Spring: A Most Dangerous Time
My dearest garden blogging friends,
My hearty congratulations to you all. It's spring and your gardens are looking fresh and lovely: there's lots of colour - especially yellow - plus lots of fluffy, fuzzy green is peeping above the soil and on all those branches. You've done a great job the past few weeks - you've tidied everything up, pruned and weeded where needed and now your plants are luxuriating under their new layers of mulch, compost and poultry poo.
What's that..., you think things are looking a bit gappy? I urge caution dear reader. You may have overwintered enough plants to stock a small nursery; you may think it's time to give your garden a bit of a revamp; you may find lots of plants crying out Buy me! at your local garden centre, specialist nursery or plant sale. But remember, you are at your weakest point. You've spent all winter looking at catalogues, dreaming of your ideal garden and how different things will be this year. Your resistance is at its lowest ebb. You've not bought a plant in months, except maybe in seed form, so your purse is crying out to be opened and that desirable little something you've espied bought home to grace your garden.
This is where you must take a deep breath and be strong. Think: Is that really a gap I see over there? Look back at last year's photographs - it could be where your Dahlias will poke their noses through their duvet, or where that tiniest little bit of green you see at the moment plumps up to fill that space entirely. Yes I know you've got lots of pots positively demanding to be planted out. First you must think a little more creatively: is there somewhere in your garden which isn't planted at the moment? Yes, I knew it - that gravel in the side garden is positively crying out for those delicious Iris reticulata you bought at the RHS Show (thanks for the idea James). What really could be replaced? Well, those dead plants you've been nurturing in those pots over there for a couple of years can be whipped out and that nice tree fern plus the 'Congratulations' rose C from choir gave you put in their place.
Consult your photographs again. Is there something that isn't working in your garden - the Forsythia in the corner perhaps? Again be strong and don't get too sentimental: if it wasn't working then, it's unlikely to do so this year. Take it out immediately, before you've got time to think about it: it'll be far more valuable to you as compost or shredded into mulch. Have a look at your nursery area and the plants surrounding the one you've just removed. Select something to complement what's there perfectly - mmm, the Syringa meyeri 'Palibin' that Threadspider gave you last year would look good - and plant it with love and care. If you don't have anything suitable, only then should you contemplate the selection awaiting you elsewhere.
My friends, heed my advice whilst there's still time. Otherwise you'll find yourself with nearly 60 pots of plants you've gathered over a couple of years or so needing a home - just like I have. Spring really is a most dangerous time of the year - especially if you're a plantaholic gardener like me ;)
Love n stuff,
Your very own VP