Snow for St. Patrick?

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I got up this morning and looked out of the window…..snow, on March 17th, St Patrick’s Day! That is unheard of down here, but there was the garden covered in a thin layer of white.


St. Patricks Day narcissus

Off I went to search for my St. Patrick’s Day narcissus and what did I find, they are still in tight bud, keeping away from the cold that keeps descending on us. So, for the second year, St Patrick is late!

Peony mlokosewitchii

While out in the garden an hour later and nearly all traces of white had gone, I found the new growth of Peony mlokosewitchii looking very pretty, she is a star at all stages of development.

unbattered crocus

I managed to find a few crocus that managed to survive the battering that we had the other day, still not looking 100% but better than they were looking for the last post.

Corydalis Beth Evans

Corydalis Beth Evans just gets better and better each day. As she seems to like the woodland so much, I think I ought to find some more of her relatives!

Baxendales Late

Now to my last snowdrops to open up. Most of the others are past their best now, so it is up to these three to carry the flag for the snowdrops, these are Baxendale’s Late.


Warham is another late one with quite broad leaves, in fact all three varieties of late ones here have broad leaves compared to G.nivalis.


And last, but by no means least, this is Augustus, which has a well defined silver stripe down the centre of the leaf. Also the outer petals, which make the flower look quite chubby, are textured like seer sucker material.

Fritillaria meleagris

My first Fritillaria meleagris, the snakeshead fritillary, is in flower, the first of many. Looking back to last years photos, we are 2 weeks behind, but then last year we were having a heat wave in March! Maybe all this temperamental weather might mean that we will have a decent summer this year, at the right time, not just a month in March and a month in September!!

I will keep an eye on Narcissus St. Patrick’s Day and photograph him when he decides that my garden is warm enough. The weather now is brilliant sunshine and a bright blue sky, the exact opposite to the snow this morning!

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26 Responses to Snow for St. Patrick?

  1. Gitte says:

    Here we have loads of snow and a snowblizzard on the way Monday and Tuesday!!
    Your peony looks wonderful and also your corydalis. I would like some corydalis for my woodland too.
    In my greenhouse I had 30 degrees C today as the sun is shining. I can´t believe that we are to have so much snow the coming days.

    • Pauline says:

      Lovely to hear from you Gitte, I don’t envy you your Blizzard and snow for tomorrow and Tuesday. Your greenhouse is very hot indeed, are your plants in there happy to have it so hot? I like the Corydalis very much too, I think there is a red one and a purple one, I must investigate ready for next year. Will think of you tomorrow and hope you don’t get too much snow!

  2. Caro says:

    And here’s another one loving your Corydalis! Such a beautiful little shade plant. I hope you’ll photograph your paeony as it comes up, one of my favourite plants and one that I would put in my own garden if I had such a thing! We had blizzards of snow here in London on Wednesday afternoon. So strange as I was out on Wednesday morning and it didn’t feel too bad … ! Now we’ve had several days of rain which is good as the veg beds are getting a good soaking and it means somewhere it’s getting (slightly) warmer!

    • Pauline says:

      I have to admit Caro, that it is so much warmer, or it seems it, since that awful east wind stopped. We have had quite a bit of rain last week which has made everything sprout, including the weeds! I will certainly photograph Molly the Witch when she comes out, I did a post about her last year on May 3rd called Golden Peony of the Caucasus, if she does as well this year, I will be well pleased!

  3. Christina says:

    This winter seems to have been hard everywhere. The wind is positively howling around the house at the moment and it has been dull all day; I’m not surprised the Narcissus St. Patrick’s Day have decided to wait a while before opeing! Christina

    • Pauline says:

      St Patrick is being very sensible Christina, I think I would wait too! The weather is so changeable at the moment, not the same two hours running, just as well the plants are so adaptable.

  4. pbmgarden says:

    Glad the snow hurried on its way. The Peony mlokosewitchii is pretty as it grows up. Can’t wait to see it in bloom.

    • Pauline says:

      More frost tonight Susie after our lovely day of sunshine! The peony has lovely pale yellow single flowers which look so delicate, but last year I found that the flowers close when it is cold or wet so it lasted a lot longer than expected. I promise to photograph it when the time comes!

  5. Cathy says:

    So much for the milder SW of England Pauline – we had rain last night but a mild and sunny day today, no snow for a couple of weeks. Thanks for sharing your blooms – I will have a look at Corydalis if as you say it loves your woodland. I will have to inspect my snowdrop specials tomorrow, as I have one that lost its label that has wide leaves and I know I have Augustus but had allocated the name to another lost label one, so I might have to have a rethink although I know the petals of the latter were textured. many of my specials have not flowered this year, but perhaps they are just going to be late as my ‘common’ ones are still at their peak but I am sure were well over before the end of February last year

    • Pauline says:

      Winter hasn’t finished with us yet Cathy, according to the Country File forecast, more frost and snow for us by the end of the week! C. Beth Evans must love the woodland soil, she really is getting better and better each year, so it makes sense to buy some of her cousins. Its always a problem when snowdrop labels go missing, I wonder, do the blackbirds pull them out? All mine had labels to start with, but now I really don’t know what some of them are any more, in spite of having 2 snowdrop books!

