It is still quite cold, but everything is growing fast. This has to be my favourite time of year, as every time I walk round the garden the plants seem to have grown an inch. It is exhilarating watching their progress and improvement on last years performance. My dictamnus are behaving a lot better than last year, the white one has increased well, though I have lost two out of the five planted. My pink one, Dictamnus albus var. purpureus has not been grazed down by slugs, and is coming up strongly. There is no doubt about it, they are difficult, and slow, but worth it every time. There is something very exciting about succeeding with a troublesome plant.
We have ordered and planted a new magnolia called ‘Gold Star’, which is creamy yellow and have put it in the front garden. It has got an award of merit and is a cross between magnolia acuminata ‘Miss Honeybee’ and Magnolia stellata. I don’t think it will flower this year, but we now have two magnolias in the front garden, the other is called Magnolia stellata ‘Royal Star’, which will be covered in flowers and went in last year. We have seven magnolias which is quite a lot for a garden of an acre and a half. The stars this year will be Magnolia ‘Spectrum’ and Magnolia lilliflora ‘Nigra’, which I first saw at Sissinghurst. We are going to take out Prunus serrula whose trunk has begun to look very unattractive, from age apparently, and is beginning to crowd out Magnolia ‘Spectrum’. We have to get permission for taking out this tree, as we are in a Conservation Village. I find that a bit annoying as we put the Prunus serrula in in the first place!
Polly has pruned a euonymus which grows in the paddock. It always looks as if it is twisting its arms into tortuous positions. I dont know what she has done to it but it looks most peculiar, and when I saw it yesterday I burst out laughing. It must have taken her ages, as in 32 years it had grown hugely and apparently had a lot of dead wood. I think you would call it characterful and it was also casting shadow over our only table and chairs. This summer I am looking forward to more than usual, as we have done so many changes, all for the better I think. Next month I will talk about the new circle in the paddock, though I have a nasty feeling that all the new peonies might not flower which will be a bitter disappointment.