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Jo's News and Views No 3 March 2023

Hello Everyone

It seems we have had all of February's rain as well as our March quota, doesn't it? I just hope that the Water companies have been refilling the reservoirs with it. We have had enough sunny days in between for me to visit the garden and take some photos so here is what I have seen throughout March.

The daffodils have arrived in force and the whole garden is now full of swathes of yellow. Such a beautiful sight.

In the Arboretum the daffodils provide welcome underplanting for the trees there. The blossom and new leaves add to the feeling that Spring has definitely arrived, photo 1. On the front drive their colour complements the Cornus mas that is still flowering, photo 2. On the edge of the Front Lawn under the Prunus serrula the hellebores are still looking good, photos 3 and 4.

Walking along the path towards Bowling Green Lawn, I stopped to admire the flowers on the Umbellularia californica, known by several common names including California bay laurel and Headache Tree, photos 5 and 6. Apparently, when some people inhale the perfume from the flowers it can trigger a bad headache. I am happy to say it did not affect me.

In the Tom Tiddlers area of the garden is this beautiful Prunus cerasifera 'Pissardi', photo 7. The buds of the blossom are pink but they open to reveal very pretty white flowers, photo 8. There was more blossom to be found in the Peach House where both the nectarine and peach trees were flowering, photo 9. These flowers were deep pink and so beautiful, photo 10.

Walking through the Kitchen Garden I noticed this rogue rhubarb plant, photo 11. His friends are on the other side of the path and no one knows how it got here!! Also here was a little clump of snowdrops putting on a late show for us, photo 12.

Down in the Rock Garden the Magnolia stellata was looking magnificent, photo 13. It was surrounded by a sea of blue because the scilla bythinica has taken over from the snowdrops, photo 14. Looking back towards the House it looked even more amazing with the daffodils in the Alpine Meadow behind it, photos 15 and 16. Also here was this small clump of Anemone nemorosa or Wood anemone, photo 17. As this plant is known to spread I expect there will be a lot more of it next Spring.

Back on the New River Lawn I stopped to admire the Hamamelis x intermedia 'Arnold Promise', photo 18, in the Winter Bed. This particular variety flowers later than the other Witch hazels and looked lovely in the sunshine. The flowers were exquisite, photo 19.

In the Rose Garden, the Rosa bracteata that is growing up the Market Cross was covered in new shoots, photo 20. I have high hopes for it this summer so more photos then. At the back is the Clematis armandii, Armand clematis, photo 21. This frames the shelter here beautifully. Also, here in the Pergola Garden is the Magnolia, photo 22. The flowers are only just beginning to open so I shall keep an eye on it and capture its full beauty next month. It is a huge tree which spans one side of the pergola completely, photo 23.

Leaving the Pergola Garden I stopped by the pond to enjoy the sight of all the daffodils on the banks either side of the Pond Terrace, photo 24.

Just a few birds to share with you this month. First of all is a chaffinch, photo 25. At first I thought it was a Nuthatch but no, it's a male chaffinch. I have not seen one in the garden for a long time so very pleased to spot this one. Next is our old favourite the Robin, photo 26. You can always hear them before you see them. Finally, one of my personal favourites, a Long-tailed Tit, photo 27. They are an absolute delight and so pretty with their pink/buff and black plumage.

I hope you have enjoyed this wander around the garden with me.

Best wishes



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