Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – Feb 2019

My selection of blooms for February include a lot of flowers that were flowering last month.  It seems to me that spring flowers last longer than those in the summer.  I wonder if it is something to do with the temperatures or whether they flower longer to give them more chance of being pollinated by the pollinators which are scarcer than in the summer.

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of clamps of Eranthis which are slowly clumping up.  I did have Eranthis schwefelglanz which is a pale Eranthis but I haven’t spotted it so far which is disappointing.

Narcissus ‘February Gold’

My first daffodils or narcissus are flowering – Narcissus ‘February Gold’. I planted these bulbs back in the Autumn in a new area where the compost bins were previously.  The flowers are more delicate than I anticipated and I am really pleased with how they look, I will definitely be adding more next year.

Iris unguicularis ‘Walter Butt’

Probably the last bloom on the Iris ungicularis looking a little chewed but still providing a welcome splash of colour at this time of year.

One of the many clumps of snowdrops around the garden.  I am really pleased with how big the clumps are now; I will probably do a little splitting of clumps in a month or so once the flowers have finished.

Galanthus ‘Wendys Gold’

One of my more specialist snowdrops – Galanthus ‘Wendys Gold’ – different because of the gold ovaries and markings on the inner petals.

And a selection of my favourite hellebores

A hellebore seedling

Hellebore Anna’s Red 

So these are the floral highlights from my garden.

For more garden bloggers blooms check out May Dream Gardens, where Carol kindly hosts this meme.

 

 

End of Month View: March 2018

My apologies for the delay in this post which should have been published yesterday. I have been somewhat distracted by a lack of heating, hot water and reduced cooking appliances since Thursday.  I won’t bore you with the details suffice to say it’s not due to am oversight on bill payment. The situation should be resolved on Tuesday but in the meantime I have been unbelievably distracted with staying warm.  The persistent cold and damp weather have not helped the situation and sitting by a fire hand quilting a double quilt has been more attractive than sticking my head outside all of which makes me sound quite old!

Anyway, I have woken to sunshine this morning and a light bulb moment of “goodness it’s the start of April and I am late on the EOMV post” so here goes – at least the photos are sunnier than if I had taken them yesterday in the rain.

The above photo is what I call the bench shot because I stand on the patio bench go take it. I was going to say that not much has changed over the last month especially as we had yet more snow but actually things are starting to happen. The first daffodils are flowering adding extra sparkles of colour to the hellebores. I plan to add loads more narcissus for next Spring and will try to remember to make some notes of the gaps that need filling over the next few weeks.  I also want to add lots of the tiny blue and pink bulbs – Scillas, Chionodoxa, Pushchkinia and Ipheion. There is a mass of these at work which just looks stunning at the moment.

And it’s not just the bulbs that are making an effort the Prunus kojo-no-mai has started to flower and should shortly be followed by the large unidentified Prunus and the Amelanchier and Elder are both beginning to unfurl their leaves.  My gardening friends at HPS agree that spring is going to come with a rush this year and we will be playing catch up so I’m off this morning to sow some half hardy annuals in the greenhouse.

Whilst it might not seem like much has changed over the last month in the garden I have been busy when the weather has allowed. I have made real progress in redoing the back of the garden and am now starting to think about what plant needs to go where. My task today will be to dig up the Buddleja salviifolia, which you can just see behind the top bench, and bring it down to a more sheltered position on the patio. Hopefully it won’t be a case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted; as you can just about see it looks a little bedraggled and has suffered in the cold winds. The Euphorbia characias ‘Silver Swan’ in front of it will also probably be moved as it’s grey leaves may not work with the new planting but we shall see. I can’t quite visualise it yet but if I pot up the Euphorbia it will clear the space and I will be able to see it with fresh eyes.

As I break down the back terrace to make a slope I am having to dig up all sorts of seedlings and perennials and relocate them around the garden.  It is amazing how many aquilegia seedlings there are although I suspect they will all be that dirty pink that aquilegia seedlings tend to be. Nevertheless, I have been popping them in any gaps I can find in the borders so we shall see.

So this is my garden at the end of March and I am amazed how much colour there is despite the cold and damp.

If you would like to join in with the End of Month View meme you are very welcome to, the more the merrier.  All I ask is that you link to this post in yours and leave a link to your post in the comments box below so we can all come for a visit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring at last

 

Anemone coronaria ‘Brodeaux’

Hoorah a sunny Sunday at long last with temperature creeping into double figures.  But what to do and where to start? Having been unable to garden for several weekends due to the cold and wet the jobs are mounting up.  The situation isn’t helped by the fact that I have started some major renovation at the top of the garden and also on the patio – they are strangely connected.

