Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – March 2015

Euphorbia characias 'White Swan'
Euphorbia characias ‘White Swan’

I am really pleased with the garden at the moment; it looks so pretty with the pinks, purples and yellows dotted around the borders. Acting as a gentle foil to the bulbs is the Euphorbia characias ‘White Swan’ which is also flowering now.


A lot of the colour is coming from the growing number of primulas in the garden.  I really like the Barnhaven Primroses which are meant to be identifable by the yellow eye in the middle of the flower.  None of the ones in this post were sold as Barnhaven Primroses but I think they have become so easy to get now that they are quite prevalent.  I like the pink streaking on the one above.


This one seems to be the reverse of the one above and I am hoping that it will establish and bulk up.  I have recently sown a couple of packets of Barnhaven Primrose seeds so maybe in a year or two I will have a really gaudy spring garden!


I particularly like this soft blue primula which is a nice compliment to the narcissus.


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Then there are the hellebores which are also growing in number.  I seem to acquire three or four every year and I have noticed that the yellow ones seem to open much earlier than the others with the dark purples opening last.

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and finally we have a couple of early flowering narcissus – Tete a Tete and a mysterious shortish one, although taller than Tete a Tete

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Not bad for mid March I think, definitely better than last year.

For more Spring Garden Bloggers Bloom Day posts pop over to Carols at May Dream Gardens



Boxing Day Flower Count – 2014

Iris unguicularis 'Walter Butt'
Iris unguicularis ‘Walter Butt’

This is the fourth year I have done a flower count on Boxing Day.  I had noticed when weeding on Christmas Eve that there seemed to be quite a few flowers around presumably due to the recent mild weather, so it will be interesting to see how things compare.

I am particularly thrilled that Iris unguicularis ‘Walter Butt’ is in flower.  Last year it flowered at the start of December and although the plant is strong and healthy so far this month there had been no sign of flowers but Christmas Eve morning saw this wonderful elegant dainty flower fluttering in the breeze.


This double hellebore has been flowering for weeks, in fact months, since I bought it from a plant sale in October.  It is also covered in buds which means it should continue flowering for some time.  There are lots of other hellebore buds appearing including the Christmas Rose (Hellebore niger) but as yet they are still in tight bud so I can’t really count them.

Viburnum rhytidophyllum
Viburnum rhytidophyllum

The Viburnum rhytiophyllum continues to flower, really lighting up the back corner.  The Abelias which were in flower this time last year have gone over so can’t be included but the Grevillea ‘Canberra Gem’ as per the last two years has its first few flowers coming out. Still no flowers on the Mahonia which I butchered two years ago, it is really putting on good growth so hopefully next year I will be able to include this in the count.


The prostrate Rosemary is also starting to flower and is already becoming popular with bees.

Then we have a whole range of primulas which are flowering away.  They are looking a little battered and I noticed when I was weeding two days ago that many seemed to be being eaten by something – I am assuming slugs.  The weather has been so mild and wet it wouldn’t surprise me that the slugs are still active.


The Viola orduta has also been munched as you can see from the top petals. I have come across some small caterpillars when tidying up so they might be causing the damage.  I shall have to keep an eye on them.


The Jasminum nudiflorum has responded well to pruning earlier in the year and I think I am getting the hang of this unruly plant.  However, it is proving harder to photograph as the flowers seem too shy to be photographed.


Finally the first outside snowdrop – Galanthus Ding Dong’ – has started to flower.  I had hoped it would be fully open for today but I suspect the distinct drop in temperature today has made it hesitate in opening.

There are also two different types of bedding cyclamen flowering and a rose whose bloom opened a c0uple of days ago. In the greenhouse the only flowering plant is Primula palinuri.  This is the first time the plant has flowered having been grown from seed probably two years ago.

The total plants flowering on Boxing Day 2014 is 17 which is up on the last three years when I recorded 12 each year.  Also, with the exception of the Primula palinuri all the other plants are outside which is a huge improvement on last year when a significant number were in the greenhouse.

You can access the previous counts here.

Boxing Day 2013

Boxing Day 2012

Boxing Day 2011

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – March 2014th

Pulmonaria Sissinghurst White
Pulmonaria Sissinghurst White

As Spring seems to have arrived in my garden I thought I would join in with the Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post.

I know I have said a few posts back that I wasn’t that keen on Pulmonaria but I have to admit that I do like the purity of the flowers of Pulmonaria Sissinghurst White. Of course at this time of year when the light levels are still low the white and paler colours really show up.


I quite like this Pulmonaria as well, although I don’t know the variety.  It’s the blue/pink ones that I’m not keen on.

A variety of Primulas are also adding colour – here are some of my favourites

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The Narcissus have started to flower and I have a growing number of varieties although my memory of what is what is terrible.  I thought the one below was Pheasant’s Eye but I think I am wrong as it doesn’t have the red ring around the edge of the eye.  I will have to look back through the blog to see if I can work out what it is.

I do know the name of the following Narcissus – its Narcisssus Eystettensis which I bought from a friend at the recent AGS group meeting.  I love the mad flowers.

Narcissus Eystettensis
Narcissus Eystettensis

2014_03140010logoA small and dainty unknown Erythronium.  I planted a few of years some years back and this is the only one which flowers. Compared to Erythronium ‘Pagoda’ it is tiny and I only just spotted its flower today.

Hepatica nobilis
Hepatica nobilis

Another gem from my pot collection.  I am wondering whether to risk planting it out in the ground, as my instinct is that it will do much better.


I have about eight different epimediums and their flowers are impossible to photograph, well with my compact camera they are.  This one is the first to flower and it is my oldest acquisition so needless to say I have no idea what variety it is – any ideas?


Finally a couple of flowering shrub – a Camellia which I rescued from the discount area of a garden centre. It seems to be thriving in its new home out in the garden, much happier than in the pot it previously was in.

Prunus incisa 'kojo-no-mai'
Prunus incisa ‘kojo-no-mai’

I will finish with my favourite shrub in the garden, Prunus incisa ‘kojo-no-mai’ which is just beginning to flower.

Those are my floral highlights for March.  For other bloggers’ floral highlights visit Carol’s blog