Sunday, 15 February 2015

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day February 2015

I've been stuck indoors all week and although not quite going stir crazy it was nice to get outdoors to capture what little blooms there are around the garden.  Since the cold snap doesn't seem to be going anytime soon, I thought a spot of decorating would keep me occupied.  1 room down 8 to go! Anyone else spending a romantic Valentine's weekend with a tin of paint?  I'll bet there aren't many of us!  Thankfully I am not the romantic type.

February here in Scotland can be a rather fickle month weather wise but the dry cold weather of January continues.  The frosts may have gone (for now) but the recent winds have been making it feel all the more colder.

The biggest impact in the garden right now are the continuing blooms of the winter flowering shrubs. Granted there are not many blooms left on the Mahonia but it still draws they eye on duller days.

Mahonia x media Charity
Like the Mahonia, the witch hazel has been in bloom since October/November.  Jelena is wearing winter well.  

Hamamelis x intermedia Jelena
Viburnum tinus Eve Price might well lack the vibrancy and quirkiness in it's blooms.  It's true to say that she doesn't excite me quite as much as others but she has flowered over such a long period and that reason alone kind of justifies keeping her a while longer.  She will have to go at some point - she will outgrow her spot and hamper her neighbours reaching their full potential.  Blooming since October, there are not many blooms left this month.

Viburnum tinus Eve Price

Sarcococca confusa - evergreen, blooms and berries, checks all the right boxes at this time of year. Another shrub that is over looked for the rest of the year.  However, it is reliable, slow growing and said to be scented.  Personally I don't get the scent but the same can be said for many of the winter flowering plants that are described as scented. Although I know from comments on previous posts, many of you don't get them either!

Sacrococca confusa
 
As the month marches on the winter flowering shrubs will give way to the blooms of the Camellias. First to flower this year will be the espaliered Camellia.  None of the others have buds that are quite as far on as Camellia japonica Desire.    

Camellia japonica Desire

It's extremely pleasing that all around the garden the clumps of Galanthus nivalis are noticeably increasing in size now.  Each clump was only a few bulbs when planted in the green, having been rescued from a garden that was about to be concreted over.  Single bulbs are also popping up all around the garden.  A side effect, I'm afraid, from my habit of moving plants around.  The crocus bulbs, it seems, are happy to be spread around in a similar manner too. Individual bulbs are popping up everywhere.

Some of the snowdrops dared to open in the warmth of the afternoon sun today.
Galanthus nivalis

Galanthus nivalis

Galanthus nivalis
 
Galanthus nivalis


This little clump of double flowered snowdrops are quite happy at home tucked in beneath an Asplenium fern in the side garden.  Although they have no name as I came by them the same way as G. nivalis, apparently, it is acceptable to name them G. nivalis Flore Pleno.  
    
Galanthus nivalis Flore Pleno

Also in the side garden, my rather pathetic looking Cyclamen coum are still blooming.  I commented last month that they don't seem to thrive here, this is all that is left from 3 corms planted a few years back.  They are certainly not as floriferous as C. hederifolium. Another clump of double flowered snowdrops getting ready to bloom in the background.  I think they'd benefit from being brought out from the back of this border.

Cyclamen coum
If we take a moment to nip out into the front garden one rose in particular isn't giving up quite yet. The roses here won't be pruned until next month but it's nice to enjoy a rather lonely winter worn bloom from Rosa Graham Thomas (ausmas).

Rosa Graham Thomas (ausmas)
  
Most of the Hellebores around the garden are at that in between stage, not quite got reached their winter's best yet.  The best of the bunch this bloom day is this unnamed hybrid.
Helleborus x hybridus
This hellebore was purchased 3 years ago as part of multi-buy tray of 6 small plants.  It turned out quite an economical way to introduce hellebores into the garden.  They are now making reasonable size in quite a short time.  Of course, that was then and this is now.  The attraction now is the larger pots of named varieties which generally have far prettier foliage.  Most of the flowers of H. niger Josef Lemper have gone over but there are one or two fresh blooms trying to burst their way through.

Helleborus niger Josef Lemper

H. ericsmithii Pirouette has decided to face it's pretty blooms towards the back and proving rather difficult to get a decent shot, I manoeuvred my feet tentatively between the sprouting bulbs to get the best shot I could.  No tulips to tip toe through though!


Temperatures this afternoon reached a high of 10°C and coupled with the fact that the wind was non existent it felt much warmer.  So much so I was able to remove my fleece for a short time as I tidied up a few spots whilst I made my way around the garden with the camera.  I've just checked the forecast for the coming week and it's all good.  If I work my painting schedule correctly, I might be able to squeeze in a couple of hours gardening here and there.

