There's not much flowering in the garden at the moment - a design flaw (I use the word 'design' very loosely here) on my part, most things seem to flower in summer in my garden with little interest the rest of the year round - a flaw I aim to correct this year and next year.
The polytunnel is a different story though, there's greenery everywhere and plants are starting to flower that wouldn't be flowering for another 6 weeks or so outside.
These Hostas and Acers are romping away under the polytunnel staging.
This Weigela is in full flower whereas the one outside has barely leafed up yet. The Heuchera next to it is also in full flower.
My first standard Fuschia! It was a cutting from a Fuschia I found growing wild up the road and it's perfect for standards - grew very quick and forms lovely. It is starting to flower but I've pinched the ends out again since this photo was taken so that I can get a larger shape.
I also have a Hawkshead standard that I grew at the same time as this one but it doesn't look anywhere near as impressive and the growth is nowhere near as bushy.
In December 2013 I thought I'd give Rose cuttings a try. I took several cuttings from various roses I have and quite a few have taken and succeeded. This one is a climber called 'Snowqueen' (I think) and will be ready to plant out this year along with the others I did.
I forgot to take cuttings late last year so I did them in January this year on the off chance they would take - out of about 10 cuttings only 3 have taken but that's 3 new roses I don't have to buy.
Outside the Rhododendrons are flowering, at least the ones near the polytunnel are, the ones on the garden are still just in bud.
THE most loathesome plant I have ever had the misfortune to come across - Gorse. At first it was a novelty, it completely covered our 3 acres here but to start with we found the spears amusing and the flowers and scent made up for the fact it's such a bully. But that was before we knew how hard it is to eradicate.
The first 2 years we lived here we bulldozed the land of all this gorse and set fire to the heaps - huge mistake. The heaps were full of dry spindly gorse which doesn't really burn well but given that the soil was peat based THAT managed to burn and burn and burn. 2 years after lighting the fires if we got a good crosswind we could see smoke start billowing from those heaps - I kid you not!
That was our first realisation that this awful plant was not going to go down easy, followed by the renewed growth that was thigh high by the following year. We knew then that all those days and nights with the bulldozer, all those blisters and all those painful piercings from the spikes was a complete waste of time.
We contemplated weedkilling the lot but in the end, 2 years ago (10 years after moving here) we got another bulldozer in, scraped the lot out, pulled out every root we could find, every rock we could find, levelled the land and then reseeded it all. We figured that our mowers could keep the stuff down if it manages to start growing again.
This is the land that we've managed to sort out as it stands now. The bottom fence is to keep the dogs on this area but we also have the trees past the fenceline and a lovely burn running straight the way through. I love the deciduous trees down there, especially the Oak trees but we haven't even made a start on the Gorse that grows beyond the point of the fence.
The area of grass directly in front of the house is the land that MrTG ploughed by hand, rotovated by hand, de-stoned and raked and flattened all by hand and it has to be said it's the best bit of land we have. The land further down is what the diggers and ploughs did and it just isn't as level as we'd like PLUS that darned Gorse is still attempting to come through. There's a carpet of it around the corner of the polytunnel but luckily the mowers do keep it down. Think that weedkiller may be coming out after all!!