My Garden this Weekend – 10th February 2013


This weekend it has been wet and misty which to be honest has been a blessing as I needed to get on with finishing decorating the dining room.  I am pleased to say the walls and ceiling have been done and the first coat is on the woodwork so the room will be finished some time during the week and I will be hanging up my decorating togs and hoping to don my gardening clothes.


Despite the greyness of the weather the garden is beginning to take on its bright spring greenness. The snowdrops are finally beginning to flower although they seem very shy this year and are not a patch on the ones we saw at Painswick which were far more substantial.



I was surprised to find these two Iris reticulata flowering as they really haven’t had the heat they needed over the summer.  I think the blue one if ‘George’ but I can’t remember the name of the purple one.  This one was growing at a really strange angle as a large stone had rolled over the bulbs but they still managed to grow up ad around it.  It just shows how determined plants are to grow.


The Fatsia which looked so forlorn and bedraggled when it was caked in snow is positively shining although that might have something to do with all the rain.  Annoyingly we have more snow forecast tomorrow morning.  I am hoping that the temperatures stay a little too high and its doesn’t snow.  It would be nice if it stopped raining for a really signficant period of time as the ground is sodden and today it didn’t really take any time at all before the patio was flooded which shows just how high the water table is.

Although gardening has been a non-starter this week I  have booked to go to the San Francisco Garden Blogger Spring Fling which I am terribly excited about.  I shall be meeting up with lots of American bloggers and Victoria, and maybe Michelle.  So June is going to be a busy month with a family holiday in Cornwall at the beginning of the month and a solo and first trip to the States at the end of the month!

30 Comments Add yours

  1. Lovely pics – so great to be reminded that even on a very rainy Feb day there are some uplifting sights if you get out in the garden!

  2. Rob says:

    It’s good to be able to get out again at last. I had my first proper session outside this afternoon.

    Those snowdrops look like they’re going to be lovely. Mine aren’t really showing yet, but things are generally a couple of weeks behind up here in the frozen north!

  3. djdfr says:

    Very soggy here also.

    That fling looks very enticing.

  4. Cathy says:

    I had a look at the Fling website – you will have a wonderful time, I am sure, and I look forward to reading about it 🙂

  5. Anna says:

    Oh the thought of summer days in San Francisco gardens must be putting a big smile on your face Helen 🙂

  6. I have not signed up yet for the Fling, but did book the room. That is nice you will be coming, San Fran is a beautiful city with loads to do. It have been very long since I was there, but I do remember how much I liked it. It is very snowy here, so no flowers for awhile. It must brighten your rainy day with flowers in bloom.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi GWGT – oh it would be good to meet up with you in SF and put a face to the blog. We have a little snow here but hardly a dusting and its all slushy now.

    2. I met so many last year and you will love talking face to face with everyone. Hope I get out to San Fran, it would be wonderful to meet you.

  7. I’m planning to go to the fling as well. Hope to get a chance to meet you face to face.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Jason
      It would be great to meet you too.

  8. I was hoping to go to the fling but work will prevent it again…we just had another 2 ft of snow Fri into we have ice coming Monday morning…is winter ending soon

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Donna
      Pity you wont be going to the fling. Our snow so far has turned out to be more of a apology but its that horrid slush which I find can be worse to drive in than snow. We are meant to have warmer temperatures by the end of the week – fingers crossed

  9. Charlie says:

    I spent time in the garden getting ready for spring. The Sweatbox has finished and the Hellebores are just now ready to bloom. The buds on the Lilacs and the Peonies are about to break. This period of anticipation, early Spring, is one of my favorite times of year. Thank you for sharing the photos from your garden as it starts to come to life.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Charlie – what do you mean by sweatbox? I love Spring too its my favourite season

  10. Colette says:

    Thanks for the inspiration, I started a “this week in my garden” today!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Colette
      How funny you are the second blogger today who has decided to copy the ‘week in my garden’ style of post. I hadnt intended it as a meme but its nice that people like the idea

  11. Helen, it is becoming a bit lighter in the mornings which is a huge bonus. Your hellebore and iris look pleased to be able to display their true colours. Fatsia amaze me how much they tolerate. San Francisco will be a lovely holiday for you.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Nel
      Yes the fatsia is so resislient its amazing. I cant wait to go to SF but need to book my flights first!

  12. jackie says:

    Lovely to see signs of spring in your garden. I think the purple iris is called ‘George’

  13. Julieanne says:

    Ahhh, so you are still blogging, just not on Twitter anymore? I was missing your blogs because I was used to getting them via Twitter! Lovely to see you are still blogging – the Garden Blogger spring fling sounds great – how exciting.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Julieanne
      I have closed my twitter accounts for various reasons but still blogging and am on google+.

    2. Julieanne says:

      ahhh, fair enough. I’ve subscribed to your blog now, so won’t miss them 😉

  14. Patty says:

    How nice to see spring happening in the world somewhere. Those iris are particularly charming!

  15. I’m intrigued by your purple iris; I haven’t come across those before. They’d be lovely in a bed with purple hellebores and ericas. I saw loads of blue iris reticulata at college this week – ‘Harmony’ if I remember correctly – a real splash of colour! Spring is definitely on it’s way – the plants know even if the skies don’t!

  16. How exciting – the trip, not the wet weather… Though even in the wet the spring beauties shine out. San Francisco is one of my favourite cities, I’m sure you will have a fabulous time.

  17. easygardener says:

    Your Iris look lovely. I love their rich colours but they never flower for a second time in my garden – all I get is wispy foliage. Looking forward to lots of info about the Spring Fling!

  18. San Francisco! Fabulous. Like Janet, it is one of my favourite cities. Have a great time in such good company too. It is interesting that, while I have hellebores and snowdrops in flower in my garden,, there are such large desolate spaces between them it doesn’t look much! Perhaps I should make a definite decision to gather them all together. Love your irises. I keep planting them and find that I only get a year of flower before they disappear.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Elizabeth. I think the idea is to plant the hellebores etc adjacent to decidious shrubs so they bring interest before the shrubs are in leaf. The shrubs then provide a skeletal backdrop.
      As for iris reticulata I find that if you plant the bulbs quite shallow where they will be baked in the summer sun (if we have any) they do come back

  19. Owen says:

    Oh Helen! San Francisco must be such an amazing place to visit- i know there are some amazing gardens there- really crazy styles and beautiful plants!
    Im excited for you!
    Ive got my first Iris and Tete a Tete daffodils flowering in my garden- its sometimes hard to believe why a plant would want to flower so early in the year- there surely cant be any insects around to pollinate them!
    Im trying to think of a new ‘theme’ to plant up my window boxes with this year- any ideas? Ive done in the past tropical, drought tolerant, a wild flower meadow and bee/butterfly plants. Wondering what to have try year… its north facing so not that sunny but being on the second floor does get some light.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Owen
      I have emailed you with some ideas!!

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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