Spring in Holywells Park

After such a long and very dull winter and a slow start to the spring I see in the park that leaves, blossom and early blooms are bursting into life.

Perhaps the most graceful example of a tree in the first green of spring is the willow. And, in Holywells Park this beauty grows in the middle of one of the ponds, with the drama of drooping, feathery greenery enhanced by the still water.

Holywells Park also has a couple of old magnolias now putting on their annual outrageous blast of sugary pink.

Of course any park worth its salt has an ornamental cherry or two, but the only one in blossom when I visited was this semi-double white cherry.

For the handful of folk who have not noticed this has been a very dry spring particularly here in East Anglia, and, the park’s dry garden looked suitably resilient. The daffodil display was just coming to an end as the first green spikes of the ornamental grasses pushed up through last year’s neatly pruned brown clumps .

One of the aspects of Holywells Park that I appreciate is that it isn’t a particularly ordered or a heavily maintained park. There are areas of light-touch maintenance where primroses peek out from under the hedges and

weeds/wildflowers such as red campion and nettle are left to thrive in a naturalistic manner not least to the benefit of the wildlife, and a human with a camera.

Eight years on.

Reflecting 8 yrs

A moment of reflection this morning and I realised that my back garden has been evolving further and further away from its original plan, but I decided it doesn’t really matter. As with all life, nothing is set in stone and gardening is all about continual adaptation. But here’s a before and after.

garden waiting
The day the removal men dumped all my pots and stuff in the tired, old garden.

back garden planting
Eight years on – my garden this morning.

Over 50 years ago somebody planted this magnolia soulangeana in what is now my father’s garden. It was planted in a sunny but exposed position and the soil is too thin. Amazingly it puts on a brief, over-the-top show once a year. It is not a popular choice these days, not least as it is difficult to place in a more naturalistic planting scheme especially where space is restricted. However, who would be mean enough to cut down a small tree that flowers its heart out every spring?

Magnolia soulangeana
Magnolia soulangeana