On The First Day Of Spring


 Helleborus x hybridus


The first day of meteorological Spring turned out to be lovely.

The weather may have gone downhill since but on 1st March the sun shone and it was almost warm. Far too nice to be cooped up indoors. There was nothing else for it. A spur of the moment decision had us abandon thoughts of household chores and drive up to the RHS garden at Rosemoor.


Cornus sanguinea 'Magic Flame' 001 Wm[1]


Cornus sanguinea ‘Magic Flame’


The Winter Garden seemed the best place to start, there would still be plenty to see.

The structure is striking and so is the wonderful array of scent. There’s no missing the presence of Sarcococca as you make your way down the path. Mike found an early flowering rhododendron and began to focus for a shot. When he was done I asked him to get a photo of the name tag too. It saves me having to remember, or walk around taking notes. He disappeared under the shrub for several seconds and emerged waving the camera triumphantly aloft. I went to look at the screen and read the name on the tag. Narcissus. The underplanting. Doh. My position as gardener-in-chief is safe for a little while yet.


Helleborus x hybridus 001 Wm[1]


 Hellebores abound.

In many areas of the garden they are planted in drifts with snowdrops. I must do more of that here. It’s lovely.


Rosemoor Winter Garden Shelter 001 Wm[2]


Hellebores grown en masse around the Winter Garden shelter


Betula utilis var. jacquemontii 001 Wm[1]


Betula utilis var. jacquemontii

We captured this image of the sun glowing on the bark a split second before that approaching black cloud snuffed it out.


Camellia x williamsii 'Saint Ewe' 001 Wm[1]


Camellia x williamsii ‘Saint Ewe’


Rosemoor Tunnel 001 Wm[1]


Moving on from the Winter Garden there is plenty more to see.

A tunnel connects two parts of the garden. I love the way it frames this view through to the stream.


Galanthus 001 Wm[1]


Snowdrops grow high up on the rocky banks.

All the better for admiring the fine detail of their skirts.


Hellebore 017 Wm[1]


More hellebores.

Can there ever be enough?


Hellebore 018 Wm[1]


Rhododendron 'Praecox' 001 Wm[1]


  Rhododendron ‘Praecox’


Edgeworthia chrysantha 001 Wm[1]


Edgeworthia chrysantha


A few freshly cut stumps and the occasional pile of logs are the only evidence now of the ferocious winter storms. The first signs of Spring blossom on the woodland edge:


Prunus mume 'Beni-shidare' 001 Wm[1]


Prunus mume ‘Beni-shidare’


Prunus hirtipes 001 Wm[1]


 Prunus hirtipes


Crocus 003 Wm[1]


 Crocus, naturalised in the grass


Narcissus Cyclamineus 002 Wm[1]


And Narcissus cyclamineus

My very favourite miniature daffodil. Don’t they look superb?


2018-03-12T17:13:03+00:00March 4th, 2014|Tags: , |


  1. Sue March 4, 2014 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    Wow …. what beautiful photos.

    I love that Winter Garden Shelter, I would love something like that tucked halfway up our hillside to retreat to when the mood took me 🙂

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 6:11 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sue. Me too!

  2. Pauline March 4, 2014 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful day you had a Rosemoor, the flowers all look fantastic. I have missed our usual winter visit, must make an effort to go soon. Love all the tiny Narcissus cyclamineus, they are so pretty.

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm - Reply

      The tiny daffodils are beautiful in drifts. The other one that is doing well is Narcissus bulbocodium, the hoop petticoat daffodil. There are masses of them on the bank leading down to the lake.

  3. Jo March 4, 2014 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    Ha ha, had to laugh at Mike trying to get a photo of the name for you, that’s something Mick would do, he hasn’t a clue when it comes to flowers. I love that shelter, isn’t it gorgeous? Looks like there’s plenty to see at Rosemoor, even this early in the season.

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 6:17 pm - Reply

      He’s hopeless Jo, but I think I’d rather that than living with someone who was very much into gardening… we’d probably have disagreements. At least Mike lets me just get on with it!

