EASTLIFE MAGAZINE – MARCH 2018

Here’s a copy of my gardening column from the March issue of Eastlife Magazine, which is a fabulous magazine all about ‘Living life in the East’.  The full version of the magazine can be viewed online at www.eastlife.couk

IMG_7806Well what an incredibly long winter that felt like!  So it is an absolute joy to be greeted by March and all the wonders that has to offer in the garden.  With the days lengthening we can now see life where just a few weeks ago everything was looking bleak and held captive by winter’s grasp.

Of course there will still be the odd wet and miserable day for quite a few weeks to come, but even those are brightened up with the blast of yellow from Wordsworth’s favourite, the daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus).  They are one of my favourite flowers for the simple reason that they mark the turning point from winter into spring.

There has been plenty of evidence of life in our garden for a few weeks now.  First we had the beautiful Helleborus niger flowers, which looked even more delightful once I had trimmed all the foliage back to showcase their blooms.  The Magnolia stellata ‘Water Lily’ which we planted in the autumn, whilst small, is absolutely covered in buds.  I can’t wait to see it bloom for the first time.  Some of the young shrubs are looking a bit weary after a winter doing battle with storm after storm.  The garden is situated on a very exposed site; the yew hedge cannot grow back too soon in terms of offering some much needed shelter from the prevailing south westerly winds.

Over the last few weeks we have been working to reduce an old hawthorn hedge that runs along the north boundary of the garden.  Like most other aspects of the garden it has suffered many years of neglect.  Having been granted permission from our local planning office, the entire hedge will be reduced to ground level in an attempt to invigorate the hedge and encourage fresh new growth.  We are leaving one half of the hedge, closest to the house, until next year or the year after to retain some habitat for the wildlife.  However, that didn’t stop a very indignant squirrel from giving our gardener a good telling off for removing his shortcut to the oak trees.

The latest copy of EastLife magazine can be viewed online at www.eastlife.co.uk

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