Saturday, 16 February 2013

About time!

Since joining the blogging community a little over 4 months ago - I have been patiently waiting the day I can take part in my first Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.  

I know it is now the 16th and I truly wish I had a reasonable excuse for not turning up on time.  I would love to say that I spent the last 2 days opening the sacks full of Valentines Cards that made their way to my letterbox but sadly no, I just wasn't organised in time!  
Close ups of flowers


Galanthus 
Galanthus
Snowdrops, these are rescued Snowdrops, a neighbour of a friend was having a new concrete path put in their garden, the lady in question was about to have the old path ripped out - seeing that the snowdrops were just breaking the surface - my friend said to the elderly lady that she knew of a good home for them.  When she asked me if I could make room for them, there was no hesitation on my part, just make sure you get plenty of soil around them and get them to me ASAP!!  Were the instructions!  The first of the 5 clumps to open their delicate little flowers - I'm hoping that these will like my garden enough to stick around.  I've grown rather fond of them.

I made a declaration on Valentine's Day - 'My garden loves me' - I exclaimed!
Why? I hear you ask.


Iris reticulata 'Katharine Hodgkin'
Those of you living in the UK will know just how wet summer 2012 was.  For the best part of June and July part of my garden was continually under 6 inches of water - this part of the garden usually the driest and sunniest.  An ideal place to plant some Iris reticulata bulbs in the green winter 2012.  Various shrubs and perennials were removed because they had drowned, a couple of plants were potted up and rescued.  It took me until December 2012 to decide the remainder were dead, yes, for a change I was being an optimist rather than my usual pessimistic self! In a final bid to tidy up before spring - I noticed lying on top of the soil that 3 tiny bulbs had started to sprout.  The must have lay there throughout the 3 weeks of frosts in November.  Knowing that they were Iris bulbs - they were potted up and deposited in the cold frame.  As I opened up the cold frame on the 14th - this beautiful sight greeted me.  There are 2 other bulbs just breaking the surface, I am very pleased.  Out of 12 bulbs originally planted, 3 have survived - AGAINST ALL ODDS!! 

Iris reticulata 'Katharine Hodgkin' is my favourite of the dwarf spring Iris - the powder blue colour of the petals is so delicate.  It can't fail to impress.  I have read that this is one of the fussier spring flowering Iris - drainage it's said to be paramount to it's success - now you can understand why I think my garden loves me - all that rain water and yet, it gives me a gift such as this!
There was also some deep purple Iris planted in this border - I wonder if they will survive - no sign yet, but you never know do you!  It's all so tempting to get rooting around in the soil but for now I'd rather leave things to surprise me.    


Helleborus orientalis
I've lots of oriental Hellebores scattered around the garden - most of which are budding up nicely - this lot in almost total shade is the first to grace my garden with some blooms.  Thus far, I have resisted temptation to allow them to set seed - I would like them to bulk out a bit and try propogation through division first.         

    

Helleborus x ericsmithii
Hellebore x ericsmithii - I fell for the foliage on this plant.  The grey marbled leathery leaves drew me right in at first sight!

This Hellebore needs a bit of sun - although planted to the rear of a Pieris - the sun shines happily through the fence.  Being so far back in the border, it proved rather difficult to get a decent picture of the flower.  As you can see there are plenty more to come.  



Helleborus lividus
Helleborus lividus, frost tender, so not something I would knowingly buy for my garden.  I picked this up way at the beginning of the season thinking it was a smaller, cheaper specimen of Ericsmithii - yes, I know, check the label!!  Never mind - I've planted it under the Fatsia japonica - where it should be protected from any further frosts over winter - I will lift it later in the year and attempt to store it in the cold frame.

This next plant will not be to everyone's liking - to be honest - I'm not sure I'm that keen on it myself, what do you think?


Primula Francisca
Yes, that green 'blob' in the centre is the flower, as it matures it will have a yellow eye.  An impulse buy a couple of years ago and up until summer of 2012 it sat in the pot it came in from the nursery - in a corner, as if it had done something wrong!

I divided it and managed to get around 8 plants from the 1 pot - all bar a couple have taken.  What on earth am I going to do with 6 plants I'm not sure I like.

Primula Francisca (Francesca) is supposed to flower from March until July, perhaps that will be it's saving grace - watch this space!




