There is one genus that has been thriving throughout this wet weather. Three months of torrential downpours and grey skies reminds us why no gardener should overlook the Willow genus. Let us not long for spring but instead linger in this damp moment a while. Whether your garden is big or small, it is time to make sure that when you look out of your window next January, there is a fire amongst the rain.
The blossom on the cherry trees is one of the true delights of spring. In April and May clouds of beautiful delicate flowers ranging from the purest white to the most intense coral pinks adorn the trees in vast numbers, a truly magical and breathtaking sight.
Their beauty has much cultural significance the world over, but is perhaps most commonly associated with the rich cultural heritage of Japan.
Dogwoods, members of the Cornus family, are often the unsung heroes of the winter garden. Although there are exceptions, in summer they tend to be unremarkable. This is because they are covered in foliage when daylight hours are longer and their crowning glory is their bark which can only be seen when the leaves have fallen.
In winter however shrubby dogwoods dress themselves in shades of gold, bright green, dark purple, scarlet and orange. In a large garden, a border can be devoted to a mixed dogwood planting. They look good when underplanted with spring flowering bulbs and they live very happily together with some subjects such as Hostas.
Spring is just around the corner, and blooms are already starting to appear – daffodils and crocuses seem to be popping up all over the place. Where does the time go?
This decadent cake is a brilliant way to use up any Bramley apples left over from the season. Serve warm with crème fraiche or even custard if you fancy, it will soak into the rich sponge and balance the tart apples.