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Time for me to spring into action

PUBLISHED: 13:41 04 March 2009 | UPDATED: 17:13 16 August 2010

JEEPERS Creepers hairy weepers - The Green Man is now firing on all cylinders. Spring is surely now upon us with the devilish winter blues hopefully banished to wherever winter blues go in springtime. The weather is now a delight and the strengthening su

JEEPERS Creepers hairy weepers - The Green Man is now firing on all cylinders. Spring is surely now upon us with the devilish winter blues hopefully banished to wherever winter blues go in springtime.

The weather is now a delight and the strengthening sunny rays are blasting their way through my gatehouse bedroom windows as I type this article. I've got a feeling in my blood that 2009 is going to be a classic year in all departments, whether it's visitors numbers to the World Garden or the weather affecting subsequent plant. The upbeat turn of events was instigated by the best ever show of sunny yellow winter aconites followed swiftly by the snowdrops.

I have never seen a show like this before, in fact, dad reckons it's the best flowering performance since the bulbs were planted by my late granny, Lady Zoe Hart Dyke, some 60 years ago.

Perhaps the recent cold snap enhanced their flower power - who knows? Hey, what with all of this "global warming", in a few years' time snowdrops will be invading the UK as we enter an ice-age. Clearing the brambles and saplings around the snowdrops last year increased light and air movement, and making sure we never mow the area until the leaves have completely turned brown allows goodness to return to the bulb. These factors are likely to have contributed to their change of fortunes.

Snowdrop, romantically known in Latin as Galanthus nivalis, are such a well-loved native British plant. Or are they? Well-loved, of course, but native? This might come as a bit of a shock to some readers but snowdrops are now officially not native to South East England, including - of course - Kentish soil. In fact the only region in the UK that snowdrops may be native is parts of the South West and Wales. But nobody seems to be sure.

They have been linked to the Romans who may have introduced them. Natively they do however grow on mainland Europe. Whether a native or not, snowdrops have knocked my horticultural socks way off line this year. Ho hum readers, back to tidying up the World Garden for me.

With only five weeks until we open, I'd better get cracking. Enjoy the longer - and hopefully sunnier - spring days.

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