the Buchanan family for over 200yrs, with Sir Andrew Buchanan handing the management reigns over to George Buchanan in 2006.

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George Buchanan looking over the parkland

The snowdrops themselves grow in two main areas of the estate namely the garden that is 5 acres and the 12 acre Horsepasture Wood.

Horsepasture Wood is well over 400yrs old with some stunning 400yr old oaks and great beech’s trees mixed it. It is within this setting the snowdrops really carpet the woodland floor, followed by the slowly emerging bluebells, set in amongst the woods are some great tree stumps, used architectural within the settings, making a great back drop for the snowdrops. There is also an open fire, where everyday when the garden is open for the snowdrops, George meets people at 2pm and explains the estate and family history. As for the carpet of snowdrops, words in any form can not give justice to the spectacular display, so I won’t even both and let the photos do the talking

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The walk into the woods

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The great warming fire! I think every garden should have one!

Over the past years they have moved the snowdrops from the fringe areas of the woodland into the middle areas where they can be enjoyed. This superb setting if the back drop for an outdoor theatre group, The Whispering wood Folk preforming the Snowdrop Queen over the 16th-18th of February.

The walk though to the main garden area from Horsepasture Wood is a walk of pleasure as you are flanked by sweet smelling Winter Honeysuckle Lonicera fragrantissima.

img 4125 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

The main gardens are set in about 5 acres of land surrounding the main house, the use of water has been cleverly done so it reflects views of the house and garden. On your way into the main garden you follow this delightful stream, flanked with winter colour, provided by of course snowdrops, dogwoods and Salix all playing a part too.

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The main pond used to be part of the old mote in past times and on a still day catches the house perfectly

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The scent of winter catches you as you wander around the gardens with Sarcococca and Hamamelis providing the overtures. The garden is home to lots of other spring flowering plants like Iris reticulata, winter aconites, cyclamen, crocus and of course the Snowdrops! They have over 17 different forms of snowdrops in the garden including Lady Beatrix Stanley who happened to be Sir Andrews grandmother!  Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

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There’s also a huge fan of snowdrops in the main lawn, that sadly wasn’t out fully but will look amazing when it is!

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The site of one of the old glasshouses was used to great effect,

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The formal parterre area has standard roses planted in there

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The gardens themselves are indeed full of little horticultural gems and the whole garden is a delight! It’s surprising to hear the main gardens and Horsepasture Wood are managed with just 6 part time workers including Sir Andrew and Lady Belinda. George did say this may change this year as 4 of them maybe retiring.

The gardens are a true delight of Nottinghamshire, they have a real family feel about them and it’s clear Sir Andrew and George Buchanan care deeply about the estate and its long term survival, long term plans include extending the woodland, producing cricket bat willow for production of cricket bats and expanding the wedding venue experience. This family pride really shines though on the estate and for me the 31/2hr journey seemed well worth it to see somewhere so special.

Hodsock priory is open for the snowdrops every day 10am-4pm until the 4th of March with the Whispering Woodfolk preforming this 16th-18th of February. There is also a couple of excellent eating points, the large heated marquee that produces rather excellent bacon rolls and another watery in the woods near the wood fire. Adults cost £5.00 and Children £1. Theres a £2.50 surcharge for the evening performance of the Snowdrop Queen.

For more information please see their website which is http://www.hodsockpriory.com/snowdrops/plan-your-visit/

Posted on 28 Comments

Six on Saturday 10-02-2018

img 2031 Six on Saturday 10 02 2018

Well that was more like it! A cold week with plenty of frosty mornings. It’s wonderful seeing the plants covered in a fine dusting of frozen tiny water particles, adding a glittery shine to all that is touched. It is so nice also seeing the big round yellow think up in the sky, it just seems to turn the day around lifting not only our spirts but those of the wildlife we share the garden with. My highlight of the week was watching a red kite flying low over a field with a Kesteral in the forefront and 3 buzzards circling behind. Times like that, I find I have to just stop what I am doing and watch nature happening in front of me. This closeness with nature is one reason I just love what I do

Anyway moving back to topic and that’s of course 6 on Saturday and for the 3rd week in a row, it comes from my little patch in Hampshire. Not too sure how I managed it but I did!

img 2029 Six on Saturday 10 02 2018

Let’s start with a Heuchura and their beautiful foliage, they can really add a depth of colour and interest into the garden at any time of the year but even more so now, I love some of the names as well, this ones called Sugar frosting. Just look at that shade of purple underneath the leaves, just stunning purely stunning

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So pleased with this galanthus called Spindlestone surprise, it’s really bulked up well in the pot and I am enjoying the 4 flowers I have, hoping to get a few more soon!

