Little Gems.

At the moment there is so much going on in the garden, so many lovely flowers to admire on my daily wander, it’s hard to know what to concentrate on. As well as all the larger flowers, there are so many little gems flowering at the moment, down at ground level, where sometimes you have to search to find them.

My first one is a dwarf iris which has been waiting for a really long time to be planted out. It is only about 5 inches tall but has the most amazing perfume, I must find a spot on the alpine scree for it.

Tucked under some bushes are my blue double primroses which I can see from my kitchen window. These have increased nicely so I’m able to move them round the garden now.

In the woodland Brunnera Jack Frost is making its presence felt with its lovely tiny flowers. It shows up amongst all the bulb foliage but later will contribute to the foliage tapestry on the woodland floor when all the bulb foliage has died down.

Epimedium Amber Queen is the plant I go to each morning, it is amazing with all its tiny flowers, I think my favourite at the moment.

Tiny little Claytonia virginica is spreading generously with its tiny pink striped white flowers, it forms good ground cover in the woodland and elsewhere in the garden.

Trying to photograph Erythronium White Beauty gets more difficult every year and every year I say I must move it from underneath a rhododendron and never get round to it. I really must do it this year when it has finished flowering.

Anemone nemerosa Vestal is the last of my wood anemones to flower. This is spreading so well down what I call snowdrop hill at the end of the woodland, such a pretty dainty flower.

Anemone nemerosa Robinsoniana is also spreading nicely along the woodland floor.

Erythronium Sun Disc also on snowdrop hill, looking very pretty.

Just before I left the woodland I was looking at the area where I have always had Cyclamen repandum. They should be flowering now but there was nothing, just some very sorry looking leaves. All of a sudden I noticed this tiny cyclamen flower among lots of bulb foliage about 6 ft away from the path where it should have been!

I’ll finish with a general view of the end of the woodland.

Not a little gem, I know, but brightening up a very shady part of the woodland are lots of honesty flowers, Lunaria annua,  most have come up white with just a few purple ones.

The leaves are starting to come on my ancient trees so soon the flower show in the woodland will be over for a few months until cyclamen hederifolium start in the autumn. It goes very dark in the woodland so the interest over the summer is mainly from foliage which I try to make into an interesting tapestry.

I hope you are all keeping well in these strange times, my garden has never received so much attention! I feel very isolated in my bubble, but am keeping busy and reading a lot in between all the gardening. People are very good sending emails and phoning, but I do miss chatting to people face to face, never mind, one day we will all be able to get back together again.



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18 Responses to Little Gems.

  1. Denise says:

    The erythroniums really are beautiful Pauline. I am hoping the little one I bought last year will give me a flower or two this year. And your photo has reminded me, I must grow honesty again. The white one is particularly effective and really stands out in the shade. I am glad to hear you are managing so well in your bubble. By the end of it all, your garden will be absolutely (even more) beautiful ….and weed-free lol!

    • Pauline says:

      I doubt if my garden will ever be weed free Denise, but at least this year it should be a lot better with all the attention it is getting! I must sow more honesty seed and get new plants going this year so that I have more flowers for next year, as they are biennial. I moved some erythroniums last year and they haven’t flowered this year, so hopefully they will get back into flowering mode for next year.

  2. Cathy says:

    Your woodland must be a real joy at this time of year – good to see those ‘special’ wood anemones too, something I keep meaning to add to mine. Good to know your garden is keeping you busy and that people are keeping in touch as the isolation must be so much tougher when you are on your own

    • Pauline says:

      I feel the woodland is such a special place to be Cathy, for the first half of the year and then again in the autumn, with all the special little woodland plants.
      I really do feel as though I’m in a bubble, not seeing anyone to talk to. Phones and laptops are fine but not the same, I really miss the interaction with other people. The Undergardener would have hated this lockdown, he wouldn’t have been able to go on any of his railway trips, exploring Europe and beyond, searching for steam trains!

  3. Caro says:

    There are some very lovely plants in your woodland border, Pauline. I love epimediums but the one I planted near to my silver birch didn’t take, I’m not sure why. And I had to look up Claytonia as I know it as an edible leaf – different cultivar, of course! I have the same problem of a gorgeous spring border that disappears into an untidy mess – currently the many Honesty seedlings needing to be thinned out. The mother plant looked so gorgeous in autumn and winter though, those papery discs are just lovely!
    Can I just say that your leader photo is gorgeous – a beautiful border, taken in summer I guess? I’d love to know which plants are growing there. x

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment Caro about my header photo taken a couple of years ago. This is to remind me of what it should look like in a few weeks time. This year though, it was flooded for about 3 months. It has always been damp as there is an underground stream there, so I made it into a bog garden when we moved here 30 yrs ago. Plants that like it damp but with the water passing through don’t take kindly to sitting in it for a long time and I have a feeling that I will have lost a lot of them.
      The plants are as follows starting from the left… Fern Matteuccia struthiopteris, Iris pseudocorus variegata, Hosta, Zantedeschia, Candelabra primulas, Carex Evergold, Behind the carving is Euphorbia palustris, Astilbes, Rogersia, Iris ensata, Candelabra primulas, Self seeded lemon balm!, Hosta and Rhododendron.
      Some have survived but only about half unfortunately. I’ll have to get planting again! x

  4. snowbird says:

    Oh, I can understand how you miss people, I do too, but as you say, we can do that when this blows over. I love your double blue primroses and the epimedium, I do hope you manage to move it. Your jack frost is way ahead of mine. xxxx

    • Pauline says:

      I have actually moved the double primrose Dina, but have to water it each day or it flops dreadfully, I really should have waited until it finished flowering! I love the leaves of Jack Frost, they are so beautiful and keep the interest going when the flowers are over. I hope you and your lovely family are keeping well, stay safe! x

  5. debsgarden says:

    You know I love your little woodland jewels! Your double primrose is so beautiful. I have tried to grow primrose without success along a path in my woodland garden. They rarely come back. But I think I may try again in a completely different location. Brunnera is another plant I really want to try, though I am not sure how it will hold up to our summer. I also will be so glad when the coronavirus shut-down is over!

    • Pauline says:

      I think your summers may be too hot for primroses Deb. they like it cool and wet! I’m missing being able to meet and chat with people, everyone is being very good with emails and phone calls, but it isn’t quite the same, I need a good hug from my children!

  6. Ray says:

    I have never seen or heard of a double primrose – it’s beautiful and especially in that color. Let’s hope the early season doesn’t get hit by a cold snap.

    • Pauline says:

      There are quite a lot of different double Primroses Ray and they come in all colours too. Being double they are sterile, so flower for a lot longer and have to be split every few years to increase them. We have rain at last, which the garden really needed, warm sunshine is lovely but rain is so necessary too!

  7. Anna K says:

    Such gorgeousness everywhere! Love the Erythroniums so much… Happy Spring, Pauline!

  8. Chloris says:

    I love alĺ your spring treasures, this time of the year is magical. But it is hard to be alone through these difficult times, what a solace your garden must be. I am loving spending every day in the garden too and what amazing weather we are having.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Chloris, I love checking for my little treasures each year, and am so glad to see them back again each spring. I too am loving being in the garden each day, thank goodness it is there for me to enjoy.

  9. Sharon Bruns 🌺 says:

    Love, love, love the blue double primrose! Such a lovely color.

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