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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.