What a difference a day makes!

Yesterday was the most beautiful sunny day, what a difference from Saturday when we had such torrential rain of biblical proportions! It was sunny, but the wind, that was definitely icy, coming from the north. Fortunately my early snowdrops are quite sheltered where they are and are flowering nicely still. Mrs McNamara has been multiplying , I think this is going to be the year when I have to do quite a bit of splitting of my bulbs to keep them happy, if they get too crowded they tend to stop flowering. Not bad from just one bulb a few years ago.

Mrs McNamara

G. rizehensis

This little one is a species, Galanthus rizehensis, everything about this snowdrop is small, the stalk, the leaves and the flower.

G. caucasicus

Another species, G. caucasicus. Just one flower showing at the moment, but lots to come. It is the leaves that are different on this one, they are curly and twisted, easy to recognise at a distance.

G. Atkinsii

Galanthus Atkinsii is an early tall variety which is known as a good snowdrop for naturalising. I think this could do with splitting to make a few more.


Just coming out, Galanthus Magnet, once more from just one bulb originally, another to be split I think. This one looks beautiful when fully out with the flowers dancing on their long pedicels in the breeze.

G. Angelique

Galanthus Angelique is on the raised beds near to the house, but in the shade of Prunus Kojo no mai. I’m seeing too many snowdrops that need splitting, lots of work to do when they have finished flowering!


Now to all the hellebores that are out at the moment, more and more come out each day, I love this time of year.


Such a dark one, almost black until you get the sun shining through the petals, then it turns to maroon.


One of my favourites, a pink anemone centred hellebore – divine!


Another anemone centred one, this time white with a dusting of red spots, beautiful.


Beautifully marked veins, looks delicate, but just as hardy as the rest.


Double white with the daintiest of pink markings, how can I say which is my favourite when they are all so beautiful!

Witch hazel Pallida

With it being so sunny yesterday, the woodland was filled with perfume, first of all from Hamamellis mollis Pallida. Walking by, I did a real double take, the perfume was so strong.

Witch Hazel Pallida

Mind you, it has never had so many flowers before. Last Autumn, when we were having non stop rain, I noticed that there were so many buds on all the twigs and hoped that this would mean a super flowering period, not just for the witch hazel but for all the other spring flowering shrubs, which usually abort their flower buds if they don’t have enough moisture.


Just further on from the witch hazel, my nose told me that another shrub was in flower and this one for the first time! Daphne bholua has the most beautiful perfume to match its lovely flowers.

Daphne bholua

I have another bush of Daphne bholua in a more shady area of the woodland and seeing this one in flower made me go and inspect the other. Sure enough it is covered in flower buds and the flowers will open soon, prolonging the gorgeous scent that hangs in the air.

Camellia Cornish Snow

Nearby is a Camellia, again flowering for the first time, thanks to all the rain no doubt. This is my first camellia to flower although the others won’t be far behind, this one is Cornish Snow and has very small flowers, but a lot of them, almost half hellebore size. The woodland garden is a very special place for me and just gets better and better for the next few months as each wave of flowers open in turn.

The ” powers that be” say that we are all going to have snow today here in the UK, I wonder, so far, no sign of the white stuff ?!  Each day brings such different weather, its just as well that our plants are so adaptable.

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26 Responses to What a difference a day makes!

  1. Kate says:

    You have so much in flower – I am quite jealous (and am going out to threaten my hellebores)… beautiful H. mollis, I swear I could almost smell it… sigh.

    • Pauline says:

      Kate. I suppose we are a couple of degrees warmer down here, but also very wet, which maybe brings flowers on sooner, just think, you will still be enjoying your hellebores when mine are over!! The perfume in the woodland is wonderful at the moment, it seems to hang around and not be blown away on the wind, as it is quite sheltered.

