Six on Saturday – 24/2/19

Yes I know its Sunday, I seem incapable of remembering to do this meme on a Saturday. I don’t think Saturday has been a usual blogging day for me in the past so maybe that’s the problem.  Anyway, here I am a day late, again, but at least I can now share something other than hellebores and snowdrops.

This is how the garden looked at 9:30 am today and it didn’t really lift until well past 11:00.  But it need give me the opportunity to take some more interesting photos of the first narcissus flowering in the garden, if you don’t count Narcissus ‘February Gold’ which has been flowering for a couple of weeks now.

I think this is Narcissus ‘W P Milner’.  Its a miniature narcissus, similar in stature to Narcissus ‘Tete -a -Tete’. I have a habit of buying random narcissus bulbs each Autumn and then forgetting what I have bought from one year to the next.  I have a preference towards the paler yellows and whites and the smaller flowers.

I have no idea of the name of this narcissus, I have had it for a few years now, but I do like the paler yellow petals to the trumpet. I took the photos when the mist was still hanging and tried to capture the moisture on the petals.  I’ve been playing with the manual settings on my camera, trying to learn how to use the features better rather than relying on auto and macros.  For a first go outside I am quite pleased with these photos.

This narcissus was a surprise, it appeared unexpectedly and I suspect is a survivor from the alpine bulbs I grew a few years ago, well tried to grow, in pots.  I got fed up with them two years ago and decided that I didn’t have time to manage so many bulbs in pots and that I actually preferred the plants growing in the ground.  So the pots were unceremoniously emptied out into the borders and I keep coming across surprises.

My last six for Saturday is a photo of the Crocus tommasinianus that is slowly spreading itself in the border.  The crocuses are the best they have ever been this year and it was interesting to hear, at the HPS group I go to, that other gardeners have experienced the same.  The theory was that the heat last year gave the bulbs a good baking allowing them to produce better flowers, which makes sense when you think they come from Turkey.  As you can see the sun eventually came out today and bleached out the colour in my photo.

For more Six on Saturday, visit The Propagator’s blog

GBBD January 2018

Grevillea Canberra Gem

The first Garden Bloggers Bloom Day of the year sees a interesting selection of plants in flower, albeit a small choice selection. There are numerous buds a plenty – Hellebores, Eranthis, Snowdrops, Iris reticulata and Magnolia – but as with many a garden visit they will probably look lovely next week.

Grevillea victoriae

So what are we left to enjoy in the second full week of the year? Strangely, two Australian shrubs – Grevillea victoria and Grevillea Canberra Gem.  The former has been in flower since before Christmas and the latter has just started to open its flowers despite being covered for days in a thick crust of snow before Christmas. I’m not sure when Grevillea Canberra Gem is supposed to flower in the UK but mine is rarely without a few  flowers and beloved by the pollinators.

Euphorbia characias

Also in flower in the front garden are the Euphorbia characias.  I do love Euphorbias – wonderful structure, colour and such unusual flowers.

Galanthus ‘Selborne Green Tips’

Since my last post I have been reassured that the above is indeed Galanthus ‘Selborne Green Tips’ which is good to know.  Also joining Galanthus ‘Ding Dong’ and Galanthus ‘Mrs Macnamara’ is Galanthus ‘Colussus’ and Galanthus galantea.

Galanthus colussus
Galanthus galatea

Whilst the woodland border is speckled with hellebore buds there is one already in flower, a reliable early flowerer, and one of the first ones I bought from Ashwoods.

Primula taygetos

Finally I thought I would share this Primula which has been flowering since November and is now just waiting for a home in the garden rather than languishing on the patio.

Thank you to Carol at May Dream Gardens for hosting this meme which is a wonderful way of recording what is in flower each month.

After the Snow

and we certainly had snow, about 20cm deep in less than 24 hours just over a week ago.  Whilst we have had heavy snow in the past, some four or five years ago, we haven’t had so much snow in such a short period of time.

And it was the best of snow; soft, fluffy, powdery.  So much of it weighing down branches, flattening the fragile grass stems, crystallising the Fatsia flower heads causing them to snap off.

