When Emma meets The Beast from the East!

When the storm coming north from Portugal, that has been named Emma, met the mass of cold air from Siberia, which was called The Beast from the East, we all knew we were in for a bad few days. They met in the English Channel so the south coast of England got the worst of this lot, before it moved northwards, on Thursday.

My box balls look like iced buns.

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Stunning Sunrise.

When filling the bird feeders this morning at 7.30am, I looked up and this is what I saw…..

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Hellebores for the bees.

At this time of year the snowdrops are the main flower in the garden, spreading nicely under all the trees and shrubs. But they are not in the garden by themselves,  forming splashes of colour amongst them are the hellebores and other early flowers. Over the years I have managed to collect quite a few, and lost a few I might add, and they certainly add their charm to the February garden. Standing proudly tall, except when it is frosty, when they then collapse onto the soil,  once the temperature rises, up they stand again with their flowers full of pollen, ready for any passing bee that might be out foraging.

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February’s bonanza GBBD.

Normally I take my photos for bloom Day on the previous day, but yesterday we had non stop torrential rain of biblical proportions, I was almost ordering my ark! Thank goodness today is dry and sunny so I was able to get out to find my flowers, even though the ground was very squelchy! Would you like to come for a walk with me and see what we can find.

We can start in thr front by the drive where there are some hellebores. Continue reading

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Just a sprinkling.

When I woke up this morning, I was very surprised to find that it was white everywhere. Just a sprinkling, but very crisp, we must have had a hard frost after the snow had finished. Snowdrops and hellebores had collapsed and were lying on the ground, but now 5 hours later, the sun is shining, the grass is green once more and the flowers have recovered. Here are a few photos to show that we did actually have some snow, even though it didn’t last very long.

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A Bit of Retail Therapy.

Having got my gardening mojo back at last, I felt the need of a bit of retail therapy!  I took myself off to my local garden centre, Otter Nurseries, to see what they had on offer and found lots of goodies to tempt me, in fact I was spoilt for choice.

This is what came home with me, a gorgeous camellia, 2 lovely hellebores and 3 very pretty hybrid primroses.

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The sun shone for the snowdrops!

The forecast for yesterday was good, sunny but cold with the wind coming straight from the Arctic! I made some biscuits, baked a cake, bought some chocolate biscuits, hoovered, dusted and cleaned the loo, then sat back and waited for the ladies from the village to come for coffee/tea and snowdrops. Just in case it was so cold that the snowdrops decided not to open, I nipped into the garden first thing and picked a little bunch so that we could all see the differences between them all, and prove that they are not all the same!

They soon opened up in the warmth of the kitchen and the perfume was lovely.

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The birds flew in 2 by 2.

This weekend was the time for the Great British Birdwatch where we were asked to note down all the birds that we see at one time, in the space of one hour. They came in two’s, three’s and more, it was much easier when there were 2 pairs of eyes watching, but I think I spotted them all. I was photographing them as well as counting them, some of them were so quick, dashing in and grabbing a seed before making a quick getaway.

Feeders filled, ready and waiting for my visitors. On the left was a fat ball with added dead insects – yummy! In the centre are Sunflower hearts which all the birds love and on the right, good old peanuts.

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It’s not just snowdrops that brave the weather.

It’s not all about snowdrops at the moment. All of a sudden I noticed a patch of colour on the raised bed in the back garden, tiny Iris reticulata were flowering in spite of the gale howling through the trees and the rain lashing at everything in its path.  Such tiny flowers, taking everything that was being thrown at them and coping so well.

Iris reticulata Pauline.

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The woodland is changing to white.

Yes, the woodland floor is becoming more white as the days go by and it certainly isn’t with snow. The special snowdrops are definitely a lot earlier than in previous years and even the wild ones are almost ready to join in, they normally peak at about the third week in February. All the rain that we have had doesn’t seem to have put them off.

G. elwesii in the woodland edge border.

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