Plants and muntjac deer
It has been so mild that the garden has really come alive but the unseasonably warm weather that led to all that flowering has also led to the rapid demise of some garden beauties including many small tulips. To my horror I discovered that the muntjac have been busy munching emerging tulips in the front garden – they had stopped doing this in recent years- so I have re-erected a protective barricade around the stately and rich dark purple “Queen of the Night” – which means of course that neither I nor the muntjace can take pleasure in the flowers. However the muntjac do not seem to be interested in smaller varieties of tulip and they are welcome to the leaves of the invasive spanish bluebells which I inherited from a previous owner and muntjac seem to enjoy. Fortunately muntjac show no desire to eat the wonderful Allium schubertii nor the large leaves of the colchicums I planted this year.
At this time of year the spring bed comes into its own and Amelanchier × grandiflora ‘Ballerina’ is a definite highlight. The dainty white blossom is followed by unfurling bronze-tinged foliage. The profusion of large, white flowers gives it the name, Snowy mespilus, and these flowers produce little purplish edible berries (I have never tried to eat them). The small tree adds to the dappled shade for woodlanders in this bed.
My Dad’s old camellias have been magnificent this year in their tubs of special compost for acid-lovers. The blossom on Camellia × williamsii ‘Donation’ has been particularly fine. But it has been so dry I have had to water already using our precious rainwater.
More spring bulbs
Fritillaries are true stand-out plants. I love them all but fail to grow so many. However the crown imperials and snakes-heads have excelled. I am also delighted that the tiny clump of Scilla siberica below the apple tree is ever so slowly enlarging. Not a river of blue or even a trickle yet – more of a small puddle, but on the increase nevertheless.