Bloomin’ February

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Camellia (inherited)


It was an uphill struggle (no pun) to find blooms this month. Especially blooms in good condition.

This Spring is clearly going to provide an education on which species cope best with excessive wet. Dwarf irises have failed. Winter aconites have failed. Crocus too, for the most part. Flowers that have dared to open have been battered by storm force winds and the torrential rain or frozen solid on one of the occasional frosty nights.


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Daffodils were seen in some parts of the county several weeks ago but in the garden they are thin on the ground and late to open.

The previous early stalwart, Pulmonaria, look pretty weak this year too.


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Galanthus nivalis

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Swathes of snowdrops carpet the woodland floor, as they always have. Since we’ve lived here the drifts have been gradually expanding and soon it will be time to split some and move them around. Just getting to this spot to take the photograph was challenging enough, I won’t be digging there just yet. The litter of fallen autumn leaves goes some way to disguise the reality of saturated earth. We desperately need a few more days without rain.


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Galanthus nivalis ‘Viridapice’

A close up of the ‘special’ bought at Rosemoor last week. Isn’t she a beauty? She’s settled well into greenhouse life. ‘Lady Elphinstone’ is slower to emerge, not quite ready for the media spotlight as yet. But assuming she fulfils her promise, not to mention the £10 price tag, she will make her yellow-frilled debut soon.


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Helleborus ‘Penny’s Pink’

Hellebores, I’m discovering, take time to settle. Those planted a couple of years ago are just now finding their feet. All of them look somewhat dishevelled. Evidence not only of the weather but a mollusc population barely held back by winter. It doesn’t bode well for the Spring planting season.


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Helleborus ‘Harvington Red’

Similar in colour to ‘Penny’ but differing in foliage and form. More by luck than good judgement I planted it at the opposite end of the garden. Phew.


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Helleborus ‘Harvington Apricot’

A shorter variety, the flowers stand no more than six inches off the ground. At least, they do here. But it is bulking up nicely in spite of the wet.


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Mahonia aquifolium


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Erica (inherited)

The winter heathers are romping away. Enjoying the rich acid soil of the woodland edge, they thrive in large clumps. Useful for ground cover, they’ll also provide a foil to later perennials once their blooms have finished and been trimmed back.


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Erica carnea ‘Nathalie’

A newer introduction, a punch of colour between Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ and Uncinia rubra




There has been something very different about the air these past few days. A ray of sunshine prompts a symphony of birdsong. For a rare few moments it is a pleasure to be out of doors. The days are getting noticeably longer; 6.00 p.m. last night there was still light in the sky. Could it be that winter is finally drawing to a close?


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Soon it will be time to clip the old flower heads off the hydrangea and let the new shoots emerge.

Aaah, Spring. How I do love thee. Please don’t let me down.


Linking to Carol and Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens, where you will find many other February bloomers from around the world.


Bloomin' February

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2017-10-24T19:32:42+00:00February 15th, 2016|Tags: |


  1. derrickjknight February 15, 2016 at 10:18 am - Reply

    A nice bouquet – never mind the condition of some – that’s life 🙂

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 1:14 pm - Reply

      It certainly is. So pristine when we buy them fresh from the grower’s polytunnel. A bit different when they get exposed to some real weather.

  2. Joanne February 15, 2016 at 10:58 am - Reply

    A lovely selection, Penny’s Pink is a glorious colour xx

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 1:15 pm - Reply

      Thanks Joanne. She is!

  3. Pauline February 15, 2016 at 11:17 am - Reply

    Lots of lovely blooms, your snowdrops are looking so beautiful. We can just see Dartmoor with its cap of snow, looking so pretty in the distance, I think you have it colder than we do. Your Camellia is beautiful and ericas are such a good standby in the winter, making excellent ground cover.
    Yes, I think spring is just around the corner!

