Harbingers of Spring
While we are busy pruning, training and building hazel supports in the still-desolate formal gardens, signs of spring emerge elsewhere as Hellebores begin to flower throughout the woodland gardens. Due to their habit of hybridizing freely, there are always surprises when new shades and shapes appear each year.
On the East terrace, under our listed white horse chestnut, where we painstakingly weeded last year, an intricate pattern of snowdrops, winter aconites and Cyclamen coum unfolds.
The bulbs emerge amongst the ivy. Ivy is useful as a weed-suppressing ground cover, but is a double-edged sword that also threatens our more welcome spring bulbs. Cyclamen are at the greatest risk of being ‘throttled’. Harry therefore keeps a baleful eye on ivy throughout the year, occasionally rescuing cyclamen corms from creeping strands.