  4. Jenny March 4, 2014 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Looks like you had a fantastic day. Such a beautiful selection of flowers. I love the tunnel that connects the two parts of the garden, I’ve always loved gardens that are split into sections with archways and things, but a proper tunnel caps the lot!

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 6:25 pm - Reply

      Going through it the other way you see a waterfall cascading over the rocks, it’s made a real feature of the necessity to get under a road!

  5. woolythymes March 4, 2014 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    you can’t help but be inspired by that garden!!! I’m ready to hack through 3″ of ice to see how my poor hellebores have fared…not well, I fear. 🙁

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 6:29 pm - Reply

      Keep the faith.. it WILL get warmer! Hellebores are pretty tough, that’s a lot of ice though. I hope you are staying indoors and keeping warm.

  6. Joanne March 4, 2014 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    All of the photos look wonderful, I loved that bit about Mike & the wrong tag, my Mike would do the same & he would be so insistent on him being right. Wonderful!

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm - Reply

      My Mike knows better than to hold out on matters horticultural. Although he can now recognise a hellebore at 50 paces. And a rose.. hope yet?

  7. Vintage Jane March 4, 2014 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    What a lovely way to spend the day and great photos. Just heard the weatherman say it will be sunny by the weekend and possibly up to 17 degrees!

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 6:34 pm - Reply

      Whoa! Imagine that. Desperately needed to dry things out, here and in Somerset.

  8. countrysidetales March 4, 2014 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    Fantastic to see all that colour. One could almost feel that summer is coming… 🙂

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 6:40 pm - Reply

      Oh I do hope so, can’t wait to be outside again. Suddenly things have started to grow. And already I need to catch up!

  9. Sue@GLAllotments March 4, 2014 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    I don’t think my last comment worked so here we go again. Rosemoor sounds to use similar planting schemes to Harlow Carr

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 6:49 pm - Reply

      We used to be quite near Wisley, so I know that one well. The other two I’ve still to visit. Quite different climatic conditions though I would think.

  10. rachel March 4, 2014 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    So lovely! I must persuade The Gardener to come with me – trouble is, we usually only get out and about when he’s rained off…… Aren’t those hellebores beautiful?

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 6:49 pm - Reply

      I love hellebores, they look just too exotic for this time of year!

  11. Alison March 4, 2014 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    Oh, I enjoyed this visit to Rosemoor immensely. I never think to plant Hellebores in drifts, or with other early-blooming bulbs like snowdrops. I love that idea.

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 6:51 pm - Reply

      I need my hellebore seedlings to get a move on.. mature plants are quite expensive here. Then I will have drifts!

  12. CJ March 4, 2014 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Oh wow, it’s stunning there. I really love the winter garden shelter and the beautiful mossy rocks. I’m laughing at your garden assistant. I’m sure you’ll get him trained up in the end.

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 7:03 pm - Reply

      Mossy rocks are a given in Devon. And mossy grass, tree trunks, even the inside of my greenhouse. Anything that stays still long enough basically!

  13. Em March 4, 2014 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    I’m ashamed to say I’ve never been…isn’t that terrible? Perhaps we could go together sometime as M is really not interested. Just beautiful photos and no, there can never be too many hellebores. X

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 7:05 pm - Reply

      That’s a great idea Em!

  14. Jane @Hoehoegrow March 4, 2014 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    Well, that was most enjoyable, Jessica ! You are very lucky to be close to Rosemoor. We are reasonably close to Harlow Carr, but bend a little closer and let me whisper, I don’t really like it that much ! There, said it!
    Love the Jacquemontii, and the brightness of the Prunus. Oh heck, I love it all. So full of colour and interest so early in the season! happy Spring!!

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 7:13 pm - Reply

      I do go quite often. I take the view that if they can grow something then so can I, there are a number of similarities between our two sites albeit on a very different scale! A trio of jacquemontii is definitely on my wish list.

