Easter weekend is the traditional start to the gardening year. I never fail to be excited by the thought that this is the real beginning, the soil is warming and the days are longer, nature herself appears to want to get growing. The Sorbaria at the nursery seems to be breaking bud as we watch and Thalictrum, Astrantia and Geranium to name a few are stirring.
I read over the weekend that two of England's most well known and respected Garden Centre groups planned to open on Easter Sunday. Hillier, a distinguished named which needs no introduction and Wyevale both said they would open, in Hillier's case only its planteria's and Wyevale only to its garden club members. I have to admit if I had not been busy potting on at our own Nursery then I think I would have made my way to the garden centre and had a little look. I love unusual plants and finding something new to me, however this does not always have to happen in an obscure seed catalogue or from making collections abroad. Often under our own nose's new exciting introductions along with the everyday gardening essentials can be found in a garden centre. Once at one of the above mentioned I found a staggering array of Pseudopanax an evergreen New Zealand native with roughly 20 species rare to cultivation in England and perhaps not so surprising but equally staggering in sheer quality of plant a vast array of Hamamelis. At this time of year they are stuffed with a mass of exciting plants from vegetable plugs to fresh shrubs and a staggering choice of seasonal plants. Most importantly you can actually smell growing at this time of year in garden centre's and nursery's, its terribly exciting and I often think it does not matter what we grow as long as we enjoy it and can stand back at the end of the day with a cup of tea and reap enjoyment from our gardens.
So the starting pistol has been fired and the growing year is upon us.