A Mild Sense Of Panic

After almost three weeks away from the Priory, the difference on my return is marked and, for late March, the garden far more advanced than usual.  (I shall do a post soon about my walk across England.  I have rather a lot of photos to sort through).  I feel a little overwhelmed with how much there is to do.


Edging and planting; herbaceous perennials still to move; seedlings to sort and more seeds to sow; the borders full of weeds;


and mowing.  Moss in the lawns has ballooned and the mowers scalp it at this time of year – which isn’t a great look.


But at least the daffodils are in full romp


though as many were here before my time,


I mostly don’t know variety names.


It was a treat to return with them at their peak.  Rather like a warm welcome.


The weeping willows are coming into leaf and about their feet many more daffs are still to flower.


I can tell you what these varieties are.  Out on the drive I planted two crescents: in the foreground is Narcissus obvallaris – the Tenby daffodil – and behind, N. Cragford.


One of my favourite shrubs, Osmanthus burkwoodii is flowering,


though you could hardly tell from a distance.  Only close up do you notice the pretty little flowers and lovely, strong scent.


And unblemished by frost the little Magnolia stellata has also kindly waited for me before flowering.  (Incidentally, does anyone know whether there is a dwarf M. stellata?  This one is only four-foot tall and hasn’t grown any bigger in almost six years).


It has been a good spring for primroses and the bank beneath the greenhouses has more each year.


Leaving the bank unstrimmed until the autumn is helping too.


And, for the moment at least, there is no duckweed in the east pond and I have my deep reflections back.


Here’s an unpleasant story for you.  We discovered (whilst guttering repairs were underway) that five years ago some lazy idiot of a plumber joined up a waste pipe carrying gutter water to the pond with the soil pipe from the master bathroom!  And so, for several years raw sewage has flushed into the pond.  Unbelievable but true.  I’m hoping with that disgusting discovery remedied there will be less ‘nutrients’ in the water and the duckweed won’t return quite so virulently and smother the water lilies.  It might also explain why I have seen no fish in this pond for a couple of years.  (And I’m trying not to think about the amount of time I have spent in the water in wellies, waders or boat).


On a happier, final note – Margaret’s two rams (Cyril and Digby) each have their own huge field.  They are separated by a gate because otherwise they would fight.  Indeed a couple of years ago Digby almost killed poor Cyril.


And yet, with all the ewes now ‘served’ and alone once more they seek each other out.  How endearing.  Flocking rams, eh?


Can’t live together, can’t live apart.

23 thoughts on “A Mild Sense Of Panic

  1. Lovely that you had such a great welcome back to the garden after your holiday – even if it does represent more work! It’s been a good year for moss, don’t envy you having to sort out that lawn. There’s no predicting the weather is there? At college, we’re working on plant idents for next month because the gardens are springing back to life (all the tulips were out today). Re your Magnolia stellata, we’ve just studied this – it’s very slow growing, ideal for a small urban garden because of that. The tree at college is only about 8 feet high and is over 15 years old!


    • Thank you, Caro. I did do a search on M. stellata and saw that there is at least one dwarf variety but even this gets to 12 feet. As I’ve seen some really big specimens in gardens as I drive to work I was a little puzzled. I had always assumed that the Priory tree had been there for decades but maybe not. Perhaps it was planted relatively recently – and is not even 10 years old. As for the moss, I’ve decided that I will have to start raking the lawns. Not all of them each year – they are far too big. But perhaps certain areas on a rotational basis. It’ll be good exercise if nothing else.
      And I know where to come now for tulip identification! Dave


  2. The garden looks so good to come home to. The daffodils must have been a welcome sight which must have let you forget about all the catch-up work for at least 30 seconds. Amelia


  3. Daffodils are a wonderful welcome home and those reflections are pretty nice too! Let’s hope that with the ‘problem’ resolved you’ll have the reflection when the trees have their leaves too. I can’t imagine being away from my garden for three weeks at this time of year, I’d miss so much.


    • Hi Christina, it is a balance of going walking when the weather is good enough but whilst the garden is still dozing. Last year’s late spring worked fine but this year everything in the garden is much earlier. I may have to look at going away a little earlier next year. I did actually miss snow and ice! Dave


  4. So good to have you back! I am getting my favorite tea cup and highball glass ready to settle pin for a good long read all about the cross-England walk this this year. If it was snowy again like the Wainwright trek, I’ll make a pot of tea. If it was sunny and warm and too gorgeous (as I type this it is snowing again here on the shore of the Long Island Sound) then I’ll have to make a nice V&T.


    • Hello Vivian, sorry to keep you waiting on the walking front. I’ll try and get a post out next week but as you can imagine after being away for so long I’ve got all sorts of catching up to do. But here’s a hint – you shan’t be needing your kettle. D


  5. The priory grounds looks so peaceful, hope that ribs off on you to calm down that sense of panic 🙂 all those ammonia and nitrates from the sewage would be toxic to fish. Hopefully with the bad connection remedied fish will come back too (birds can bring them but perhaps introduce some yourself?)


  6. Glad you made it back with your feet intact, and to such a warm welcome from the garden. Hopefully you will soon be on top of it all again, though the garden does like to rocket forward at this time of year. Love those watery reflections (best not dwell on that problem that has just been rectified – eurgh!)


  7. I can relate to the mild sense of panic and the plumber sounds absolutely dreadful! We had quite cold weather last week, with lots of hail, so hard to get much done outdoors in comfort, I’m looking forward to hearing about the walking trip.


    • Hi Julie, I spent most of Monday digging up and splitting snowdrops. Hundreds of them. I’m sure there are more important things to do but I wanted to get it done. Walking post probably next week now. Maybe. Dave


  8. What a lovely welcome the garden gave you on your return. Everything is growing at such a rate and the flowers aren’t lasting very long in all the warm sunshine. The fresh green on your weeping birch is such a wonderful shade of green, gradually the trees in the countryside here are beginning to have a slight green tinge about them. Loved the photos of the rams, everyone needs a bit of company, especially when you’re exhausted!


    • Hi Pauline, it was only when I mentioned to Margaret that her two rams were lying next to each (despite being in separate fields) that she told me that Digby had butted Cyril so hard the latter almost died. She found Cyril the next morning lying in a ditch and had to bring him inside for a week or two to recuperate. (He’s so heavy they had to carry him in a tractor bucket). But he doesn’t seem to bear a grudge. D


  9. Hello and welcome back – nice to see your garden in full spring mode, how lovely it looks. Hope the weather stays as lovely as it has been this weekend so you can get stuck in to all those jobs.


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