Red letters, blue hearts

It was definitely a Red Letter Day for the garden team today. After many years of planning, fundraising and negotiating we finally have a bothy in the Penny Brohn garden!





As the ground is still too wet to drive a vehicle across it was lifted by hand from the drive into place by our team with very little fuss or ado… OK, admittedly it’s still in pieces like a very chunky item of flat-pack furniture but at least it’s on site and ready to be erected. At the moment it’s wrapped in tarpaulins and lashed down in anticipation of the wild weather that’s predicted for this weekend – hopefully before long it will be completed and be another special feature of our garden.

At coffee time we talked about snowdrops which have been such a success this year.  The order will be going in shortly for 1000 more to join them – a nice planting project for a few weeks time.

We have decided to support the Blue Heart campaign, which among other things promotes the idea of leaving some areas of the garden wild to encourage and protect wildlife, for instance leaving patches of unmown grass. To clarify that this has been done on purpose and is not just the result of laziness by the gardener’s blue hearts made of recycled materials will discreetly mark a couple of these spots and an explanatory poster will be put on the garden notice board.  More information about this excellent scheme can be found here.

Although I expect we are still going to be getting a bit more winter in the coming weeks, today there was a genuine sense that spring is on the way. As the herbaceous borders are being cleared of last year’s old growth, lots of fresh green shoots and emerging bulbs are uncovered; the daphne odoras have now opened their flowers and are pumping out that fabulous perfume; and the leaves on early shrubs and climbers are getting ready to burst.

An ex-member of the team was visiting today and after having a good look round declared everything was  looking wonderful!  He particularly admired the new pergola which is such a success in the Lavender Garden – it will be exciting to watch the new planting clothe it this summer.

Aside from the obvious (snowdrops and daffodils) my favourites today were some groups of small flowers – deep red cyclamen in the narrow beds by the entrance, little purple iris a bit further along by the lavenders and also in the Courtyard, and a glorious clump of cream primulas on the edge of the bed across the lawn from the main building.

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