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One of the first ones I brought a couple of years ago called Chedworth, makes a fine specimen in a pot, one of my little jobs this weekend is to feed them all with liquid seaweed to give them a boast, also tempted to repot a few of the ones that have finished flowering adding a bit of blood, fish and bonemeal to them

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A little dwarf iris now one called iris danfordiae, it’s a lovely little scented plant on the verge of flowering! It belongs to the iris reticulata group (although I have heard horror stories they are not iris any more but Iridodyctium, but let’s only say that name after the 9pm watershed Mark!) Whatever the name, it’s still just lovely

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And now for a dwarf evergreen shrub that is way underrated, it’s tough, it’s beautiful, it’s Eurya japonica ‘Moutiers’! This shade loving shrub can be pruned and shaped but it’s the stunning leaves and stems that turn bright red in the cold winter that sets it apart from many other shrubs, hard to find but well worth it

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A late addition to six on Saturday but I so wanted to feature this beautiful small climber, it’s Ribes laurifolium Amy Doncaster, it’s lovely member of the current family that flowering at the moment, Amy Doncaster is a form with red stems, selected by the great plants woman Amy Doncaster from her garden in chandlers ford. I only planted this out last year and is already proving me with its beauty.

I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from My garden. If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, have fun in the garden

Posted on 20 Comments

Six on Saturday 3-02-2018

img 1849 Six on Saturday 3 02 2018

Where did it go? January I mean! Doesn’t seem like yesterday it was the end of Christmas and we were looking forward to the new year, now we are the second month in already! Spring is really slowly coming apon us, daffodils are poking their heads up, bluebells again, just poking their green shoots out, teasing us even more. Even more so, the spring work is slowly starting to pick up momentum. Most of my fruits trees I manage are now all pruned bar a couple and I have moved on to wisterias and roses, a real sign for me that spring is just around the corner!

My six on Saturday this week is from my own little patch in chandlers ford, Hampshire for the second week in the row, some kind of miracle there but I hope you enjoy my 6 things happening in my garden this weekend

img 1913 Six on Saturday 3 02 2018

Yes yes even us professionals get things wrong! Iris George is a beautiful little purple iris that ummm has disappeared amongst the purple and yellow pansies, yes yes I know I should of put a pale pansy underneath but I wasn’t thinking ok, but never mind, I still love these dwarf irises !

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Finally after 3 wet Saturdays I have managed to finish off the tiling on the front of our children’s new playhouse! All I need to do now is fix the flooring in, add the plastic to the window and build a shelves of their toys and we shall be all done until I start doing the green alpine roof! It’s getting there!

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Haha fooled you all! I bet you hoped there would be no snowdrops in this one but there is and this one is called green brush and I love theses ones with green on their petals, can’t wait for this one to bulk up!

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My Edgeworthii is slowly opening and my tiny space is full of its beautiful scent! It’s one of my little treasures in the garden but that said they are all my little treasures really! Can’t wait until it’s all fully open.

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Another new dwarf iris for me, this ones called painted lady. It goes look rather stunning but did come up rather weird, rather twisted and odd, wasn’t too sure about it but now it’s fully opened I love it!

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Well it’s not exactly my garden but spotted this clump in the middle of another massive clump of G.nivilis near a road the other day, just stood out, not sure on name or indeed if it has one, looked nice so I grabbed a couple of bulbs to see what

I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from My garden. If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, have fun in the garden

Posted on 16 Comments

Six on Saturday 27-1-2018

img 1769 Six on Saturday 27 1 2018

Well another stormy wet week with a Wednesday so wet and windy, I was glad to be indoors. The ground around me is almost at saturation point now and needs a good few days of drying out, I dread to think of what it will be like if we get another downpour like Wednesday. Work wise managed to get a bit done despite the weather, basically just pruned apple trees for most of the week, so lovely being up a large apple tree, looking for miles on a dry and sunny day.

The six this week mainly come from my little battered garden, my bulbs are the thing that give me so much pleasure in January, they brighten my garden up. As we only rent our place, they are mainly in pots in case we have to move. I would hate to forget one and leave it behind!

img 1766 Six on Saturday 27 1 2018

Ahh yes sorry I should of added a snowdrop warning earlier, I do grow a few all in pots, this is a new one I brought in the autumn as a bulb and it’s done rather well. It’s called snow fox.

img 1769 Six on Saturday 27 1 2018

Another group of plants that’s really starting to grab my attention are dwarf Irises particularly the reticulata types, I planted quite a few in the autumn and this one is called Splish Splash

img 1774 Six on Saturday 27 1 2018

This is one of the first snowdrops that turned my head and made me look at them in a new light and funny enough it was one of the first ones I brought and it’s bulking up quite nicely now, it’s name is Wasp

img 1771 Six on Saturday 27 1 2018

This was my most expensive reticulata hybrid I brought and the bloody slugs have managed to avoid the sharp gravel and take chunks out of my flower. Bloody things! ‘One was not amused’ anyway, I hope it bulks up for next year, oops forgot the name it’s called Orange Glow.

