April 2018

It’s Easter Monday and I guess spring is supposed to be here. But it’s raining – again.

I know we get a lot of rain in England but this is pushing the boundaries and the gardens are just sodden. My poor friends who are just brilliant tree surgeons at www.leicestertreesurgeons.co.uk are tearing their hair out.  They usually get quite a few enquiries for tree pruning and even tree removal at this time of year as people decide what they want for their gardens and plan for the summer.  Often they take out a tree or even transplant one to change the look of the garden. It’s surprising what a difference can be made by moving a featured plant even a few feet.

But this year the phones have been virtually silent. Apart from the odd occasion when a tree has been blown down or branches snapped off in high winds, they’ve been struck by the silence!  It’s such a shame because they know everyone will want work done at the same time, so they’ll probably be very busy all summer – if the rain ever stops.  But that doesn’t help the dearth of work right now, when they still have to pay their team of tree surgeons but aren’t getting in any money to help.

Even hedge cutting is way down this year. No-one wants machinery on their land when it’s all so wet. It’s not easy to leave ground looking good when there are ruts all over the place and holes two feet deep.  I say “holes” but actually I mean small ponds because the water table is so low that they instantly fill with water.

On the subject of trees, our enormous eucalyptus has been shedding a lot of leaves. We’re not sure whether this is normal at this time of year but I don’t remember it ever happening before. Perhaps it has something to do with being waterlogged – I just hope it’s not dying, not least because it would cost a fortune to remove!  We discovered recently that they have quite shallow roots so aren’t really stable when they get to a great height – and ours would qualify for that -eek.

On the positive side, now the snow has gone there do seem to be a lot of spring flowers around.  Right now daffodils are out and primroses are putting on a very good show. We’ve got a lot of camelias blooming – probably the best ever with their pale pink rose-like blooms.  They are just beautiful. And the rhododendrons are full of buds so hopefully will put on a good show in a couple of months.

Bluebells are coming through, though they’re not yet in bloom, but again I think we’ll have a very good year. Perhaps these spring flowers like a nice wet winter – but we humans don’t.

As I write, the birdbath is full and the driveway is full of puddles, as is the area below the bird feeding station. The horses are kept in today because they’re just as fed up with all the water and mud, but it has turned milder, so the grass is going to come through with a vengeance when the rain finally stops.