By Sarah Syborn, Head gardener
The dark days of winter are over, the Spring Equinox has passed, and life usually feels a lot better by now. I thought I would give all fob holders who are stuck at home at the moment a virtual visit to the garden.
Here in Pimlico, spring is relatively early this year. The winter flowers can still be scented in the air overlapping with those of Spring. There are still a few winter jobs undone but you may have noticed from the window that the garden is looking lighter and airer.
I have done a lot of pruning and have begun the renovation of the privet hedge around the mound at the church end of the garden. It was getting far too high making it nearly impossible to cut and blocking too much sun from the seating area.
The winter has been wet but not particularly cold so trees and shrubs are flowering prematurely. For example lilacs began to open in the last week of March. I find myself asking them to stop so the unveiling of spring can be staggered and enjoyed for longer.
The bed by the tennis court gate is a homage to the Southern Hemisphere.
The Erica Arborea, tree heather, is about 6ft high and covered with scented flowers that the bees go crazy for. The Grevillea Rosmarinifolia is covered with pinkish red flowers.
Also at the gate, flowering at least a month early is the beautiful blue Abutilon x Suntense.
The anemone blanda or wind flower is a charming shade loving ground cover.
Kerria Japonica Pleniflora or bachelors’ buttons, single and double varieties.
The camellias are wonderful again. Many are scented. Resembling one of The Queen Mother’s hats, this is a peony flowered camellia Lutchuensis hybrid.
One of my favourites (other than the raspberry ripple one) is this camellia opposite the double gate that has five different coloured flowers on the same plant – plain pink, striped pink, pink edged with white, red.
These are dreadful and scary times for the world and I hope the garden and nature will provide some balm for our thoughts and fears.