Friday, 7 March 2014

Just a few flowers

Work on the garden renovations and Project Privacy continues.  I've encountered a wee bit of a problem sinking one of the posts for the last two sections of trellis.  An absolutely humungous lump of concrete!  Buried about 6 inches below the surface and it's bang spank in the middle of where I need to dig!  These things are sent to try us - I will not be beaten!  I will find a solution - I just need to sleep on it!  Digging it out will certainly not be practical - the solution will involve a trip to the timber merchant at some point no doubt.

Meanwhile, the garden is slowly coming to life.  The Crocus and Snowdrops will be gone before the Bloom Day post.  I got the camera out to distract me - I just needed to take my mind off that lump of concrete.

Two of the three clumps of snowdrops flowering in the side garden have turned out to be doubles.  This was not intentional.  The Snowdrops I rescued last year were split and divided and planted around the garden.  I'll move the clump of singles and keep the doubles in the same spot. 
Snowdrops in the side garden

The snowdrops behind the pond cope well in so much shade.  The get no direct sunlight whatsoever.  I also note that a crown of a Drumstick Primula has appreared.  Although they are said to prefer a sunny site - I have tried a white one in this shady spot as a bit of an experiment.
Snowdrops behind the pond

We are still experiencing some windy days (and nights) but rainfall has still been at a minimum.  We had a couple of hail showers and about 2 minutes of snow fall this afternoon.  Luckily I managed to get a couple of shots of the Crocus yesterday - they've been fairly battered by the hail.  As plants have been moved around the garden - I am inadvertently taking bulbs with them  This is obvious from the fact that I'm finding little clumps in various spots - of course, creatures could also be doing this!
Crocus

Old faithful, The Kilmarnock Willow, hasn't flinched one iota being moved!  It was still dormant at time of moving.  It's just putting out Catkins now.  Tough as old boots these plants and so long as I keep drenching it - it will be fine.  The Cherry Laurels at the back are being taken off my hands by a neighbour.  They are one of those plants I just should never have bought!

Camellia japonica Brushfield's Yellow and Skimmia japonica Snow White are gearing up to do their stuff! 


No winter garden would be complete without a selection of Hellebores - I bought a selection of Hellebore plugs when I first started planting out this garden.  They were red and white spotted.  They are now decent sized and are now making a bit of an impact in the garden.
Some of my Hellebores
The Crocus and Iris Reticulata growing beneath my Silver Pagoda Dogwood may be over, Corydalis wait to take their place.  I love these tiny spring beauties.  I just wish they'd spread themselves around more!
Corydalis solida Beth Evans

Corydalis Malkensis
This pot of Ophiopogon is underplanted with Iris reticulata Harmony and will be followed in a few weeks with Chionodoxa forbesii Pink Giant.  This pot was a bit of an experiment 3 years ago - it seems to have worked and adds a bit of colour in springtime when the Ophiopogon can look a bit flat.

As I walk around the garden, I can see that the majority of the spring flowering Primula are budding up nicely.  Last spring, March 2013 - I bought myself a tiny little 7cm pot of Primula Marjory Banks, it's grown really well this last 12 months.  It now makes a clump with a diameter of more than 30cm.  It must be happy!  There is little information available on this plant other than mentioned on Kevock Garden's website as a Juliana hybrid and the RHS have described it as 'tentatively accepted name on RHS Horticultural Database'.....what ever that means!  It's not difficult too see where this plant now needs dividing as no flowers are forming in the central area.
Primula Mrs Marjory Banks
In the cold frame Primula Elizabeth Killeylay is just about to do her thing.  This poor plant was divide to within an inch of it's life last year.  Not recommended, and is only just now coming back into full health.  She'll be planted back out into the garden soon.

Primula Elizabeth Killeylay

Two more Primula currently residing in the cold frame and like Elizabeth are destined for the garden are new additions.  Bought at the show in Dunblane.  The first is a rather curious Petiolarid Primula that is reportedly supposed to smell of fish (yuk!) - thankfully I can't smell it!  A native of Bhutan, P. calderiana - I fell for it's colour.  The flowers are just about to go over but there is another crown emerging from the base.
Primula calderiana subsp calderiana
To add to my collection of dark leaved Primula vulgaris - Primula garryarde Guinivere - is from the Garryarde collection dating back to the 1920/30s.  It has the benefit of being awarded an AGM by the RHS.  It is hardy down to -20 and will remain semi evergreen in a mild winter.
Primula garryarde Guinivere
Of course, I've saved the best till last, you'd expect no less I'm sure.  This tiny little plant is producing an amazing amount of flowers for it's size.  A mere 2 inches in diameter it has around 30 buds just waiting to open.  This white flowers will rise from the base of the plant on red stems.  Saxifraga burseriana Gloria grows in my miniature garden.  It was added to my collection winter 2012/13.  It maybe tiny but of all the plants flowering today, this is by far my favourite. 
Saxifraga burseriana Gloria
All that leaves me to do now is to wish you all a great weekend.  Gardeners World starts back on TV tonight, it's time to get a drink of something cold - sit down and relax.  Enjoy you weekend, whatever you have planned.  I'm back to Dunblane to visit Dr Stewart's garden The Linns for the Snowdrop festival!  I did say I was going to get there come hell or high water!  I suspect I'll have lots of photos to share too.

