The Sad and Sorry State of the Rosebank Garden in April . Spring Cleaning and a Hidden Surprise

My garden hasn't taken kindly to the icey blasts of wind and blizzards this spring.  One or two brave plants have put out expectant buds but others have succumbed to the cold weather and I am not sure whether they will survive in their wait for more warmer weather.

Daffodils / Crocus / Tulips and Pansies


There is still very little to show in the garden - everything has been on hold for so long - just waiting for its chance to shine.


The spring borders which would, in a normal year, be full of colour, are struggling.

Everything is dried up and the soil is barren.

Only the evergreen plants are hanging on to their foliage - sadly some look the worse for wear - like the cotoneaster tree in the front garden, whose evergreen leaves are burnt, as you can see from the photo below.  The leaves are sparse and it doesn't look very healthy at all

The leaves have been scattered all over the lawn and onto the borders
I really hope it isn't damaged irrevocably as the birds feast on the berries all winter.



You can see the ground is still frozen - this bed was full of tulips till something unknown, probably a badger, dug them up.

The hellebores have flopped and are looking pretty sorry for themselves

The rhubarb is through but nowhere near as advanced as others I have seen
but the rosemary seems to be doing all right

The garden really does appear to be in  a sorry state and I am not sure how many plants I will have lost over winter but I am going to start sowing flower seed this weekend - from the look of it I am going to have a lot of gaps to fill.

Spring Cleaning

I was listening to Radio 4 this morning and heard an interview with a 96 year old woman talking about how spring cleaning had been a yearly ritual all her life.  It put the idea into my head and I decided to start on the spare room.  Big mistake!  It took me all day and now I'm absolutely pooped.  But one or two good things came out of it.  I had forgotten about some of my paintings that were stored under the bed - I gave up painting a long time ago, so it was a nice surprise to see them again.
This one was called Nightshade for some reason I can't remember now
And this one was of a rotten old tree  I found in the woods.

Something else I found were photographs - one of me with two of my goats from my smallholding days
this is me kissing Rosie, my favourite milker and her daughter Mary Ann.
and this is one of the first lambs we produced - I can remember sitting up all night with the ewe who was taking her time but we just didn't want to miss the birth

A Dish to Make

Corned Beef Hash

A Book to Read
Toby has always protected his sister, Elinor, their bond closer than they can acklowledge.  Then comes war, and in 1917 on a French Battlefield Toby is reported 'Missing, Believed Killed'.  Elinor, an artist now involved in helping surgeons reconstruct the faces of injured soldiers, is determined to find out what happened and writes to the horrifically wounded Kit Neville, the last man to see Toby alive.  But Neville is in hospital himself damaged beyond recognition, and he will not talk - until Elinor asks fellow soldier and her former lover Paul Tarrant for help. 
But are some truths better left concealed?


How has your garden fared over the winter?

Comments

  1. I think it's the same everywhere sadly. The daffs are still not open, the "grass" is non existent and the birds seem to have given up nest making. Love the pictures of you with your animals. xx

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    1. All the fields round here where there are animals grazing are like bowling greens or a sea of hard mud - it has got to get better soon, surely!

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  2. O Elaine my garden looks the same, it is too dry and too cold. I wonder how many plants will be lost. I just have sown more annuals this week and I suppose I shall need them to fill gaps. We'll wait and see. These beautiful paintings must be upgraded from under the bed to a special place on the wall. Funny, you have the same background with goats and sheep like me. Love such pictures.

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    1. The heavy frosts we have been having seem to have sucked all the moisture out of the soil - the temperature is supposedly going to rise in the next few days - let's hope so.

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  3. I was out in the garden today, and most things are indeed a long way behind. But the most obvious thing that struck me, dare I say it, is how dry it is. We need rain in the SW!

    Loved the photos from the smallholding!

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    1. You'd think that with all the snow we've had that the ground would be full of moisture - but it doesn't seem to work like that.

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  4. The first bit was sad. The middle bit full of encouraging finds. The last bit a bit sad again.

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    1. Hopefully my next post will be full of happier things Lucy.

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  5. It is a sad and sorry tale this year isn't it - hope you spotted the doggy photos that I posted just for you a few days ago!

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    1. Sorry Sue I seem to have missed that post - just been back to search and found them. I don't know why you don't feature her more often - she is a cutie.

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  6. Well This could have been me posting on my garden, I'm exactly the same, the endless rain and freezing winter and spring has had an awful impact! Here's to happier days eh?

    I LOVE your paintings, you are very talented and should take it up again. I particularly loved Nightshade.

    Good luck with your seed sowing.....xxxxx PS....LOVED THE CARNATIONS1XXXXX

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    1. This weekend has turned out to be a great one - got loads done - amazing what a little sunshine can do.