I have been quite surprised at how long the new Eranthis have lasted.  They went in the ground before the snow at the end of last month.  I thought the fact that they'd been blooming in their pots for the 2 weeks prior to that would mean they'd be over in a matter of days.  But no, they continue to look quite fresh beneath the new white stemmed birch.  Lucky shot getting Mr Blackbird in too as he popped down for some of the sunflower hearts I scattered up there.

Eranthis cilicica
Nearby, the Crocus are complementing the yellow of the Eranthis.  Crocus chrysanthus Romance are increasing in number whilst Crocus chrysanthus Snow Bunting are new to the garden this year.  I managed to pop them in the ground between the frosts.  I had thought I'd been a bit too hasty at getting them in the ground but to my surprise they didn't flinch one single bit.


Crocus chrysanthus Romance

Crocus chrysanthus Snow Bunting

Crocus chrysanthus
I am rather disappointed that not one of my Iris reticulata Katharine Hodgkin bulbs have reappeared this year.  They have returned following wetter summers and I'd have thought that last year conditions would have been ideal for them.  Meanwhile, the first Iris reticulata Harmony is blooming in a pot on the back step.  The picture doesn't quite do justice to how the deep blue is complimented by the black foliage of the Ophiopogon.
Iris reticulata Harmony and Ophiopogon planiscapus nigrescens 

That's just about all for my Bloom Day Post this month.  A couple of my special snowdrops are now up and just about to bloom.  I know technically not in bloom but wanted to add them to this post rather than do a separate one.

Galanthus plicatus Sophie North was the first of the specials I bought for the garden exactly 1 year ago today.  If you don't already know the moving story attached to this, in my opinion, very special snowdrop, you can read about it here.  Still tight in bud, it will be a few weeks before we see it open, I think.
Galanthus plicatus Sophie North
Growing nearby, Galanthus Spindlestone Surprise is much smaller in stature than Sophie, the flower bud being only a fraction of the size by comparison.  The connection between these two snowdrops in my collection is that I purchased G. Spindleston Surprise directly from the garden in which Sophie was discovered.  I rather like the fact that they are connected in this way.  I currently house all my special snowdrops in a wee nursery bed where I hope they will happily increase before I find them permanent spots in the garden.  It might take a few years but I'm more than willing to wait.

Galanthus Spindlestone Surprise
        
I'm pleased with what my garden has to offer this month and if like me you want to join in with other garden bloggers blogging about what's blooming in their garden on the 15th of every month, you can join us here May Dream Gardens.  See you over there!  

56 comments:

  1. You have an amazing number of beautiful blooms!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!
    Lea

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    1. Thank you Lea, it surprised me too when I downloaded all the pictures. Happy Bloom Day to you too :)

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  2. Che dire? Li la primavera c'è già! Bellissimo lo 'Jelena', ha un colore unico che non ha nessun'altro fiore! Bellissimi anche gli Eranthis che da te crescono belli alti!! Complimenti e chissà come si evolveranno le fioriture nelle prossime settimane!!

    Un saluti :)

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    1. Thank you Pontos, yes the next few weeks will be interesting, lots going on to make March just as lovely.

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  3. I like the shot with Mr Blackbird. It makes the picture come alive.

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    1. Sheer luck getting the blackbird in the shot, I hadn't realised he was there until I downloaded the picture Alain.

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  4. All kind of flowers for this time of year are in bloom in your garden, great!

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    1. Thanks Janneke, it's good to see the winter blooms isn't it?

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  5. It looks like the Eranthis are doing beautifully well, Angie! What a lovely addition... And your Hellebores... And all the snowdrops... I hope your painting job goes as well :) Happy February!

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    1. I'm pleased with the Eranthis Amy, I hope they return next year! Happy February to you too :)

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  6. You have a good range of flowers in your garden Angie. It is difficult to explain, Christmas Box has been producing a powerful scent outside our front door for nearly three months.

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    1. Odd thing about the christmas box is that I could smell it when I bought it Brian. I think it may be the cold here that hampers the scent. I have no problem with scent in summer.

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  7. You have an amazing variety of flowers for mid-winter, I guess spring happens sooner there. I love your Galanthus, I just planted some for last year so hope to see them spread. I need more flowering shrubs for winter, I really want to get Charity, and the Jelena has pretty colors. You don't need to give up on your Viburnum tinus, it's on the list for coppicing, so you could cut it down to 15-60 cm and regrow a nice little plant. I coppiced an Elaeagnus that was almost 3 m tall and am maintaining it at 1.5 m though it does take pruning off a lot of new growth, but it is probably a lot more vigorous than the Viburnum? It is a nice dense rounded ball now.

