Janet had given me a tray of double snowdrops, winter aconites and chionodoxa (?) that needed planting. The weather had been pretty bad last week, but on Friday the rain had stopped and it had brightened up a little. In the afternoon I decided to go for it. I weeded the next couple of feet of the long bank and planted up the snowdrops and chionodoxa. I split up the clump of winter aconites and planted them under the large buddleia further along the bank. The weather was still holding so I then continued weeding the long bank up to the end of the drive. This mostly meant removing the surface of moss that had built up and was acting as a grow-mat for the weeds. I decided this would be suitable for composting. I don't know what happens in my compost bins - they have TARDIS properties in that I fill them up and weeks later they are only half filled, despite me never actually having removed any compost from them...
Yesterday I got around to pruning the two redcurrant bushes after taking advice from my RHS encyclopedia again - cut back side shoots to a bud and reduce leaders by 2 to 3 inches. All well and good in theory. Trying to decide what was a leader was not so easy after what looks like more than just one year of pruning being missed. There were branches with what I would consider multiple 'leaders' coming from them. The neighbouring blackcurrant bushes had also muscled their way in and I was unable to untangle them. All I can say is that I tried my best, and next year I will cut back the errant blackcurrant branches. On the plus side I had a couple of low-growing branches that have self-layer-rooted to give me future new bushes.
After a break for a cup of coffee and to warm up a bit I went back out to follow Reg's advice. I dug up four large clumps of snowdrops from the patch I had cleared up the week before. I replanted a few back into the areas I had raided, and it is hardly noticeable that anything has happened. I got a couple of dozen smaller clumps from this stock and have planted them all over the area of long bank I had weeded the day before. They look a little sad at the moment but hopefully they will bulk up over the next couple of years.
Several of the groups of crocuses in the garden are now beginning to open...
The first few dwarf irises are now in flower...
The hellebores are still going strong.
The autumn crocuses have erupted into strong lush growth, including the ones I planted/transplanted last year.
I have spotted three of the five groups of daffodils I planted in the grass at the bottom of the drive coming through. I have none in flower yet in the garden proper but we spotted the first one open along the road to Anne's on St. David's Day. I think my garden is a week or two behind the other side of the river as it is north-facing...
The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...
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