My Garden This Weekend – 17th February


The garden is definitely showing signs of spring this week.  Primroses are starting to flower and shoots are pushing through the ground in the borders.  I think the slightly warmer temperatures and a few dry days have really helped.  They have certainly cheered me up.

Sadly the badger also seems to have woken up and there were numerous holes around the garden where the badger had been seeking out the tulip bulbs.  The badger’s visit have also resulted in my plans for a fern border being changed.  My son has a wood store against the fence where the badger accesses the garden and the badger’s excavations have undermined the structure. We have come to the conclusion that the only way forward is to accept the badger’s presence,  so on Saturday afternoon it had to be moved to a new location and I waved good-bye to the planned fern border.  It’s not all doom and gloom as there is still some space for the ferns I had planned to group together and actually moving the wood store means I can access the compost bin better.


I was glad to see that my early intervention with the slug pellets has certainly benefited the Ligularia ‘Britt Marie Crawford’ whose foliage is looking shiny and healthy.

I managed to grab a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon in the garden and this allowed me to cut down many of the deciduous grasses.  They had reached the point were they were looking incredibly battered and broken.  In the past I have cut the grasses carefully, sorting through the new shoots to remove the old stems.  However, having watched Carol Klein’s Life in a Cottage Garden and seeing her take the  shears to her this year I was more gungho with my approach.  I also cut back the foliage on the epimediums so that their flowers would be visible within a couple of weeks.

There was also time to pot up some plants I had received to review from the Plant Me Now plant scheme and the snowdrops which I bought from Avon Bulbs.


Then today, Sunday, has been a true horticultural fun day.  I have spent the whole day emerged in the world of galanthus courtesy of the Galanthus Group, specialist group of the Hardy Plant Society.  The group’s objective is to make the varieties of snowdrops more accessible to everyday gardeners and although many of the 80-100 attending were real experts there were also a few like me who knew nothing but didn’t feel out of place.  We had two talks in the morning by Jim Almond  and Joe Sharman, then after lunch we went off to visit a local garden, Ivy Croft, to admire the collection of snowdrops.

I will fill you in more with details of the day later in the week but suffice to say that I have finally discovered what the fascination is with galanthus.  It isn’t until you see lots of different varieties together that you start to understand the sheer variety out there. I bought a couple to add to the three I bought earlier in the week and even better I won one in the raffle – a delightful Galanthus ‘Sarah Dumont’ which has a yellowish ovary.


I have lots of plans for the garden but I am really enjoying going to local talks and meetings as I am meeting interesting and knowledgeable people who are very generous with their knowledge and generally fun to spend time with.

23 Comments on “My Garden This Weekend – 17th February

  1. I know that it’s not quite here yet Helen but you sound full of the joys of spring. So glad to read that you enjoyed the snowdrop study day and look forward to reading more about it. You really struck gold with ‘Sarah Dumont’. I recently saw a photo of a clump of them which took my breath away and she is on the wish list now 🙂

  2. Thought for a fleeting moment you had moved the badger, then realised the ‘it’ was the woodstore :)Shame you have had to reassess your plans for the fern border – is this where the woodstore was moved to? Could you not still plant ferns around it? I wonder what you will do with the badger’s playground area…. Look forward to reading more about your snowdrop day – and what a lovely prize to win!

  3. Our primroses are looking great at the moment too. Like you we have the native variety and they have self-seeded all around the garden. Ive croft sounds nice, will try to get there on one of their general open days.

  4. The social aspect of gardening is so much fun. You’ll soon find yourself attending even more talks and shows in the coming months and years. Glad to hear you can still do some fern planting even if the initial plan of a fern bed had to be replaced by the wood store.

  5. Oh Helen, I always take a moment of panic when I see your primroses in bloom and mine aren’t showing much in foliage. They eventually come but way later than yours. I love this plant.

    Oh… I can understand adapting to the badger (although we have non here) shame about the ferns (I’m a fan there). Delighted to hear you enjoyed your snowdrop day, I agree it’s not until you see lots of different varieties that the differences become apparent. I remember photographing lots on a garden visit a few years ago and when I got home and uploaded my images was amazed at how different they all were. Look forward to hearing more about your visit – Love that last image with the crocus 😀

  6. Love that last photo of the crocus and snowdrops blooming. I have accepted the critters that come into my yard as well since I cannot stop them…but I can manage to keep their destruction to a minimum or so I think.

  7. Seeing your primroses, snowdrops and crocuses in bloom gives me hope that spring will come. Today, in a fit of impatience, I went out into my Pennsylvania garden and started pulling out spent foliage and stems from last season. So what if the wind was howling and snow was blowing around in the air; spring clean-up has officially begun!

  8. Oh, look at all those snowdrops! How fun! And how wonderful that you felt welcome, and learned so much. That last pic of the snowdrops with the crocus is just wonderful! Welcome, spring!

  9. Sounds like you had the perfect gardening weekend, Helen. Can’t you do something to keep the badger out, it could cause a lot of damage? Christina

    • Hi Christine
      We tried to keep the badger out but they are very determined. When we blocked its route last time it found another way into the garden causing more damage. The general consensus is that there isnt much you can do. I will just not plant any more tulips in the main garden and that should avoid too much damage. It only seems to have gone for the bulbs I planted this year

  10. How I wish that Canadians were as gaga for galanthus! Their appearance is always so welcome in my garden, but we seem to have access to only a handful of varieties. That last picture, Helen, is pure refreshment. By the way, see you in San Francisco!

  11. Good to see your garden waking up, beautiful burnished ligularia foliage indeed. The snowdrop events sound really interesting too, and I love them en-masse with the crocus.

  12. Your photos are lovely and I’m glad you enjoyed your study day. You’ll be a Galanthus expert before you know it. I hope to grow add both primroses and Ligularia to my garden this year but I must do a great deal of prep work before conditions will suit them. Another task on the ever-growing gardening to-do list!

  13. Oh my, Helen…it really looks like Spring over there in your garden! We are still knee deep in snow here in New England so its wonderful to see some of your lovely photos. Good luck with the badger…a problem we don’t have here, although the porcupines give us plenty of headaches.

  14. Found your blog via Green Tapestry, lovely to find another who loves snowdrops. These last few days have brought all the early flowers on, with the snowdrops opening up to show their wonderful markings in the sunshine. Hope your badger doesn’t like snowdrops!!

  15. Sounds like a wonderful weekend, shame about the fern border though. Accepting the badger’s presence makes sense, from what I understand they are persistent creatures.

  16. it is amazing to watch a gardener respond to the coming of spring. I am sorry about the rough patch with the badger. We have cougars and bears, and of course deer so I appreciate the accommodations. Ground to garden on is precious.

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