Friday, 15 April 2016

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day April 2016

Just lately I have been embarrassingly late for most of the memes I take part in.  I am determined one way or the other to post this month's Bloom Day post on time.

This April the garden is well and truly coming to life.  Bright days, April showers and warmer temperatures are just what the doctor ordered.  Many of the plants growing in my garden thrive in the rain, they have no option other than to thrive if they want to stay.  Recently I was convinced that my garden was way further on than it had been in previous years but on checking back the past 2 years that appears not to be the case.  I think I've heard one too many news reports on the UK's mildest winter.  We are to expect wintry showers this afternoon.

Anyhoo, back to blooms, which after all is supposed to be the topic of this post.  My favourite daffodil and some summer snowflakes around one of the Cornus are just starting to open.  I'd love to get this particular group of bulbs out of there and into a far more prominent position but since they are left over from a previous incarnation of this bed they are well and truly rooted in with the Euonymus.
Narcissus Thalis and Leucojum aestivium

Around the garden the snakeshead fritilaria are blooming away. It is pleasing to see that they are now spreading themselves around the garden.  I have discovered that in one clump there is signs of fasciation on one particular stem.  The cause of fasciation is unclear.  It could be a symptom of one or a combination of many factors.  Environment, conditions, genetics, viral or even frost are just a few of the suspected causes. You can read more about it here on the RHS Website.  Even the usual chequered markings are somewhat different.  Whatever the cause the odds are it won't appear next year.  I have noted to observe this clump more closely next year.
Fasciation Fritilaria meleagris

I have checked all the other clumps and single self seeded stems and found only one more example of fasciation amongst them.  Fritilaria meleagris should produce a single bloom per stem.  Fasciation can take many forms, unlike the example above where there is 4 individual flowers give it more of a F. imperialis look about, this other example is where 2 flowers appear to be fused together.  A bit like conjoined twins.

Another example of fasciation in Fritilaria meleagris
Next up is a plant I was given by a friend who warned me that it may set seed and become a bit of a pest as it does in his garden.  However, that has not happened in my garden.  After 4 years I still have only the one wee clump.  Like Cyclamen it requires ants to spread its seed.  Ants only ever appear here when the peonies are coming into bud and then disappear from whence they came when they open.  Despite the fact that there are 5 peonies in the same bed as this wee plant I have as yet to come across any seed that may have germinated.  I also grow the cultivar D. cuccularia Pink Punk but it flowers a bit later that this straight species.
Dicentra cucullaria 

A group of plants that do well here are the Epimediums.  They grow in both sun and shade here and don't let me down.   I grow around 6 or 7 different varieties, most of them are still in bud but the first to bloom this year is Epimedium x warleyense Ellen Willmott.  This special barrenwort is one of many plants in cultivation named after the respected plantswoman Ellen Ann Willmott.  It is though essential to keep them watered well until they establish.  I have fallen foul of this before and lost a couple of plants when I neglected to keep them watered their first year in my garden.

Epimedium x warleyense Ellen Willmott

April is always the time for the drumstick Primula.  They bloom at this time of the year no matter what the weather.  They do well here in both sun and shade.  However,  the ones on the shadier side of the garden bloom just a bit later, thus extending their usefulness around the garden.

Prinmula denticulata Album, Rubin and Cashmeriana
I love it when my garden surprises me.  For a few years I grew some Iris bucharica in a pot.  I needed to ensure optimum drainage in order that it survived.  However a couple of  years ago when I was completely fed up with having so many pots to look after in winter I decided it needed to prove it's worth in the ground.  The front garden has the best drainage so tried it there.  Last year, it's first in the ground it produced only foliage but this year there are a couple of blooms.  Yipee!

Iris bucharica

The Euphorbia sent down to me by Frances @ Island Threads last year as small cuttings have thrived. All bar one is blooming right now.  Thank you Frances.

Euphorbia martinii, purpurea and Ascot Rainbow
Euphorbia characius Silver Swan took a fair battering in the storms earlier in the year.  It is suffering from extreme wind rock.  A giant stake is keeping it vertical right now.  I will wait until it finishes flowering before I investigate properly.  I hope it just needs a good firming in.  It has been in the ground a long time so am not wholly confident it would survive being dug out and straightened up. I've never had cuttings from this particular plant strike successfully in the past.

