Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day April 2014

I find myself in the position of being prepared for my Bloom Day post this month.  Which really does make a change!  Rather than rush around the garden at the last minute, as I would normally would, it's been great to gather pictures at a more leisurely pace.   Each day there is something new in bloom and I'm pleased that there are so many plants blooming.  I do hope others are in a similar situation, especially our friends over the pond who have had a rather tough time of it this winter.  Please join me and other garden bloggers over at May Dream Gardens and find out how their gardens are fairing this April.  Carol kindly hosts the Bloom Day post on the 15th of every month.  If you don't join already, please do - it's a useful tool for referencing your garden at specific times in the month.

Looking back on last year, it was about now that the early bulbs were just putting on a show.  This year, it's a different story - the early bulbs and hellebores have now gone over and spring has really taken hold in my wee garden.

Narcissus cyclamineus Jetfire has been the only daffodil to hold up to the winds we've been experiencing.  The others were flat on their face within days of opening!

N. Rip van Winkle supported by the branches of a Physocarpus otherwise they'd have been down in the muck getting dirty faces. 

New to the garden this spring - I've planted Narcissus Minnow in various spots around the garden.  I'm pleased I did!  The flowers are minute - I love them!

Large yellow daffodils just don't float my boat but white ones on the other hand, I find them irresistible!  The first of many are also weeks ahead compared to last year.  I'm glad they've missed the high winds of the last week or so.  N. Thalia's beautiful scent makes them all the more irresistible.

Species tulips may not have the grandeur (depending on your taste that is) of their hybridized cousins, but for me, their hardiness and ability to perennialize makes them a must for my garden.  I will be adding more species tulips in the Autumn. 

I first planted T. humilis Persian Pearly in autumn 2011 - they have not let me down.  I love when they are tight in bud.

A newer addition to the garden - I wasn't sure I'd be too keen on the colour of these were but I am glad I picked them up now.  I found these in a local DIY stores - they may be small, no taller than 15cm (that's 6 inches in old money)  but I like the punch they pack under the Pyracantha.

Clumps of Fritillaria meleagris are dotted around the garden.  Single stems too - they appear to have moved around the garden as I take a few bulbs with me if I move a plant growing nearby.  I don't mind this, the more the merrier in fact!

Another plant that suffered from my moving things around is Leucojum aestivum - this will be the first time I've had a flower since planting in 2011.  I've think, she says optimistically, that I identified others growing as single bulbs elsewhere in the garden last year.  I lifted them just as they were going over and potted them up.  I have plenty of foliage but no flowers this year - they will be planted together with this one when it stops flowering.  I'm loathe to disturb it right at this moment in time.  So with any luck, I'll have a wee clump of Snowflakes next year.

Moving on from Snowflakes to Snowbells - a spring favourite of mine.  Soldanella.  I grow 3 different varieties and these are the first to flower.  In fact they've been in flower for a little under a month.  In the wild these beauties open their flower just as the snow is melting - can you imagine just how beautiful they are surrounded by crisp white snow?

Corydalis malkensis flowered beautifully back in March and is now making a decent sized patch beneath my pagoda dogwood.  It's thrown up a few more blooms just as the others are going to seed.  It was a nice surprise.

Pulmonarias are going stong now - another plant that is dotted around the garden.  I only grow one named variety - Blue ensign.  Now in it's second year here, I'm pleased to see it's kept it's colour thus far.  I've read that they often don't and revert to the run of the mill pink/blue type.

Another versatile plant that grows in any aspect in my garden, even full sun - Siberian bugloss.  Later in the year those leaves will just bet bigger and bigger.  A useful substitute for Hosta I find - the slugs, although they will seek shelter under the plant - they leave the foliage well alone. 

After years of trying to bring Anemone blanda back for a 2nd year, I've succeeded - woo hoo!!!  I'm not quite sure what I've been doing wrong in years gone by - I don't think it's a frost thing.  My understanding is that they are fully hardy.  It could of course be a winter wet issue, time will tell and we shall see what happens next year.

Still having to crawl around on my hands and knees to capture this little beauty - Anemonella thalictroides.  Rue anemone is more common in white or a pale pink colour.  This is a dark pink form but I've noticed it's only dark pink just as the flowers open and they eventually fade to pale pink.  Not that I mind, it's a pretty little thing and now in it's 2nd year in my garden.  I hope it eventally becomes happy and spreads itself around.

A little alpine next - this time growing in my miniature garden, Saxifraga x boydilacina Pink Star is just about to go over.  The whole plant is around 3 inches in diameter.  So many flowers for such a small plant.  

More in containers - Muscaria latifolium and some blue pansies flowering outside the back door.

Blue Pansies and purple Violas.  There is a little blue tit visiting the garden that has taken an utter dislike to the pansies - he continually pecks at them all day long.  What's his game?  Who knows - he hasn't bothered about any of the others.

The early flowering Primulas are looking great,  I do have a bit of  thing for Primula as regular readers will know.  I do quite well in having at least 1 Primula in flower no matter what time of the year it is.  This month we have:

P. denticulate, veris and vulgaris
beneath Physocarpus opulifolius Golden Nugget

I've had enough of crawling around on all fours, so please excuse me whilst I hoist myself up.  It's time to see what's flowering a bit nearer eye level!.....Ah, that's better - knees a bit stiff though!

A new Clematis in the garden this spring.  Growing on part of the new trellis - it's settled in nicely.  Later in the year the seed heads will add just as much interest as the flowers.

Euphorbia characias Silver Swan - I had been considering ripping this out.  Whilst it look great all last year, the winter took it's toll on the foliage and it looked awful.  Now that the surrounding plants are coming up, it's looking a bit better.   The heads will be cut off when they've gone over to make way for the new growth at the base.  It's been told that it needs to improve it's look or it's a gonner!

The scent that is given off by Skimmia japonica Snow White is gorgeous but only if you get up close and personal.   This Skimmia is quite a low grower - reaching a height of no more that 60cm.  Ideal for a spot near the front of the border - providing you can offer it the conditions that it likes.     


Regular readers already had a sneak preview of the Camellia flowering this week.  2 Camellias down - 3 to go!  I look forward to a time when my Camellias mature and have an abundance of blooms rather than the odd one or two!

Last and certainly not least - Lamium orvala.  There aren't many well behaved Lamiums out there and thus far it seems to be keeping itself under control. 

It's time for me to pop over and see what you've all got blooming - I hope the weather is kind to you wherever you are this week!