It’s not surprising that British people talk about the weather all the time. We are in a constant state of nervous anticipation about what the weather will be doing today, tomorrow or next week. It’s the unpredictability that keeps us on our toes; keeps us guessing and discussing.
Last year, the winter just refused to end, hanging on until well in to March and making Spring so late that we all just about gave up hope of it ever arriving. This year, despite a ridiculous amount of rain, we had a very mild winter. No snow and hardly any frost. Spring arrived early, the rain stopped and the plants set off with gusto, growing and flowering with such an energy and enthusiasm that they are now well ahead of their normal schedule.
Two of my favourite plants are irises and paeonies which I wouldn’t normally expect to see until May but here they are already flowering and looking lovely. The tree paeonies in particular are looking stunning but the dwarf bearded irises are also well in to their stride. What really surprised me though was seeing Iris ‘Melchior’ in flower. This tall bearded iris usually flowers in the middle of May but here it is opening its first perfect flower. So if you are an iris fan make sure you visit in the next couple of weeks; everything is ahead of the game here at Sissinghurst.
Helen Champion (gardener)