  2. Anna says:

    Ooooooooh seeing all your flowers has given me a most welcome breath of spring on a cold and very wet morning Pauline. We had a brief flurry of snow last night but all traces have disappeared overnight. It’s amazing just how quickly one snowdrop can clump up. Look forward to seeing more photos of them as they open up. You have some beautiful hellebores – anemone centred, white with red spots has taken my fancy but as you say it is hard to chose favourites 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Anna. no snow, just steady rain this morning, again! All the flowers make me think that spring can’t be far away, I have to keep reminding myself that February is usually the worst month!! I think you have to choose hellebores when they are in flower, no one else can chose one for you, such a variety to chose from, all lovely!

  3. How lovely to have so much popping up and providing interest. Wonderful how well that single snowdrop bulb has multiplied. Am really looking forward to planting some this autumn, as I seem to be snowdrop free here.

    • Pauline says:

      If you really want snowdrops Janet I would try and find them fairly soon, most people lift and split them when the leaves are dying down and sell them ” in the green”. Bulbs that are for sale in the autumn can sometimes be dried out and fail to revive. Most of mine have come from Avon Bulbs in Somerset. Hope you find some, can’t imagine a garden without any snowdrops!

  4. pbmgarden says:

    It’s exciting to see all your flowering wonders Pauline. The Daphne bholua is gorgeous and I can almost imagine its fragrant perfume. The Cornish Snow is beautiful.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Pbm, this is an exciting time of year, when everything starts flowering again, we just have to hope that the weather doesn’t come along and spoil everything!

  5. Liz says:

    Hi Pauline,

    You really do have a lot in bloom at the moment. No Hellebores here, well some niger but the fancy ones are budding up and a few weeks away from blooming yet – don’t think the snow will help them either.
    I don’t have nivalis here and it tends to bloom later, but they’re almost ready to bloom so at least I’m not too far behind with the Snowdrops.

    Looking forward to seeing more blooms opening, just wish it’d warm up a bit and not always be grey whenever it is warmer!

    • Pauline says:

      No snow here yet Liz, just more rain!! Lots of buds coming on the hellebores, especially the yellow ones.
      My G. nivalis just have their leaves up at the moment, no sign of buds yet, usually February when they flower here, the ones that I have out at the moment are meant to be early flowerers, the only time I have known them to be late was 2010 when we actually had deep snow!

  6. When I had an email this morning to say you had a new post I guessed you had been out early to photos of your garden in the snow, so was very pleasantly surprised to see all your lovely blooms instead – indeed it was a real treat, as it wasn’t till a few hours later that I had time to open and read the post. I am really with you in my appreciation of the joys of all these woodland edge plants – but then again, who wouldn’t be? Your snowdrops clearly show well how they bulk up, and it is interesting how much later they all seem to be this year – and to see what the leaves of G. caucasicus are like, as illustrations don’t always show the leaves. I still haven’t noticed any fragrance from my witch hazels, and from what you say they are pretty distinctive so perhaps my nose is at fault! I think my favourite of your hellebores is the pink anemone centred one, but maybe… oh, I don’t know! Sorry about all your rain, but at least it has given you some bumper blooms 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      I was hoping to see snow Cathy, we had it forcast on our local weather, but just rain instead.
      The perfume from the witch hazels is quite distinctive, although not all of them have a perfume. Pallida is a very delicate, almost vanilla scent, but Arnold Promise is definitely orange peel! My nose is completely blocked at the moment, but still able to smell all the different perfumes in the woodland, I suppose they have to be quite powerful to entice the bees to do their work!
      More flowers are opening each day, the woodland is a lovely place to be, had no idea when we bought the house that this part of the garden would become so important to me.

  7. Christina says:

    So lovely to see you lovely snowdrops. Winter flowering plants don’t do as we’ll here in Italy as you might imagine, I think there isn’t enough cold weather in autumn to prompt them to flower. I love all the perfumes of winter flowering plants, always so strong, I have Lonicera fragrantissima which is just opening now. All the rain of last year has clearly had a very positive effect on your garden. Christina

    • Pauline says:

      Each day Christina, it is worth going for a quick walk in the woodland, all the bulbs here appreciate the sun while the branches are bare, then retire underground when the leaves come to form shade. Everything seems to be growing so quickly at the moment but I think we are now in for a cold spell, so they will probably all slow down for a while. The eastern side of the country is under snow at the moment and the forcast is for freezing temperatures all week!

