twiggy textures

March 19, 2011

Waiting around on site for contractors to arrive for site meetings at the tender stage of the garden build, can mean a few cold hours stomping around trying to keep warm at this time of year. Slots are organised  for 4 chaps (yes, they mostly are chaps) who run landscape and arboriculture firms –  it’s quite organised – leaving time between each slot so this can be done one to one and making sure that they have enough time to absorb what is required. For me, It’s good to be completely alone between these appointments. I relish just wandering around breathing it all in and having a chance to look again at important issues. No one is asking questions that I have to answer. Quiet time to check out  the proposed design. And also time to see the garden at rest. Time to look closely into the twiggy structure and textures of plants that will totally change in appearance soon. The contorted hazels in the first image are destined for a position beside the large pond. They’ve been planted formally outside the French window access to a rose garden and they don’t work as a symmetrical planting. The variegated holly is about 6m high and will get a gentle trim to give it a more balanced form. Below is Deutzia pulchra with the shaggy bark that will surely disappear beneath foliage by Easter.

Not entirely alone as the chooks and a pair of geese keep guard.

The Colutea x media still holds onto the papery seed bags. Strange how they hang in a rather expectant ‘pick me off’ way! This is a shrub we’ll definitely keep. We’ll retain the Deutzia as well but quite a few shrubs can be positioned if we start the process soon. Some will go. 

The old flint and brick end wall of an out building forms the backcloth to early flowering Prunus cerasifera ‘Pissardii’. This’ll have to do instead of an almond! Quiet rather special moments that need to be revisited and not forgotten. The poem mentions paronychions. Paronychias are pinks but as this is an old poem, we suppose, so the old spelling seems right.

The almond flourisheth, the birch-trees flow,

The sad mezereon cheerfully doth blow,

The flowery sons before their fathers seen,

The snails begin to crop the mandrake green;

The vernal sun with crocus the garden fills’

With hyacinth, anemones and daffodils.

The hazel catkins now dilate and fall,

Any paronychions peep upon each wall.

Early Spring  Anon (Sir Thomas Browne/) G. Greer

One Response to “twiggy textures”


  1. Julia, Peter and I would like to invite you to the opening of my 60th Birthday Retrospective at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, on Saturday May 7th, and thereafter to the garden party here at Ty Isaf on Sunday the 8th. Would you like an invitation? If so then please send your address so that we can add you to the list. You may of course bring another. Cate will be on the invitation list too, though I don’t yet know whether she’ll come. If you’d like us to send you an invitation, please send your address to:
    clivehicksjenkins@btinternet.com
    Best, C


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