  15. wherefivevalleysmeet March 4, 2014 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    Lovely images Jessica – I keep meaning to visit Rosemoor and having now seen your photos must try harder.

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 7:19 pm - Reply

      Having seen glimpses of your lovely garden Rosemary, I think you would enjoy it.

  16. Freda March 4, 2014 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    Such beauty and colour. Hurrah for March. I have planted 10 betula ‘Jacqumontii’ in my (small) front garden so change is afoot…

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 7:21 pm - Reply

      A veritable wood! I bet they look stunning. And definitely Hurrah for March.

  17. linda March 4, 2014 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    When I first scrolled thru….I thought it was your lovely property!
    It does resemble yours….did you get any ideas?
    Enjoy your week…

    Linda :o)

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 7:28 pm - Reply

      Always plenty of ideas, but they do things on a scale I can only dream of! There is quite a bit of woodland there, which is really useful for me… and a bog and stream garden.

      • Linda March 5, 2014 at 2:32 am - Reply


        • Jessica March 5, 2014 at 9:15 am - Reply

          Very.. 🙂

  18. Haggiz March 4, 2014 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Beautiful photos and what a gorgeous garden. Love the winter garden shelter and am so impressed how tidy it all is… I thought everybody’s gardens looked a bit worse for wear in the winter! No, just mine then! Julie x

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 9:36 pm - Reply

      Julie, if you and I had half the staff Rosemoor have ours would look tidy too!

  19. frayed at the edge March 4, 2014 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    The hellebores are superb, and I love the view framed by the tunnel.

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 9:37 pm - Reply

      I was really struck by that view this time, the light must have been just right.

  20. Cathy March 4, 2014 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this Jessica – the chances of me being at Rosemoor in winter or early spring are very slim, so it was good to have a taster.

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 9:39 pm - Reply

      It has a lot going for it out of season. You can see the structure of the garden… and fewer people!

  21. Leanne March 4, 2014 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Hey Jessica,
    What a beautiful garden to visit. I adore Hellebores, but don’t have any in my own garden. Beautiful photos, that remind me I should get my arse in gear and go visit some of the lovely NT gardens here.
    Leanne xx

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 9:43 pm - Reply

      We are blessed with gardens down here Leanne. They must do better on the rain than I do!

  22. Sarah March 4, 2014 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    Wow Rosemoor looks wonderful as the first signs of spring emerge! We have only visited it in the summer. Your pictures are so wonderful and fill me with spring joy!
    Sarah x

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      It had the same effect on me. And by all accounts the weather is set to improve! I can’t wait to get started in the garden again.

  23. minerva March 4, 2014 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    Certainly worth the visit and better than household chores anyday. Beautiful photos promising of the spring to come.
    Alison x

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 9:48 pm - Reply

      Thanks Alison. I never did get round to the cleaning… shame 🙂

  24. Chloris March 4, 2014 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    What a lovely day you had. I love Rosemoor but I have never been at this time of the year. I think that lovely Narcissus cyclamineus is my favourite too. It looks fantastic grown en masse like that.
    Thank you for sharing your lovely photos with us.

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 9:51 pm - Reply

      I really love miniature daffodils. I never thought I’d ever confess love for a daffodil, but these do it for me.

  25. Abby March 4, 2014 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    I like visiting Rosemoor – we’ve been a few times. We were going to go there recently on the way home from Watergate Bay, but didn’t in the end. Mr VTT is a writer and is currently finishing off something on vintage garden tools for Period Living mag. Lovely photos x

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      Oooh… I will look out for it. I subscribe to PL.

  26. Suzanne Dutchess County, NY, USA March 4, 2014 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    What a lovely outing! Very fine photos of the day. We are so behind weather wise. A high of 25F and still a foot of now hard snow and ice remains on the ground. Thanks for sharing with us all. Something to look forward to.
    About this time I’m usually pruning shrubs, cleaning up. The pruning will be late and not done by me.
    Lucky I have some help there. Still it will be nice to be outside, a bit muddy maybe but so worth it.
    I hope your gardens dry up some so you can get back at it.