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    1. Jelena is a beauty Hannah, well worth finding the room for her if you can. Thanks for the advice re the Viburnum, I might just do that.

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  8. I can confirm that Sacrococca confusa does have a strong fragrance. I only have a small shrub at the moment, but when the wind is blowing in that part of the garden, I get a wonderful whiff. Once they get bigger you won't be able to escape the fragrance, I promise :)

    That story about Galanthus plicatus Sophie North is both sad and beautiful. I can see why it has such meaning. And such a lovely marking on it too.

    I'm impressed by how much you have flowering given it's Feb and you live in Edinburgh. A lovely selection.

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    1. As I said above Julieanne, I think it's the cold that hampers the scent, I must make a point on a sunnier day to get down on my hands and knees. My shrub is also small.
      It's a touching story isn't it. Although at some points in the year we here in Scotland lag a bit behind the rest of the UK things are at similar stages in February.

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  9. Mr Blackbird is a handsome fellow. The 'Romance' crocus is well named: it could promote some lovin' feelings.

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    1. Isn't he rickii - there are a few about right now, it won't be long until they leave though. Crocus Romance was about as romantic as I got this weekend!

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  10. Happy GBBD Angie! I love your witch hazel. Your hellebores are well ahead of mine but, given our very warm temperatures and limited rain, I suppose I should be happy to get any blooms at all. I'm very envious of the snowdrops (impossible to grow in my current garden) and the crocus. My crocus appear to be virtual no-shows this year - too little chill, too much heat, and too little water probably.

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    1. You are, I think, right re your Crocus. It must be pretty frustrating for you. Hope your Hellebores give you some flowers at least.

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  11. Oh my look at those blooms especially the snowdrops and Hamamelis flowers!

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    1. Yes, nice to see aren't they Donna.

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  12. Angie, what a beautiful Hamamelis you have - and a lot of snowdrops. which cuttings are behind the blackbird?
    It is a lot more warm in Edinburgh in the night - your Helleborus is flowering.

    Sigrun

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    1. Sigrun, thank you very much. The cuttings are from a yellow stemmed Cornus. I received them from a fellow garden blogger to give them a go after commenting on my blog that my red ones just blend into the background and make little impact.

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  13. I don't think there is another time of year when newly opening flowers - any flowers - is such a welcome sight.

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    1. You are right Sue, it's amazing that with it, each day brings something new.

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  14. Don' t you just love the little treasures coming into bloom now? We have had a lovely couple of days here it is wonderful to get outside. I spent Valentine' s Day shovelling sh...sorry, manure. Not very romantic either.
    You have lots to enjoy this February Angie. Snowdrops, crocuses, little irises, hellebores and witch hazel are worth going through the winter for.

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    1. Sh** shovelling for Valentine's Day Chloris, how romantic ;)
      It's lovely to see something new every day isn't it.

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  15. Can't get over how many plants we have in common, Angie. February is awful whereever you turn in Europe but things are looking up. I love the yellow crocus and made a note, such a cheerful colour.

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    1. I've noticed before that we have many of the same plants Annette. Does that mean we both have good taste :)

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  16. All the usual suspects there Angie, what a welcome sight. It may be dreich here today but at least the thermometer is up a few of degrees.

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    1. Wasn't dreich here today Rick, it was gorgeous. I put getting the next room ready on hold today to get outdoors to do a bit.

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  17. Wow you have a lot of my favorite temperate flowers, snowdrops and crocus. I hope to see them again in person.

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    1. We often favour plants we can't grow in our climates don't we? I know I'd love to grow many of the beauties you can grow in your climate.

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  18. Painting on Valentine's Day? No, you're not alone!!
    Your Jelena witch hazel has done so well. Mine start to look desiccated after they have been flowering for a few days, I wish I knew why that was. They certainly don't want for water down here.

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    1. I had a feeling you would have been painting too Jessica :) I don't know how long the witch hazel is expected to flower but can comment that last year, it flowered over a similar period here. I hope you get to the bottom of it.

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  19. I think the cold weather holds flowers. I bought a hellebore in flower back at the end of November and it stayed in flower until January. I love eranthis so I hope they do well for you.

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    1. That is my observations too Helen. It will be a long wait to see if they like it here :)

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  20. What a stunning post, Angie - as detailed as my Ladybird one was minimal! Can hardly believe you have so much in bloom in your northern neck of the woods. How strange (is it?) to have roses still in bloom - and, yes, we have them here, too.

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    1. Thank you Caroline. It's nice to have the odd rose flowering through winter, they will all have the chop come the beginning of March. The buds are just breaking now.

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  21. I am amazed at all the blooms you have in the middle of February. I swoon for crocuses, and had no idea witchhazel could have such a long bloom period. Your swaths of snowdrops are very lovely.

