Dancing with Daffodils – A spring time story

accompanying picture for news story

I love our British Winters, but even a seasoned gardener such as myself started having dark thoughts by the end of February. I felt I was living within a ghost story, ghouls drifting in and out of the sea mist all around me.

Things had to change. Then the sun came out. I felt the warmth on my face. Looking down I noticed a fragile Crocus feebly waving at me from the lawn. A bright yellow Daffodil ordered me to cheer up. I felt a rush of inspiration to go forth and garden!

I sang with the birds. I merrily talked to the flowers. I was gardening again!

The first job was the tidy up. Quickly I removed all reminders of winter, uncovering fresh new buds and shoots.

Standing back I looked at the garden. I had planned to have something new occurring every week of the year. There would never be a shortage of colour, especially now in Spring.

Planted the last Autumn and situated in a part of the garden enjoyed from the house, the following simple planting combination provides beautiful contrasts of colour, texture, fragrance and shape from late Winter and through the Spring.

Vertical stems of the Dogwood Cornus siberica, flash bright red along side the bluish-green foliage and large, towering dome-shaped, lime-yellow flowers of the architectural perennial, Euphorbia characias subspecies Wulfenii “Lambrook Gold’.

Joining them is the flowering currant, Ribes sanguineum ‘Brocklebankii’. This shrub provides plenty of colour, both in spring when the pink flower trusses appear, and for the rest of the summer when its yellow foliage glows cheerfully in shadier areas of the border.

Providing the ground cover are the smoky purple flowers of Hellebore orientalis and the pure white heart shaped flowers of Dicentra spectablis ‘alba’ floating amongst graceful arching stems of Solomon seal, Polygonatum x hybridum, and the beautifully textured evergreen Shield Fern, Polystichum aculeatum.

Adding to the drama are the bulbs Daffodil Narcissus ‘Camelot’, its pure yellow, large, cupped flowers, borne singly on upright dark green stems and the gorgeous double Tulip ‘Angelique’. This Tulip’s outstanding blooms of soft blush pink deepen with age, a rich apple blossom ink developing at the edges, with green markings on the outside. Like all double Tulips, it needs some shelter to prevent wind and rain dashing the heavy blooms.

Planted amongst them are other treasures waiting to burst forth, but, for now, I happily enjoy the moment. I’m dancing with the Daffodils.