I am hoping that next year the garden will be a bit less digging and a bit more tinkering. I wait, impatiently for leaves to appear on the trees. But at least my ‘February Gold’ daffodils are in full bloom – even though my ‘February Pink’ cherry tree is steadfastly holding its buds closed. Any bit of colour is welcome so hats off to my hardy perennial violas. I have always liked these because they are tough and (usually) don’t set seeds so they bloom on and on. Most are very sweetly scented and when they get scruffy you just shear them back and they make compact new growth again.
Last year I planted a batch under the roses and they have stood the winter and are now flowering really well considering how little else is flowering. They are ‘Grey Owl’ and ‘Blue Moon’ and I admire them greatly. They were raised from cuttings which root well now. You must take basal cuttings and not straggly shoots which will have hollow centres and will not root. If you do not have suitable, basal shoots just cut the plant back hard – to just a few cms – and new shoots will quickly be produced. Last week I took cuttings of ‘Ivory Queen’ for another part of the garden, and they are already rooted.
Even without flowers, the new shoots of peonies are attractive and hold the promise of so much beauty to come.