Spring has arrived

by Ciaran Burke

After months of wind, rain, frost and snow… finally we get to feel some warmth and be blinded by the sun!

Sitting down after work, sipping some Ethiopian coffee, listening to cattle munch in grass, bees hum and the distant drone of weekend commutes on the distant highways, I am happy that I have all these plants in containers here.

The golden shoots of Physocarpus ‘Diablo D’Or’ are ignited by the afternoon sun. This particular specimen was grown from a cutting and then trained into a standard, and is growing in a 40cm diameter terracotta pot.

I applied Fish, Blood and Bone fertiliser to all the pots a couple of weeks ago, this should keep them going for about another 6 weeks. Then I will reapply.

I pruned some of the shoots back on the standard trained Cornish alba, to make it more bushy, this plant has bee looking great all through winter with it red stems and branches.

I had a good sniff of the Viburnum x burkwoodii flowers: I love fragrance in a garden! While pulling a few weeds, I was treated to the smell of the balsam poplar, the emerging foliage release the most delicious scent.

The blossoms on the Magnolia ‘Leonard Messell’ are superb, they have rushed to bloom over the last week.

Between fragrances, spurting new growths, beautiful blooms and buzzing insects, the ten minutes has turned into an hour. If only every Coffee break could be so good.

Narcissus ‘Sir Winston Churchill’ has a gorgeous scent.

The new growths of Physocarpus ‘Diabolo D’Or’

Cornish alba is often grown as a shrub and valued for its red winter stems. I have found it to be an excellent standard specimen.

Viburnum x burkwoodii – such wonderful fragrance!

Magnolia ‘Leonard Messel’ – stunning blooms.

Forget me nots and wallflowers in the gravel at the base of the wall. Apart from our container garden, we have planted a strip of about 20 metres in length at the base of a wall.

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