35 comments:

  1. Just a 'few' flowers?! I'm impressed by how much is flowering in your garden at this time, you are quite far North! Primula Guinevere is one of my favourites and I have planted it in every garden I've ever had. It seems to survive anything from cold and wet winters to being pulled up and replanted with little style!

    That Primula Marjory Banks looks good - such interesting leaves. Is it an evergreen? Looks like one to add to my 'want' list. I'm not always keen on double primulas, but that Primula Elizabeth Killeylay is very striking and I'm rather tempted. Great photograph.

    Thanks for sharing these pictures Angie.

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    1. Guinevere sound like she's going to be my kind of plant :) P. Marjory Banks has been in leaf the whole winter, then again, we haven't experienced a proper winter since I planted it.
      I've a friend who would not describe Marjory's leaves as interesting - he used to breed his own Primula and doesn't like it at all!

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  2. Hi Angie,

    Loving Primula Elizabeth Killeley! Very nice indeed. This year my Primula Vulgaris are doing very poorly. I wonder what's upset them. For the last few years they've been lovely, large plants nearing the time to divide them. This year they've died right back and are now very small and I can only see a couple of buds on them. Massive shame. Meanwhile my Drumstick Primula have buds on them and some blooms beginning to bloom before it's even really produced its stalk! Looks odd them blooming while almost still in the soil.

    I spotted my Corydalis yesterday! I wasn't sure it had survived, so I'm pleased to see it is still there and the first beginnings of blooms.

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    1. I suspect the good summer may have something to do with the poor display from your Primula Liz. It was very dry - unlike the last few years. Perhaps giving them a good soaking might work wonders! I find a few of my drumsticks do the same. Not good, especially if the slugs get to the flowers!
      Good news re your Corydalis - I am patiently waiting my purple leafed one to make a return. My own fault if it doesn't, I took an absolute age to find a spot for it in the garden and possibly let it dry out too much.

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  3. I managed to murder Elizabeth Killelay, but will give her another go as she is rather lovely. Love the Iris/Ophiopogon combo too. I've never come across Saxifraga burseriana Gloria, but isn't it beautiful!

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    1. You naughty girl Jessica - how could you murder something so pretty! The Ophiopogon combo was a bit of an experiment. I think the Ophiopogon make a great background for smaller plants. I must try it with some miniature daffs. Watch this space :)
      The Saxifraga is gorgeous - like myself, best things come in small packages ;)

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  4. That's quite a pre-Bloom Day post! Everything is beautiful but I think I like the Saxifraga best too - nothing in that genus seems to survive for long here. I envy you your TV viewing as well - garden shows have largely disappeared from the viewing repertoire available to me, despite the fact that we have access to a zillion channels. Have a great weekend, Angie, and good luck working around that concrete block!

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    1. Kris - I wonder if the Saxifraga suffer because of the heat in your part of the world. This type especially like a bit of shade in summer. Not that I have to worry about that much - the term full sun in Scotland is a bit of a contradiction!
      I'm not such a fan of Gardeners World as a whole but do like Carol Klein's articles. They always have something that appeals to me. There is not so many gardening programmes on here now - we've gone from a glut to very few. Beechgrove Garden is another - set in Scotland - so always get the best advice for growing here.
      Sorted the concrete issue this morning. I had the big strong boy to help me work around it.

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  5. Hi Angie, love your primulas! Especially P. garryarde Guinivere, I have just added it to my wish list. And your saxifrage is beautiful too, I have been thinking of making a miniature garden too, just have it in a larger container, but I haven’t started collecting plants yet – so now I have put that on my wish list too!
    Have a good time at the snowdrop festival, can’t wait to see what you bring back!

