Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Because I'm Happy!

When I first started gardening 5 years ago I gave little, nae absolutely no, thought to how my garden looked in spring.  I got the 'evergreen for structure' thing but it was the little things that my garden lacked.  The penny finally dropped a couple of springs later and since then I have been trying to rectify this oversight.  Wandering around taking some pictures for this month's Bloom Day Post, as you do, today (Sunday) it dawned on me that some of my plans are now coming together.  I don't have huge plant budgets and things have been introduced gradually rather than in bulk.  Gardening this way can have it's benefits. It means that failures (and I've had a few, believe me) are not quite so costly as they may otherwise be. Those failures are not exclusive to spring blooming plants but I have found that many bulbs have fallen fowl to the winter wet here.  

Take for example the woodland border.  Since discovering snowdrops and snakehead fritilaria do well in such positions I have been adding more common snowdrops to this area each spring by dividing existing clumps.  A few more have been moved here this last of week.  A single clump of fritilaria have survived 3 winters on the trot so I know I will be safe to add more of these.  If I don't manage to source some pots over the next couple of weeks I will add more in autumn.  I trialed some narcissus here last year, N. Jack Snipe to be precise and they too have reappeared, although not in bloom yet.
  
Hellebores, Crocus and Snowdrops in the woodland
I have an issue with large in your face frilly narcissus.  Apologies if they are your 'thing' but they are just one of those plants that does not float my boat.  I soon discovered not all daffodils are alike I promptly started adding some dwarf varieties here and there just to add a pop of colour in an otherwise dull spot.  I can live with these.  There are many white daffs to flower later.  Those I do love!

Narcissus Tete a Tete and large dutch crocus.  C. Jeanne D/arc and Pickwick
Primula Drumcliff in the centre

Perfectly framed more N. Tete a Tete, common snowdrops and an unnamed oriental hybrid Hellebore in the shady bed.  I was weeding nearby and this little grouping caught my eye.  The common snowdrops in this bed are the first I brought to the garden.  A handful of bulbs in the green given to me by a friend of my mum.  All the other are descended from these 3 clumps.  There are singles and doubles mingling together.
Also in this bed, edging the entire border, are the last of my specials to bloom this year.  If you look closely you can see the different characteristics of each variety.


Galanthus Augustus, Blonde Inge, Brenda Troyle and Viridipice

I added some deep purple Crocus to turn this Hellebore/Snowdrop partnership into an eye catching trio.  The crocus really stand out against the white blooms.  They came labelled only as Crocus,  I have no idea which variety they are.  They are as large as the other dutch Crocus growing nearby so am wondering if they may be Crocus vernus Remembrance.
    
Hillier hybrid Hellebore, Galanthus nivalis and Crocus .
Yet more Crocii - in my miniature garden growing amongst the tufa rocks.  Saxifraga burseriana Gloria is also coming into bloom.
Crocus biflorus Blue Pearl and Saxifraga burseriana Gloria
Under the young white stemmed birch (Betula utilis Moonbeam) things are now coming together. Just as I envisaged them.  It will be many years before I get the effect I am after but I am sure you'll agree this is a start.  

Galanthus Spindlestone Surprise, Crocus chrysanthus Romance and Erathis cilicica
G. plicatus Sophie North.  Blooming now.  In remembrance of the sixteen children and their teacher that were murdered in Dunblane on that tragic day 20 years ago.

    

All the Eranthis in the garden were added in the green, which I believe is the best way to introduce them to your garden, last year.   Thus far more than half of them have reappeared - I hope the remainder are just slow off the mark.



Corydalis are amongst my spring favourites.  They are some of the earliest spring bloomers in my garden.  Top left C. Purple Bird has been blooming since January and still looks great.  It got a head start in the mild weather and has battled through those frosts we've had.  
Corydalis Purple Bird, malkensis, First Kiss and Beth Evans
Nature does it best don't you think?  Some purple crocus have nestled themselves beside an evergreen fern (Asplenium scolopendrium) and a silver leafed Cyclamen hederifolium in the side garden.

Asplenium scolopendrium, Cyclamen hederifolium and Crocus chrysanthus
Out in the front garden, Crocus open fully in the sun when it shines.  Monday was one of those days. It was sunny and warm I managed to catch sight of a red tailed bumblebee.  No camera to hand though.  We rarely see bees and other pollinators early in the year but I cater for them nevertheless.