The weather here in Edinburgh has been tremendous this last few days and I have managed to be out in the garden without an outer layer on!  It's time to get those fingernails really dirty and if I'm lucky I may even break a few!!

Thank you for reading my first GARDEN BLOGGERS BLOOM DAY post - if you are interest in joining, pop over to MAY GARDEN DREAMS to find out how you can take part.     

42 comments:

  1. Hi Angie! It's good to see that your iris survived, and the hellebore is lovely.

    I would say you're off to a good start sharing on GBBD!

    Thanks for visiting my first post, and happy gardening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marsha - thank you for your lovely comments and a big thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. I have to wait for a long time for any bloom to come as it is not only freezing but still snowing here, now and then. You have lovely flowers in your garden, especially that iris - what lovely color and pattern. 6 inches of flood in the garden!!! Oh Dear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When your time comes we will all be able to enjoy your first blooms Kl! Yes 6 inches of water - don't think I've ever worn wellies in the summer before!

      Delete
  3. Hi Angie,
    It is nice that your garden has decided to reward you with all these flowers after a summer like that.
    I live in a very wet area as well, but we have been able to raise the beds in the garden a bit, so it is not so much a problem now. Though the garden did flood a couple of times last summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raised beds will be a consideration if this remain the same this year Linda. Unfortunately the style I like are going to be quite expensive to put in so will need to compromise somewhere!

      Delete
  4. Hi Angie, I am surprised you just joined GBBD now. I thought every garden blogger is there, haha! Thanks for visiting my site, and i guess when you visited our country you were so uncomfortable for the hot and humid conditions. We don't like it, am sure much more those from temperate climates. Snowdrops is my favorite from the temperate climes, and even if every blog post it again and again I still appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrea, if I had blooms before now, I would have joined sooner!
      There are many people who love to look at plants we can't grow - you are not alone!

      Delete
  5. Hi Angie, love your count-down clock to spring! I hope we will get many more days like we have had lately the next 30 days, but it seems like we might get more snow down here next week-end!

    Those snowdrops were a great gift, as they normally take a few years to clump up like that. I see the Iris reticulata 'Katharine Hodgkin' on many people's blog, seems like one for my wish list for the autumn as they are gorgeous. Liked your more unusual hellebores too :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Helene, It's a great wee clock - followed the link on another blog. There are lots available.
      You really should put some Iris retics on your list - there are many available. They grow well in containers too!

      Delete
  6. Your Hellebore Ericsmithii is gorgeous, never seen a Hellebore with such foliage. Our garden is very, very wet too. If I view my garden at this moment, I cannot imagine it will be green and full of flowers within a few months. It looks ever so dull at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janneke, the foliage on this is the selling point - it stood out from the crowd of all the others on sale at the time. I am going to let this one go to seed and see what transpires.
      Hopefully you will begin to see some green soon

      Delete
  7. Good to see a successful start to the new year of gardening. I will have to wait another month or two to see what sort of luck I have this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nicholas, I wish you a successful start to your year too - we can enjoy your spring garden when it comes around

      Delete
  8. Let your Helleborus orientalis set seed, you will get some wonderful plants similar but different to their parents!
    I find a divided Hellebor takes a while to get going and sometimes fails to flower in its first year (if you had divided it last month it would have flowered as the buds were already there) and I only use division if it's essential to have a plant identical to its parent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for tips Roger - I might let one or two do their own thing this year. I will leave ericsmithii to do its thing but don't know if it will. That will need further research on my part. Thanks again.

      Delete
  9. Nice to meet another Edinburgh iris reticulata - and another Edinburgh gardener!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice to meet you to Linda! You are the first Edinburgh garden blogger I've come across - apart from myself, obviously :)

      Delete
  10. A great start to GBBD, Angie! That's some nice clumps of snowdrops you have there - I'm guessing you've been to Dalmenay to see the display there - if not I'd recommend a visit (Sunday 3 March for 2013 - I think). Love those hellebores, I'm a fan too and that little iris is a brave sweetie :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shirley - goodness me last time I visited Dalmeny was when I was a young girl. My grandfather had relatives there. I'm determined to get a visit somewhere to see the bulbs. I will need to see what I can arrange.