It was so still, so quiet, nothing moved for hours not even a wind to waft the snow off the allium seed head.

Now on the shortest day of the year the snow has gone and I’m on leave and I finally have the opportunity to see the garden in the daylight and discover unexpected delights.  The first hellebore is flowering and a healthy clump of snowdrops are pushing their snouts upwards – possibly Mrs McNamara.

Removing broken stems and fallen leaves revealed so many fresh new bulb shoots – so much promise for the new year.

 

 

 

In a Vase on Monday: Yellow

I’ve never cut Forsythia for the house before and I really pleased I have chosen it for this week’s Monday Vase post.

My forsythia bush is to be pitied.  It grows right up against the fence and has struggled for years in the shadow of a large sycamore in my neighbour’s garden.  With their clearing of the boundary more light has flooded in and with the removal of the sycamore the competition for moisture has diminished. Just as the shrub is flexing its muscles with the improved environment so I too want it to grow and expand to soften the fence line and break up the view.  I remembered reading Christopher Lloyd, probably in the Well Tempered Gardener, saying that when you prune forsythia you shouldn’t prune it into a mound but you should remove the odd stem to keep the shrub within its boundaries.  This is the approach I decided to take as well as taking into account the lessons learnt last week at Ashwoods about thinning the canopy of shrubs.

The vase is a Poole pottery one bought from the local flea market a few years ago and this is the first time I have used it for flowers. For some reason I just thought the blue grey of the glaze would work with the yellow flowers.  I’m not 100% sure if I am right but I quite like the effect.

As for photographing the vase – well the fact that instead of the usual backdrop I have been using this year the vase is plonked on the dining room table demonstrates just how difficult it was to photograph the stems well. However, I think the simplicity of the setting fits the simplicity of the stems well.

Thank you Cathy for hosting this meme every week which is making me think a little laterally about what I can bring indoors.  Check our her blog for more Monday vase posts.

In A Vase on Monday – Camellia

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The vase this week is a simple one which doesn’t really require me to say much.  The camellia flower is from a small camellia I have growing in a pot.  It is a plant I rescued from one of those ‘bargain’ areas in a nursery and planted out in the garden.  However, it was apparently unhappy as the leaves were very yellow, despite me having another very healthy camellia near by.  So like many a good gardener before me I dug it up and put it in a pot with lots of ericaceous compost and I have been rewarded with healthy glossy leaves and half a dozen or so of these sumptuous pink blooms.

For more Monday vases visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden

Surprises and Expectations

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What a surprise! 5th December and the first snowdrop is flowering in my garden.  Even more surprising is that it isn’t Galanthus Ding Dong which I know I have and thought was my earliest snowdrop.  I can’t find a label with it and I have been very careful in labelling snowdrops with substantial black labels which will stand out but there is nothing here at all.  I am completely mystified as to what it is.  I will have to wait until the flower opens properly and then maybe someone can id it for me.  I will also do some rummaging through my label box to see if there are any clues there.

Primula palinuri
Primula palinuri

I am not completely inept when it comes to labels and plant names.  I know that this is Primula palinuri grown from AGS seed probably 3 years ago.  It flowered for the first time last year in time for the Boxing Day Flower Count but then it was living in the greenhouse cosseted and pampered.  It has spent the summer out on the patio amongst the various pots and for some reason was overlooked when I moved all the tenders back under cover but it seems to be doing very well despite the buffeting it has received in recent days.

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This out of focus photo represents expectations.  It shows one of three emerging flower heads on my Edgeworthia.  I am very hopeful that this year, year 2, there will be good flowers.  It is planted within sight of my living room window so hopefully it will be something to cheer me through the winter.

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And adding to my expectations of a floriferous spring is this unknown Camellia.  It is positively groaning with flower buds given its size and I have noticed that the rhododendrons and, very exciting, the witch hazel are full of flower buds which I think is as a result of the mild and damp summer we have had.

Whatever the reason it gives you something to look forward to in the New Year, which is always good.