THE FIRST FLOWERS OF SPRING
A complete change of scale for this weeks Garden Diary (aka Six on Saturday hosted by The Propagator). Last week was all about the big picture when we went on a Walk around the garden. In order to see the plants I've chosen this week, we will mostly have to get down on our hands and knees.
I wasn't expecting this to be in flower so early, but here it is. I don't know the variety as it was already in the garden, growing in the shade of a yew and beech trees by the side of the drive.
It does have one very important property which may be relevant to some country gardeners. It must be rabbit proof. Despite being near the entrance to a burrow this had survived.
The rabbits thankfully have moved elsewhere so I don't have to worry about any new plants being eaten or dug up anymore.
2. Sarcococca hookeriana digyna
This plant featured in a couple of Six on Saturday posts last week. Some discussion was had about possible locations for this plant. If you want my two penny's worth then may I recommend putting it in a pot by the back door* where you can enjoy the fragrance every time you go in or out. It can be retired to a less prominent position once it has finished flowering.
* You may prefer to put yours by the front door, but I live in the countryside and we only use the front door on ceremonial occasions.
3. Eranthis Hyemalis
In our garden the winter aconites are usually the first flowers to appear in the New Year. They are still not quite out and I really should have waited until they were, but I couldn't. There are only a few sprinkled through the Arboretum, and perhaps that's sufficient. I don't think I need a carpet of them. A little yellow can go a long way.
Like the Sarcococca this has a glorious smell. It's planted next to a path so you receive a heady whiff each time you pass. Maybe one would look good near the aconites.
5. Blue Sky
It's been mainly mild, overcast and wet here, so it was great to see this lovely blue sky on Friday and it set off perfectly the pale pink of the Winter Flowering Cherry.
We've seldom had temperatures below freezing so I've been able to carry on planting and moving plants around. I'm making the most of it as I'm sure we will get the proper Winter cold at some point.
The variety of their colours and markings make Hellebores fascinating, although you have to turn up their flower heads to see them properly. I don't have any of the really nice ones as they are quite expensive and in a garden this size I've gone for quantity rather than quality. Having said that, these ones I planted a couple of years ago seem to be doing so well that I think I might treat myself to some fancy ones too.
That's all from my garden this week. If you'd like to hear from other gardeners about what's happening in their gardens , then visit The Propagator, who kindly hosts Six on Saturday.