It’s been a bit of a mixed week weather-wise, but Spring is surely advancing. Daffodil displays are in now full swing. In fact, there’s a local daffodil festival in Thriplow next weekend that I will try to get to. I imagine that the festival will be packed, given that they’ve not been able to run it for the last two years. We will see.
Anyhow, it’s time to join Mr Propagator’s popular meme, Six-on-Saturday: Six gardening-related things, shared on a Saturday.
This week crocuses have been the best-in-show in our garden. Even the patches of ‘Cream Beauty’ that had been wrecked by pigeons have sent up more flowers and are now looking very pretty in the sunshine. That succession of flowers is one of the brilliant things about crocuses … and still they are coming.
I am still ‘wasting’ a lot of time staring at their open faces, transfixed by the bees hurtling from one cup to the next.
2) Harvington ‘Pink Speckled’ Hellebore
A few weeks back I thought that I had lost this beauty. Well, it turns out that it really had disappeared from the front garden, but it is now growing in the fern bit of the back garden. (In my defense, unless you lift their nodding heads you don’t get to see those speckles and this plant looked identical to several others I’d moved to this section last year.) Once I found it, of course I remembered that when the gas supply was installed last summer I relocated a number of plants along the proposed route of the pipe, for safe keeping. 🤦
3) Early flowering Geum
I’ve been amazed that my ‘Totally Tangerine’ Geum has withstood winter completely intact and is already offering up its lovely, crinkled orange flowers again. It’s obviously a doer!
I’ve not really got the hang of violet growing … That is, I don’t seem to have any control over where they appear from one year to the next. They creep around the borders as they please, which I don’t mind at all, but they never make much of a show. That seems a shame, especially as I really want to find enough to make Sugared Violets and that is seems unlikely to be the case again this year. If anyone knows the trick to making them settle and bulk up, I’d be grateful to hear it!
5) First tulips
I may have given up on buying new tulips for our garden, because of the >95% attrition rate before they get to flowering (squirrels, mice, voles), but we have a few that are well-established (presumably they are deep, deep down in the soil) and these come back for us every year. The earliest repeaters are the species tulips like Tulipa turkestanica and Tulipa clusiana var. chrysantha. I may not be the biggest fan of yellow flowers, but these put a smile on my face every time I see them splayed wide open, advertising their wares.
6) Euphorbia wulfenii
This was the view that greeted me when I entered the walled garden at work on Thursday. Great isn’t it?
I have this euphorbia in my own garden too, but it doesn’t catch the light in the same way, let alone have the lovely wall and espalier backdrop.
Well, that is me done! There are heaps more Sixes to see if you click through to Jonathon’s blog.
Your crocus are fantastic, such pretty flowers and time looking at them is definitely not wasted! Like your tulip and your geum, is that early this year?
Thank you Pauline. The tulips are slightly early I’d say, but the geum seems a good month ahead of normal.
As I said yesterday on Twitter, it’s a very good year for crocuses. All colours are represented this year and are not too nibbled.
Impressed by your geums already blooming! It’s so early!
My tulips turkestanica are a bit behind yours and should be blooming soon.
Hope you are enjoying your tulip turkestanica now. The geum are putting on an astonishing display already. I guess that there was no severe weather to cut the plants back to ground this year, which means they had a head start over normal conditions.
Lovely crocuses and hellebore. I am amazed how early the geum and euphorbia are.
Thanks Liz. I hope that they don’t lose out on pollinators for being so early, but having seen loads of butterflies over the last few days, maybe they are being affected too?!
You have a wonderful array of early blooms. Like others, I’m amazed at the gem flowering this early. I’ve grown to love the chartreuse stalks of that euphorbia, even though many view it as a weed. Seems to belong in a movie set in space.
I’ve always thought euphorbia wulfenii incredibly regal and stately, but now I am thinking aliens and invasion 🤣
I’d never heard of Geum, although I see by my sources that we have one native species in my area: a lovely, small, white flower that I’ll watch for now. I grew up with violets as a first spring flower; our May baskets usually contained violets and small sweets.
My finger twitched before I added that I found exactly four violets in bloom at Walden West. They’re the first I’ve seen in my wanderings, and there will be a photo of the sweetest one!
We have a weed geum (Geum urbanum) that is all too keen to take over our front garden. Until it flowers it can be easily confused with the cultivars.
What is a May basket for? Sounds lovely though.
Here’s a great article about May baskets.
Gosh your crocuses are superb ❤ and I really love your species tulip!
Thank you. I love how generous crocuses are with their flowers! 🙂
Ah, so lovely to see spring blooms so abundantly displayed! (We still will be a while yet… it keeps snowing here!)
Violet seeds have elaiosomes, so ants spread them, that is why they show up randomly in your garden. It may take a few years, but trust me, they will spread! Not sure if the crowns are divisible, as I’ve never tried to grow them, my lawn and gardens are full of them! They are quite lovely in May when the lawn turns purple and white. (No-Mow-May observed here!) The only violet I don’t weed out of the gardens is a small patch of ‘Freckles.’
Sounds delightful. Don’t I remember you having tea parties with violets? I’ve never seen any growing in our grass, but maybe I will try to lift a few from the border to see if I can get them going in the meadow patch. Last week I noticed a huge patch of white violets growing on the grass verge by the church in the next village, so it should be possible.
Yes, violet tea in May, a yearly tradition!
That’s it! Wonderful
Glad to hear you had found the misplaced hellebore! 😁 The violets here have no problem spreading but don’t flower very well – and I am not sure they are fragrant…? Are they something a bit different do you think? Can’t believe you have a geum flowering, although at least I have one re-emerging, which doesn’t always happen 😉 Your crocuses look lovely and so perfect too!
Yes, I felt a bit stupid over that hellebore, but at least I still have it! I keep losing geum in our front garden and I don’t know why. Meanwhile, in the back garden they are seeding around?! Thanks!
Can’t think how the geum behaviour might be explained… 🤔
I love your idea to make Sugared Violets from your pretty violets. I used to have them wild at my former house and miss them from time to time.
There’s sometime very timeless about using violets decoratively. I hope that I do get to make them eventually. Funnily enough, it never occurred to me that you can buy violet plants for the garden. They somehow seem as if they should be wild and appear naturally.
What gorgeous lime green Euphorbia! You have a nice job indeed, with iews like that and probably lots more to make you smile. 😃 Species tulips seem to be the only pnes I can rely on too… the mice leave them alone and they spread as well, albeit very slowly. That Geum has been on my list for years… apparently it is difficult to grow from seed, and the plants have not made it to the continent it seems, with Brexit no doubt contributing the its non-availability. I will live in hope! 😉
Interesting to hear that Totally Tangerine is hard to grow from seed, because it definitely sowed itself in abundance around the mother plant last summer. 🤷 Maybe the seed just has to be sown very fresh?