The white of the snowdrops has changed into the yellow of the narcissus, which means that the woodland looks totally different now that the warm sunshine has finished off the flowers of the snowdrops and crocus. Each day when I come for a wander, I find something new which has opened overnight, but also, looking with a critical eye, I’m thinking of what I can add to make it look more interesting in certain places where all the early flowers have faded.
The first view is the woodland border from the back garden.
The woodland from by the archway.
This is the border to the left of the archway into the woodland.
Looking into the woodland from the right side of the arch way.
Once again, I’m standing in the ditch at the right hand end, looking left.
From the right end by the road, looking back to the arch way.
From the left hand end of the woodland by the road, looking back, the archway is to the right of the purple flowers in the distance
From the left hand corner by the back garden.
What I was calling Snowdrop Hill, I will have to think of another name now that the snowdrops have finished. Bluebells will be the next flowers out here, but I will have to keep them in check so that they don’t overrun the snowdrops. This area needs more planting to have interest here later in the year.
Cardamine pratensis, the patch of purple on the left, has been flowering for such a long time now. Soon it will start retreating and then be dormant for the summer.
Corydalis Beth Evans with narcissus.
A single fritillary in amongst the narcissus.
Looking through the trees to the flowers beyond.
Fritillaries are spreading nicely now, the seed is spread further each year
Thank goodness the pheasants have left them alone this year.
Another single one has put itself in amongst the false oxlips.
This looks a bit boring doesn’t it after all the other photos. In the previous months this has been a lovely drift of snowdrops with quite a few crocus in between. Obviously there is a need for some narcissus in this area, to be followed by hosta, ferns , heucheras, dicentras and foxgloves maybe.
These are pots of Narcissus Sail Boat waiting to be planted, I think a few of these can be planted in between the snowdrops in the previous photo.
This is where I was standing to take the photo of where all the snowdrops were, a bit bare don’t you think! This is quite a damp area, a side ditch to the main ditch, so I will sprinkle some seed of the snakeshead fritillaries here and will plant some candelabra primulas that I have been growing from seed in the greenhouse. I also have some spare ferns and astilbes that need splitting and can come here to help make it look more interesting.
Just by the bridge over the ditch is a little cyclamen repandum, they aren’t spreading as fast as the others, but we keep hoping that they will spread.
On the opposite side of the path to the cyclamen are a few bulbs of Tulipa sylvestris. I thought because of having “sylvestris” in its name, it had to be planted in woodland, but have read since that it isn’t necessary. The buds always emerge bent over, but straighten up when the flowers open.
Soon the Erythronium will be flowering, they are such beautiful flowers but so fleeting, I try not to be away when they are due to flower, otherwise I will miss them. Something has had a nibble, hope they don’t nibble the flowers!
I was given a clump of Leucojum aestivum Gravetye Giant by one of my woodcarving pupils many years ago. They seem to like the soil in the woodland and I now have 5 large clumps, almost 4ft tall, some of which could do with being divided again. I think they are so tall this year because of all the rain we had this winter.
Corydalis solida has now formed a nice clump on the side of the ditch. It has taken it a long time to grow to this size, but it was worth the wait. It is now seeding about, some seedlings have the same flower and some of them are coming up the same as the pink Beth Evans-wonderful!
At last Hamamellis mollis is flowering properly, it is so late this year, normally this one is in flower by the end of January. The perfume is rather faint, not like the Daphne which hits you as soon as you come into the woodland, you have to get close up and personal with the witch hazel.
Carpeting a couple of areas is Anemone nemerosa, the wood anemone. This is slowly spreading across the woodland floor and looks delightful when in flower.
Also on the two sides of the ditch are a few plants of Euphorbia amygdaloides robbiae. It is spreading by underground runners but I am so grateful that something will survive where they are, in very dry shady areas full of huge tree roots, I just have to watch it doesn’t spread anywhere near anything precious.
I took some more photos of the fritillaries yesterday, so forgive me if I show you a few more!
I can’t resist them!
Here they are with the false oxlips that have seeded into the bark chipping path. I think they show up better with pale flowers around them.
I also like the different shades we are getting now that they are seeding about, a few are pure white but some a mixture of purple and white which is rather pretty.
So there we are, that is the woodland for March, I have a lot of planting to do to create more interest later in the year, most of the plants have been grown from seed so I can plant them in drifts. They probably won’t flower this year but I can dream about next year!
Thanks to Helen at patientgardener.wordpress.com. for hosting the End of Month View once more. Why not pay her a visit to see what others have been busy doing in their gardens over the last month.
Your woodland looks stunning Pauline. It is full of interest and the sort of plants that I love. Do you have English bluebells? My garden is infested with the dreaded Spanish ones and I cannot get rid of them.
I wish I could grow Cyclamen repandum outside, it doesn’t seem to be hardy here. It is so pretty.
