Spring is in the air but to look at the leaves that seem to blow into every corner of the garden, you would think it is autumn. When you collect up all these leaves you will probably find a host of slugs and snails and all the creepy crawlies you just don’t want in the garden so it is pretty obvious that getting rid of all the dried leaves is really necessary. Trees and shrubs come as either evergreen or deciduous but no matter which, every leaf will fall off the tree at some time or other. Evergreen means that some leaves are always on the tree giving it the effect of always being green and when they do fall, my goodness they do make a mess. Some leaves are no really the type you want on the compost heap, they just never seem to decompose so are best binned or burnt.
One such leaf is that of the Nispero, their huge dried leaves are like leather, the same with the leaves of the Rubber tree leaves.
Speaking about leaves is almost a romantic subject, they figure in songs, they fill the world with colour in the autumn, in Spring the young green leaves tell us winter is over and in summer provide that wonderful shade from the heat of the sun. Above all are very much part of cleaning the air and called ‘the lungs of the world’. Without going too deeply into science lets just enjoy all the new growth that is already showing on our trees and shrubs, especially those that have been really hard cut back or pruned during the winter months. Some trees like my Weeping Willow have not been pruned and still has quite a lot of last years leaf but nearly every twig has what looks like a minute butterfly on its tip which is in fact the new leaf just showing itself. As for the colour, every corner of the garden seems a different green, it is just so refreshing.
Don’t forget to get those summer flowering bulbs into the ground be it plant pot or directly into the garden if in fact you did dig them up after flowering last season, that is if you can remember where you put them away! Yes I admit to finding seeds and bulbs and all sorts that I think I have carefully put away ready for the next season. The same happens with the left-overs of a packet of seeds, broad beans and peas or the likes and when I do discover them they could well be beyond their sell-by date, It will depend on just how far beyond that date as to whether you dare risk planting them or not.
Spring bulbs are really at their best, Daffodils, Fresias, Snowdrops and Grape Hyacinths. Although not of the Hyacinth family this little ‘grape’ variety has been given this name because its little tightly packed stem of flowers looks like a miniature bunch of grapes. It should be in flower now and looks well in clumps of several planted together. It grows profusely in the wild here on the island and believe it or not, its botanical name is that of one of the islands pretty villages Moscari. I had never heard of it referred to by the botanical name until just recently a keen gardener I know nearly always refers to plants by their correct name not the common ones we all seem to use the most.
I have mentioned from time to time the moment for pruning citrus fruit trees, it is about time now to get down to that task. It is up to you as to the severity of the pruning or when it was last cut back. All trees seem to thrive on a thorough cut from time to time even though it leaves the tree looking rather barren but I find that in the long run it almost comes back to say thank you during the growing season with far more healthy growth and in most cases where you want it to grow not just all over the place .
Weeds, weeds, weeds, popping up everywhere, they really must be kept in check or they will over run the whole garden taking all the nutrients out of the soil, even plant pots will harbour the weeds. So what is a weed? They say its any plant in the wrong place, whatever, if you don’t want it pull it up to make room for what you have planted.
The whole day of gentle rains we had during the beginning of last week was just what the gardens needed, I don’t know exactly what it was like all over the island but in the north it was perfect for watering the garden without flattening everything and as soon as the sun came out the next day all the plants seemed to look fresher and greener. There will of course be plenty more rainy days coming up, both in the English language and in Spanish we are told about the proverbial ‘April showers’ supposedly to bring out the ‘May flowers’ but those we already have here on the island with fields full of bright yellow Oxalis, blue with wild Grape Hyancinth and deeper yellow with the tiny wild Marigolds, yes, it is an island full of colour. Let’s see which will be the next colour in out countryside.