The garden at the moment is in a state of suspended animation. A few weeks ago we had one or two sunny days, everything started growing, sending out new shoots, and then arctic winds from Russia came and burnt everything. The plants all just look cold and fed up, they obviously regret putting out new shoots and because it is so cold there are no bees pollinating the flowers so the few that are out are lasting such a long time. To cheer myself up I went for a wander round the garden, after putting on the coat, hat, gloves, scarf etc to keep the wind at bay, to see if I could find any flowers to photograph. We are so very lucky not to have had deep snow everywhere with power lines down causing misery to everyone, farmers especially who have lost their animals in the snow drifts, that must be devastating. My first photograph is of a Camellia, Jury’s Yellow, in the woodland which is fairly sheltered compared to the rest of the garden. Usually this goes brown at the drop of a hat, but I was amazed to see that non of the flowers had been caught by the frost.
My first Scilla siberica emerging from the frozen earth, such a tiny little plant, you would wonder how it survives such freezing winds.
Facing the few bits of sunshine that we have had lately are Chionodoxa rosea, they are a bit more pink than they look in this photo. They are on the alpine scree which gets all the wind coming from the east.
In the shelter of the woodland a few Anemone Blanda have decided that it is warm enough in the sunshine, must get more of these as there are quite a few sunny spots where they could be happy.
Pulmonaria are flowering everywhere, usually they are covered in bees, but no such luck with it being so cold in spite of the sun, bees are staying tightly tucked up where they are warm!
Another Corydalis solida, this time just called “lilac flowered”, it always flowers a lot later than pink Beth Evans, but just as pretty I think.
Beth Evans just gets better and better, no matter what the weather is doing, she has been in flower for all of February and March despite freezing temperatures at night time and not much better during the day.
On the bank by the ditch in the woodland, Euphorbia robbiae is spreading by underground runners, this bank is very dry and in shade for most of the year so I am just happy that something likes it here. I will have to watch it though, it is getting too near some precious snowdrops!
Narcissus are starting to open once more, after most of the Tete a Tete got blown over by the wind, more buds have opened and now other narcissus are joining in, I’m still waiting for St.Patrick however, will he ever open! This one is Jack Snipe.
Daphne bholua is still pumping out her delicious perfume in the woodland, but I had to go very close to sniff her. She is another plant that has been flowering for such a long time, possibly waiting in vain for a passing bee to pop by.
More cowslips are opening in the woodland, I’m ignoring the fritillaries around them, you know what happened there from the previous post!
But look what has happened in the front garden, there are lots of primroses at the back of the bee and butterfly border, but someone or something has been ripping these apart, not eating the flowers, just dropping them on the ground. Do I blame Mr Pheasant for this too or is this sparrows, but we don’t often see sparrows here ?
I managed to find a clump of primroses in the ditch at the back that hadn’t been attacked!
Prunus Kojo no mai is making a valiant effort to flower, with everyone else having snow, it looks as though the bush is covered with snowflakes.
Primula denticulata is the first primula to flower in the bog garden, all the candelabra primulas are just coming through all the muddy earth, thank goodness they all seem to have survived the floods and frost. What we need is some nice weather so I can dig in compost and leaf mould where I want to plant all the candelabra and meconopsis seedlings which I have been nursing all winter.
Over at the side of the garden by the field, just to the left of the pergola are a few double primroses, this blue one is in desperate need of splitting, must remember to do it this year when flowering has finished.
This is always the very first primula to flower in the garden, sometimes it starts in January and carries on for months, I’ve forgotten the name of this one, so if anyone can help, I would be very grateful.
Coloured cowslips started turning up in the garden a few years ago. They were removed from the main group by the bog garden and put in the shade behind the dead oak in the centre of the garden. We have red ones as well as these so they can misbehave together. I’m wondering if the coloured ones are sterile as we have never had any seedlings in this area.
This pairing cheers me up each time I go out. They are in the front in the bee and butterfly border and it is pure coincidence that the outer petals of the double hellebore match the gorgeous leaves of peony mlokoswitchii.
Finding all these little flowers bravely opening in spite of the freezing wind day after day, has cheered me up a lot, hopefully the weather will soon change for us all and get back to what it should be for this time of year. Last year, when Easter was later than this year, I wrote a post “The garden wore white for Easter” and there were so many plants to choose from that were just white, never mind the coloured ones, only the Prunus wore white for Easter this year, Happy Easter everyone!