After last month’s post I was left pondering about what, if anything, I would like to change about my garden. What I’d really like is to get a garden design team in and landscape it as a Japanese garden – it’s definitely wet enough to grow ferns and mosses! And after the first mow of the year of my miniscule lawn and hacking the edges I decided that it just has to go.
Firstly though I am very happy with my pots of spring bulbs. After last month’s dwarf irises, March has been the return of the Narcissi and Daffodils. Pretty Narcissus ‘Tête á Tête‘, yellow and orange ‘Martinette’ and white ‘Thalia’ jazz up the patio along with my white Camellia. N. ‘Rip van Winkle‘ are still performing in the woodland border and other odd spots around the garden. The beetroot purple Hyacinth ‘Woodstock‘ adds a strong contrast. I will remove these bulbs this year and replant as only two of the five bulbs have flowered, although with three spikes. And last years daffodils reappeared in the raised bed at the end of the month. Though yesterday’s chilly wind has wreaked havoc!
When looking at my photos I realised how much of my spring garden is purple and yellow!
Chionodoxa luciliae / Glory of the Snow has reappeared in the woodland border (blue / lilac) and the white variety in my raised bed, though not so many. These are so lovely, but also so difficult to photograph.
One Anemone coronaria, (the poppy anemone, Spanish marigold, or windflower) popped up unexpectedly and is white! I don’t recollect any white ones when I planted these a couple of years ago. I must buy some more this autumn as they are such beautiful flowers.
The raised beds have been weeded and ready for some new additions. More herbs and a rhubarb plant are planned for one of them. And a new clematis has been ordered for the other bed to add to the early flowering montana variety. In the meantime this pretty Euphorbia ‘Martini’ is looking good. It is a lovely spurge, bearing dark grey-green rosettes of leaves and upright bracts in lime-green with a red eye. My thyme and sage plants on the other hand are not looking so good.
The mini wildflower patch I created last year has erupted with pretty Snake’s Head Fritillary / Fritillaria meleagris – mostly the purple kind, but one pure white. I hadn’t noticed last year that they have pretty, long, yellow stamen inside these nodding bells.
And finally, a new gardening book. OK, this might make it seven, but hopefully no-one is counting. Although I have a
few lot of books (and have sworn not to buy any more) I cannot resist gardening books. Some I simply dip into for ideas and inspiration or advice, others I just love for the images like my large Frampton Floral by Richard Mabey which is full of Victorian botanical prints. This one was my treat to myself on Mother’s Day.
With some dry days, though still on the chilly side, I keep getting outside to do a bit more than the five minutes weeding. The winter honeysuckle has had a major prune, all crossed over branches removed and the centre opened up. We’ll see how it goes next year, but this might be cut down completely. I have never noticed any scent from the shrub unless I stick my nose right into a flower. I think it should be in sun for the perfume to waft around and this is in complete shade all winter.
Summer bulbs have been planted – Martagon lilies, Freesia, Sparaxis and Ixia as well as Zephyranthes candida and robusta (rain lilies) – let’s hope they manage to avoid being munched by the slimy assassins! And some seeds sown. Oh, and the sparrows are back to using the weeping willow tree as their conference centre.
As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world.
See here for the participant’s guide.
That touch of red makes Euphorbia ‘Martini’ look very striking – a lovely plant. Your spring bulbs are putting on a lovely show too. I used to have winter honeysuckle in our garden in Scotland and I can’t remember it having much scent. (Maybe my sense of smell isn’t great!)
I think the honeysuckle needs to be in sun. It smells more now since the sun reaches it, but of course the flowers are almost over.
Mine was in our sunny front garden – but there isn’t masses of sunshine in a Scottish winter!
It’s uninspiring, but the sparrows like to gather in it and I don’t think I can totally remove it as it is planted in a walled bed. Impossible to dig anything.
It’s worth keeping for the sparrows!
On books: Sarah Raven’s recently published, A Year Full of Flowers, is excellent – and, dare I say it, she actually knows quite a lot about gardening!
That sounds like a book I would enjoy Paddy. I love SR’s flowers, she certainly knows how to group plants together. Maybe I can indulge in that on my birthday – though given how much we have saved by not going out this last year why not now! Have you read or got Claire Austin’s book on perennials? That sounds rather nice too.
No, I haven’t had Claire Austin’s book. Must look it up.
Your garden is looking lovely, and the pots of bulbs bring a lot of colour to it! The Fritillaries are quite pretty, both their colour and form.
Thank you. I am very fond of spring bulbs!
They are very rewarding!
I am always amazed by what you are able to grow (and name!) Jude. Looks like the garden is coming along beautifully. Guess the damp has been good for it. Loved the white anemone – have never seen a white one.
I wish you were next door, I am being really strong and getting rid of a load of gardening books, you would be welcome to them. I have a pile of old (ie 1940 and before) ones that I am undecided about, I probably will keep them. Less of me, more of you. Lovely plants, lovely garden. I don’t think you need a designer in, the garden is you and that is great! Sorry I have neglected you recently, I have been pondering my books. x
Ah, books. We gave away a load to Oxfam when we moved here, a lot of my travel books. I couldn’t give away gardening books though. I simply love looking through them now and then and there will probably come a time when I can’t have a garden. Keep the old ones. And think about the others. And yes, I wish I lived next door to you. 😍
Your pots are beautiful. I hope the taller Narcissi has stood up to the wind. There’s been a few casualties here today. Have you decided what you are going to replace the grass with?
I have resorted to a few supports for the taller daffs. The ones in the garden seem to be ok though, probably have longer roots. The grass will be replaced with pebbles like the half I have done already and a few granite rocks with some herbs and annuals like poppies scattered around.
Impressive! I’m jealous of your green thumb and your garden space.
When we were back in the UK we created a Japanese style garden. Def no grass. We built a koi carp pond with a water feature like a waterfall, no grass, bamboos and invested in a little Japanese maple tree which was glorious red/bronze colour.
I love all your colourful pots. They are brilliant for moving around the garden to crate interest at different times of year.
I have bamboo! But my little acer suffers badly from the wind.
I grew the bamboo with the black canes. CAn you grow your acer in a large pot or make a feature area protected by trellis? I also used mirrors in shady corners to project the light and give a felling of depth
Your garden’s photos are very beautiful ❤️
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