Euphorbia characias Silver Swan

Sitting here finishing off my post, those wintry showers have appeared.  More sleet like than snow so there will be no blanket of snow to pretty up the garden.  The first Camellia bloom is open, the others would do well to stay tight closed until this latest weather front passes.  Gardening here in Scotland, no two days are ever the same.  It was a T-Shirt in the garden day yesterday.
Camellia japonica Lady Vansittart

Lastly, I end this bloom day post with a shot of my freaky Lily.  I say freaky because never in a month of Sundays would I have expected to see it in bloom so soon.  It was planted at the correct depth - heck, I even got the tape measure out for once.  I've not grown lily bulbs in this manner before so want to make sure I followed the planting advice correctly.  I wouldn't say it has been kept in an exceptionally warm place or else the begonias would be far more advanced than they are at present.  At this rate I'll need to find a replacement for the Lilies.  Although just how I will replace them without disturbing everything else is beyond me!

Lilium Ladylike

I wonder who else has out of season blooms this April.  Time to pop over to May Dream Gardens to have a look.



  1. Angie I can't believe what I have just done, because I have to comment on my tablet I had not realised I was commenting on your tree following post, so I will try again here, I think N.thalia and L aestivum look beautiful with the variegata cornus, the little white flowering plant your friend gave you is pretty what is it? glad the euphorbia are growing well, E.humpty dumpty flowers later, I hope E . silver swan will be alright, Frances

  2. Dicentra cucullaria can become a pest? I can' t imagine ever having too much of such a lovely plant. Lady Vansittart is a beauty. Iris bucharica is a gem and clumps up nicely, it is the only Juno Iris I can grow.
    Let' s hope the weather will warm up again quickly, it has turned chilly today here too.

  3. Lots of colour and things happening Angie, the fasciated Fritallaria is curious, a bit like my mad feverfew flowers, Mother Nature is amazing! Have a great weekend :)

  4. Wow, you even beat me to the first flowering lily this year Angie! It’s only a few weeks till I have my first ones in flower, but I would never have thought you would have one in April. I kind of like the fasciation of the Fritilaria - It’s just something different and unusual and as long as it is not a sign of disease then it just makes it unique and special :-) It will probably not come back like this next year anyway. I hope you are finished with sleet and snow and that the warm weather is heading your way too!

  5. Oh my, that Camellia melts my heart! Sigh...I can't grow them here because my winters are too harsh, so I'll covet yours remotely. I'm not familiar with that white Narcissus, but it's beautiful! My Epimediums are just starting to put on new growth. You are ahead of me, but things are warming here, and now spring is unfolding too fast. Beautiful images, as always Angie! Happy spring!

  6. Dear Angie, I am in love with the combination of the Narcissus Thalia and the Leucojum aestivum. Sooo... beautiful! I may steal that combo from you for my own garden next year.
    I also like your drumstick primulas very much. I tried to grow them here too, but it is too hot and there is not enough humidity in the air for them to be happy in my climate.
    That your lily flowers so early is a surprise indeed, but I think a nice one :-)!
    Great that you got your post ready for GBBD. I intended to write one, too, but simply couldn't find the time. I am disappointed with myself, since it is so much fun to take part in those regular memes. Well, there is always a next time...
    Enjoy your beautiful spring flowers, Angie!
    Warm regards,

  7. My lily foliage is up but even I don't have lily blooms yet, Angie! That Camellia is among the prettiest I've ever seen. And I already had Epimedium envy before getting to your post but the blooms on yours made it worse. As to the alleged weedy Dicentra, I think it's precious. It's too bad I can't send you some of my vast population of ants to facilitate its spread - I could probably spare 100,000 or so without even noticing a difference.

    Happy GBBD!

  8. I've never even heard of drumstick primulas! Seeing those made my day. I'm also intrigued that ants spread the dicentra. I'm learning a lot from your post today! Happy Bloom Day!