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    1. My miniature garden is in a large container. It works well. It's all about getting the drainage right to grow these tiny alpines. I really need to source a teeny tiny shrub (on shopping list) to add to the affect.
      I don't know what Dr Stewart will have for sale - if not much I can always make a detour to a GC on the way home ;)

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  6. You have a wonderful selection of flowers at the moment.Primulas are one of my favourites too, I must go and see if Guinivere has started flowering for me yet.Your little saxifrage is so beautiful, no wonder it is your favourite! Looking forward to the photos of your visit to Dr Stewarts garden,I'm soooo envious of you going to a snowdrop festival!

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    1. I promise to take lots of pictures and share with you Pauline ;) She grows over 100 different snowdrops, so should be a great day out. I was speaking with her on the phone the other day, getting directions as it's difficult to find apparently. She tells me she has had little interest this year.

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  7. Such a fabulous collection of flowers, I want my front garden to be like that this time next year.

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    1. Thanks Joanne - you could do worse than try some Primula to add colour at this time of year. Of course, they are only this early because the weather has been so good. They are a few weeks ahead.

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  8. There is such a lovely variety of plants in the primula family. O did try growing candleabras from see once but they did';t even germinate/

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    1. I do love my Primula Sue - they tend to do well up here, all that rain!! A shame your seeds didn't germinate - I've tried seeds from my plants this year. They have germinated, so fingers crossed for them.

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    2. I think that is the key, Angie I've been successful raising native primroses from fresh collected seed sown straight away, Also when I had the cultivated primroses they self seeded freely. It's the bought in seed that had always failed

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  9. Such a wealth of spring flowers! I love your special primulas and of course your snowdrops look very pretty still. We're having wonderful, warm and dry weather, so I'm glad the garden is drying up at last. Have a good weekend, Angie

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    1. Great to read you are getting good weather Annette - not only does it do the garden good, it lifts our spirits somewhat don't you think. Have a good weekend youself :)

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  10. Gorgeous flowers.. have a good weekend :o)

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    1. Thanks very much Julie, have a good one yourself :)

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  11. I love Corydalis and Primulas too. I have the adorable Elizabeth Killeylay but she doesn't do well here. I haven't come across Mrs. Marjory Banks, she is rather lovely. What a dear little Saxifrage.
    Good luck with the block of concrete.

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    1. We have similar taste then Chloris :) A shame Elizabeth Killeylay don't do well for you - have you tried her in a pot? I'm not so sure what to make of Marjory - she grows well so for now she can stay :)
      I've over come the concrete problem. All that was needed was for me to sleep on it and work out a solution.

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  12. Great photos. Your spring is coming in with a nice bang.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. It sure is Cher - I hope yours won't be too far behind.

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  13. Oh, Angie -- primulas, hellebores, corydalis, and that fabulous willow -- I can't pick a favorite! Your early spring garden is lovely. I had a similar problem with a concrete slab in one of my new beds. I put stone blocks on top and added a fairy sculpture, making a great focal point. P. x

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    1. I suspect I'll need to put a few stones on top to make a feature also Pam - I will need to work around planting near it - that may cause me problems but I'm far from sorting out the plants yet, that worry will be another day. I'll be keeping your idea in my mind - I may steal it :)

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  14. Angie you have a wonderful collection of spring flowering plants, sorry about the concrete though, what a hassel, enjoy your day out, I hope you have had a good holiday from work, Frances

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    1. Frances, thanks very much. Not as sorry as I was over the concrete ;) 6 inches the other way and it would not have been an issue! I've had quite a quiet week so all good! Enjoy your weekend :)

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  15. lovely post surely you can use the photos for the blooms day post unless I miss understand have a love Sunday

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    1. I probably will use some of the photo Linda - I used the opportunity to cheer me up after finding the concrete! There are a few other plants just about to flower so I won't be short on pics. Hope to have a good time and wishing you a good weekend yourself :)

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  16. Really enjoyed looking at your spring flowers. We are not so far behind England this year are we?
    I really liked Primula garryarde Guinivere - will have to look out for that one. My drumstick primulas are all flowering close to the ground too - it this unusual or do they usually do it? I can't remember. I expect they will soon grow. I don't think the slugs like them as much as other primulas thankfully - well not my slugs anyway.

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  17. You have a lot blooming in your garden! I think I love the little tiny saxifraga the best. Those red stems really make the blooms pop!

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  18. What a collection! So much spring loveliness. Your willow looks wonderful, I had to get rid of one here, too lopsided and in the wrong place, but they are lovely little trees.

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  19. You have some of the beautiful flowers and primulas and hellebores. Geezz...you call these only few blooms. Now, I am definitely giving you that look :-P....

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