The Easter break saw spring arrive in force at Larch Cottage. Always a fabulous time, this year was made even more magical with soaring temperatures and beautiful spring sunshine. The sudden change in temperature was a welcome relief from the cold, easterly winds and overnight frosts that have been clinging on; strange to think that it was just a couple of weeks ago that we were fleecing our new stock, protecting it from plunging overnight temperatures.
The nursery is now bursting with sights and sounds that offer space, tranquillity and inspiration. Our summer swallows are back, having returned earlier than ever on the 5th April, and are chittering above the nursery beds as they rebuild nests and prepare for the breeding season, and there is a cascade of tree-top song from recently returned, migrant willow warblers and blackcaps. Watching some of our swallows skimming the pond by the chapel on Easter Sunday in the bright sunshine made it feel more like the height of summer than the Easter break!
Our nursery beds are bursting with new stock and our extensive acer collection has sprung into fresh new leaf, flaming Acer Avenue in a kaleidoscope of vibrant colours. The courtyard is bursting with newly arrived bedding and, for the vegetable grower, we have young plants that will give you a head start on your plot.
It is an exciting time in Larch Cottage vegetable garden too, as we transplant young crops from our growing tunnels into the ground. Fresh beds of lettuce, broad beans and peas are growing well, while in the greenhouse a promising crop of apricots and peaches are starting to develop. This year we have also begun to grow micro herbs for use in La Casa Verde and their colourful, fresh new growth is a lovely, ornamental touch in the greenhouse.
Our borders change daily at this time of the year, as the plush, vibrant greens of new growth respond to changes in light and temperature. The Prunus shogetsu trees lining our main avenue are beginning to blossom above allium beds that are ready to burst into clouds of purple, and delicate Anemone lipsiensis is gracing the borders with its subtle, lemon shades. Buds are beginning to swell in the peony bed and it won’t be too long before our phlox bed is dazzling with its beautiful colours and heavenly scent.
From 1st May our private gardens and chapel will be opening on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons from 1pm until 4pm. There is an entrance fee of £4 and all proceeds go the Hospice at Home charity, a fantastic organisation that carries out such important work in our local community.
A visit to Larch Cottage at this time of year is the ideal time to take a leisurely stroll through the beds and borders or private gardens. Whether you are looking for specific varieties of plants, trees or shrubs or searching for inspiration, or whether you are simply looking for a peaceful, idyllic spot to find the time to pause, notice, and wonder at all this season has to offer, there is certain to be something to capture your imagination here at Larch Cottage.
Blog post written by Jo Chamberlain