My Garden This Weekend – 9th February 2014

Galanthus nivalis f. pleniflorus 'Flore Pleno'
Galanthus nivalis f. pleniflorus ‘Flore Pleno’

There has been a preponderance of pondering going on over recent weeks and not much activity in the garden due primarily to the interminable wet weather which we won’t dwell on as everyone is weary of it now.  Even I, the inveterate optimistic, find my patience wearying out. Saturday was a complete waste of time garden wise – wind and rain, however Sunday saw a rare blue sky and the sun attempting to shine through; so a chance to spend some time outside.

Iris histriodies 'Lady Beatrix Stanley'
Iris histriodies ‘Lady Beatrix Stanley’
Bulbicodium vernum
Bulbicodium vernum

The patio staging is beginning to have some floral gems showing.  All the pots have shoots showing but I am particularly thrilled by the Bulbicodium vernum.  I have never grown this before and bought it on a whim when ordering other miniature narcissus bulbs.  I am completely entranced by the plant: the deep maroon of the shoots and the almost silk like petals.  I hope that when it opens fully it will continue to be marvellous.


The outstanding stars of the garden at the moment are the Hellebores which are just opening their flowers.  I am thrilled that the two I bought from Ashwood Nurseries last year have not only reappeared but are flowering profusely especially as I lost the Hamamelis I bought at the same time. There are some other hellebores which grow on the top of the wall along the patio and the lighter coloured flowers are opening whilst the dark purples are still tight buds.  I am thinking that I should add some more hellebores to this border possibly following the line of the path and maybe interplanted with some small ferns.  I have yet to really come up with a plan for the whole border so this might be a good starting point.


As you can see in these photographs there are snowdrops opening and around the hellebores it is Galanthus nivalis f.pleniflorus ‘Flore Pleno’. My friend Victoria gave me several pots of these from her new garden last year and I am really pleased that they are flowering since they were neglected for a while on the patio.

I spent an hour or so today in the sun picking up twigs and branches that had been blown down.  It never ceases to surprise me how many branches and twigs can come off two trees and there still be an extensive canopy overhead. I then finished off cutting back the grasses including giving the Stipa gigantea a real haircut which I may or may not regret later in the year.  Sadly the sun disappeared and a cold wind appeared forcing me into the garage and to pot up some Jasione laevis which I grew from seed in 2012, hopefully this year they will flower.

Crocus sieberi tricolor
Crocus sieberi tricolor

As I have said before one of the things I like about Spring, which surely is only around the corner, is that you  really focus on the individual flowers unlike Summer when you tend to notice the overall impact rather than the individuals.

Hopefully soon we will all be able to start really enjoying our gardens.


14 Comments Add yours

  1. It’s always such a pleasure to read about your garden, Helen. You’re a real inspiration.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Oh you are kind Gill. I just enjoy recording what is happening in the garden

  2. karengimson says:

    I can’t wait to see what that bulbicodium looks like. I must admit, I sometimes enjoy the new shoots more than anything in gardening. It’s the anticipation that I love most.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Karen, I’m the same and I love seeing seeds germinate too

  3. bittster says:

    You sure did make the best of your break in the weather, the potted bulbs look great and I’m tempted to copy your staging area!
    That hellebore does have a fantastic yellow color to it. I can’t wait until they wake up in my own garden.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi bittster
      The yellow is rather gorgeous, I’m almost tempted to get another similar

  4. Pauline says:

    Flowers at this time of year are so very precious because they are so few of them, each one is to be treasured. With your garden being on a slope, will you be able to look up into your hellebore flowers, that must be the best way to grow them.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Arh Pauline you have guessed my cunning plan. I do indeed plant my hellebores up the slope from the path or the patio so I can see into the flowers

  5. Cathy says:

    That yellow hellebore is going to be stunning and it makes a change from the pinks, lovely though they are. I can certainly recommend having as many hellebores as you can as they really hold their own throughout the year and are especially stunning at that this leaner time of year. I don’t know Bulbicodium vernum and I am intrigued about what the flowers will look like – the dark shoots are fascinating!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Cathy
      I agree the yellow is a nice change, think i might go for another one

  6. Roz Bailey says:

    Hi Helen, I’m new to your blog and am enjoying following your garden cause we are on opposite sides of the world – so while your sick and tired of the rain, we are soooo over the detestable heat and severe lack of rain! I love you little treasures coming up and am envious of your YELLOW Hellebore as we don’t have any in Australia. Keep your spirits up, at least the rain brings new life.

  7. Helen so nice to see spring starting in your garden. Now if we could melt the snwo and get into the 40s I bet I might find a few blooms…

  8. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Little surprises of happy colour!

  9. I love the yellow hellebore too, I have one that in theory is a pale lemon yellow but it isn’t flowering this year, I think it is in the wrong place to really flourish. Ferns and hellebores with lots of bulbs sounds like a near-perfect border to me, but such a shame you lost the witch hazel. Will you try again? Fingers crossed for a sunny weekend next weekend, it will bring on the bulbs and we could all do with some proper time in the garden.

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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