Yes Chloris, we have English bluebells, I too have Spanish ones that the previous people must have planted, I dig them up each year, but more come up each year! Little Cyclamen repandum is increasing, but oh, so slowly compared to C coum and C hederifolium, it has survived quite a few hard frosts, I think in the woodland with all the autumn leaves on top, must protect it a bit.
So interesting to see your garden views Pauline. They’re full of delight and promise. The long drifts of fritillaries are quite nice. susie
Springtime is the woodlands best season Susie, starting with all the snowdrops, then narcissus and fritillaries. It’s later on that it goes very quiet when the leaves come on all the trees, that’s why I feel it could be improved.
All those daffodils are so lovely. I am still adding more and more of them each year. You have so many blooms at this time of year. I am looking forward to spring bringing more and more blooms to my garden.
I too add more and more SB, I think of a number, and really I should multiply by 100! Spring is a wonderful time of year for lots and lots of flowers, something new opens each day. The woodland is buzzing with bees each time I have a wander in there, which is very rewarding. I hope spring arrives soon for you.
I love your woodland, I would love to go for a walk through it. I think I have my first ever fritillaries about the flower which is rather exciting. Thanks for joining in again this month
Thank you Helen for your kind comment. How wonderful to have your first fritillary about to flower, its so exciting waiting to see it open, will you be sowing the seed to increase your numbers?
Your woodland is delightful Pauline and all your plans for addition plants are amazing. I think it already perfect, I like that one area takes over from another giving varied interest through the seasons. I am enjoying seeing the woodland in more detail and hearing your thinking is inspirational.
Thank you so much Christina, your comments mean a lot to me. The best time for woodland gardens is of course springtime while the leaves are off the trees, but I’m sure it could be more interesting during the summer, with contrasting foliage which wouldn’t mind it being quite a bit darker.
Can you ever have too many Fritillaria? Never! Your woodland is incredible Pauline.
I recently came across a yellow fern leaved Corydallis cheinthifolia, I think it was called. It looked super in The Linns woodland garden and something a wee bit different.
I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Have a great week Pauline 🙂
No Angie, you can’t have too many fritillaries! I don’t think I have heard of Corydalis cheinthifolia , I will have to look it up, I’m sure I could find a little spot for it!
Erythroniums look so vulnerable and delicate to me. I have a pink one that opened yesterday. I hope it will spread a bit! Fritillaries are my favourite woodland bulb, they look wonderful in a large drift like that. Gonna go big in autumn. If I plant enough surely Ptolemy can’t eat them all?
The Erythronium do look delicate, I agree Jessica, the buds on mine are all up and practically open, maybe tomorrow.
Thinking about last year with the Fritillaries, it was just the flowers round the edge that seemed to be chewed, the ones in the middle seemed to be left alone, so go for it Jessica, a lovely drift should keep Ptolemy away!!
If I were to walk around your woodland garden I would frighten the birds with my oohs and aahhs! It’s so lovely! 😀
Thank you Cathy, it’s only the pheasant that I keep chasing away, the other birds are very welcome! I think he’s got the message now and is keeping away from the woodland, hope I’m not speaking too soon!
hi Pauline, Despite the fact you seem somewhat unsatisfied with it at the moment, I think your woodland garden is terrific. The daffodils and the fritillaria are so pretty. My favourite thing at the moment though has to be the corydallis. Corydalis ‘Beth Evans’ and the more purple Corydalis are both really, really nice.
Not really dissatisfied Jennifer, but it could be more interesting in a couple of places. When people visit in the summer, I tell them that they will have to use their imagination as there is no sign of all the bulbs and flowers that are there at the moment. The purple Corydalis is now seeding about and some of the seedlings have flowered with the same pink as Beth Evans, I must pot them up and grow them on for a bit.
Oh I do so enjoy reading about and seeing your woodland planting Pauline. If it were mine I would want to press the pause button now for a good few weeks. Narcissus ‘Sail Boat’ is most aptly named.
Anna, I would love to press a pause button, but already little Tete a Tete is needing dead heading, everything is marching onwards, I must just enjoy it while I can. I plonked all the pots of N.Sail Boat in amongst the leaves of the snowdrops and that area now looks so much better, it matches the other areas, now I just have to plant them all!
Glorious fritillaries Pauline, am so glad the pheasants didn’t get to them! I agree that they look particularly fine amongst the oxslips, a combination I think I may have to nick. I love your woodland, and the way it reflects the changing season so beautifully. Your plans to enhance it sound spot on, that bare patch will be glorious!
Many thanks Janet, I’m also so glad the pheasant has stayed on the field! Spring is always so lovely in the woodland and autumn has lots of colour with the acers and witch hazels, its just the summer that I feel lacks interest. It is too dark once the leaves are on the trees to have any flowers, but I think something could be done to increase the interest foliage wise, that’s what I’m hoping anyway!