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      The weather forecast is improving. Maybe 17C by the weekend. The roses are sprouting madly, they are next up.

  27. Mark and Gaz March 4, 2014 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    Those daffodils look divine and loving everything else too. What a great place to visit on a sunny early spring day. We’ve heard so many good things about RHS Rosemoor, we haven’t been and we ought to really.

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 10:04 pm - Reply

      I am spoilt with it being in easy driving distance. Well worth the visit if you are in the area.

  28. Anna March 4, 2014 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    Oh now that was a good way to celebrate that auspicious meteorological event Jessica. Far better than household chores and my experience of sitting on a train for most of Saturday. What beautiful flowers on display. We’ve only managed to visit Rosemoor once but would certainly head there regularly if it were near.

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 10:10 pm - Reply

      It is rather auspicious isn’t it. Especially after the lousy winter that we’ve had. Commiserations on the train, but this weekend is due to be good too? Get those gardening gloves on.

  29. Jacqueline March 4, 2014 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    Hasn’t it been a wonderful day Jessica ?
    …… and, beautiful images showing that Spring is on it’s way. XXXX

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 10:15 pm - Reply

      It’s certainly getting there Jackie.. positively warm in the greenhouse and lots more seeds sown today. How I love Spring.

  30. Jayne Hill March 4, 2014 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    What a fabby day out :}

    No such thing as too many hellbores, thanks for the kick-up-the-backside/reminder to go and photograph mine.

    • Jessica March 4, 2014 at 10:17 pm - Reply

      I wouldn’t dare to presume. Have fun!

  31. nataliescarberry March 5, 2014 at 2:36 am - Reply

    How beautiful, Jessica! Enjoy your pretty babies!!!! Hugs, Natalie 🙂

    • Jessica March 5, 2014 at 9:17 am - Reply

      So sorry to read that the ice is still taking its toll. I really hope it warms up for you soon Natalie.

  32. Wendy March 5, 2014 at 7:12 am - Reply

    A lovely wander around Rosemoor. The Hellebores are gorgeous and I love to see a spread of Crocuses in the grass, one of my favourite sights of the year. The miniature daffs are bright and cheerful. I love all those interesting features like the winter shelter and the rocky banks, too.

    • Jessica March 5, 2014 at 9:21 am - Reply

      I looked at those rocky banks thinking that we could do that here on some of the slopes… but then I thought about moving all that stone!

  33. Denise March 5, 2014 at 7:12 am - Reply

    One of the best things about RHS gardens, I think, is that no matter what time of year you visit, they always look rather lovely. Always something to see.

    • Jessica March 5, 2014 at 9:22 am - Reply

      That’s very true Denise. And that’s why they are so inspiring I think.

  34. Christina March 5, 2014 at 8:12 am - Reply

    Seeing Rosemore makes me think I should be on a plane to visit a friend who lives not to far from Rosemore. I think I love gardens almost more in winter than in summer when they are planted as well as this.

    • Jessica March 5, 2014 at 9:26 am - Reply

      It’s certainly given me plenty of ideas. The conditions they have are much the same as here, if only I had the resources there is no reason why I could not create something similar on a smaller scale.

  35. islandthreads March 5, 2014 at 8:16 am - Reply

    wonderful Jessica, glad you had a lovely day of inspiration and thanks for sharing, I too take photos of labels, I do it with art and quilt exhibitions too, I really like the first photo, the mix of the coloured stems and low growing conifer, something I could hopefully copy here, I love the dark hellebores with the snowdrops and those stunning crocus, all the photos are beautiful,
    my good day of yesterday has turned to rain this morning, I was too tired to properly enjoy your post last night so left it until this morning, so glad I did it has given me a lift from the grey view through the window, Frances

    • Jessica March 5, 2014 at 9:35 am - Reply

      Even better then that you had such a productive day yesterday. I am hoping today might be my day, frosty overnight but bright and sunny this morning. We have to grab such days when we can don’t we!

