Well late February / early March – most of these photos were taken during the week whilst the sun shone. I got a lot done in the garden during this last fortnight: more weeding, the lawn mowed (at last!), some plants transplanted, a LOT of cutting back of the Virginia Creeper which has a nasty habit of creeping through the eaves of the roof and into the attic. This really has to go or at least be tamed to cover just the lower part of the house, it involves far too much maintenance for me for a brief period when it looks good. I also managed to cut out all the dead wood on the climbing rose on that wall – there was a lot of that, but at least this year I have been able to see it. Whether it revives and grows is another question. That wall is looking rather bare now.
- A dwarf daffodil that I planted in the autumn of 2017 is this lovely Narcissus ‘Rip van Winkle‘ – with flowers resembling tissue paper stars, they are a golden starburst in the garden. Unfortunately in my windy garden they do like to keep their heads facing downwards. I have planted them in two different locations: the sunny gravel garden and the shady woodland border. They have appeared at the same time.
- Also called the spring starflower, Ipheion uniflorum ‘Alberto Castillo’ boasts narrow strap-shaped light green leaves and solitary star-shaped flowers on upright stems. It seems that I am attracted to star-shapes! Another from autumn 2017 these are planted in a bowl and I wasn’t sure they would reappear this year, but they have. But I think I will transplant them into a border at the end of their flowering this spring.
- Another bulb planted in a bowl in autumn 2017 is this pretty blue Muscari armeniacum, the classic deep blue grape hyacinth. I have the ‘Valerie Finnis’ variety too, but that hasn’t reappeared yet, although there have been leaves all through the winter.
- Leaving bulbs behind, here is a perennial herb. The Ficaria verna, commonly known as lesser celandine or pilewort is a low-growing plant in the buttercup family. It has fleshy dark green, heart-shaped leaves and distinctive flowers with bright yellow, glossy petals. Another star-shaped flower, this one is often found in woodland, grassy hedgerows and gardens. Many gardeners consider them as weeds and remove them from their gardens. I like the fact that they are usually the first flower in my garden and they are often known as the messenger of spring. After flowering they disappear underground again until the next spring!
William Wordsworth was a fan, writing no less than three poems about the flower:
To the small celandine
Pansies, Lilies, Kingcups, Daisies,
Let them live upon their praises;
Long as there’s a sun that sets
Primroses will have their glory;
Long as there are Violets,
They will have a place in story:
There’s a flower that shall be mine,
‘Tis the little Celandine.
- Brunnera macrophylla ‘Sea Heart’. The heart-shaped, almost silver leaves are extremely handsome, and have deep green veining. The mound throws up sprays of soft blue, forget-me-not-like flowers in spring forming an attractive clump. This is planted in bark under my corkscrew hazel tree where I hope it will spread and thus prevent weeds from setting.
- And finally, my favourite flower in the garden this week are the very pretty Anemone coronaria de Caen which I have used as pot toppers. The deep blue ones are exquisite and the rich red are also beautiful but impossible to photograph decently! The corms produce vibrant single stemmed poppy flowers from April-May if planted in September or October and they can even be planted in April for June and July flowering, or planted in June for September flowering. I think I have fallen in love!
What’s your favourite flower this week?
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I shinned up a ladder to tame our Virginia creeper. I planted it to cover the dodgy patch of render on our front wall and it grew in every place but that. I cut it back and tied it off to some screws I put in the wall. I am hoping it will behave this year.
Well mine has been cut back very hard this year and I aim to keep it to below the windows!
Your brunnera is in flower! I bought some late last year and they look very small and there is no sign of a flower. Patience! And i love Ipheion uniflorum ‘Alberto Castillo’ – seem to remember Jim showing something similar. Lovely collection.
The brunnera has been in flower practically all through the winter. And yes, the Ipheion are glorious and I shall be adding to the collection this autumn.
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