  9. Your lily is certainly early! I have had a few snakeshead fritillary with two heads, but never one with four, that is amazing! Your little dicentra is lovely, can't imagine it becoming a pest!

  10. Oh how wonderful your Epimediums look! They failed in my Midwest garden; and reading your post, I'm sure it was lack of water - especially during their first summer. I think they made a brief showing the second year, then took themselves off altogether... no chance to try them again now! As for out-of-season blooms, my sunflowers have two blooms open, much to my shock. They are only about half the anticipated height too - perhaps the seed packet was mislablelled or...? But your lily is at least as surprising, besides being quite pretty in those pastel colours!

  11. Well done for being on time - I am still working on mine! Did you get any more snow? We woke up to white this morning, but the sun is now out so it has mostly gone. Interesting to read about your Fritilarias - I haven't noticed any of mine doing that yet, but when they do I will know all about it.

  12. Memory does play funny tricks on people doesn't it we are forever hearing it is the mildest, the coldest, the wettest , the driest etc often it is just the memory playing silly games. I have never been very successful in growing epimediums, I wonder whether I haven't watered them enough.

  13. Beautiful spring photos, I envy your Epimediums, I was collecting them, but.....the bunnies, I have only little stems left. The fasciated Fritillarias are just fascinating.

  14. Isn't it strange, you can grow so many things that I can't, fritillaries and that gorgeous Epimedium x warleyense Ellen Willmott which I fell in love with on your blog last year. Mine is alive, just, but that is all that one can say for it! I can't believe it went short of water in this damp place so it must be the soil. :(

  15. Hello Angie girl ... I just spent half a day (morning) doing some garden clean up .. we are very dry here and looking at the weather it seems we are still following that pattern (I looked up last year's log too and same problem for me then as well) .. although some one should say something to the 12 bags of worm casting compost I just bought .. wet again .. but I just have to bite the bullet and spread it the best way I can.
    I love those checkered fritaillaries ? .. I haven't tried them yet ... I did try "Dutchman's Breeches" but they didn't make it .. I think they are overly sensitive ? LOL
    Love the epimediums , I think I only have 3 or 4 different kinds but they are under my Japanese maple in the hellebore bed ... so pretty they are with those tiny delicate flowers.
    You have lots of blooms to show off girl ! well done you !
    Joy : )

  16. Lovely post and wonderful photos..
    Amanda xx

  17. Your April blooms are brilliant, Angie. Everything started early here in Pennsylvania, but we had a late, very cold snap with snow and my garden slowed down. Consequently we are right on time now. My primroses are just coming into bloom. The drumstick primula are difficult to find here -- I envy yours. P. x

  18. So beautiful and welcome to see this springflowers. Our winter was far to dark but not cold. It's great to see the lovely light of the springsun.
    Have a wonderful day.

  19. Hi Angie, Thalia is looking great with the variegated foliage in the background. Never seen fasciation in Fritillaria. Only one came up in my garden, think it's just too dry (and hot) in the summer but I won't give up. The Epimedium is looking very strong and happy. I've got Orangekönigin, I think the orange ones are more vigorous than the white ones. Happy spring days and I hope the wintery showers are not too hard on you.

  20. Beautiful photos, Angie. I haven't known about drumstick primulas, I liked them!Spring comes and brings bright colors in our gardens.
    Happy GBBD!

  21. Angie, I popped in here last night and then again tonight but none of your photos are visible:( I wanted to see that fasciation and your epimediums. I've been getting into the latter over the last year or so, I hope that normal service is resumed as soon as possible :)

  22. I love all your Primulas. The Dicentra cucularia is also lovely - over here its common name is Dutchman's Breeches.

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  24. Beautiful selection - and so many of them would do well in my own shady woodland garden, I think, especially the Dicentra and Epimediums. I have a basic "bleeding heart" in a pot but I have never seen that one you have with the unusually-shaped flowers.
    I love the Euphorbias, too.
    But don't you think the cold easterly winds have mixed up all the blooming seasons this spring? Or do you always get easterlies up there?
    All the best :)

  25. Oh the fritilaria are rather fascinating Angie - it will be interesting to see what transpires a year on from now. That little yellow dicentra is rather special.


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