A surfeit of sycamores

The other day, J pointed out the huge number of sycamore seedlings appearing all over the garden. I had already noticed them a couple of days earlier while retrieving various items blown around by the strong winds we had last weekend. So I spent part of yesterday pulling up as many as I could see, before they could get too big. There will be more – some will have been missed, others will still be biding their time – but the forest that had sprung up in the patio and the gravel path has been all but removed. Horrible things. There is a sycamore tree a couple of gardens over, but I can’t remember getting so many seedlings last year or the year before.

Yesterday was a bit gloomy, weather-wise, so I didn’t take any photos, but did have a good poke about to see what was emerging and what we might have to write off as a loss. The Geranium himalayense is reappearing, which may mark the first time in nearly 15 years of gardening that I have not killed a hardy geranium in its first year. On the other hand, we do seem to have lost a heuchera (Midnight Rose) and the sarcocca, which is a pity. The other heucheras are all doing fine, so it may just have been that variety, or I may be worrying too early and it will bounce back in the next few weeks. The dicentra is putting out shoots, as is the peony, but I think that the ornamental sage has decided to leave the building as there is an absence of new growth on it anywhere.

Various deciduous shrubs are starting to do their thing, and we have leaves and/or buds emerging on the viburnum, all the dogwoods, and the deciduous azalea. Forsythias in both front and back gardens are now in full flower, hellebores all over the place are still going strong, and we have primroses of all colours, lots of daffodils, a scattering of grape hyacinths, wallflowers that are just last year’s annuals which I didn’t pull up and which have survived, and a ridiculously early tulip. The pulmonaria is giving its all, and was being visited yesterday by what I can only describe as The Most Excited Bee On The Planet.

We also have the now-traditional Mystery Plant. It’s clearly some sort of hyacinth, but the mystery is where it came from as neither J nor I can remember seeing it last year. It’s appeared in the front garden, and is quite pretty if a little chewed (time to order some nematodes, I think). Apologies for some of the wacky camera angles in the photos…

This year's Mystery Plant

This year’s Mystery Plant

Photinia having a growth spurt

Photinia having a growth spurt

A rather early tulip

A rather early tulip

We have a couple of grape hyacinth dotted about

We have a couple of grape hyacinth dotted about

Viburnum getting ready to do nice things

Viburnum getting ready to do nice things

Wallflowers - they didn't do much last year, so I left them in, and they're making up for it now

Wallflowers – they didn’t do much last year, so I left them in, and they’re making up for it now

Skimmia flowers just starting to open

Skimmia flowers just starting to open

Pulmonaria being lovely

Pulmonaria being lovely

These primroses are actually pale yellow, but the colour doesn't photograph well

These primroses are actually pale yellow, but the colour doesn’t photograph well

Along with the pale yellow ones, these came from a building site

Along with the pale yellow ones, these came from a building site

Hellebores, still doing well

Hellebores, still doing well

And a double-flowered hellebore - looking lovely

And a double-flowered hellebore – looking lovely

Forsythia - you can't ask for anything lovelier at this time of year

Forsythia – you can’t ask for anything lovelier at this time of year

Hope you are enjoying the long weekend.

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