How I’d love to spend a few hours in your woodland with my camera, Pauline! You’re not near Buckinghamshire, are you? I will be over in May…What do you grow on the arch? You’re right about the Erythroniums – their beauty is indeed very fleeting. Mine are flowering in pots and will be moved to a spot they’ll like (hopefully!). I love all your flowers 🙂
Unfortunately Annette we live in Devon, but you would be very welcome to come and spend time in the little woodland! I think May is when I feel that it needs a bit more interest as most of the flowers are over by then and it is getting darker as the leaves come on the trees. The archway has a rose Snow Goose ( white rambler) and a Clematis alpina White Moth, the clematis is flowering now, but I forgot to photograph it!
Pauline your woodland looks lovely! I agree that it is very hard to keep it looking nice later in the year though and I am always apologising to summer visitors as we walk through mine. I am very jealous of your beautiful fritillaries. I visited Beth Chatto’s garden today and nearly bought one or two in the nursery. Her woodland was full of pheasants though and not many fritillaries in flower, so remembering your post about Mr Pheasant I have refrained for the time being.
I remember reading Julie, that Beth Chatto gets her revenge on the pheasants by eating them! I don’t think I could do that but think mine has got the message and is staying on the fields next door, I think he is probably fed up with being chased by a mad woman! I’m hoping that contrasting foliage will provide interest during the summer months until the autumn tints arrive!
The woodland is superb, Pauline. I know you’ve said you have quite a heavy clay soil, improved with leafmould. Is that how you manage to have corydalis and erythroniums thriving? I can’t imagine it here, but perhaps time and leafmould can work the magic you’ve worked in your woodland!
Yes Cathy, the soil is heavy red Devonshire clay, if I was a potter I could use it for making pots! The woodland wasn’t as bad as the rest of the garden because it has had years of leaves sitting in there and everything I plant also has compost and more leafmould added. In the rest of the garden all the borders also had ash from the woodburner, soot from the chimney sweep and grit added to make it better for the plants when they were new. When we used to open the garden, I explained to one lady that it was like making a crumble, the clay was the margerine, the grit was the sugar, but without the flour ie ash, soot,compost, the particles of soil just go back together again. Anything you add to make the particles to stay apart makes it easier for new plants to make a good root system. Its hard work to start with, but it certainly pays!
Such a satisfying stroll. You must have such a sense of accomplishment. I hope you will share pics of your Tulipa sylvestris and Erythronium when they bloom. The wood anemone is simply stunning.
My friend Margot wrote, “Choosing a favorite plant is like choosing a favorite child or a favorite dog, senseless and impossible when you love them all.” I agree, but have to admit the fragile beauties always tug at my heart.
I wonder why we don’t grow fritillaries here, in the southern states? They are so unique and beautiful. Do they require winter chill (like hybrid tulips) or lots of water?
Marian I agree with your friend Margot, you can’t choose a favourite plant, I just love what is flowering at the moment, it start with snowdrops, then the snakeshead fritillaries, primula candelabra and then meconopsis! I would think you are too hot in the summer for the snakeshead fritillaries which also like a moist soil. Here in England they grow in water meadows, but there aren’t many left in the wild now unfortunately.
I will certainly photograph the T.sylvestris and Erythronium for you when the flowers open.
Pauline, I enjoyed the tour of your woodland! The tapestry of your woodland flowers may look like an effortless work of nature, but I know there are artful hands behind it all! Your fritillaries are delightful! Who could not love a checked flower? I like the photo of them with the false oxlips. It is fun to wander and plan, and lucky you to have a greenhouse so you can grow plants in quantities from seed!
You are very kind Deb, but I leave Nature to do some of the work! It is fun planning what to do to improve it, sowing the seed, but then there is the planting to do – oh my poor back! I moved all the little plants out of the greenhouse yesterday and there are so many of them, but then I just have to think how it will hopefully look next year and that makes it all worth it.
I make a note and if I ever make it to Devon I let you know. Look forward to the pic of the clematis and rose.
Yes, do let me know Annette if you are coming down this way. I will go now and take a photo of the clematis, but it isn’t looking very good at the moment, maybe I should feed it!
You really are doing a great job taking care of that woodland and making it into the showcase that it’s become. I’m so happy for you that you again have the strength to give it the attention it needs, and as usual I love the frits! Glad the pheasant has been keeping himself busy elsewhere.
Thank you Frank for that lovely comment. The pheasant hasn’t been seen or heard in the garden for a while now, I hear him on the field next to us though. We have been preparing a new area in the corner where it was very bare, for all the plants that I have grown from seed. Soon I will be planting it up and it will be ready for this years fritillary seeds to be sprinkled.