Thursday, 28 February 2013

Visiting February

A look back at what's flowering in my garden.....

Despite being the shortest month of the year - February seemed to have taken an age to go from start to
February 2013
finish!
It's been a very dry month here - the borders have been incredibly easy to work and there have been slight frosts most mornings, lifting by late mornings in all but the pond bed.  Things are very slow in this bed - the Mahonia is still not budding up, disappointing but what can I do?  Waiting is the only option!  The soil I suspect is not quite warm enough for a few of the perennials to show face.  There is some movement though - the Astrantias are just beginning to poke through the surface, as have the drumstick primulas - the alliums seem to have gone forth and multiplied this year - masses of 3 inch shoots are pointing skyward.
Elsewhere in the garden, especially on the sunny side - the perennials are back in business, the Globe Artichoke has not halted it's growth - it's already reaching about 1ft in height, this is despite being cut right down to the ground in November!
Most of the shrubs are budding up nicely - the Kilmarnock Willow has started to display it's catkins.

Salix caprea
Catkin
The remainder of the rescued snowdrops on the sunnier side of the garden are now open.


A lonely little snowdrop has appeared under the Leucothoe - a nice wee surprise! I like surprises, don't you?



Most of the hellebores are still tight in bud, I don't mind, I'm happy to wait - only the two in the deepest of shade are flowering.  I'm pleased that they are both different colours, they came from a multi-pack of 'red' hellebores planted early winter 2012.  I was pleaed to these flowering this year - I really thought I would have to wait a couple of years before they flowered.    



My little gravel bed has started to come to life - the first bulbs to flower are a selection of Iris reticulata - unnamed variety - the picture on the packet showed both purple and yellow flowers but I'm glad the majority appear to be purple, I didn't particularly want yellow and I was going to pull them when their colour was apparent and plant them elsewhere!  Miniature daffs, tulips, mossy saxifraga and hebes will add interest as the months progress - this was otherwise redundant gravel, so far so good - my plan is coming together!




In the terracotta container, Ophiopogon makes a beautiful back drop for Iris reticulata 'Harmony'


There might only be a couple blooms on the pink Anemone blanda but still a welcome sight.  The blues I planted last year have failed to materialise!

  

A collage of the other plants blooming - they made their debut on an earlier blog.



I'm hoping that a monthly blog like this will provide a useful year on year comparison and reference as my garden matures.  I suspect the format will change as I go along.  Do you keep a record of what's in bloom in your garden?  Do you find such a blog useful?

A quick question for all you seasoned garden bloggers out there - I tend to learn/record all my plants with their latin name and know very few 'common names' - would you recommend using latin or common names?

Thanks for visiting February with me!

28 comments:

  1. Nice to see the first blooms of the year. I don't really keep a record of things other than in my head. Plus with our weird weather the last couple of years things have really changed.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Thanks Cher - I started off trying to record everything in my head - that hasn't worked!

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  2. Sounding good Angie… I’ll have to take a closer look at my Astrantias now. Yep… got loads of the 3in skyward alliums here too – they always make me smile :-D

    I love the red hellebores too and also have buds waiting to burst. Don’t have iris but always think about it every year I see it in blogs. That’s a pretty one you have there :-)

    Latin or common – I guess it depends on the plant and when I first came across it like the cuckoo flower when I was a child. I tend to mix the two depending on how I’m feeling ;-)

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    1. Shirley - isn't it nice that seeing certain plants come to life gives us a smile and wee lift! I tend to breathe a sigh knowing that things are still alive!
      I can recommend I. harmony - a really lovely colour and has been flowering for a good time now.

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  3. Looks like your garden is doing well, you have had warmer weather than us down south lately I think.
    I tend to use the Latin names only, although I do know some of the common names, but most of my plants I only know by their Latin names. I keep track of all my plants by having a plant list and a drawing on my blog, but my best record is possibly the fact that I participate in Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day every 15th of the month, and I have a blog label for it so it's easy to find the posts. A great record to look back on and even though I only started January last year I really find it useful.

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    1. Helen, yes we seem to be having better weather. I will be sticking to the latin names and trying to learn some common ones as I go along.
      Thanks for all the tips on recording, this way should help me with my records and I do intend to profile all my plants. I've made a page and have only got as far as compiling all the plants into a list!

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  4. I absolutely love your snowdrops! And I have fallen in love with hellebores. That dark one is such a beautiful color. And I am very impressed with your gravel area. The iris R. coming up through it is just adorable. I have a gravel area - I should steal this idea! I try to always use the Latin name, but in addition sometimes include the common name (depending on what I call it). I find that my photos give me a great record of my garden through the year, but I also join in a few memes - Bloom Day, Harvest Day and now End of Month View to name just a few - that I think will give me a good record in the coming years.

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    1. HolleyGarden - I'm glad you like my plants. A gravel area can be rather boring - traditionally things like lavander look good in gravel beds but I'm not a fan of them and my soil in the back garden can stay quite moist so probably not suited to growing them.
      Yes, there are lots of memes out there, I've just found a few and will try to join when possible.

