It’s that time of the month again, the time to wander round the garden taking photos of what is blooming in your garden, and add your post to the many others over at Carol’s blog – a celebration of all things floriferous, from all corners of the globe. I love it, not only because it provides a useful record of how much – or little – is flowering in the garden in any given month, but because I get to nose over the metaphorical garden fence and see what other people are growing. It is particularly useful this year as this is my first Spring in this garden, an endless process of wondering what any given bulb will prove to be. In the back garden I have allowed the Pak Choi to flower so that I – and any passing insects – can enjoy the cheerful flowers. They are underplanted with large, blushing, daisies. These I plan to relocate in to the lawn. Something that would probably cause the previous owner to have a coronary since by all accounts he was very proud of his immaculate weed-free lawn. When we moved in it was neat but no longer weed free, and we want to turn part of it into a wildflower lawn. Not a meadow, nothing so long, but a patch of longer grass packed with bulbs and these daisies.
Elsewhere, under the acer, are four hellebores. Two were here when we arrived, though both looked sickly, were planted in very deep shade in poor soil, and were blasted by the recent cold snap. Happily they are settling in to their new homes and throwing up new leaves, but no blooms. The other two are seedlings I brought with me from my old garden. I expected them to be creamy-yellow perhaps with a little pink, or just muddy pink, but one of them has a lovely non-muddy pink flower, so I am rather chuffed.
Despite getting damp and muddy knees the best photo of the flower proper was this, which is a mere glimpse, but promising.
I inherited large, nay, congested, clumps of English Violet (Viola odorata). Both flowers and young leaves are edible, which is perfect as the clumps are in a border I want to grow lots of edible perennials in. Being so congested makes it hard to see the tiny flowers, they appear as a mere hint of colour in a sea of foliage.
Dividing the clumps was delightfully easy, and revealed the flowers in all their dainty glory – I spread them around the border, and still have another clump to divide, a useful source of evergreen ground cover while I save up my pennies for the erythroniums I am longing for.
There are also a few more dwarf narcissus, I was amused by this little grouping, it looks like a family, somehow, posing for a photograph…
The other plant flowering in the back garden is scorpion vetch – Coronilla valentina subsp. glauca ‘Citrina’. It represents the dangers of reading other people’s gardening blogs, in this case Caro @ An Urban Veg Patch. I was so struck by the beautiful photo she took of a bee on a scorpion vetch at Capel Manor that I inexplicably found myself adding one to an order I had otherwise been dreaming about for months. I just couldn’t help myself, because although it is one of those sprawling, untidy shrubs, it has dainty evergreen leaves and these beautiful two-tone lemon and gold fragrant flowers. Flowers that even I can smell. I love it, so thank you Caro!
(My photo isn’t a patch on Caro’s by the way…)
Moving round to the side garden I still have brightly coloured primulas (which I am not showing again because they have featured in several previous posts) and vinca (which I am not showing because I am not a fan!). However I also have three tiny plumonarias, which I am planning to move to underneath the magnolia in the back garden. I hope they will be happy and become less diminutive, I think they are really pretty.
Moving round to the front garden the circle bed still has clusters of robust purple crocuses that shrugged off the recent hail and plummeting temperatures, and yet more dwarf narcissus in ones and twos. All will be relocated so that I can re-shape and re-plant this area later in the year.
Alongside the new (still unfinished) fence I am beginning a Spring corner. The idea is to have the area near the dining area window full of late winter and spring blooming plants in shades of white, yellow and blue. At the moment, it is just white, but I am working on it!
The centre piece is a dwarf cherry – Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai’ – which has had a torrid life so far. I had it planted on the corner of the drive at the old house, until Fil ran it over. I rescued it and put it in a pot thinking we would soon be moving and I would be able to put it in the ground again. That was over four years ago! Now it finally has a new home, underplanted with the garden’s first snowdrops. It is covered in buds, so I hope soon I will be able to eat lunch looking at a cloud of pretty pink-flushed white blossom.
The rest of the white comes from the Christmas Rose, Helleborus niger. Unlike the orientalis hellebores these flowers are normally quite upright, but these are still recovering from the recent cold snap. Still beautiful though, and really shine out at dusk.
I love the way they fade to a soft pink. I have a list a mile long of other plants to add to this area, but I am not allowing myself to order anything else until the fence is finished and the border edges re-defined. But I may nick some of the many, many forget-me-not seedlings filling the garden for some of the gaps, the first are beginning to flower an intense blue with tiny yellow centers.
That’s it at the moment. In future years I hope there will be more hellebores and snowdrops, more crocuses and daffodils, clumps of native primroses, and oh, so much more… But for now, there is enough to make me smile and feel optimistic that Spring really is well on its way.
Do head over to May Dreams Gardens and see what other people have flowering in their gardens.