Not quite spring yet.

This was the first time in months that I have been able to do any gardening outside as it is fairly mild and not raining.  Hooray!  It was mainly cutting back old, dead bits, or rotting, damp foliage from perennials.  Some of the evergreen ferns are looking a bit bedraggled so some of them were cut back too.  The huge fern in the raised bed I just left for the time being as it still looks fine.  Later on I will take the old fronds off ready for the fresh new ones to appear.

Everywhere looks rather brown and flat at the moment but there are bulbs already through like the snowdrops, and a few hellebores up and flowering (although they are still not quite at their best.  Other bulbs are pushing through, such as narcissi and tulips.  The verbena is still flowering sporadically, the witch hazel is in full flower, and there are signs of little catkins on the tortured hazel.  It is not quite spring yet.

snowdrops in flower and a tulip pushing through

We are still waiting for new neighbours on the stumpery side ,therefore still waiting for the adjoining wall to be fixed before we do any new planting in that bare, shady patch.

stumpery corner
stumpery left side

I do love all the twisty branches of the tortured hazel or corkscrew hazel (Corylus
avellana contorta)
.  Now and again, I have to take out the odd branch that has reverted to just plain straight branches and leaves in order to keep the twisted look of the shrub.

corkscrew hazel, tortured hazel, Corylus avellana contorta
tortured hazel, corkscrew hazel, Corylus avellana contorta

The raised bed will soon be overflowing with periwinkle, tulips, ferns, bluebells and geraniums. The snowdrops are flowering away happily under the main shrubs, and I planted a hellebore there last year but it is still rather small and getting used to it’s home.

raised bed Feb 2021

We haven’t seen the fox family for a few days but there was a pile of feathers in the stumpery.  Could have been either the foxes or the sparrow-hawk.  Harry is still in the middle of dismantling the old trellis and it may be some time before the whole lot is done.  He haste DIY.  I hate the way it looks just now:  it should either be all up, or all down, in my opinion.  It is so frustrating not being able to do these jobs oneself.

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