Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day April 2014

I find myself in the position of being prepared for my Bloom Day post this month.  Which really does make a change!  Rather than rush around the garden at the last minute, as I would normally would, it's been great to gather pictures at a more leisurely pace.   Each day there is something new in bloom and I'm pleased that there are so many plants blooming.  I do hope others are in a similar situation, especially our friends over the pond who have had a rather tough time of it this winter.  Please join me and other garden bloggers over at May Dream Gardens and find out how their gardens are fairing this April.  Carol kindly hosts the Bloom Day post on the 15th of every month.  If you don't join already, please do - it's a useful tool for referencing your garden at specific times in the month.

Looking back on last year, it was about now that the early bulbs were just putting on a show.  This year, it's a different story - the early bulbs and hellebores have now gone over and spring has really taken hold in my wee garden.

Narcissus cyclamineus Jetfire has been the only daffodil to hold up to the winds we've been experiencing.  The others were flat on their face within days of opening!

N. Rip van Winkle supported by the branches of a Physocarpus otherwise they'd have been down in the muck getting dirty faces. 


New to the garden this spring - I've planted Narcissus Minnow in various spots around the garden.  I'm pleased I did!  The flowers are minute - I love them!


Large yellow daffodils just don't float my boat but white ones on the other hand, I find them irresistible!  The first of many are also weeks ahead compared to last year.  I'm glad they've missed the high winds of the last week or so.  N. Thalia's beautiful scent makes them all the more irresistible.


Species tulips may not have the grandeur (depending on your taste that is) of their hybridized cousins, but for me, their hardiness and ability to perennialize makes them a must for my garden.  I will be adding more species tulips in the Autumn. 

I first planted T. humilis Persian Pearl in autumn 2011 - they have not let me down.  I love when they are tight in bud.



A newer addition to the garden - I wasn't sure I'd be too keen on the colour of these were but I am glad I picked them up now.  I found these in a local DIY stores - they may be small, no taller than 15cm (that's 6 inches in old money)  but I like the punch they pack under the Pyracantha.


Clumps of Fritillaria meleagris are dotted around the garden.  Single stems too - they appear to have moved around the garden as I take a few bulbs with me if I move a plant growing nearby.  I don't mind this, the more the merrier in fact!

Another plant that suffered from my moving things around is Leucojum aestivum - this will be the first time I've had a flower since planting in 2011.  I've think, she says optimistically, that I identified others growing as single bulbs elsewhere in the garden last year.  I lifted them just as they were going over and potted them up.  I have plenty of foliage but no flowers this year - they will be planted together with this one when it stops flowering.  I'm loathe to disturb it right at this moment in time.  So with any luck, I'll have a wee clump of Snowflakes next year.



Moving on from Snowflakes to Snowbells - a spring favourite of mine.  Soldanella.  I grow 3 different varieties and these are the first to flower.  In fact they've been in flower for a little under a month.  In the wild these beauties open their flower just as the snow is melting - can you imagine just how beautiful they are surrounded by crisp white snow?


Corydalis malkensis flowered beautifully back in March and is now making a decent sized patch beneath my pagoda dogwood.  It's thrown up a few more blooms just as the others are going to seed.  It was a nice surprise.

Pulmonarias are going stong now - another plant that is dotted around the garden.  I only grow one named variety - Blue ensign.  Now in it's second year here, I'm pleased to see it's kept it's colour thus far.  I've read that they often don't and revert to the run of the mill pink/blue type.

Another versatile plant that grows in any aspect in my garden, even full sun - Siberian bugloss.  Later in the year those leaves will just bet bigger and bigger.  A useful substitute for Hosta I find - the slugs, although they will seek shelter under the plant - they leave the foliage well alone.



After years of trying to bring Anemone blanda back for a 2nd year, I've succeeded - woo hoo!!!  I'm not quite sure what I've been doing wrong in years gone by - I don't think it's a frost thing.  My understanding is that they are fully hardy.  It could of course be a winter wet issue, time will tell and we shall see what happens next year.



