March trip to the Botanic Gardens 2013

What a day!

After some recent sunshine the weather has again turned dull and the landscape to various shades of grey. On top of that, today we had a biting cold northerly wind bringing hail and flurries of snow with it, and a wind chill factor definitely on the minus side of the scale.

I was afforded the opportunity to visit my local Botanic Gardens, which meant the donning of woolly hat, gloves and heavy Winter coat; and even then I was grateful there were plants both indoors and outdoors to see.

I spent a couple of hours here, and you can see from the pictures there is plenty of colour, between fresh foliage, new grow and early Spring flowers appearing.

What did strike me during this visit, was the different structures that caught my eye including the bamboo frame for climbers to grow on (going to make a couple of these at home) and staging to show the alpines (might do something similar for my Fuchsias later in the year). Interesting.

What I did notice since my last visit was the herbaceous border had been replanted (in January it was being completely overhauled with groups of plants lufted and left to the side) bulbs were showing in the 'Joyce' portrait and it was great to see the flowering cherry's and Helleborus orientalis in colour.

I was reminded of a favourite of mine, a shrub called Spirea japonica 'Goldflame'. Now this is a plant I recommend growing for its bud-burst and new growth colour, which is a flaming orange to yellow, it really is smashing. The foliage colour matures to a pale yellow and this is followed by pink flowers. In my experience though, the plant tends to be at its best in the early Spring.

The indoor plants and flowers were a striking contrast to their outdoor relations, and are a reminder of what is to come for us, when the warmer weather and longer days return.

And, just look at the lovely example of a Chaenomeles trained through a waist height railings, showing the flowers at their best.

After the couple of hours, it was time to journey home to thaw out and enjoy a nice warm drink by the fire, content with the mornings trekking.

Happy gardening.