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Jo's News and Views No 2 February 2022

Hello Everyone

I hope that you have all survived the terrible storms that swept across the country in the latter part of February. Dudley, Eunice and Franklin followed one after the other and caused some terrible damage across the country. The garden didn't suffer too badly, mostly old branches. It's almost as though nature was spring cleaning and decided to clear the old and weak trees and branches from our gardens.

The hellebores and snowdrops in the bed under the Prunus serrula at the top of the drive have been flowering for sometime now and always put on a stunning display. Also here welcoming us to the garden are two old favourites of mine. They are both Tilia x europaea, Lime trees, photo 2. It is extraordinary how one is full of mistletoe and the other one has none. Then on the Front Lawn the camellias are in full flower already and looked beautiful, photo 3.

But without a doubt the stars of the show this month were the flowering spring bulbs. Popping up everywhere around the garden they have been a welcome sight after the storms. The snowdrops, cyclamens, crocuses, daffodils and leucojums have been amazing, photos 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.

Tom Tiddlers Ground was white with snowdrops, photo 12 and the ground in the Asylum was covered in a patchwork of white and mauve with the occasional splash of yellow with all the snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils there too, photo 13.

In the Glasshouses I found this begonia 'Bethlehem Star' flowering, photo 14. A beautiful name for a beautiful plant.

Walking through the Kitchen Garden the pulmonaria was beginning to show everywhere, photo 15. This plant is an important and welcome early source of nectar for emerging insects. Also here in the Millennium Orchard the ground was covered in crocuses, photo 17.

On the New River Lawn the colours of the shrubs and trees in the Winter Bed looked stunning in the weak sunshine, photo 18. A visit to this area is never complete without savouring the beauty of the pond, photo 19. Amazing to think that it has been nearly a year since it was completely restored. It looks very well established.

Finally, the fauna this month has been conspicuous by its absence. But I was lucky to spot this Bumble bee enjoying the early nectar of the flowers on this Lonicera x purpusii, Purpus Honeysuckle, photo 19. Then this Honey bee was doing the same on the crocuses in the Rock Garden, photo 20.

Hope you have enjoyed this wander around the garden with me.

Take care



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