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  1. I love the mix of ruby red peony stems pushing up through carpets of lavender and white anemone blanda, interspersed with palest lemon primroses, and delft blue hyacinths, whose ungainly stiffness is softened by the unfolding foliage. In another 6 weeks they will all be obliterated by the peonies in full swing, two feet tall, their blowsy flowers demanding to be stroked, with no hint of the dainty morsels nestled at their feet. But what excitement! My beautiful treasured tree peony (ancestry unknown, labelled 'pink') has eleven buds on it! A record! I have fleece at the ready to swathe them against plummeting temperatures. Best not cut back the hydrangeas quite yet, although the roses obviously had no qualms about being scissored in February; they are now covered in new red-tinged foliage, as healthy as I have ever seen them. How strange to get the watering- can out in March. With all this growth, and no rain for 2 weeks, I felt judicious watering was needed around the clematis, but not TOO much, as this can sometimes put pressure on the stems and lead to wilt, depending on which books you read. If they have been planted deep enough, they should all put on new growth later on if they do succumb, once the damaged stems have been cut down.

    Enjoy!

    Spring bulb planting

    Pink peony close-up

  2. We have been blessed with sunshine! So much that the clematis think it is April, and are leaping up non-existent stakes that haven't been put in yet. Today I bought new vine eyes for C to put into fence panels so I can re-train Hagley Hybrid and Wisley Cream, which is ignominiously tied up in a bunch, with long tendrils trying to escape. Louise Rowe, an exquisite double variety with lilac twisted petals, already has three buds, about 6 weeks early I would say. The danger, of course, is that the weather reverts to normal for this time of year, and they all get frosted. There was a bit of ice on the windscreen this morning...  
    Here is Louise in all her glory in 2013.  More later!

    Clematis Louise Rowe


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