Last weekend as temperatures rose the good citizens of the Wight were seen gardening en masse. The British but perhaps the English in particular are gardening crazy, an advantage of the Island is that there are not many weeks when gardening is off limits due to weather. All over the Island signs of spring activity can be seen.
The famous snowdrops of Brook Churchyard are going for it and peoples’ gardens are bursting in to life. Displays of wild daffodils in the woods near Bembridge airfield are always worth an explore and hot on their heels come the bluebells. As we near bluebell time (only a few weeks away), visitors who are lucky enough to be here can see a fantastic display in the woods behind the Griffin pub in Godshill a public footpath passes right through this area and a veritable sea of blue is the treat to behold. If you plan to visit Osborne House, in late April go to Swiss Cottage and in an area of woodland beside the cottage great swathes of bluebells create a fabulous carpet.
Right now daffodils are becoming the happening flower, many of the Island villages have verge displays of daffodils, but I have always felt that mass plantings on verges in the countryside are too contrived, in the centres of villages is one thing but beyond their boundaries I prefer to see wildflowers reign supreme. I enjoy to see our primroses flowering and there are some wonderful clumps along the Niton – Rookley road near Shinybricks Road (what a great name that is).
Meanwhile the Island gardeners are once again getting active and many gardens of charm and beauty are being readied for another season, visitors who like gardens should consult the National Gardens Scheme yellow book and go hunting some of the hidden gems of the Isle of Wight.
As for me the pleasure of the garden although an all year round thing now explodes in to life and almost everyday new fresh flowers start to open. I am currently being charmed by my snowdrops and hellebores and the crocuses are beginning to burst forth.