The north wind doth blow and we shall have snow……..except that the promised snow didn’t arrive, it all got dumped on Exeter the other day and the next village to us, just 3 miles away. According to a friend in Exeter, they had a blizzard and couldn’t see beyond 10 ft . We couldn’t believe the local news programme when they showed such snowy scenes, we escaped with just a few hailstones and that didn’t last very long!
In spite of the freezing cold north wind, quite a few flowers, mostly in the woodland, have managed to open in the few bits of sunshine that we have had. The woodland is slightly lower down than the main garden with banks or hedges with tall trees all around so is reasonably sheltered. I suppose that just a couple of degrees makes such a difference at this time of year. The most obvious group of flowers that you can see are the special snowdrops with the wild ones catching up.
Galanthus Atkinsii is clumping up again, I split some off a few years ago to plant in the front with the red stemmed Cornus, I think I could split them again.
G. Magnet certainly need splitting and spreading around, I must make sure that they are on my “to do” list.
Galanthus Elwesii is in the back border, just before the woodland and increasing very well.
A little species snowdrop by the archway into the woodland is G rizehensis, this is tiny compared to some of the specials, but just as pretty.
Another species, just beyond the archway, is G. gracilis, the one with the twisty leaves. This one has opened up in the sunshine and the flower on the right is showing its lovely markings.
My favourite among the species, G. woronowii, with green shiny leaves, simply because they multiply so well. Each year they spread further and further by seed. When the flowers are finished, the stalk lengthens, bends over and the seedpod lies on the ground, the seeds then germinate into a cluster of new plants and the whole process happens again without any input from me!
Galanthus Little John is a very large snowdrop, twice the size of Robin Hood in all its parts, I really must move Robin Hood to be beside his large friend!
And here is Robin Hood, also the same as my header photo.
Galanthus Hobson’s Choice was originally in the front garden but was not doing well at all. I have moved him to the woodland where the soil should be more to his liking. By next year, I should know if he is happy or not.
G. Lapwing is another that is increasing nicely each year, I think it is just 2 yrs since I bought one bulb, so I’m very happy with this one.
G. Diggory has inflated petals like a balloon and the texture of seersucker, easily identified at a distance. This was only bought last year and has another bud ready to open. Hopefully it will continue to increase like this.
The clump of G. Wendy’s Gold is looking very promising, I wonder how many flowers it will put out this year. Last year was the first time that it had 2 flowers to each stem, I’ll just have to be patient and wait and see!
Sorry, out of focus, I seem to remember this happened with this snowdrop, G. Trumps, last year. This was new last year and I can see that on the left, another flower is coming.
G. Acton Piggot is in the side border, along with Trumps, which we can see from the back door and is where I’m having to plant any new “specials” that tempt me. There’s no more room for more specials in the woodland, I have to allow room for the ones already there to increase. This border has sun for about half the day, early morning and late afternoon, so I’m hoping that the new snowdrops like it. there.
A long view of part of the woodland, once the wild ones open properly they will add to the overall scene, another week and there should be a lot more white in this area. The pots contain Narcissus Sailboat, more white flowers to carry on the white theme. I can now plant them, I didn’t want to plant them earlier until I knew where my snowdrops were, but there’s no excuse now!
Crocus tommasinianus are now starting to flower, I like it where they are growing together with the snowdrops, but at the moment there is just a single one here and there. Hopefully by next week lots more will be in flower.
Of course it is also Hellebore time, some are still in tight bud, but a few are braving the weather. Spotted single
Single white with a beautiful dark centre.
Leucojum aestivum is later flowering this year than last. Last year it was flowering the same time as the early snowdrops, but is only just getting going now.
In the Alpine Bed, the first flowers are Iris reticulata, this one is Pauline, most of them seem to be nibbled by slugs or snails half way up the stems, I just find the severed heads when I look each morning.
Iris Reticulata, but is it George or Edward? This is a much darker blue than it seems on the photograph, I don’t know why it looks so pale.
Iris unguicularis under the dining room window is still flowering its socks off. A bit nibbled but never mind, they still look so lovely on a January day.
The Chaenomeles by the back door is still flowering away, it has looked ever so pretty since November.
What is my evergreen Japanese Azalea thinking of, it can’t flower now!
The tassels on Garrya elliptica are now fully out and the bush in the corner of the back garden looks very pretty (its very boring for the rest of the year, I must grow a clematis up it .). Close up you can see the touch of pink on each flower, something that doesn’t show from a distance.
Narcissus Rijnvelds Early Sensation has been flowering for a while under my Daphne. It won’t be long before the other narcissus join it in flowering.
Each day when I go into the woodland, I am met by the gorgeous scent of Daphne bholua Jaqueline Postill, but you can have too much of a good thing. I was on my hands and knees, underneath it, trying to eradicate Lamium galeobdolon from that area, eventually I had to give up because I couldn’t take any more of the perfume!
Hamamellis Robert has a much softer perfume than the Daphne, I think I could work all day under it and not be bothered by it.
My next Camellia to flower is one in the front garden, it is covered in buds, with just this one almost open. I planted this long before I started on my blog so I’m afraid the name has vanished into thin air!
There we have some of the flowers for January, as the weeks have gone by more and more flowers are opening to face the sunshine, ready for any bee that is tempted out of hibernation. There is plenty of pollen and nectar for them if they do visit, but so far I haven’t heard or seen any. Days are getting noticeably longer, but I think we will have our weather coming straight from the North Pole for some time yet! Further north, people have been having a dreadful time with all the snow, we have been so lucky to have escaped so far, I hope everyone stays safe, warm and cosy over the weekend.