Last autumn I hacked back an overgrown climbing rose. I had let it run free to see if it would flower more, but it was still heavily overshadowed by my neighbour’s large conifers.
It is an ongoing problem of gardening that after the first five years of a new planting, serious, annual pruning is needed to keep the more successful specimens to appropriate sizes.
With the rose reduced in size the previously swamped clematis armandii ‘Snowdrift’ has finally started to flower. More of a trickle than a cascade so far.
However, the clematis armandii ‘Appleblossom’, planted at the same time as the ‘Snowdrift’, now cascades down the trellis. The pair make a textbook example of the direct sunlight requirements for most flowering climbers to give a good show.
On the other hand some plants only require the light of dappled shade to produce a display of delicate, drooping jewels.
After our somewhat extended winter this year in East Anglia it has been simply glorious to pause in the garden with the April sun warming my back. Enduring months under a relentless grey blanket drains the spirit so any signs of colour are gladly cherished.
Mostly I leave my flowers to grace the garden where their blooms will last longer, but yesterday I found a self-seeded hellebore in full magnificence hiding itself away behind a large terracotta pot. I couldn’t resist bringing a few stems into the house where I could continue to appreciate their subtle tones and pleasing structure. It’s easy to understand why flowers and foliage have provided such delightful sources of inspiration over the centuries.