Dormant Spring

14 April 2013
Ben Pentreath

…On the other hand (for those who’ve just read my last post), one of the things I like most about this blog, for me, is that it weirdly now acts as a little visual diary of what was going on a year or two ago. This weekend, down in Dorset, has been grey and cold… rain sweeping in from the West all day yesterday. I know, I know, I hear that London has been basking in sunshine – I suppose my only consolation is that I’ve sort of caught up with work having been out of the office for quite so long. But frankly I’d have rather been in the garden.

The garden is on the verge of depressing. Well, in fact, it’s almost fascinating. When I popped in to the Old Parsonage last weekend, on my way back up from Cornwall, I was amazed to see that despite having been away for a month, absolutely nothing had moved at all, since I was last here in early March. Nothing.

How different from this time last year:

My asparagus hasn’t even begun to poke up. Apparently this is good news: the longer it’s in the ground, the tastier it is.

Or compare this same week in April 2011:

Or just one week later:

And you will see why I’m feeling a bit miserable at the moment:

The brief evening sunshine was nice, but it didn’t last long.

If you’re reading, will someone please turn Spring on?

Thank you.  Ben.

14 comments on this post

Karen Tongatamasays:

Love your blog Ben and especially love your comments on architecture and your posts re your garden. Have read a couple of the books your referred to recently re Covent Garden and Cecil Beaton’s time at Ashcombe. I hope you can one day own the Vicarage, you obviously love it so much and have invested so much of yourself into it. I love the images from there of the house and the garden.
All the best,
Karen NZ

spring is so gorgeous! it always brings so much harmony and love!!!! wonderful finds! love your collection!

Claire howardsays:

It gives us all hope that spring may be on the way,your garden is a true inspiration.Here, where I live in Leicestershire we have just about recovered from the snow and blizzards,there is very little evidence of flowers though we do have all the lambs out in the fields.

I feel your pain. We had a long dark, cold winter here in Maine. Now we’re having a cold and pretty much sun-less spring. I so enjoy your blog–your photos are so luscious! BTW do you pull up your tulips each year? You always seem to have a great display of them.

Same dormancy here in New England. Though the star magnolias started blooming today, so perhaps the warm up has begun. It has to get warmer sometime, doesn’t it?

Ah yes – spring. I measured the wee tulips today – I think they are about an old fashioned inch and a half up out of the ground – brave little things. And…that is on the sunny side of the house. (sigh) Bring on spring indeed – snow is forcast for the weekend.

It has been a particularly long winter here in Quebec. We still have snow! Last winter I had finished the spring cleanup by April 1st, a record in our part of the world. I am comforting myself with your pictures Ben. Your bulb display is truly splendid.

Console yourself with the fact that you don’t live in the Midwest. My garden just has a few Trilliums and Iris reticulata poking up. The last snow melted yesterday but there are still fallen branches from the winter storms frozen in place on the ground. Your greenery and bits of colors look gorgeous to me. Your orange tulips with wallflowers has made me realize my orange tulips need a hit of purple. That is a visually glowing and extravagant combination.

What beautiful flowers you have. It’s been a cold, hard winter for me and I’m sure glad the tide is turning, weatherwise. A few more months and there should be a glorious splash of colour everywhere

If only I could, I would have turned spring on long before you asked for it. 😀


Try watering the plants with Tenants Super.

deby, in Canadasays:

Perhaps things have just been waiting patiently for me? I am on my way for annual spring trip on Thursday- and did book it several weeks later this year that last few… I hope warmth and sunshine are coming.
It is amazing to see the differences in your garden Ben- but lovely to see what you still have to look forward to.
I do hope there will be English asparagus in the next several weeks and jersey royals with proper butter…
Plan to drop by shop on Friday to collect some purchases made in the winter.

Charlotte Ksays:

There’s something lovely though of watching a place over a long period of time and noting the differences from year to year. I admire all your bulbs–wish I had the energy to plant so many!

I know the feeling my garden is looking just about the same as yours (but on a much smaller scale) everything just seems to be on hold, we had a little sun today which helped the daffodils unfurl but then the strong wind blew them all down. You just can’t win this year. Your previous years tulip displays are amazing – it must have taken a helluva lot of bulb dibbling to get that effect.

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