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 2:03 pm - Reply

      We drove past Dartmoor last week and it was indeed snow capped. I think the valley effect is what makes it so cold here, it’s in a bit of a frost pocket. But then when the sun comes out, against the sheltered south facing slope, it’s glorious. Like today.

  4. Christina February 15, 2016 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Lovely, lovely hellebores, beautiful deep colours and perfect forms, I do hope that when my ‘woodland’ is more shady in summer I will be able to grow some.

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 3:55 pm - Reply

      You may well be able to. I grow some in full sun and they’re fine.

  5. pagedogs February 15, 2016 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    We still are covered in snow, so I’m a bit hungry for color. Thank you!

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 3:57 pm - Reply

      It was white here this morning too, but frost rather than snow. A brief respite from the rain.

  6. Wendy February 15, 2016 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    You have some lovely flowers in bloom. I’m looking to buy some more hellebores for next year so I’ve taken a note of yours! My crocuses are out but, as you say, they’re not inclined to open in such dull, wet weather. I hope it drys out quickly, too. I’m dreading a ‘slug year’.

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 3:59 pm - Reply

      The slugs don’t seem to have let up at all. The primroses, which have been out most of the winter, have been well and truly nobbled.

  7. Wendy February 15, 2016 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Sorry dries out!!

  8. ginaferrari February 15, 2016 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    Blooms are sadly lacking in my garden so it is delightful to have a wander around yours. I do have some heel ores making an appearance though.

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 4:03 pm - Reply

      Hellebores are such good value, they’re out for months. And more than anything else they remind me that Spring is coming.

  9. ginaferrari February 15, 2016 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    Predictive text! Hellebores! (Although I can’t imagine what heel ores could be)

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 4:05 pm - Reply

      The mind boggles! Predictive text, don’t you just love it.

  10. FlowerAlley February 15, 2016 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    That hot pink Camellia bloom has party written all over it. Pluck that thing, put it behind your ear and go dancing.

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 4:09 pm - Reply

      It’s quite brash isn’t it. In my defence, I didn’t choose it. Although I did plant it. It was abandoned here when we arrived, in far too small a pot, chloritic and half dead. It’s a rescue success story.

  11. sweetbriardreams February 15, 2016 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    This was such a lovely post, I have been looking around the garden and noticing things beginning to wake up. I’m working in the greenhouse tomorrow and will actually grow things again this year (last year I just didn’t have time), so I’m all excited for colour and shoots to emerge. Have a great week xx

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 4:12 pm - Reply

      I was in the greenhouse today and with the sun out it was heaven in there. I’ll hold on for a couple more cold nights to pass and then I’ll be sowing too. I can’t wait. This time of year is so full of promise.

  12. Donna@Gardens Eye View February 15, 2016 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    Each flowery photo was more spectacular than the last, but oh the sight of all those snowdrops made my heart flutter!

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 4:14 pm - Reply

      I don’t know how long they’ve been here but there are a few nice big drifts. Enough for me to start new clumps elsewhere as I work my way round the garden.

  13. Sheila February 15, 2016 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    It’s lovely to see signs of Spring in your garden. Our Winter was unseasonably mild until last week when a Polar Vortex swept in with cruelly cold temperatures. The daffodils are what I miss most about living in the UK. I shall be back to visit your blog frequently to enjoy your pictures. Keep them coming!

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 4:18 pm - Reply

      I think some of that polar vortex has spun off down here.. a hard frost last night. Thankfully it didn’t last long and the plants have all picked themselves up off the ground again. Thanks Sheila.

  14. Charlie@Seattle Trekker February 15, 2016 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing such amazing beauty, it is such a lovely start to the week.

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 4:24 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome Charlie. Little by little, getting there.

  15. thesalemgarden February 15, 2016 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    lovely! Don’t give up on the aconite, you may still see them…

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 4:37 pm - Reply

      The place where I put them has become extremely boggy, so I’m not holding my breath. But it would be a real delight if the aconites did appear!

