So, first week of spring at last and the weather is starting to look as though it might be a bit kinder in the run up to Easter. The clocks go forward over the weekend too, so we will get more daylight hours to potter about in the garden.

I’ve been busy emptying both my shed and summer house of all my sculpture and garden ornaments and repositioning them for the summer months. All quite therapeutic and a sure sign that warmer days will be here soon. After 14 years with an old carpet from the house, the floor of the summer house has a lovely new floor covering too and a new coat of paint inside to freshen it up.

The garden is starting to look quite pretty with all the ornaments popping back up in their summer homes around the plot. I’ve a pair of vintage grey French shutters now back in place around the raised beds on the middle patio, as is the grey metal screen, positioned to support the two large shrubs of hydrangea “Limelight”. I’ve got two vintage toy horses, dating from the 1950s, which come out as well, one that looks although it is vaulting the hedge and one that sits peeping out from behind the containers.

All that remains is for our tortoise, Hector, to wake from his winter sleep and take up residence in his little house at the top of the garden. He’s quite late, waking up this year, but it has been much colder

The first of my plants ordered online came this week, a lovely new fuchsia called Eruption, a half hardy perennial with slender, fiery pink flowers that pour dramatically from its trailing stems. What’s more the flowers are apparently edible too. The second, ten plugs of Bidens Hawaiian Flare Bicolour Star. It is an extraordinary variety with bright orange blooms and a splash of gold at the base of each petal. The star-shaped flowers are borne in profusion, covering the feathery foliage throughout summer. Traditional varieties tend to become straggly as the growing season progresses, but this modern cultivar will, apparently, stay neat and compact all summer long, we’ll have to wait and see.

All the effort I made last autumn to plant lots of spring bulbs is certainly starting to pay off. This week there are lots of colourful hyacinths beginning to flower in the many containers around the garden. I bought a bag of 30 in a mix of autumn colours and the yellow ones, in particular look pretty stunning. I’ve noticed quite a few black ones about to bloom as well.

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