Crocus sieberi Spring Beauty
Lastly, 2 new additions to my garden this spring.  Both Hellebores, shock!  It's difficult to escape them in the GCs right now.  They have been added to the small bed near the kitchen door which also contains the Amelanchier Obelisk I purchased with my birthday vouchers.

Helleborus orientalis Anna's Red

Helleborues orientalis Cinderella

    

45 comments:

  1. Hellebores are everywhere here right now too! Thanks for sharing so many photos of your lovely blooming bulbs. It's heartening when things return, rather than just disappearing without a trace.

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  2. Dear Angie, thinking about how your garden will look in spring certainly paid off! If this would be my garden I would be happy, too! It simply is stunningly beautiful this year. I love all your crocuses, Crocus sieberi 'Spring Beauty' being my favorite.
    I have added some Narcissus Paperwhites to my garden this year for the first time and I am so delighted with them. Next year I would like to plant some Thalia daffodils and some freesias to hopefully also get a more pleasing spring display.
    Happy Spring to you, Angie!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. You won't be disappointed with N. Thalia Christina - she is a beauty and my favourite. I say go for it.

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  3. Beautiful - your Corydalis and the snowdrops with the yellow point! I will send your post to my friend, she is collecting snowdrops.

    Sigrun

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    1. Thank you Sigrun - the yellow snowdrops are just lovely. Worth having in the garden.

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  4. Gorgeous display Angie. And I totally agree about the dwarf daffs. I wish the people who lived in our house before us had agreed also. Once the big ones get established it is extremely hard to get rid of them.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean. There used to be some large ones here near the old back door that were lifted with the digger when the builder was laying new foundations for my kitchen extention - those bulbs went deep and I was glad he did the job for me!

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  5. I used to like big yellow daffs, though never the double ones, but as my tastes have matured I am with you on the white ones and the small ones. You have some lovely spring bulbs - and some unusual ones. I have never seen that Crocus Blue Pearl before. I am somewhat envious of your Eranthis though. I also planted about 25 corms in the green last year and so far I can see leaves in about 8 spots - no flowers though. From yours it looks as if the flowers appear first? It is looking as if I will have to wait until next year for flowers.

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    1. Yes, the flowers appear first the ones I planted which were E. cilicica, perhaps yours are different. To be honest I don't know the difference but the fact that you have foliage must be a good sign I would think.

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  6. So, so nice! I love your collection of snowdrops. And thanks, I did not know the names of the Corydalis I have in my garden. Enjoy this spring, Angie!

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    1. Some to you Anca - it's certainly on it's way judging by today's weather here.

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  7. Your woodland garden is impressive and your strategy is clearly working for you. I spent years and years in my old garden and the first 3 years in my current garden "experimenting" with single purchases to determine what would work for me and what won't. I still do a bit of that (e.g. with hellebores, which are definitely not common garden plants here in southern California) but I've begun to give myself more license with selections within genera that have proven their resilience. With all my lawn gone, I still have a lot of empty space to fill and uncovered soil is the playground of the devilish raccoons and skunks.

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    1. Thank you Kris. I wonder if you are able to source H. lividis - it is considered tender here and might be worth a go if you can give it enough water. Thankfully I don't have racoons and skunks to contend with - I'd probably have given up by now.

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  8. I agree with you about catering for pollinators just in case they emerge. Wouldn't it be terrible to have an early emerging bee and nothing to offer it? It's lovely to see so many glorious spring blooms. Doesn't 'Anna's Red' look fab against the fence behind!

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    1. Speaking of pollinators Saray - it was so sunny today there was quite a few around. Mostly large, so am presuming they were newly emerged queens. I wasn't sure about Anna's red being so close to the fence, as with the other dark Hellebores they don't really stand out enough. But am glad you like it.

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  9. A reminder that with time and patience (I need more of the latter!) how beds can come together. That's a lovely collection of Spring bulbs and must be a wonderful sight. My only problem with Spring bulbs is that no matter how many you plant, the following Spring you think "must plant some more". You have a delightful collection Angie.

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    1. I don't think there's enough patience to go around Julieanne and that's why some of us have it and other don't. I'm another gardener with very little of it!
      I never get round to planting bulbs in autumn and tend to buy more at this time of the year.

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  10. I prefer the smaller single varieties of daffodils too and with a mix of varieties you can extend the season. Our Jack Snipe is just out. The eranthus that I planted last spring hasn't reappeared.

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    1. I find the white ones bloom much later here Sue although I don't know if that's the norm everywhere or just here because of the cold. I should look into that.
      A shame your Eranthis hasn't reappeared, perhaps there is still time yet.

