I have at last got out to do some tidying. In the shrub borders there are clumps of euphorbias. I love the big characias ones with blue green foliage and acid yellow flowers in spring. They make a good evergreen for your borders. You do have to cut the dead flower heads off later in the year. Here it gets awkward because the sap is nasty.
I had a friend who had to go to A&E when she got it in her eye, even though she was wearing glasses. I did not manage to get mine cut off last year, but coming to them now I found that they had dried off and could be snapped off with no sap at all. If you want them, try to see them in flower so that you can get the best and brightest colour.
We have just seen them decorating the winter garden at Hilliers arboretum among lots of other colourful plants. It is worth a visit if you need cheering up. One border was looking marvellous. It had the black lily grass, ophiopogan planiscapus nigrescens (great name isn’t it) as ground cover and above a type of bramble called rubus cockburnianus, ‘Golden Vale’. This had a tangle of pink tinted white stems about three feet tall hovering over the dark background. Lovely. It is a bed that will look good in summer too when the bramble has yellow ferny foliage. It does not grow too large and can be hacked as much as you like.
The Bergenias were looking good too. Overture is a good one whose green foliage turns red in winter. You should get out to the garden centres and see if you can spot some others. They tend to have very aggressive pink flowers later on, not to everyone’s taste but cheering on a cold spring day.
[Please note that this message is not posted on behalf of Bentworth Parish Council and does not necessarily reflect the Parish Council’s policy]