It’s really windy here today, not the best of conditions to be trying to capture what’s blooming in the garden with a camera, but I can forgive the wind because it is actually warm! So, with apologies for the slight blurring thanks to the prevailing conditions, here is my contribution to Carol’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day meme, which gathers together posts from all over the world and celebrates what is flowering.
The spring has been delayed by the long (very long!) spell of unseasonably cold weather, shaped by a bitter easterly wind. So everything is late, although it is hard to judge exactly how late since I am gardening in a different area of the country with a maritime climate. I do know that in a “normal” year the Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai’ that I had growing in a pot for the past few years would have been nearing the end of its flowering period. As it is, the blossom is only just starting to open, a very welcome sight. I hope in future years it will develop into a proper – if small – tree, and flower prolifically now that it has the luxury of growing in the ground again.
Assuming we don’t get blasted by cold weather again there are plenty of buds yet to open, something to look forward to, and it is accompanied by the still-blooming Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger).
I’m really pleased with the way the pink blush on the hellebores echoes the pink tints on the cherry blossom, but I think I want to slightly re-arrange the hellebores to make a tigher clump and therefore a stronger impact.
Elsewhere in the front garden a blue haze is beginning, the carpet of forget-me-nots just coming in to bloom. I want to spread these little beauties around a little, they are an amazingly intense blue, and I love them.
The deep purple violas are back too, having taken a break from flowering during the worst of the “spring” weather, another plant I want to share around a little in the hope that it will gently self seed.
It is so easy, with a GBBD post, to only share close-ups, which can hide so much. In my case, the sparseness of the planting at present, though I prefer to look on it as an opportunity…
Apart from the bluebells (yet to open), the swathe of forget-me-nots and the scattering of pansies, there is precious little Spring interest in the front garden at present. A couple of small clumps of narcissus, mostly yellow dwarf forms that are past their best, and around half a dozen of these rather pretty tall white ones with delightfully yellow-tinged centers. These will need moving somewhere better, where hopefully they will gradually spread.
The one small area of bounty is in the planting pocket that runs along the small wall at the end of the driveway. This particular patch of drive looks more like a builders’ merchants at the moment, as it is where I am storing the gravel and stone I am recovering from around the garden to re-use out the front in due course. But back in the autumn I cleared the planting pocket of the ivy that was choking it and filled it instead with crocuses – Crocus ‘Ruby Giant’ to be precise. And although I don’t exactly regard it as “normal” to have crocuses blooming in mid April, these make me smile every time I see them.
In the side garden the only flowers are those of the pulmonaria, which has been blooming non-stop for nearly six weeks now. I plan to move them to the back garden, to the base of the magnolia.
Around the back a pot of Tête-à-Tête dwarf daffs waves at me happily whenever I pass the little greenhouse, while a larger patch has just burst into bloom in the past few days in the back border. These are the first bulbs I planted, even before the crocuses in the wall, so I am particularly happy to see them pop up and look so happy.
The other bulbs I planted were some species tulips, which I don’ think will flower as the soil is too heavy, and some blue Anenome blanda, of which only one is currently showing. I couldn’t get the blasted thing to stay still long enough to be photographed, so I will allow it to stay anonymous (!) for now, in the hopes that it will be joined by others in the coming week or so.
My two favourite blooms in the back garden are over nearer the corner by the acer. Our native primroses are a long-time favourite of mine, I much prefer them to the brightly coloured cousins I have flowering elsewhere and which I have shown before. I will have more coming from my previous garden in due course, but for now I have three small plants at the base of the Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Grandiflora’. Pure spring magic.
The other flowers are on the Magnolia stellata that I utterly failed to resist buying. I had planned to use the opportunity of starting again to try new plants rather than filling the garden with old favourites, but I had to make an exception in this case. I love the slightly ragged flowers and the scent, when wafted over the garden on a warm breeze, is wonderful. Add to that the fact that TNG, who rarely voices an opinion on any plant, loved the one we had in our old garden and it just had to be done.
It will be while before I am spending my days photographing endless magnolia blooms (no cheering please…) but it makes me really happy to have one here, and that’s good enough for me.
There are a few other flowers here and there, viola odorata blooms half hidden amongst the foliage, the first flowers on the sweet rocket seedlings that hitchhiked a ride here with the blackcurrant.
But mostly there is bare soil, just waiting to be filled with who-knows-what. Hopefully by this time next year there will be fewer gaps and more flowers, but for now, that is it for this Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. Do check out the other posts over at Carol’s blog and see what delights other people have growing in their gardens. I’m off to dream of new planting combinations to fill the gaps…