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  11. Very nice pictures Angie. I love your Crocus biflorus Blue Pearl.

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    1. Thank you Alain. Blue Pearl is a lovely wee thing.

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  12. You have plenty of Spring colour you must be doing something right Angie. What a lovely snowdrop in rememberance of such a tragic affair.

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    1. Thanks Brian and long may that process of getting somethings right continue.

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  13. I'm another gardener who prefers the dwarf daffs, and I also tend to add bulbs in small numbers to see how they do before adding more. It might take longer to bulk everything up, but you do get that frisson of excitement as you realise, year on year, that the clumps are getting larger and you almost have drifts...

    Your spring garden is looking lovely Angie, you should be very chuffed. And I really must try out Corydalis in my garden... What do you find make the best planting companions for taking over later in the year?

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    1. Now you are asking Janet. I'd love to say that I've given planting positions for the Corydalis much thought and consideration but to be honest, I find a gap between perennials and pop them in. C. Purple Bird above is growing at the base of a rose and seems not to mind. I have them growing under deciduous shrubs too. Unlike some bulbs they tend not to be so messy when dying back. I would say though that I've never bought and planted bulbs in autumn, all mine were bought and planted in the green. 9cm pots cost around £3 or so at local nurseries here. So worth a punt if you can find some.

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  14. And you have every reason to be happy with all your spring treasures looking so lovely. I have been looking everywhere for H. Anna' s Red, it is gorgeous and my daughter is called Anna. Cinderella is lovely too. I like the little daffs too. I have masses of big ones planted by someone else. Still they are useful for vases.

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    1. You need a trip north Chloris - H. Anna's Red is in at least 3 of my local nurseries. She'd make a lovely addition to your garden especially with the connection to the name. Those large daffs do have their uses I suppose :)

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  15. Garden is looking lovely..
    Amanda xx

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    1. How nice of you to say Amanda - thank you.

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  16. Great photos and lots of lovely colour too. It's that time of year where all the colour is low and I feel like I am crawling around the garden taking photos! They do say patience makes the best gardeners and your planning and patience are coming together :)

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    1. Tell me do you suffer from soggy elbows Rona. I know I do :)

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  17. This is indeed a wonderful start! Many lovely combinations. Good work!

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    1. Thank you Linnae - usually the best combos are ones I don't plan.

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  18. Beautiful combinations! It's funny, but I am sure when I was a child the snowdrops were gone by the time the crocuses came and the crocuses were gone before the daffodils. Maybe I am imagining it!
    I particularly like your pale purple crocuses and the Cinderella hellebores.
    All the best :)

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  19. I love the various combinations of bulbs in your garden. You sure can be happy with the result, it looks
    lovely.

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  20. It is so nice to have followed your garden for such a long time, and see how it is all coming together in such great harmony and splendour. As for daffodils I might be the odd one out – I love the miniatures and have several types, but I also love large, double yellow ones and when I go out in the garden and see them I smile – every time - it’s like a bit of sunshine in every flowerbed :-)
    Your double freckled hellebore is gorgeous, I’m jealous!

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  21. What a stunning spring post! Thank you for your comment on my blog!I particularly love the snowdrops!

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  22. Angie girl these are such pretty combos and yes ... it takes a few years to see fruition of some plans we made and didn't make ? LOL ... these are lovely ! I have a while to wait for more plants to peek out at me let alone garden clean up yet ! eekkk !
    Waiting for Spring rains to happen ... hope they do !
    Very nice post for Spring !
    Joy : )

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  23. My approach to the early spring garden is similar to yours. It has been a work in progress, building over the years on the foundation of what the previous owners had started. Unfortunately, most of the gorgeous Tulips they had planted were consumed by rabbits, but many other beauties remained. Then, this past autumn I added more than 200 bulbs to one particular garden "room" that looks great from late spring to fall, but needed some early spring assistance. It's so fun to see your work pay off, isn't it? Your combinations of plants are magical, Angie!

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  24. Angie you have created a beautiful spring in your garden!

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  25. The cleaning of your home, carport, or work space is critical obviously, on the grounds that we as a whole work better when we can concentrate on what we need and need to do rather than the way that we can't see the console or discover the mouse. Be that as it may, I might want to demonstrat to you another must cleaning extend for you this spring

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  26. Angie, your vernal plants are so pretty, I love these Anna's Red hellebore, you're ahead of my garden, we still have a bit of snow.
    Happy Easter!

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