I have butchered the rose arch! It was a tangled profusion of roses, honeysuckle, clematis and beech hedge, but you had to duck to get through it and there was a lot of dead wood. So I set to with the secateurs, carefully removing dead rose branches (and have the scratches to prove it), but I was helpless before the tangle of dead-looking clematis spaghetti. I have never attempted to prune clematis before . . . and it shows. What I have learned is that what looks like dead clematis may actually be a lengthy strand with new growth at the very end.
Well, heigh ho. This is what it now looks like. Hopefully it will be a riot of roses and honeysuckle in the summer . . . with maybe a couple of clematis flowers.
In further news from the garden . . . all bare patches of earth have (I trust) been cat-proofed with scratchy prunings. ALL the sugar snap peas are growing; I have rocket seedlings and tiny broccoli seedlings coming through. Potatoes are coming through. I planted some dwarf french bean seeds under fleece yesterday without any expectation that they will germinate while I’m away. The hostas that I divided are all doing well, but I do think that four pots is excessive. The wind/cold-blighted mahonias, penstemons and ceanothus have been pruned back to new growth. One if the nepetas didn’t make it through the winter*. I have planted tiny hellebore seedlings in empty spots (will I never learn?). Whitebells and geraniums are taking over the flower border, so I have been ruthless with them. I scattered grass seed around the hebe I hacked at in December, but I think it’s too cold for it to germinate, and I’ve given the lawn a short back and sides and a feed. Cowslips in the long grass are doing well.
* Update: oh yes, it did.