There is a silent battle going on in the depths of our gardens! In a similar way to the Grey Squirrel, Spanish Bluebells are slowly out-competing our native Bluebells. The English ones are distinguished by their graceful, slim arching stems with the flowers all on one side. The Spanish Bluebells however, are vertical, thicker stemmed and with flowers all around. It may seem cruel, but I have dug mine up and sent them off to be shredded!
Another attractive native is Euphorbia amygdaloides or Wood Spurge, whose lime-green flowers combine beautifully with Bluebells and it thrives in dry, shady corners. The evergreen leaves look good in winter too.
Reviled by garden snobs, but admired by many, Forsythia brings a welcoming splash of yellow to dark days in March. Now is the time to give it a good prune and I do not mean the municipal crew-cut beloved by gardeners with hedge trimmers. Cut out one third of the old stems to open up the shrub for new growth. This will flower beautifully next year and look far more natural.
If you havn’t sown any vegetable seeds yet, don’t worry as they all prefer a warmer soil. Sow your beans, courgettes and sweet corn under glass. Yellow courgettes seem sweeter than the green ones and you can get them in a round form too. Soak parsley seed in warm water overnight and it will germinate quicker. If that seems too long, buy a pot from the supermarket, split it up and plant it out. Chives are a subtle substitute for spring onions in salads and so easy to grow. Grow as an edging in a flower border as the flowers are lovely too.
So much to do and so little time to do it!