Hepatica nobilis

The sunshine has encouraged the dainty Hepatica to open their flowers.  I am really pleased with these as I grew them from seed a few years back and this is at least the second year they have flowered.

Tulipa turkestanica

The first tulips are flowering.  I believe these are Tulipa turkestanica  which is a small dainty tulip native to central Asia.  I used to grow the bulbs in pots and the plants were floppy with weak stems.  Last year I planted the bulbs out into the Big Border which is rapidly becoming the ‘Bulb Border’.  I keep adding gravel to the border and old compost and this has resulted in excellent free draining soil ideal for bulbs. The Tulipa turkestanica is now growing more robustly with good strong stems.

This photo shows my renovations at the top of the garden.  We have removed all the scaffolding boards which terraced the top of the garden, mainly as they were rotting after some ten years of holding the garden up.  Instead of flat terraces I am reverting back to a slope but my plan now is to plant it up with shrubs and large leafed perennials to create a sort of hardy exotic feel to the top of the garden.  If I do it well then it shouldn’t need too much maintenance so the slope won’t be an issue.

In the meantime my eldest son has been making a coffee table for his brother and fiancée’s new home.  We are very impressed with how clever he is; hopefully I will be getting a sewing table soon.

Fading Beauty and Hellebore Leaves

As I slowly re-engage with my garden it seems to me that this autumn has been unusually mild.  Even a couple of cold nights this last week seem to have made little difference to the garden.  It all looks as green and verdant as ever with some plants seemly thinking it is Spring like the potted Crocosmia which are already re-shooting.

I presume the mild weather is also prompting the hellebores to flower earlier.  My experience is that the whites tend to flower earlier than other hellebores with the yellow, if I remember rightly, flowering last but I’m sure this hellebore doesn’t normally flower before Christmas.  I only stumbled on it by accident amongst the neglected border because at the back of my mind was a notion that I should be removing the hellebore leaves around now.

I remove the leaves religiously every winter so the flowers stand out but I often find myself wondering what the consequences would be if I didn’t.  I suspect there wouldn’t be any consequences as in the wild Mother Nature doesn’t go along removing leaves so the hellebore flowers stand out better.  Apparently we remove the old leaves to also help reduce the likelihood of hellebore leaf spot (Microsphaeropsis hellebori (syn. Coniothyrium hellebori). Some of my hellebores do show some signs of this disease so presumably I should continue with this approach but I feel more relaxed about my gardening practice these days so maybe a few plants won’t find themselves as thoroughly de-leafed as before.

 

In a Vase on Monday: A Bowl of Hellebores

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It seems inevitable that hellebores would feature this week especially after seeing so many at Ashwood Nurseries on Saturday.

I have realised that I have quite a few hellebores in the garden particularly as I seem to be in the habit of going to Ashwoods at this time of year. This weekend I was looking at yellow hellebores but ended up buying a very dark one, which was good as today when cutting the flowers I realised that I had more than one yellow hellebore already.

I have a plain clear glass dish that I normally use for hellebores but it is quite small and couldn’t accommodate all my blooms. Then I noticed the pale green dish in the dining room table which lives there day in and day out. For some reason it hadn’t occurred to me to use it for flowers. The dish was a present from a work colleague to thank me for some work I had done for her.

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Thank you Cathy for hosting this interesting meme

This week’s obsessions

Iris hollandica 'Autumn Princess'
Iris hollandica ‘Autumn Princess’

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Note to self: plant more of these for next year amongst the grasses.

I really discovered Dutch Irises a few years ago but last year the penny dropped that you really need to plant them amongst grasses or grassy looking plants which will support the flowers but also hide the long stems. Whilst the whites, yellows and blues are nice I just adore the colours and tones on this variety, they light up the border in a most elegant way.

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I have re-introduced Lupins in the garden this year having not grown them for years mainly because of the tatty state of the leaves as the flowers fade.  I had forgotten how beautiful the young fresh leaves can be and what an interesting addition they make to the border.  I am also really pleased with the colour of the flowers as they were an impulse buy at the local garden centre back in the Spring when I was looking for some strong colours for the borders.

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Last year I became quite obsessed when visiting a nearby garden with the large block of poppies that were about to open.  I just love the hairs on the buds especially when they are back-lit.

Wordless Wednesday – Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’

Euphorbia martinii 'Ascot Rainbow'
Euphorbia martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’