They fight their way up through the soil. It can still almost be frozen sometimes. Still there is life that is stronger than Aprils whimsical weather with alternating sun, heat, minus degrees, snow and wind. Not a strange thing that you want to lie down flat to be able to see everything that is happening up close.
Masses of leaves end up in my flower beds. It might be clever to leave them there to improve the soil but it becomes a layer too thick that actually keeps the cold in longer than neccessary I find (it is not wished for up here..) and besides it makes it harder for the little bulbs to come up prettily. Therefore I remove all the leaves to give the warmth a hand and so all the bulbs and plants can grow without obstacles. In a few weeks time I will put manure and a thin layer of soil improving material on. It is usually cow manure. Some of the leaves have already composted by the time I rake them together, I use them in my soil mixes. This year I am choosing a place and sorting a leaf compost to get mulch from the rest of the leaves as well. The oak leaves (which take much longer) get spread out at the bottom of the garden to stop any invading weeds from the slope outside the boundry and there they get all the time they need to molder.Perfect
The climbing hydrangea has been on my wish list for many years. Last year I went for it and bought a handful of specimens. I look forward to them growing.