Colour at Upper Green

The garden has taken off- so much colour, scent and shape. Spring is a wonderful season for gardeners, but going away for most of March makes no sense and I have missed too much. I have resolved not to do it again- especially when we are opening for the NGS in April. Camellias, anemone blanda and ipheion add to the colour at the front of the house.

The spring bed looks wonderful and plants are virtually confluent.

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Snake’s head fritillaries are putting on a fantastic display.

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Tulips provide blocks of colour (not always quite as perfectly co-ordinated as planned), the lovely pasqueflowers (Pulsatilla vulgaris) are in bloom for Easter and the herbaceous perennials are springing into life. Many of these plants will be over by 23rd April when we are open, but plenty more are on the way.

To my great delight, green shoots (hypocotyls) are peeping out from 4 of the mistletoe seeds that I stuck so carefully onto the branch of the old Bramley apple tree in February. Clearly the beak wiping technique I used to remove most of the sticky jelly around the seed in each fresh berry was perfect!

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But it is very dry- so will these tiny plants survive? Some may be eaten by insects or birds- the chicken wire may deter the birds. Once the holdfast is established by the fragile looking hypoctyls, will the seedlings manage to penetrate the bark to commence the parasitic phase? It takes 3 years for the first leaves to appear so I will have to be patient …..and I will need both male and female plants to get berries.

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