  8. So many pretty blooms! Thanks for sharing them with those of us less privileged 🙂 It is amazing how weather that was such a burden last summer can be a blessing this spring. It is nice to be experienced enough to look forward to those perks in the downpour! We had drought, so I would think our spring flowers might be fewer this year… though perhaps more of my tulips made it through?

    • Pauline says:

      I try to look on the bright side Wmg, I now know how much water the flowering shrubs would really like!! I would think your tulips would be very happy in your drought, I planted all mine in pots last autumn, they are now in an unheated conservatory keeping nice and dry otherwise they would be rotten by now!

  9. debsgarden says:

    So beautiful, and I wish I could experience the fragrance! I have some immature witch hazels that are just beginning to produce a few blooms. I only hope mine will compare to yours someday! I also admire your variety of hellebores, especially the anemone centered ones.

    Also, thanks for your comment on my last post. You asked about the female cardinals. They are not so brilliantly colored as the males, but I think they are just as beautiful. They are a dull reddish brown with brighter red accents along the tail and head crest. An interesting fact about cardinals is that the male is a faithful servant to his mate, often feeding her seeds beak-to-beak. My kind of bird!

    • Pauline says:

      Deb, the perfume is wonderful on a still sunny day, it seems to linger under the trees and you are enveloped by it! Your witch hazel will soon grow for you to enjoy the same.
      Thank you for coming back to me about your cardinals, they are such beautiful birds, such a wonderful red! So good to find he is such a wonderful mate to his female!!

  10. Helen says:

    Amazing, snow drops and hellebores already flowering. Here everything is now covered by a good layer of snow, it’s cold and the birds are very busy at the feeders. But the hamamelis is flowering, something that surprises me every year, I tend to forget that something can flower so early in the season.

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Helen, we have snow forcast for the weekend so the flowers will just have to cope as best they can.Hammamelis is very hardy, along with the snowdrops, they can take any amount of cold and snow. The Hellebores will lie flat on the ground when its freezing but will right themselves when warmer, its wonderful that some flowers are brave enough to flower at this time of year.

  11. Happy New Year Pauline! I hope you had a nice holiday. Your snowdrops are all just lovely. I planted some for the first time this year and can hardly wait for them to bloom. You also have a really nice collection of hellebores-I especially love the pink one and the white one with the fancy center. I once tried a Daphne, but I think my soil was not acid enough. They have the most divine fragrance!

    • Pauline says:

      And a Happy New Year to you too Jennifer! More and more snowdrops are coming out each day, its lovely to see the flowers so early in the year. More Hellebores are open today, so more photos taken! Snow is forcast for tomorrow (Friday) which will make the hellebores all lie down on the ground until warmer weather makes them stand upright again -plants are amazingly adaptable! I agree, the perfume from the Daphne is absolutely wonderful, this is the first year either of the bushes has flowered, I have to go to the woodland area each day to get my fix of Daphne perfume!

  12. Alberto says:

    Hi Pauline! I wonder if you had snow at last… They can’t predict weather until it happens, it’s crazy! You said it right: our plants are very adaptable.
    Your hellebores are amazing, I love the white one with purple veins. And this is a special moment for strongly scented shrubs, unfortunately you can’t email us the perfume and we all look at your pics with envy!

    • Pauline says:

      Alberto, as I sit here, there are a few tiny flakes of snow floating past the window! This won’t last today, but tomorrow is supposed to be a very snowy day for the UK! The perfume in the woodland is really wonderful, I wish I could put it in a bottle and send it to you!!

  13. The snowdrops looks lovely just after the rain. And the hellebores look so healthy and lush. Mine are in the budding stage, but I am looking forward to that bloom.

    • Pauline says:

      Lovely to hear from you SB, the wild snowdrops that we have under all our trees are just starting to show white in their buds, but the ones that are out in flower are the hybrids that bloom earlier. It is so wonderful to see the spring flowers already and they get me out into the garden each day, no matter how cold it is! I’m sure you will enjoy your snowdrops when they open, its a super time of year.

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