March of the Daffodils

Well March has begun with a literal bang in the form of our first storm felled tree of the winter.

Photo3375The gusts of 70mph brought down a tree tall enough for the top of the crown to go onto the main road. With the help of a tree surgeon with chipper we managed to clear this within a few hours.

I am hoping for brighter things this March, specifically Daffodils. As we find the time to take more interest in the woodland areas we are finding more daffodil plantings. Some of them are in an area marked on old maps as being a ‘Wilderness’ garden which is a term we would use differently today. A wilderness used to be what you could term a ‘faux natural’ area in that it would be designed and planted to look natural and wild while utilising all manner of both foreign and native plants to carpet the ground under fine trees. So I have launched a project to try and track down the names of the varieties we have in the garden and in the future we would like to plant more here. I have visited the National Trust Garden Llanerchaeron down the road from us this week to look at the Daffodils in their collection. My hope was that our estates may have exchanged bulbs in the past and I might be able to identify some of our plantings from their records. Unfortunately that was not to be and while we seem to have more plantings of doubles, Llanerchaeron has more singles. As a lot of ours were planted under the Lime Walk, which dates back to the 1600′s I am now wondering if our varieties may be earlier than Llanerchaeron’s. I am recording the flowers as they open, so please stop your children from pulling the heads off! So far I have identified one variety

 

DSCN6347The double trumpet flowered ‘Von Sion’ aka Telamonius Plenus brought to England in 1620.

DSCN6306On the riverbank we think this is a species Daffodil Narcissus pseudonarcissus.

If you are, or know of a daffodil expert who might be persuaded to visit and help please let us know! In the meantime watch this space as they open and I will post pictures.

I am still continuing to prune fruit in the garden as I prefer to prune on a dry day to help prevent the spread of fungal disease. A particular problem in our damp garden. As many of the trees have grown out of possible recognition of what the original shape may have been I am now resorting to more drastic measures to to try and get them to grow as we would like and also to stop them continually overhanging the paths.

Photo3365Before pruning to the rear and after to the front, to try and encourage more fruiting spurs rather than the vast quantities of whippy growth we currently have.

Photo3364Pear trees on the terrace can now be walked past again.

I have also been cutting a gap between the dogwood by the play area and the garden wall as it is so wet in the garden that the Cornus is air-rooting into the wall itself. I have found several birds nests which have been rooted through by the dogwood and into the wall itself.

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Definately an area in need of some work and hopefully some new planting in the future to brighten it up.

DSCN6299The common single snowdrop Galanthus nivalis are just starting to open on the river and stream banks.

DSCN6276These single Campernelle Daffodils at the bottom of the entrance ramp into the Walled Garden are well worth a sniff with a fantastic perfume.

DSCN6315The double snowdrops are still flowering too.

I hope your gardens surprise you with Spring Bulbs you had forgotten about, if not come and have a look at ours!

 

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