Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Touch of Yellow

How nice it is to have a run of dry days. No matter that it's cold, the blue skies fair lift the spirits. So, no excuses. The sign went on the door, and I made a start to give the garden its spring clean.

Much of the work involves clearing away last year's dead foliage, gathering up all the beech leaves and putting them on the pile to rot down into leaf mould, and getting on top of perennial weeds. Easily said, but if you have a large garden like Skip there's always plenty to do. Little and often is my mantra these days.

The Betula utilis var. 'Jacquemontii'  (or Himalayan White Birch) was planned to be the focal point of the bottom of the garden when I bought it from The Tree Shop on Loch Fyne some ten years ago.

It's grown well, is a beautiful thing, and is fulfilling its purpose. And, according to Wikipedia (here), the bark of the Himalayan birch was used centuries ago in India as paper for writing lengthy scriptures and texts in Sanskrit and other scripts, particularly in Kashmir.

The snowdrops are everywhere, but I am very fond of crocuses, and planted some of these yellow ones last autumn. It made me smile to see this splash of yellow yesterday!

I don't think that the photo does justice to the brightness of the foliage of this Erica.

I made a start to clearing the leaves out the pond. No sign of any frogspawn yet.

The winter rains and frosts had brought down a little of this retaining wall - one of the first I built, so perhaps not a surprise!

My efforts will not win any prizes, but that's it rebuilt. The huge tree heath behind started life at Skip in the smallest of pots!

And if this looks like a hand, clutching at the snowdrops, you are right. I found the gardening gloves that I lost last autumn!

Photos © Skip Cottage

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