Still having to crawl around on my hands and knees to capture this little beauty - Anemonella thalictroides.  Rue anemone is more common in white or a pale pink colour.  This is a dark pink form but I've noticed it's only dark pink just as the flowers open and they eventually fade to pale pink.  Not that I mind, it's a pretty little thing and now in it's 2nd year in my garden.  I hope it eventally becomes happy and spreads itself around.



A little alpine next - this time growing in my miniature garden, Saxifraga x boydilacina Pink Star is just about to go over.  The whole plant is around 3 inches in diameter.  So many flowers for such a small plant. 


More in containers - Muscaria latifolium and some blue pansies flowering outside the back door.


Blue Pansies and purple Violas.  There is a little blue tit visiting the garden that has taken an utter dislike to the pansies - he continually pecks at them all day long.  What's his game?  Who knows - he hasn't bothered about any of the others.


The early flowering Primulas are looking great,  I do have a bit of  thing for Primula as regular readers will know.  I do quite well in having at least 1 Primula in flower no matter what time of the year it is.  This month we have:


P. denticulate, veris and vulgaris
beneath Physocarpus opulifolius Golden Nugget











I've had enough of crawling around on all fours, so please excuse me whilst I hoist myself up.  It's time to see what's flowering a bit nearer eye level!.....Ah, that's better - knees a bit stiff though!

A new Clematis in the garden this spring.  Growing on part of the new trellis - it's settled in nicely.  Later in the year the seed heads will add just as much interest as the flowers.

Euphorbia characias Silver Swan - I had been considering ripping this out.  Whilst it look great all last year, the winter took it's toll on the foliage and it looked awful.  Now that the surrounding plants are coming up, it's looking a bit better.   The heads will be cut off when they've gone over to make way for the new growth at the base.  It's been told that it needs to improve it's look or it's a gonner!

 
The scent that is given off by Skimmia japonica Snow White is gorgeous but only if you get up close and personal.   This Skimmia is quite a low grower - reaching a height of no more that 60cm.  Ideal for a spot near the front of the border - providing you can offer it the conditions that it likes.     

 
 

Regular readers already had a sneak preview of the Camellia flowering this week.  2 Camellias down - 3 to go!  I look forward to a time when my Camellias mature and have an abundance of blooms rather than the odd one or two!



Last and certainly not least - Lamium orvala.  There aren't many well behaved Lamiums out there and thus far it seems to be keeping itself under control. 



It's time for me to pop over and see what you've all got blooming - I hope the weather is kind to you wherever you are this week!

43 comments:

  1. There are so many lovely things blooming in your garden! Most of my own spring flowering bulbs, as well as my Camellias, have been finished for a while now, victims of our escalating temperatures, high winds and lack of rain - it's so nice to get another look at them in your garden. The paltry primrose I had fried this year but I never had the range of beautiful selections you have to begin with. That Primula 'Elizabeth Killelay' is something! Happy GBBD, Angie!

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    1. We've had a distinct lack for rain here too Kris...odd for Scotland! I'm afraid to send a wee wish for some! Elizabeth is a wee beauty isn't she. I've been growing her for 3 years now and she's finally a reasonable size that I can divide, so all good!

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  2. Hi Angie, I'm jealous of your camellias. My great uncle grew them for competition in flower shows, and I would love to one day have a few in my gardens.

    And I have a question. Did you start your primula from seed, or purchase it? I tried to grow another variety from seed this year, and failed miserably.

    Happy Bloom Day!

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    1. Thanks Emily Rose - I'm sure you shal have your wish one day! As for the Primula - no I buy plants. They do ever so well here and don't take long to make a good size and can then be divided. Having said that, I did harvest some seed from my candelabra Primula last year and have sown the seeds. So am looking forward to having lots more in summer. I've read that folks find them difficult - I shall see how I fair.

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  3. So many different flowers in your garden I enjoyed it very much. Your primula E. Killelay is a real gem, but also the Soldanella which I did not eve know and the Tulipa humilis Persian Pearly, just wonderful.