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  7. I am glad of the late Spring as it gives me a chance to get some organisation into our new garden. As the old saying goes every cloud has a silver lining.
    Bridget x.

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  8. Well, we don't really have winter like you, actually not much winter at all really. But I know your garden will spring back. Your diligent work and planning and sowing will urge nature along. And as long as you've been gardening and feeding your soil, I don't think that soil is barren -- asleep, maybe. I am sorry about the dug up tulips. I tried tulips once (they are annuals here) but some varmint got in and ate the bulbs from the inside out. Hoping your trees and shrubs bounce back and really make you proud this season.

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    1. I know you are right but it is very disheartening to see it looking so ravaged

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  9. Well, if I start the Spring cleaning now I know that I'll still be at it when I'm 96yrs old too!
    My poor evergreen clematis is brown and shrivelled and it should be lush and full of blossom. Loving the goat photos Elaine x

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    1. The trouble is that when the sun comes out it makes everything look so shabby after such a long winter - I don't have the energy to do a full blown spring clean any more but will carry on a little at a time - I don't suppose anyone else notices the cobwebs except me.

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  10. Many plants are far more resilient than we think they are so given some sun and warmth I'm sure that most, if not all, of yours will recover. The few perenials on my plot all seem to have survived.
    As always a most enjoyable post, and lovely photos. Flighty xx

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    1. I do hope so Flighty - it all looks pretty awful right now though.

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  11. I am hoping that all your plants will recover! Luckily the earth is finally warming up and I have always been of the saying "better late than never" :)

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    1. Late is certainly has been but this weekend has seen a vast improvement - perhaps things won't be as bad as I thought after all.

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  12. The weather has improved this weekend, so I hope your garden has benefited from that. I love your paintings, you are very talented. And I also love the photographs of your smallholding days. The new Pat Barker is on my reading list, too, after I recently read the Regeneration Trilogy.

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    1. You are right about the improvement in the weather - at last. Don't suppose it will last but I have enjoyed being outdoors again .

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  13. I want to give Rosie a bit of a cuddle too. And I very much like your rotten old tree (good title too). The gardens here look very similar to yours though bizarrely rhubarb is going great guns. No idea why. Dave

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    1. Mine is in a very exposed position so I guess that is holding it back.

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  14. Spring has been very cold here, too, but plants are more resilient than we give them credit for. I bet they all perk up when the soil warms. Your paintings are wonderful!!

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    1. I'm sure they are more resilient than they look - it's just that I seem to have an awful lot of gaps to fill

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  15. Our garden has faired about as well as has yours. Only here we are fighting the drought. I poke around every few days to see what has survived the winter. I pruned roses yesterday and because we had such a mild winter there was very little die back, thus very little pruning. Most everything is showing some live except for the hydrangeas, but I am hoping that it is just a bit early. Good news, Elaine, spring has a way of reclaiming winter's damage.

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    1. I hope so Ann - it is all looking a little bleak right now.

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  16. I love your paintings, why on earth did you stop painting when you are so good?
    Spring cleaning has to wait in my house, until the autumn when there isn't so much to do at my four allotments lol

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    1. Two things - I ran out of inspiration and the cost of framing was rising to ridiculous levels - so I gave up. And to be honest the urge to paint has never returned. I have enough trouble coping with one allotment never mind four.

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  17. You are not alone with your garden, mine is looking the same and many other people commenting have agreed with you. My hellebores look the same no wonder though after being buried under all that snow. I'm sure things will start improving soon and we will get some colour.

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    1. I am glad that mother nature isn't just picking on me then - spring is in the air - at last.

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  18. What a spring we are all having! Although it is supposed to warm up we awoke to find ice on all the branches this morning. I haven't done too much spring cleaning, but really should do some before the weather gets fine and the garden starts to demand my attention.
    Isn't it nice to discovered some old paintings and photos? Why did you give up painting I wonder?- Oh wait, I see you answered that question above. I often paint to a ready-made frame size rather than going with a custom frame. Like you though, I get busy and put off getting creative. (Sometimes, I question my sense of priority.) Interesting book as always! It seems you have a knack for picking great books Elaine.

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    1. Sorry to hear you are still getting ice on your branches - when does your spring normally come. We are about a month behind season-wise. As to the painting I don't have any wall space left for casual painting, although I do occasionally paint a picture for a gift. I really enjoyed the book even though it wasn't about a very nice subject - the horrors of the first World War.

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  19. Well at least you found some lovely things whilst spring cleaning - I love the tree painting. I think it has been hard to stay cheerful with this awful spring. Ironically I have lost both my rosemaries, which is a pain as I was looking forward to finally getting them out of their pots. The thing that gives me hope is that a neighbour, in a more exposed position, has a magnificently healthy - and enormous - rosemary in her garden. Hope your plants amaze you with their recuperative powers.

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