Spring cleaning

It has been a warm weekend. Not typical late March weather for this part of Dartmoor, but very welcome, giving us the opportunity to get out into the garden. My Norwegian sister called last night. They too are having the same weather, and, like us, have been working hard: “The garden just gets so dirty in an Oslo winter”.

Well, ours may not be dirty but there was and is a lot to do, to get it ready for Summer.

Coming home after a Spring visit to Venice some 10 years ago, we planted a yellow Banksia rose (rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’) on the warm east wall of the garden. We had seen a beautiful specimen in a small sunny courtyard of Ca’ Bembo, part of Venice University, and had decided that it would work well for us. What we hadn’t thought about was quite how fast, and furiously, it would grow, once established. It is a real triffid: bullying two of the other climbing roses into submission, crowding out the  hamamelis that we had planted in the bed below, and rampaging up and along, and over, the wall.

So this is the year it has had a make or break hair cut: not just taking out the spent wood, but cutting it right back, almost to ground level. Five hours in the sun, and two dumpy bags filled with rose, with at least another bag’s worth waiting, and, now, a bare wall.

The photo below was taken during the lunch break.