  36. colleen March 5, 2014 at 9:03 am - Reply

    Always, always leave the housework if an adventure beckons. And you were well rewarded, I see because, as you say, can you ever have enough hellebores?

    • Jessica March 5, 2014 at 9:37 am - Reply

      I don’t think you can. I suspect my seedlings will be something of a muddy shade compared to the originals, but they still have their charm.. and make perfect ground cover.

  37. snowbird March 5, 2014 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    I absolutely loved the crocus in the lawn, delightful. So many gorgeous images, they really do brighten a dreary grey day. I loved the winter flame dogwood, I have put some of those in my back garden, so I hope they end up looking like the ones in your pic.xxx

    • Jessica March 5, 2014 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      I shall plant some too this year, on the bank. They do stand out in winter. Not that I want to be thinking of next winter just yet!

  38. AnnetteM March 5, 2014 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    I really laughed at your Mike photographing the wrong label. He was probably just concentrating on taking the photo. I have a Mike too – he’s very good at cutting the grass and pruning, but leaves the plants to me.
    Really beautiful photographs.

    • Jessica March 6, 2014 at 9:18 am - Reply

      Thanks Annette. The stress point comes when this Mike decides he is going to do some weeding…

  39. wherethejourneytakesme March 5, 2014 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    I photograph the name tags too! Lovely place – great for ideas and gorgeous photos. Spring is certainly here!

    • Jessica March 6, 2014 at 9:19 am - Reply

      Oh I hope so Viv, we’ve waited long enough!

  40. Rosie March 6, 2014 at 9:54 am - Reply

    What a gorgeous garden! I love all your photos but that first one of the hellebore and bee is wonderful. It was a lovely day on 1st March and more good weather is expected next week – time to get out in the garden at last:)

    • Jessica March 6, 2014 at 1:43 pm - Reply

      I hope they are right, there’s no shortage of things to do!

  41. Simone March 6, 2014 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    What a lovely day! The snowdrops high on rocky banks would look good in your terraced area!

    • Jessica March 6, 2014 at 7:36 pm - Reply

      They would, and I plan to put more in around the hellebores. There’s just the little problem of our feathery friend who is very partial to the flowers!

  42. deb March 7, 2014 at 4:27 am - Reply

    gorgeous post Jessica ~

    • Jessica March 7, 2014 at 10:15 am - Reply

      Thanks Deb!

  43. SeagullSuzie March 9, 2014 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Beautiful post, I have never been to Rosemoor, but used to go to Harlow Carr a lot. I particularly love the image of the tunnel framing the view-the light looks wonderful.

    • Jessica March 9, 2014 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      It was a lovely day to go, the light was wonderful. There is a magnificent bamboo by the entrance to the tunnel (left of shot). The rustle of the leaves in a breeze, plus the sound of the waterfall at the other end, makes the tunnel quite atmospheric.

  44. CherryPie March 9, 2014 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    It is looking very pretty considering it is so early in the season.

    • Jessica March 9, 2014 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      In the last week everything seems to have put on a growth spurt. With the warm weather it is difficult to believe it’s only early March.

  45. Natalie March 18, 2014 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Love the bee in the helleborus! And the beautiful winter garden shelter. And the mini daffs. And everything!

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 7:29 pm - Reply

      It’s a beautiful place to visit. Constant inspiration, if only I had the time. And the money!

  46. LINDA from EACH LITTLE WORLD March 30, 2014 at 10:04 pm - Reply

    I really enjoyed this visit. Thanks for letting me tag along. I am still swooning over that yellow Hellebore. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen snowdrops in amongst big mossy rocks like that. Brilliant. Have to figure out if there is a spot like that in my garden where I could copy that idea.

    • Jessica March 31, 2014 at 11:13 am - Reply

      We are lucky to have Rosemoor within easy travelling distance, it is a constant source of inspiration. I shall go back later in the year.

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