  16. VP February 15, 2016 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    You have more blooms than you give yourself credit for 🙂 I’ve just been reading that spring was declared in Cornwall last week, so it can’t be that far away from Devon. I’d love to grow Camellias – I

  17. VP February 15, 2016 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    For some reason WP posted my comment before I’d finished, so here goes again…

    You have more blooms than you give yourself credit for 🙂 I’ve just been reading that spring was declared in Cornwall last week, so it can’t be that far away from Devon. I’d love to grow Camellias – I had some in pots, but when I saw how tall they grew in their ‘proper’ conditions in the south west, I decided I couldn’t treat mine so cruelly.

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 4:42 pm - Reply

      We had three hours of Spring this morning, absolutely glorious. Now it’s clouded over as the next rain band moves in. But you’re right, it isn’t far away. The camellia pictured here was a rescue from a pot. Maybe because of its previous treatment it hasn’t grown that much taller but it is far healthier in the soil.

  18. Jacqueline February 15, 2016 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    You’ve managed to find SO much Jessica. You’d have a hard time to find much in my garden at this time of the year … a few hellebores and a great deal of variegated foliage and the old hydrangeas { which I rather like } Lovely photographs as always Jessica and, I actually gasped out loud at he snowdrop image !!!! XXXX

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm - Reply

      I rather like the old hydrangeas too. I even managed to dry some this year and they’ve kept their colour. Definitely something to do again.

  19. aberdeen gardening February 15, 2016 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    ‘Viridapice’ certainly is a beauty as is your Hellebores. Mind you those rusty ducks are right up my street.

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 4:47 pm - Reply

      I’m glad you like the ducks. They are enjoying a balmy winter in the shed where the excessive moisture and frost haven’t been able to get at them. No doubt they’ll be thankful for Spring too.

  20. AnnetteM February 15, 2016 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    I love the photo of your hydrangea heads – lovely colour. I have no sign of any aconites either yet, I wonder if there is still time. Be sure to let us know if yours appear. I planted two different types ‘in the green’ last Autumn, but not a leaf is showing yet.

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 4:52 pm - Reply

      I will of course let you know but to be honest I’m not hopeful. The ground around them is a bog. If I try them again I’ll perhaps put them somewhere a little drier.. if such a place exists!

  21. Dorothy/The Nature of Things February 15, 2016 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    Wonderful February blooms. Your snowdrops remind me that mine have not put in an appearance yet. Hmmm…wonder what’s up with that?

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      Maybe it is your very mild winter. That may be a reason why some bulbs have failed to appear here, although I think the excessive rain has been our main problem.

  22. Indie February 15, 2016 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    You have some beautiful blooms so early in the year! I love your swath of snowdrops! Your hellebore blooms are so pretty too. I remember one summer at my old garden going on a crazy slug rampage. I did the beer-in-a-can slug trap thing, but also went out in the evenings for a week with a flashlight and caught the big granddaddy slugs. My husband thought I was crazy, but I made such a dent in the population that I had hardly any slug damage in the garden for the next two years! I wish you good luck with yours!

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 5:00 pm - Reply

      It is quite frightening to see how many slugs there are wandering around at night. It does sound like a worthwhile exercise. This summer there’s going to be a real battle shaping up.

  23. LINDA from EACH LITTLE WORLD February 15, 2016 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    The mere fact you have flowers is enough of a treat on bloom day for those of us still under snow for another month or more.

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 5:02 pm - Reply

      I envy you the break and the planning time. I’m already feeling too much pressure to get started on the garden.

  24. Helene February 15, 2016 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    Your field of snowdrops is a feast for the eyes! And you have a lovely collection of hellebores, I left so many in my previous garden so I am looking into getting some more now. The ones I dug up and took with me have not taken well to being lifted, some are flowering but many are sulking – little divas! Hopefully they will be happier next year after being back in the ground. Hope we all get a nice, warm spring with just the right amount of rain 🙂

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 5:05 pm - Reply

      The hellebores may well take a couple of years to settle. Give them time. The first year after planting they tend to look a bit feeble. But every year after that they get better and better. The exception has been Penny’s Pink, only planted last year and hitting the ground running. She looks very robust.

