Early Spring in the garden.

The last of the snow has melted and the soil is reasonably dry, so I did some work in the front garden yesterday. Always, the first thing to do is pick up litter, which isn’t overwhelming today, because the winds have been trending south-easterly, rather than the north-westers and westerly winds that bring in the most rubbish.

Scilla siberica, the tiny Siberian squill, is always the first bloom in the garden.

After litter picking, I tackled the most unruly of the winter plants, the tattered Karl Foerster grass  (Calamagrostis x acutiflora) clumps. Most years the attractive dry seed heads are still standing, but this year they had almost all collapsed, driven down early by the winds of November and soon covered by drifting snow. I cut out the longer stems, and then use the whipper-snipper to shred the remaining leaves, leaving the debris to act as mulch around the plants.

This wasn’t the first chore in the garden. Our earliest garden rite of Spring is the pruning of the apple tree, and that began last weekend and was completed two days ago. This apple is our primary shade tree, guided over the years to reach over the patio arbour, giving us apple blossoms overhead in mid-May and leafy shade in the hot months of summer, and buckets of fruit in September. This simple apple tree has become one of the few surviving mainstays of the garden, and a simple pleasure providing long term appreciation.

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