      Delete
  11. Happy GBBD and you have some wonderful blooms...i have none but I celebrate those from last year...we are under snow still in the NE US

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna - I'm sure we will all enjoy your blooms when the time comes. Gives us all something to look forward too!

      Delete
  12. Congrats on your first Bloom day post! Love the snowdrops - and the story behind them. And your iris r. is just beautiful. I hope your three bulbs will multiply to many more. Love you hellebores, too. I have only been growing hellebores for a year or so, and they have really enchanted me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HolleyGarden - you can always rely on Hellebores to provide a bit of colour, very worthwhile in the garden. All mine in this garden are either in the 2nd or 3rd year, so plenty time for them to go forth and multiply!

      Delete
  13. Happy GBBD! Very good move to rescue those snowdrops. You can never have too many Galanthus!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jason, you are of course correct - can't have too many!

      Delete
  14. Your hellebores and snowdrops are beautiful. H. lividus lived in a protected spot outside for me in zone 6b for five years so I think it would be hardy for you. It does like to be well-drained though. I have to plant 'Katherine H.' because I admire it every year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Carolyn - coming from you that truly is a compliment! Re H. lividus - I'm hoping that it will be protected enough. The soil where it is growing is good loam - so fingers crossed.
      Katharine is a beauty - you need to add this to your list!

      Delete
  15. Nice foliage on H. lividus Angie, and Katharine Hodgkin is a delight. Like Carolyn in the previous comment, I'll have to put it on the list for next year so that I'm not just admiring it in other people's gardens :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've so many plants on my lists that I have admired from afar - I do try to buy a couple every year, the only thing is the list just gets longer and longer.
      thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  16. You really have a pretty selection of blooms. The iris is a beautiful plant and a surprise it made it though saturated soil. Too bad about the wet summer you had. I can see why some shrubs did not survive. I always envisioned where you live to have the best growing conditions around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. The iris surprised me too!
      We do have good growing conditions here - there was just WAY too much rain last year!

      Delete
  17. Hi again Angie, when you've time please take a look at my Questions posting - I have some info on x cookei for you.

    Btw Cambo is well worth a snowdrop visit too :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shirley - I'll pop over and have a look.
      Yes, Cambo is another option. I've never been there - although I used to drive past everyday on my way to Anstruther with work!

      Delete
  18. Hi Angie, I think rescued plants can be those which are most treasured of all. More going on down your way at the moment. I really like that little Iris Katharine Hodgkin' I planted some in tubs in the Autumn and they look like they will be blooming soon, I have to treat these reticulatas as annuals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy that your Iris is going to bloom for you. I'm interested to know why you have to grow retics as annuals.
      When mine is all finished flowering - I will do a profile and perhaps a bit of research. I hope you will comment and let me know.

      Delete
  19. Lovely debut...welcome to GBBD! I was impressed with your rescue efforts and their just reward.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ricki. It's nice to rescue plants and especially so if they like your garden enough to stick around!

      Delete
  20. Hi Angie,

    Glad to hear you've had some nice weather up in Edinburgh recently! It's been OK here for the past few days too, although I haven't managed to get out into the garden at all. There's quite a few bulbs in pots I need to plant in the green, but yet more snow due tomorrow/Saturday so I can't see me planting them this weekend... yet again.
    Oh well... There's always next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liz - I hope the snow didn't turn too heavy. It has tried here but only for a few minutes. Don't relish wakening up to the garden covered in the white stuff tomorrow!
      'Always next year' is another gardening adage is it not!

      Delete
  21. Great to see your garden start to bloom Angie. I know that many people are fooled by lividus and now there are more and more varieties of lividus being sold here. You might get away with growing it in Edinburgh but I would never get away with it up here. I'm hoping to rescue some snowdrops very soon too as I don't have enough of them in my garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping in Rosie. Yes, fooled by Lividus - more like fooled by the label that doesn't state it's hardiness. A pet hate, no a real hate of mine that is!!
      Good luck on rescuing some snow drops. I have no doubt you will make them look absolutely fantastic when you photograph them!

      Delete

Your comments are appreciated. My blog is currently experiencing issues with some readers reporting problems when posting their comments. Please bear with me whilst I try to rectify the problem.
I have temporarily switched on word verification. I apologise for this, personally, I don't like it either, I am hoping this may help.