  25. Island Threads February 15, 2016 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    you might be missing a few bulbs but you have plenty of blooms Jessica, imo, it’s all relative isn’t it what is less blooms to you seems a lot to me, you have lots of blooms I can’t grow, Frances

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 5:10 pm - Reply

      Early Spring without bulbs is a bit sad. The hellebores make up for it to some extent. But I love irises and just can’t get them to grow. I have read that they are reluctant to re-bloom anywhere, not just in a bog (!), so perhaps I should treat them as annuals. I’ll have another go at them in pots under cover next year and see what happens.

  26. Amy at love made my home February 15, 2016 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    It is definitely getting lighter later isn’t it, wonderful! You have lots of lovely flowers in bloom as always! Wonderful hellebores especially. I noticed that our crocuses and the miniature irises haven’t done well here either, mustn’t be the right sort of weather for them. The daffs look wonderful too though along with the snowdrops! xx

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 5:12 pm - Reply

      During this last week it suddenly seems to have become much lighter at both ends of the day. Before we know it we’ll be moving the clocks forward!

  27. Alana Mautone (@RamblinGarden) February 15, 2016 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    I feel sad looking at some of your pictures but I also know how wonderful it is to walk outside and hear those first birds. May spring come to you soon, and may that sun come out. I love hellebores – they do take 2-3 years to be at their best after transplanting.

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 5:20 pm - Reply

      The birds are really getting into their stride now. Almost a dawn chorus! I read somewhere yesterday that the UK has had rain every day since October.. it’s time the sun got a look in!

  28. elaine February 15, 2016 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    Camellias already!

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 5:36 pm - Reply

      Camellias since mid December! I’ve never seen them as early as that before. They did get hit by last night’s frost though.

  29. dodgerdudette February 16, 2016 at 12:32 am - Reply

    While you hope for some dry days we hope for more rain here in California. The Hellbores are indeed a living example of the sleep-creep-leap theory, though they are short on the leap !

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 5:38 pm - Reply

      Ha! Yes, short on the leap. But waiting for the creep is worth it to get such exotic looking blooms in February. I do wish I could send you some rain.

  30. Kris P February 16, 2016 at 12:54 am - Reply

    Winter (even our version of it) seems a foggy dream here and summer seems inclined to pummel spring into submission before the latter even gets started but then your tale makes it clear that every gardener faces weather challenges of some sort. That swath of snowdrops would have me laying down cold hard cash too, if I could look forward to the bulbs naturalizing like that. I was glad to hear your view on hellebores – maybe there’s hope for the rest of mine, at least if the 90F/32C temperatures that have characterized this February don’t become a regular thing.

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 6:06 pm - Reply

      The wild snowdrops are very quick to spread and such a welcome sight at the end of winter. Thankfully they take readily to being moved around too, so I can start new drifts in the areas of the garden that I’m redeveloping. There are three clumps of hellebores here that I’m growing in full sun and they don’t seem to mind. 32C in February is not something they have to cope with though.

  31. Peter/Outlaw February 16, 2016 at 6:56 am - Reply

    Beautiful blooms! Spring is nigh!

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 6:11 pm - Reply

      Thanks Peter. Oh I hope so!

  32. Rosie February 16, 2016 at 8:33 am - Reply

    Beautiful blooms! Especially the snowdrops and hellebores. It is still too wet to do anything in our garden and the grass really need a trim as it has grown so long over the winter:)

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 6:13 pm - Reply

      Same here Rosie. So much to be getting on with.