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    1. Janneke - thank you. The Soldanella is beautiful. It's not such a commonly grown plant. I think because it's so small, it's over looked. I've only ever seen it for sale in one nursery here - luckily it's my local one!

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  4. Hi Angie,

    No fair! My 'minnow' seem to have disappeared; and I too planted loads of them only a couple of years ago. They had one blooming season and now, nothing. Rip van winkle also seems to be missing this year. And, what's more strange is that van winkle. many minnow and 'bridal crown' were all in pots and haven't bloomed. Yet I did plant some bridal crown in the borders, and they have popped up there. Oh well, another year maybe.

    You have plenty of lovely primula, and I really love your white and light violet combo; my parents had the same a few years ago... Must do the same...

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    1. Aw, that's a shame Liz. It's the first year in the garden here so will be interesting to see how it goes. I do hope they return. I brought most of my daffs on in pots the first year. I'm no good at visualising in autumn time so find it's a useful way to plant them where I want them.
      I like the different drumsticks together. I bought P. Ruby this year and they are still tiny plants and haven't really settled well due to the hot dry weather, I think. Will be looking forward to seeing yours - in the new garden, I suspect.

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  5. I think you must be a bit behind us, most of the Narcissus have finished here now. I love the Soldanella, I have a feeling that it needs an acid soil is this right? The little Anemonella is delightful. I must look out for it.
    I have Primula Elizabeth Killelay and I absolutely adore it. You are the first person I have found who grows it too.

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    1. You are right Chloris, it does prefer an acid situation. I grow mine in pots as the slugs are also partial to them. I have one in the ground and although it does ok, it's always moth eaten looking.
      Good luck on sourcing the Anemonella - there are so many pretty ones out there. Elizabeth isn't quite as popular as some of her cousins - I love it too!

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  6. Hi Angie, gosh your garden is sooo... beautiful this month! I love all the dainty little spring bloomers that you have planted! It is hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to choose one it would be the white Narcissus Thalia. I don't know what it is about this narcissus but I think they are the most beautiful of all. That could be one narcissus that I can grow in my garden as well and I will really try hard to plant it this autumn. I find your primula collection also absolutely adorable. Your camellia is breathtakingly pretty and that it only has five blooms this year makes each one even more precious! Still, hope next year it is more mature and gives you many more flowers. I so enjoyed reading you GBBD post! Wishing you a nice rest of the Easter week!
    Christina

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    1. Such lovely words Christina - they truly are appreciated. I totally agree re Thalia - I hope you do get it to thrive in your garden. I wish you luck with it.
      Camellias do very well here in Scotland and it does frustrate me sometimes as they just don't get big enough quick enough! Have a great Easter yourself!

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  7. You have many of my favorites and a few I'll have to hunt down.

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    1. Good luck with the plant hunt Ricki :)

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  8. Happy GBBD! Wow, you have lots blooming there! I'm with you on the value of species tulips, I much prefer them. I have to check out that Soldanella, such a pretty flower.

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    1. Thanks Alison, I'm glad I discovered species Tulips - I'll be looking forward to growing more of them. The Soldanella is really worthwhile growing if you can give it the right conditions.

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  9. What a lot of variety. We went to RHS Harmow Carr yesterday and they had mass planted white daffodils with muscari and they looked beautiful - they also had huge drifyt of the white and checked snakeshead fritillary.

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    1. I'll bet those white daffs and blue Muscari was quite a sight Sue and the Frits - WOW! A bit envious of those that live in the south and their ability to visit such gorgeous gardens on a day trip.

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    2. How easy is Soldanella to grow and is it invasive - I rather fancy growing some.

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  10. Like, like, like! And I see that we share a love for the same bulbs too. Your Corydalis and Soldanella are so delicate and beautiful, little treasures. As for the Euphorbia: I've been thinking the same but shall give it another chance. I'm not a lover of variegated foliage and it proves once more that these plants are often weaker and sickly looking. Hope the wind has mercy from now on. Enjoy your garden, Angie :)

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    1. Pleased you like Annette - aye, the Euphorbia - I'm doubtful it will make it past end of spring! I had no idea that plants with variegated foliage are often weaker. I'll keep that in mind! Enjoy your Easter :)

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  11. You have so many super flowers, your garden must be looking so very pretty at the moment!
    I really like your Soldanella and your Corydalis malkensis, two for me to look out for in the autumn.