  6. This is the time I fear most when the temperature drops and we get a little snow. Plants are so vulnerable at this stage. I hope you get through this without losses.

    • Pauline says:

      I don’t think winter has finished with us yet Charlie,more frost and snow for the end of the week! The plants themselves should be ok as they are all hardy, but the flowers might suffer, camellias are just about to flower, they could well end up burnt and brown!! Thank you for your concern, we will just have to wait and see what happens.

  7. Helen says:

    Spring is being rather capricious this year. Here it’s grey and cold with snow-rain forecast for later. It does seem like it might be getting milder and sunnier towards the end of the week, that would be most welcome. Your fritillary is so pretty, one of my favourite spring flowers. I saw on the Wellywoman site that your meconopsis are doing well. My own seeds have germinated but are not doing much growing, but who can blame them with the weather we’ve been having. I bought two packets of rather expensive seeds, lingholm and a red variety, they have shown no signs of germinating even though they have been treated exactly the same way as my own ones. I guess it really is not an easy plant 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      It is certainly a lot warmer now, but with more frost and snow forecast for later in the week! The fritillaries take over from the snowdrops in the woodland, so soon we should have plenty to enjoy.
      The meconopsis seed are now up and doing well, just waiting for the next pair of leaves to appear, then I can pot them on into plug trays. They are now in the unheated greenhouse so will have to cope with any colder weather that comes. So sorry to hear that your expensive seed has failed to germinate, if you ever need any fresh Lingholm seed, let me know and I will save some for you. Meconopsis are such super plants, they are worth the extra effort needed, but they can break your heart!!

  8. Jayne says:

    Corydalis is divine! I have been looking for the bluer colored one….to no avail yet!

    • Pauline says:

      Hello Jayne, thanks for stopping by and leaving a message, it’s nice to hear from someone new. I have tried blue ones a few times but they don’t seem to last very long, maybe they don’t like my soil! My pink one was bought from Long Acre Plants in Somerset and I think they have blue ones too, hope you find the one you want.

  9. Loving that corydalis Pauline. The weather is, quite frankly, bonkers. And once it all does warm up we are all going to be bonkers too, trying to catch up! Ah well, you still have lots of lovely things to look at in your garden. But snow in mid March has become very unusual. No snow here, but a distinct chill in the air again.

    • Pauline says:

      The weather hasn’t finished with us yet Janet, more frost and snow by Friday!! I love the corydalis too, she really is getting better and better each year, must find some more. We are still trying to do some work each day, but the garden is sodden once more so its a bit difficult in places, at least it has warmed up since the dreadful wind stopped so we must be thankful for that!

  10. Hi Pauline, The fresh blanket of the white stuff was a few inches deep when we got up this morning. I definitely think we will have a late spring here.
    I love the pink Corydalis Beth Evans. Even the leaves are dainty and lacy. This is a type of plant that I have always admired, and have tried to grow unsuccessfully several times. The only type of Corydalis that flourishes is a common yellow one. I am not ready to give up just yet. Maybe a new location is in order this spring.

    • Pauline says:

      Our white stuff didn’t last very long Jennifer and it is a lot warmer without the wind, but still not as warm as it should be for March. I have found the blue corydalis don’t last long in the garden here, I have killed too many to try again! I hope you have success in the future.

  11. kininvie says:

    Huh! ‘Sprinklings’…’a few inches’…a mere bagatelle compared to my foot of snow (and still accumulating). I adore corydalis, but only the blue ones flexuosa & elata

    • Pauline says:

      I know Kininvie, nothing compared to you, if we had got up an hour later we wouldn’t have seen any white!! The blue corydalis fade away here after a couple of years, I’m not prepared to kill any more!

  12. Alberto says:

    I won’t comment on the snow since it’s gone quickly we should pretend it just didn’t happen! Those narcissus seem to be quite spiteful, like my n. ‘february gold’ that wait until march to flower…
    My peonia ‘molly’ are far from yours but they’re much younger and smaller. I hope they’re going to become as pretty as yours sooner or later…

    • Pauline says:

      Winter hasn’t finished with us yet Alberto, but we are so lucky compared to the east of the country which is under deep snow once more. We now have lots more narcissus to take the place of the ones that were laid flat by the wind, everywhere looks very yellow! I’m sure your “molly” will soon catch up with mine, knowing how you take care of your plants, she will soon increase to be a lovely plant.

  13. kininvie says:

    That’s weird about the blue corydalis. Here was I thinking they were tough, reliable plants….but obviously not. I have to hack great chunks out of my elata before they outgrow their welcome. What is the difference between you & I here? Soil, I imagine. Can hardly be heat!

    • Pauline says:

      It must be the soil Kininvie, I imagine you are much more acid than we are. We are just the acid side of neutral, able to grow most acid lovers, but also plants that according to the books, should have alkaline soil. I have tried them in the woodland which has a lovely soil made from leaf mould, which all the other shade lovers revel in, so I don’t think it is the texture that is wrong, or the light levels, as for too wet, I imagine we would be about the same for that or are you drier, being on the east?

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