|My 2017 'bulb bed' has returned! Mainly crocus so far, and a few squills.|
I had one quite big snowdrop last year under my cornus satomi, it had big leaves and was quite tall. Only one, though, and there is no sign of it this year - so far. I have not yet given up hope. The crocus in other parts of the garden are coming through - when I rake off the leaves, there they are, poking up. Again, much later than usual but none the less welcome for that. The 'Bulb Bed' above, has come along splendidly - it is on the south side of the garden and quite sheltered, so the bulbs are quite advanced. I planted some species tulips there last fall, and they are starting to show up now. I have to do some weeding there, but shall probably just direct seen some annual poppies for after the bulbs. That looked well last year.
I was quite worried about my beautiful burgundy hellebore - it is just beside the front path, and was covered again and again with snow, and worse, ice. I took off the old leaves, and there was no sign of anything coming up, until yesterday, when I spotted a couple of hopeful-looking sprouts. This is much, much later than the previous two years - a factor of the winter, which was very cold and mostly snow-less, so the frost went deep into the ground. It is still not thawed very far down, so I am reluctant to uncover my rhododendrons just yet. On the upside, hellebore-wise, I have an actual bud, on a pink hellebore that hasn't bloomed before, in the bed on the right-hand side of the front path. It may bloom next week. No sign from all of the many others. Yet. I live in hope.
I was trying to move some of my mammoth pile of wood chippings yesterday and it's frozen 20 cm. down. I am scraping off the top and barrowing it to the west side of the house for renewing the paths between the shrub borders. Just ran out of membrane - must acquire more so I can complete this task. I have a big circular seating area that didn't work well when I did it before - a combination of gaps in the membrane and a not-thick-enough layer of wood chips. I shouldn't have that problem this time.