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    1. Thanks Pauline - it would be pretty if it wasn't for all the work going on. Hence the close-ups! The corydalis would look great in your woodland.

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  12. Thanks for the great blog with lots of ideas for a spring garden. There are a few I will be getting for next year.

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    1. Glad to have helped Annette :)

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  13. I have the same feeling about tulips as daffodils - the smaller and simpler the better. I must add some too. Persian Pearly is lovely.

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  14. My visit to your blog today is going to work out very expensive! You have a fabulous range of goodies in the the garden, that primula Elizabeth Killelay is stunning. 'Need' one of those.

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  15. I enjoyed your April blooms Angie. I've added tulipa 'Persian Pearly' and that beautiful white corydalis on to my list of plants to investigate. You've hit the nail on the head with your remark about the good behaviour of lamium orvala compared to some of its relatives :)

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  16. Wow, Persian Pearly is so unique. I don't think I've seen that Tulip before. You have so many plants blooming right now--it must be wonderful to experience in person!

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  17. I do feel that spring has sprung upon us this year, although I'm sure I say that every year! It all seems to burst open all of a sudden. I love your white Thalia narcissus, but all your plants are looking good. So much to see!

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  18. So many lovely flowers in your garden, Angie. I love the Pink Star - it does look bursting with flowers.

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  19. You have a lot going on! 'Thalia' is absolutely gorgeous. I am a big fan of Tulipa tarda and species tulips generally. Congrats on the windflower! I don't have any but have been thinking of giving them a try.

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  20. Your garden looks lovely in the spring sunshine Angie! Your Rip van Winkles look nice, love them, and I also have a thing for white daffodils, I must remember to buy some more this autumn.
    And your primula collection is lovely as ever, I must admit, two of those you gave me have been devoured by caterpillars before I even saw the flowers opened, so sad! I have moved them to my nursery shelf now and hope they will recover. Oh, and I hope your new Lamium galeobdolon ‘Hermann's Pride’ is behaving himself too, he should flower soon and is not a spreader :-)

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  21. Fantastic collection of spring flower pictures. I am particularly taken with the Soldanella which is a plant I have always been meaning to grow but never got round to it. Must correct that sometime soon.

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  22. Oh yum yum Angie! A veritable feast of all things scrumptious! So much to choose from! Love Pulmonaria 'Blue Ensign' and here's hoping it keeps its gorgeous blue for you! Sldenella is a new one on me and is just gorgeous! Bulb ? Plant ? Seed ? Tell me how ! And surely if you can grow it up there in the North I stand a good chance down in the Midlands ?

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  23. Angie how lovely...I expect that in a few weeks my garden will look similar....I too love 'Minnow' and can't wait to see it blooming.

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  24. Your spring garden is stunning, Angie. I was in England for GBBD and was amazed at the early blooms. I expect I just had daffodils and hellebores in my garden. P. x

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  25. Hi Angie everything in your garden is looking great.

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  26. So many delightful plants, I like the look of minnow, she may find her way on to my list. Beautiful clematis too, you must be really enjoying your garden Angie.

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  27. lovely to see some little unusual plants in flower in your garden and now I understand what you mean't when you left a comment about my Irish primroses :) you've some little beauties of your own there too.

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  28. WOW! You really have a lot going on! You have a beautiful spring garden. I just love all those primroses. :o)

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  29. Angie, I love the amazing amount of plants which you have shown us from your Edinburgh garden in bonnie Scotland. I think the . Narcissus. Thalia's is one of the most beautiful, however the robustness and good looks of Jetfire found me constantly singing its praises. Next year all going well I hope to get back to normality and have loads more to show in our Cheshire garden.

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  30. Bellissime fioriture , soprattutto quella Saxifraga... Non la conoscevo! Un saluto!

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