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Yes you guessed it another snowdrop but a double this time and it’s indeed another new one for my collection, added in the autumn after I had seen it growing in a garden. it’s name is Dionysus and never ever ask me to say it! Still a lovely addition!

img 1773 Six on Saturday 27 1 2018

Nope not finishing this week of a shot of our bins, a good photographer always removes the clutter around the subject they are photographing, lack of time or laziness prevented me moving the subject but the key thing is that the Venus flytrap has put on a flower spike! Very excited to see what happens when it opens, never seen one in flower before!

I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from My garden. If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, have fun in the garden

Posted on 4 Comments

The great Snowdrop addiction

galanthus gone fishing The great Snowdrop addiction

img 2999 The great Snowdrop addiction

As soon as Big Ben finishes chiming into the new year, I start seeing the little green spires appearing though the soil and my heart starts to race a little faster. What delights could do that to a fully grown man? Not the start of hops appearing, but the slow start of the snowdrops slowly appearing. These tiny bulbs, with their snowy white flowers are now the equivalent to 17th tulipmania, with some of the bulbs reaching a massive £1300 a few years ago.

img 9748 The great Snowdrop addiction

I have always wondered what the magic was with them, yes I loved the massive displays of Galanthus nivalis, carpeting gardens and woodlands as far as the eyes can see, but I couldn’t see the differences between all the different forms , then one year a couple of years back, it twigged and somehow I started on the slippery slope of becoming a galanthophile!

galanthus franz josef 2 The great Snowdrop addiction

Everything about the snow drop is charming from the Latin name derived from Ancient Greek meaning the milk flower and there are so many common names like Candlemas Bells, White Ladies and Fair maids of February, all describing the first real carpeting flower over the season. Snowdrops are seen to to portray purity, hope and rebirth by most although the Victorian’s it mean death and sorry and was considered to be a harbinger of death. That’s not surprising considering the bulbs are indeed poisonous. However it is used in modern medicine though the compound Galanthamine to treat Alzheimer’s, nervous problems and being researched for use in treating HIV.

img 0604 The great Snowdrop addiction

Although they are spread all around the country they are not a native of the uk but of Greece, they have been spread around Europe and the uk possibly by monks. Some of the best collections happen to be around sites of old Abbeys and there is a old Christian belief that snowdrops represent the Virgin Mary and every candlemas day that falls on the 2nd of February, snowdrops are scattered on the altar in place of her picture. Indeed there are so many traditions surrounding the Snowdrop from all different countries, it is so easy to see how it has become such a desired plant. These tales both encompass Christianity like Eve when she left the garden of Eden, God sent snow to her, as she sat weeping, a angel appeared and took a snowflake, breathed on it and and when it touched the ground, a Snowdrop appeared or the Moldovan one where the Winter Witch didn’t want to let go on her hold of the season when the Lady Spring arrived, a fight broke out between then, the Winter Witch struck Lady Spring and from where her blood touched the ground, a Snowdrop grew and Lady Spring had won the battle. With such lovely tales, how can you not fall in love with a simple Snowdrop?

galanthus trym 2 The great Snowdrop addiction

. Galanthus ‘Trym’

Now what are the signs of this addiction? Well it starts with ground watching or in my case, pot watching! Every day, just checking to see how much the shoots have grown. Every day the shoots grow and slowly a flash of white starts to appear and then gets bigger and bigger until it slowly opens and there is the most simple but pure looking flower you could ever wish for. Then you start buying them! Maybe just the odd one to start with, you know Just with the slight differences to the common forms G. Nivalis, but that obsession grows until you start spending time looking at all the other snowdrops falling in love with their broad wide take on the simple colours of mainly green and white, seeing forms that have lovely green tips and green veining like Rosemary Burnham, tall forms like Fred’s Giant, small forms like Tiny Tim and not forgetting the more yellow forms like Wendy’s Gold. Whatever form you like, there’s loads to grow. Go on try a few different ones and see how you get on but be warned, they are really addictive once you start………

img 1753 1 The great Snowdrop addiction

Galanthus ‘Wendy’s Gold’

galanthus nivalis pusey green tip 2 The great Snowdrop addiction

Galanthus ‘Pusey Green Tips’

galanthus magnet 3 The great Snowdrop addiction

Galanthus ‘Magnet’

galanthus mighty atom The great Snowdrop addiction

Galanthus ‘Mighty Atom’

galanthus gone fishing The great Snowdrop addiction

Galanthus ‘Gone Fishin’

galanthus sallys double The great Snowdrop addiction

Galanthus ‘Sally’s Double’

galanthus elwesii comet 3 The great Snowdrop addiction

Galanthus elwesii ‘Comet’

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Galanthus ‘James Backhouse’

To finish off here’s a poem

Stunning spring is my favourite season

She swirls her skirts and drapes the garden in her finest clothes

Dressing the naked winter trees and bushes with bright brilliant foliage

Spring showers us with confetti of pink cherry blossom petals in the warm breeze

Gently opening the eyes of the snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils

They crane their necks from the melting snow and smile sweetly

Creating colour and scent in our glorious gardens

Written by Jan Allison