My Garden this Weekend – 25th January 2015

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With a little sunshine this weekend and a slight increase in the temperatures the first hellebores are starting to open.  This is the plant that hooked me on hellebores some 7 years ago.  I used to use it as my avatar on twitter and Blotanical.  It is one of the Ashwood hybrids and I love the yellow and red combination.

Galanthus Selborne Green Tips
Galanthus Selborne Green Tips

 

The mystery snowdrop has opened and I am none the wiser.  I know where and when I bought it but I can find nothing written down in my notebooks or on the blog about what it is.  Ho-hum

At last I have found the label for the snowdrop – Galanthus Selborne Green Tip

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Although I like the special snowdrops I have bought I still feel more anticipation at waiting for the clumps of ordinary Galanthus nivalis to open.  I also have the double Galanthus nivalis Flora Pleno which is already beginning to spread despite only being planted just over a year ago.

Eranthis hyemalis
Eranthis hyemalis
Eranthis grunling
Eranthis grunling
Eranthis schwefelglanz
Eranthis schwefelglanz

My eranthis are beginning to appear around the garden which is pleasing as some were only added a year ago.  Unlike the snowdrops I can tell the difference between these three.  Eranthis hyemalis is the ordinary one, schwefelglanz is a pale yellow and grunling has green stripes to the flowers. I think there are some more which I would like to collect, I heard tell of a double the other day so I will be seeking those out.

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The very first daffodils in the garden are about to open.  I have no idea what variety they are, they came with the garden but they always flower early.  This picture amused me as I think they look like two geese or ducks – but then I may have a strange imagination.

I did find some time to do a few gardening tasks over the weekend although I found after an hour outside my toes were quite frozen despite several layers of socks.  I am pleased that I tidied up the driveway border in the front garden and also the Big Border.  The garden is looking more ready for Spring than it has in any other year which is satisfying although there are still some areas that I need to tackle but these will involve more heavy duty work and some shrub rearranging.  Today I mulched the woodland border just managing to get the wood bark down before the bulbs had emerge too much making it tricky.  Like many gardeners I have spent some time over the winter thinking about the garden and planning what I want to grow and plant over the coming season.

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I am going through a period of working through various emotions and trying to work out, as much as is possible, what I would like to achieve in various aspects of my life.  I suspect this need to have a plan or objective is due to several uncertainties in my life that I have no control over at the moment.  One of the things I can control and plan is what I want to do in the garden over the coming season and what will make me happy.  I have mentioned over the last month how I have been inspired by some television programmes and books and I feel that I have a much clearer idea in my head of how I want the garden to develop, finally.  Part of this is re-engaging with my old love of growing plants from seed and in particular some annuals that I haven’t grown for years including rudbeckia and zinnias.  My pocket diary this year has the saying ‘Do more of what makes you happy’ on the front and I have taken this as my motto for the year.   I spent yesterday evening sorting through my box of seed packets and sorting out what I hope to sow this year and when, for no other reason than the flowers make me happy – no planning for shows etc.

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Part of my frustrations come from only seeing the garden at weekends although already this is starting to change and I almost get home in day light.  I have invested in recent years in a number of miniature bulbs, partly with a view to showing, but also because I love their daintiness.  However, I don’t get to see them properly as they are in the greenhouse and its generally dark.  I don’t have the time, working full-time, to perfect the plants for showing and I am someone who needs to do something well if they are going to do it – I hate failing.  I have decided to put showing on the back burner until I can do it properly unless there is a show near home and I happen to have something looking good.  My friend, Dee, posted a picture of iris reticulata on Facebook today on display in her home and I think this is what I want to do more – bring the pots into the house as the bulbs are about to flower.  I have invested in a plunge bed and I hate waste so I have been exploring the possibility of converting it into a heated propagator which it seems is very feasible, thanks to advice from friends on twitter.  This will mean that the annuals etc I want to grow from seed and the cuttings I would like to try taking will get a better start so hopefully all will turn out for the best.

I sometimes think I should rename the blog – The Indecisive Gardener – as I change my mind so much.  I think some of this is due to the overload of images and information you can get via social media so I need to step back a little bit to let my head clear.  I spend a lot of time on social media in the evenings, especially at this time of year, as it’s a distraction and it stops me chewing my fingers (a very bad habit).  I had been doing some embroidery which I have blogged about before but the project I was working on is a little fiddly and I have been avoiding it so I have today ordered some new materials for  new project which should be a good distraction and a calming influence until the evenings are light enough for me to play in the garden after work.

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22 Comments Add yours

  1. As always,an inspiring post…makes me want to get out in the garden right now! A friend who has a huge surplus of old clay pots has kindly let me have a quantity of small ones that are perfect for snowdrops etc…a bit of moss tucked around them adds a little something . Like your friend I have some small iris in flower …Iris histrioides ‘George’ and Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’, I brought them in from my cold greenhouse still in bud on Friday and they are now in full flower.
    Your mystery snowdrop looks quite distinctive, hopefully somebody will be able to identify it for you.

