Blooming times of plants will of course be dictated to by weather conditions and will vary year on year. The records I've been keeping thus far prove that some plants will flower at the same time of year regardless of conditions and others can vary as much as a month or so.
Buying plants in bloom, particularly if they are larger specimens, can of course be quite expensive but we should all be comforted by the fact that the majority of the plants we buy can be successfully propagated in some way and you can have new plants for elsewhere in your garden or to share with family and friends. At least that's what I tell myself!
|Galanthus Spindlestone Surprise|
Having spent the colder nights going over old notes, pictures and ideas, I realised I had forgot to buy some Eranthis bulbs to plant back in Autumn. The plan was to recreate a small patch of Snowdrops and Winter Aconites in a particular spot in my garden. I came across this combo on a garden visit last year and until then I would not have given Eranthis garden room. It was love at first sight! At the time of the garden visit, I had the foresight to purchase some G. Spindlestone Surprise from the owner. Knowing full well the bulbs would be costly to buy elsewhere. Yet sourcing the Eranthis slipped my mind. Popping into my favourite Nursery to see if they would have some pots for sale at some point in the next few weeks - he told me they would not. He offered me the advice that they are best planted in the green as the bulbs bought in autumn are often allowed to dry out and will not be viable or might prove difficult to establish. So perhaps fate played a hand there, eh? I took the small detour on my way home to my next favourite nursery (yes, I have more than one favourite) - this is an establishment that I know has a wide selection of plants that are 'in season' on many of their displays. Bingo! I found what I was looking for. Pots of differing sizes with Eranthis for sale. In leaf and bud, I instinctively knew that these plants would have been forced, ready for sale. In the open ground in the garden here, I'd not be expecting to see them blooming until some time in February/March. That said, it didn't stop me from buying them. Thankfully my christmas vouchers were with me too!
Over the past couple of years it has become a bit of a tradition for me to treat myself a new Hellebore at this time of the year. This January is no exception. I've added to my now growing collection of Helleborus x ericsmithii. I am rather partial to the foliage on these hybrid Hellebores. Full of buds just read to pop, H. x ericsmithii Winter Sunshine caught my eye. Whilst the buds are varying tones of creams and pinks, the actual flowers are quite a creamy shade. The leaf stems are almost black, they set off the large leathery leaves beautifully.
|Helleborus x ericsmithii Winter Sunshine|
Tucked amongst the winter/spring interest shrubs and perennials, small pots of spring bulbs were offered for sale. Crocus chrysanthus Snow Bunting looked interesting . I never have much luck in planting Crocus bulbs in Autumn. It's not that they don't grow, the rarely turn out to be the colour I was promised on the label. I have the larger Crocus vernus Jeanne d'arc already in the garden but they are later to come into flower and generally their bloom time coincides with the spring rain, the blooms never last long. The crisp white of Snow Bunting will flower earlier and as with the other Crocus chrysanthus growing in the garden will flower over a much longer period.
|Crocus chrysanthus Snow Bunting|
Last and certainly not least this trip, I was attracted to the golden, ferny foliage of this Corydalis. I had never seen one with this colour of foliage before, I knew there and then that it had to come home with me. Thankfully, Corydalis do well here, they like the conditions my garden offers. I will, by hook or by crook, find a spot for this wee beauty in one of my shady beds. It will have scented purple flowers, which I've read are wonderfully fragrant.
If you'd like to join in with this series of posts, please feel free to pop a link in the comment box. I'm sure we'd all like to see what you've been buying lately. I am off to the early spring bulb show on the 21st of February, therefore the next post in this series will be published at some time in the week following that visit. I suspect I'll be coming home with a couple of new snowdrops.