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  • Marilyn Bailey

Spring Flower Obsession?

Written by Marilyn Bailey

At this time of year I’m so tempted by Spring Flowers - the joyousness of the first snowdrops has long gone, the soft yellow primroses are all over the place, so many different narcissi and daffs glow and, in my sentimental way, our garden is covered in patches of white, blue, some deep purple, some salmon pink hyacinths that I have been given or bought over the years and now naturalise.

More varieties? What about the scillas, chionodoxa, puschkinias, muscari, blue anemone blanda (do tell how we can have a blue - blanda). I could go on and on as I love erythroniums, aconites . . . it’s endless.

BUT 2 things

THING 1  All the leaves that have to be fed and left for next years flowers! Quite honestly I find them really messy (I know, boring women have tidy kitchens).

THING 2  Quite a few years ago I fell for the tiny, early crocus tommasinianus.  The little pot I bought was enchanting. I put them in the ground. Then, once they had flowered, I discovered they form a rather fascinating seed head underground that they push up, out, everywhere and I gaily assisted scattering them far and wide - given that not much in our garden can actually be terribly far or wide.

Roll on to the next year and there were many more flowers buzzing with lazy bees on sunny winter days.  And the following year? Yes, serious numbers followed by vast tracts of strapy, strong leaves that hid everything until mid April.  No magenta cyclamen, soft mauve pulsatilla, gloriously vibrant new heuchera leaves.

So last year war began.  Marcelle, angel of our garden, and I spent six hours excavating them and yanking them out. They are deep and tough.  I was on a mission and spent three more long, back-aching days on the task.

This year we’re continuing to contain them into a little circle under Number 1 Tree - our loved Acer Griseum.  I think it may work . . . but there are many escapees.

Where was the warning? Oh gardening . . . and I can’t do much right now as I’m a bit poorly.  But it is magic isn’t it?

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