  2. mossfighter says:

    It’s good to see your garden this weekend, at last some new colour. I’m looking forward to hearing which seeds you decide to grow this year, as a novice seed grower I’ll try to learn from others so will follow your posts with interest.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi MF
      I am planning on rudbeckia, zinnias and cosmos. They are all tender annuals so won’t be sowing them until April time and calendula which is easy

  3. Anna says:

    The temperature has gently nudged one or two of my hellebores to open this weekend Helen. It seemed that they had all gone into suspended animation for some considerable time except for a double that has been open for a good ten days or more. Your mystery snowdrops looks familiar but a name does not come to mind immediately. I know I haven’t got one like it 🙂 I think that too much information can sometimes make it hard to be decisive but it’s natural to have changes of gardening interest as the years go on as you gain in both in experience and knowledge. Like a lot of things in life you often come round full circle to picking up again what you enjoyed doing in the first instance.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Anna
      I know what you mean about the hellebores being suspended. I feel there was a green in the name of the snowdrop, I might have a rummage around the labels on the off chance I can find it!

    2. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Anna
      I’ve found the label!! Unbelievable as normally the label is never in the box or at the very bottom of the pile. Anyway the snowdrop is Shelborne Green Tips – I knew green was in there somewhere!

  4. mattb325 says:

    I love the hellebore – the yellow and red are stunning together. Even if the days aren’t too long yet, the Eranthis and daffodils will certainly brighten the garden up a little!

  5. Cathy says:

    Hi Helen – have you considered having a light in your greenhouse to enable you to potter there in the evenings? As it’s not far from the house it wouldn’t be too difficult to add power to the greenhouse if it isn’t already there. I hope you get lots of pleasure from starting sowing seeds again – even though I wasn’t hugely successful this year because of dodgy compost which meant young plants failed to thrive I have learned so much and feel so much better equipped to tackle it again this year. I have been looking at your snowdrop – was it one you bought from one of the monthly meetings you go? Can you remember who brought snowdrops to the meeting? I remember you posting about some such meeting I think.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Cathy
      I bought the snowdrop from a nursery at the AGS snowdrop conference but it’s not nursery I remember. I had a plant list from them but I can’t find it!,

    2. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Cathy
      I found the label!!! It’s Shelborne Green Tips, I won’t forget that in a hurry now. I like the idea of a light in the greenhouse. I do have power out there so it’s a possibility thanks

    3. Cathy says:

      Oh hurrah! I had looked through my Freda Cox book which is the best I have for identifying snowdrops, but SGT is not in there even if I had recognised it! Just think of the evening pottering you could do with a light in the greenhouse….

  6. rusty duck says:

    I remember you once saying that a greenhouse is about more than tomatoes and I do want to review how I use mine this year. I love the idea of serried pots full of interesting bulbs and seedlings. The first thing that’s needed is to give it a good clear out and then make it mouse proof!
    That is a beautiful hellebore.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi RD
      My greenhouse was turning into just a home for bulbs and I was fed up as I had no space for seeds etc which made no sense. Some of the bulbs were fine outside last year so I am having a rethink.

  7. Anna says:

    I’ve just leafed through ‘Snowdrops’ by Gunter Waldorf and reached the very same conclusion 🙂

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Arh Anna but you can see the differences whereas I just see white snowdrops with green bits!!!!!!! Thank you though

  8. Tina says:

    I can certainly see why you became attached to hellebores with that one–it’s a beauty. Lovely plants, all!

  9. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Hi Helen – We are enjoying day after day of 28c degrees, blue skies, lovely starry nights, not a lot of wind and no rain. Altho’ the no rain means lots of watering. Ate spuds, beans, toms and cucs from garden for lunch. Auckland’s 175 anniversary so thousands of sails on the Harbour and many events around the shores. Auckland is such a lovely maritime city, so many beaches, islands etc. Great for a water baby like me! Pool only 25.8c as solar heating not working as a thingy broke. Beans deliciously beaning!! Not looking forward to Autumn etc at moment just enjoying the heat! last summer not nearly so lovely!

  10. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Your bulbs are looking very pretty!

  11. Pauline says:

    You are certainly making full use of your greenhouse, your little bulbs in their pots look beautiful. I’m so glad you managed to find the label for your snowdrop, it is so frustrating when that happens, I know, have done it many times! I agree with only doing things that make you happy re gardening, otherwise it becomes a chore and that would never do!

  12. Andrew says:

    If you want a very early flowering daffodil, look for the variety ‘Cedric Morris’ or ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation.’ If the weather is right, they can be in bloom by Christmas.

  13. Amy says:

    It’s lovely seeing the classic early bloomers waking up in your garden. I’m trying to learn a whole new gardening sequence here in the desert, but even with the newness, it is helping me reestablish a sense of the normal and everyday. That’s been hard to get since my Dad’s death (actually since his illness began back in 2010) sent everything into overdrive. The garden is such a good place as it allows us to take the time to find out who we are again… 🙂

  14. One of the advantages of gardening is that it gives you plenty to think about, even when it’s too dark and cold to be doing it!

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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