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    1. Jason, as you will see from Jessica's comment above, she doesn't have it bloom for a long period. I have no idea what the norm is but mine has bloomed for a similar length 2 years in a row.
      It's lovely to see those snowdrops bulk up throughout the garden and I look forward to them spreading more.

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  22. So much to see here today! What a treat. I don't generally go for the black foliage plants, but the iris and your ophiopogon are really stunning together.

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    1. Thank you Linnae, February is generally a good month for blooms here. The Iris and ophiopogon combo was a bit of an experiment a few years back and pleased it worked.

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  23. Your garden is filled with delights! I think I'll look at your blog rather than out my snowy frozen window right now... :-) I especially like the Mahonia blooms - what a great winter shrub. I have a Mahonia aquifolium which has yet to bloom - probably not nearly as showy as yours, but at least it's hardy. Also love the glowing yellow color on the Romance crocus. May have to seek that one out..

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    1. What a lovely thing to say. As much as I love the snow I'm not sure how well I'd cope if we got it as bad as you get it over there each year. That's a nice Crocus and seems to be multiplying rather well too.

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  24. Angie you have a lot in bloom, I do like the white crocus, snow bunting, the stripes at the base are lovely, do I spy some willow cuttings behind the blackbird, his beak echos the yellow of the eranthis, they are flowering well too, we have also had some cold bone chilling winds, I need to do some decorating, I bought wall paper last October, I must follow your lead, Frances

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    1. Thanks Frances. Those cuttings are the Cornus stems you sent me down. I hope I've spurred you on to get the wall papering done. I'm thankful that I went to the expense of having each room plastered smooth - it saves all the drama at decorating time and means just paint. I only just finished wallpapering 4 rooms at my brothers before Christmas!

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  25. Thanks for sharing your February blooms Angie. Your post makes me think that we should replace our viburnum which we dug out a few years ago. The viburnum beetle was partial to it and decimated the foliage. It deserves a medal though for sheer flower power at this time of year. What a shame that you have not been able to detect the scent of your sarcococca. Love the blackbird photo :)

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    1. I am not sure how prevalant the Viburnum beetle is here but having done a quick google search, it's not a pest I can say I've seen, so far. I have read about the damage they do.
      Pleased to say that yesterday I finally got the scent of the Sarcococca, it was warm and when I got down on my hands and knees there it was!

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  26. Hi Angie,

    I can't speak for your sweetbox, but mine does definitely have a scent... Mine's a slightly different colour though - the stems are 'purple' (reddish purpley not really purple in reality) and they do have perfume. Not like walking past a rose bush or honeysuckle though. But, it is something that's blooming this time of year, so regardless of scent is good for winter interest - and I think would be nice in a vase with a hellebore or two.

    I think most of my 'Snow bunting' and another creamy one I forget the name of now, have pretty much all gone from the garden. It's a shame that so many seem to have disappeared. I think it's just natural - or it must be my soil.

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    1. Finally got the scent yesterday Liz - everyone's comments made me determined to sniff it out. I was almost ready to snip of some stems and bring them indoors, luckily I didn't have too.
      Such a shame re your Crocus - there's always something isn't there!

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  27. Angie what great to see that your garden is giving you so much color at this time of the year. No crocusflowers in my garden yet. Only the Helleborus flowers.
    Have a wonderful day.

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    1. Thank you Marijke, I'm sure your Crocus won't be too far away.

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  28. Hi Angie, I hope the weather has turned milder for you by now. I wish you could come down and stand in front of my absolutely HUGE Sarcococca confusa and smell the scent from it – no way can you avoid it here! There are days when it smell less and other days when the scent can smelled even from my backdoor, at the other end of the garden. I would suggest that you cut off ONE small branch with flowers on, take it inside and put it in water. I guaranty you will smell it then! The flowers and scent will only last for a few days but you can cut off the branch at next set of leaves and make a cutting just as normal and plant in a pot – it will root, even if it takes a long time.

    Lovely to see all the flowers in your spring garden, I am particularly interested to see how your camellia ‘Desire’ will look in full flower. I must have missed your post about your ‘Sophie North’ snowdrop last year, I have seen it for sale but didn’t know the story. I hope it clump up for you quickly!

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  29. At last your post has reached me! What a wonderful display you have given us - so much in bloom! You Iris reticulate "Harmony" is stunning against the Ophiopogn - a great combination! So nice to see "Sophie North" returning again. I do remember the story. I'm glad you've now been able to appreciate the scent from your Sarcococca. Now, if the weather there is improving, shouldn't you be squeezing a few hours of painting in, instead of the other way round? ;)

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