It’s still cold. Nine to eleven degrees, and a chill wind from the north-west. We’re at least four weeks later than last year (which was a disaster anyway, with its vicious late frosts).
As I’ve said before, I’m not unhappy. With everything held back, I’ve got on with a lot of things without the usual rush to clear weeds and mow grass. Turned the compost heap, dug new drains in an effort to make the bog garden less of a swamp, cleaned out the strawberries, manured the raspberries. And re-soiled the blue poppy beds, lifted and split their inhabitants. They are looking much happier than they were last year:
I’m especially pleased that my primula melanantha survived the winter. I’ve kept it in its pot (I don’t normally like doing this) and sunk it into a fairly shady spot. It spent the months from September to March in the greenhouse, with only a tiny drip of water once a fortnight. Now it’s pushing out its velvety-black flowers.
On the subject of black, about five years ago, I stuck a black hellebore (helleborus niger) into the remains of a rotten tree stump under beech trees. The odd leaf appeared, but little else, and I wrote it off as a stupid error. But, lo and behold, the Christmas rose, flowering in May!