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  5. You definitely need to record latin name including perhaps the variety-having failed to record my own varieties I have of course forgotten most of them!
    Knowing latin names helps to relate each new plant to one you have got. Its lovely to know the common names as well, they are often are so evocative

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    1. Thanks Roger, yes I do record and remember the latin names it's the common ones I have difficulty with. Some of the common names are quite obvious and others I can't seem to understand and then there's the plants which have more than a few, that's when real confusion sets in..lol!

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  6. It seems as if you have lots of my favourites in your garden - I look forward to seeing more of it, and particularly your hellebores. Your gravel garden is looking good - hope the gravel will say as neat as this! I label mine with latin names but mix and match when talking about them on my blog -it's a personal preference.

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    1. ramblinginthegarden, thank you for visiting. We must have very similar tastes then! The gravel has been there for 5 years - the kids trampoline used to sit there and the other side is where the whirligig washing line is and it tends to stay reasonable neat, well most of the time and in particular if I take a picture...lol!

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  7. The Iris reticulata is very nice. The only Iris I have is Iris tectorum, which I just planted last fall. Nice that you can work your soil now, ours is still covered in a layer of ice and snow.

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    1. Jason, I don't know Iris tectorum, I'll need to look that one up. Done that - they are stunning. Obviously not popular over here. A reason for this I'll need to investigate. I love Iris. I've a few bearded Iris but they struggle a bit as my soil is not dry enough!

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  8. Your garden is so neat and tidy! It's so encouraging to see your Snowdrops and Hellebores blooming--mine are still under the snow! I think it's a good idea to include the Latin names, since people in different countries use the same Latin names but often different common names. But I usually include the common names, too, because they're interesting and often help to describe the characteristics of the plant.

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    1. Neat and tidy in the pictures PlantPostings! I hope your snow clears soon so you can enjoy your blooms.
      I'll continue to use the latin names and try learn more common names. Thanks

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  9. Everyting seems to be going sooooooooo slowwwwwwwww-lllllllly down south too. No sign of alot of plants as yet, but I'm a patient soul, there's no hurry ;-)

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    1. Jane, weather here seems to be a bit better than down south. Not a good sign if weather repeats like last year, we will be in for a wet summer if it does. I hope you see signs of life soon.

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  10. I find blogging to be a useful journal from year to year...and the latin name is good to include although I am the worse for including them as I know more common names. I love seeing the snowdrops and iris blooming... I know mine are waiting patiently under the snow. That gravel bed is lovely with the blue iris.

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    1. Thanks Donna - I see were are total opposites in so much as I know all the latin names and too few common names. I hope I learn some from your blog :)
      Hope your snow clears soon.

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  11. Hi Angie,

    I keep a diary of sorts - generally a notebook I use to write/design stuff or try to work through my thoughts or make lists of jobs to do. Although by far the best way are my photos. As I crop images for the blog I keep them in their own folders and it makes it much easier to look back on for dates...

    I'm surprised your Astrantias are ahead of ours; I noticed the first leaves appearing this week, but there's only a few. I'm going to take a guess that your Iris are 'Harmony', but I'm no expert - just they look a lot like mine :)

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    1. I've been doing similar with my pictures - so great minds, eh!!
      I think we've had better weather during the winter than you have had, therefore some of the plants may be getting a head start. wonder how that will work out come flowering time!
      Thanks for your suggestion re Harmony - the single flower above is Harmony but the clumps in the gravel is a much deeper purple. I'm not fussy if I never know the names, so long as they multipy!

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  12. Hi Angie
    The Iris Reticulata are one of the first plants to bloom in our garden, they are very special. Planting them in a gravel bed may be the answer. I treat them as an annual, they just don't come back again in our garden. Most of my posts are plant profiles so I tend to use Latin names but if I know the common name for them I will also use it..

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  13. I love I. reticulata Alistair you are right, very special. I followed up on your comments re treating them as an annual. That is quite common. It seems that there may be 2 causes for them not returning - so the jury is still out I guess.
    One is that the bulbs aren't allowed to dry out enough during their dormancy and the other is planting them deep enough. Although my Katherine Hodgkins was flooded and obviously not dried out - kind of knocks that suggestion on the head!!
    I'm going to stick with the Latin names and perhaps try to learn their common names as I go along.

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  14. Now that's odd, my blue anemones have disappeared too. I wonder if this is a common trait with them? I thought it was just me!

    Garden photo diaries are very useful - have you come across Garden Bloggers Blooms Day yet? Lots of people get together on the 15th to see what's happening in their garden. I use it now as more of a 'plant of the moment', but I still take photos of everything so I can see how the garden differs from year to year. I think March's will be very interesting as we had that heatwave last year, whereas this one is more 'normal', if there ever is a normal gardening-wise ;)

    Thanks very much for your lovely comment over at mine for your 'Plant of the Centenary' :)

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    1. The case of the disappearing Anemones - sound like something from Agatha Christie :)
      I joined GBBD for the first time last month and hope to do the same in future.

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  15. Wow, so many things in bloom this month! I love your gravel garden!! Rock Irises are a beautiful start to the growing season. I look forward to seeing more this year!
    ~Julie

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    1. Julie - thanks for popping over - you are more than welcome to come back anytime :)

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