  33. Sam February 16, 2016 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous flowers, Jessica, even it it’s soggy. Snowdrops are such good-value plants, aren’t they? Ours are happily spreading without much help from us. I hope the sun is shining where you are today – it’s glorious here. Roll on spring and drier weather for you.

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 6:18 pm - Reply

      It was glorious this morning. Then it clouded over and a cold breeze sprung up. Not ples.
      The garden snowdrops are spreading nicely. Just as well. I put some into the top terrace last year, thinking I’d been oh so clever and positioned them in a random pattern. They’ve come up looking like I planted them in a grid.

  34. Sue Garrett February 16, 2016 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    Large drifts of snowdro==ps are always cheery. As we are driving around I have noticed lots.

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 6:19 pm - Reply

      They seem to have done well this year. The weather has suited them at least.

  35. Laura February 16, 2016 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Hurrah for snowdrops, my very favourite! But there is no point in planting them in my garden, because they don’t make an appearance until…wait for it…(literally) June.

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 6:22 pm - Reply

      With such a short summer season you must have a real concentration of blooms. A long time to wait, but it must be so worth it when it comes.

  36. An Eye For Detail February 16, 2016 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    I’ve finally made it over to your blog, having seen your name etc. around on so many comments from others I follow! These photographs are fabulous! Hellebores are fairly new to me: when we moved here five years ago I inherited what was here, having never even looked at them before that. Can you believe that? Anyway, I am hooked and slowly buying new ones with different colors. The weather has been so erratic here (in North Carolina): yesterday we were iced in and now today it’s going to be springlike! So glad to have come over here!

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 6:31 pm - Reply

      Hi Libby and welcome!
      The weather is certainly erratic these days, everywhere it seems. I do have a soft spot for hellebores. They look far too exotic to exist in the UK in February and then keep going for weeks, taking us through to Spring. Once I see them I know that winter is almost at an end.

  37. Countryside Tales February 16, 2016 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    I’m always so impressed that you remember all the specific names for your plant varieties. Colour is returning here, although the small furry underground people with sharp teeth have had the snowdrops….. x

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 6:35 pm - Reply

      I thought snowdrops were poisonous, which is how I always assumed they managed to survive here. Small furry underground people with sharp teeth may have a poorly tummy..

  38. Brian Skeys February 16, 2016 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Dispite the wet weather both you and the garden have provided a good February show,Jessica. Mahonia aquifolium has lovely dark foliage.

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 6:38 pm - Reply

      It’s a nice compact mahonia and it does have good foliage. But not the scent of some of the other varieties. At least, not that I can pick up.

  39. frayed at the edge February 16, 2016 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    I would love to believe that the winter was over – but with snow on the ground, I don’t think so! Never mind, I have enjoyed all the colour in your garden.

    • Jessica February 17, 2016 at 8:11 pm - Reply

      I have to believe it. I’d go mad otherwise.

  40. Sarah February 16, 2016 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    You have such a wonderful collection of hellebores! I was relieved to hear your pulmonia’s haven’t performed well this year, I was thinking that it was just our garden. Wonderful images from your garden as always. Sarah x

    • Jessica February 17, 2016 at 8:14 pm - Reply

      They may yet come to something Sarah, but looking back at last year they seem to be a bit behind. Or maybe it’s because I decided to follow the expert advice and chopped off all the leaves after the last time they bloomed!

  41. Angie February 16, 2016 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    It may be wet with you but ever so pretty nonetheless Jessica. A shame you have lost so many bulbs. Perhaps you’d have better luck growing them in pots and storing them away in summer. I am possibly telling my granny how to suck eggs though and you’ve probably already given that option a go.
    I hope the coming weeks are a bit drier for you.

    • Jessica February 17, 2016 at 8:18 pm - Reply

      No, I haven”t tried it before. I’ve always thought they’d grow better in the ground plus it saves me a lot of watering! I will have a go with pots next year though. They clearly can’t cope with these wet winters.

  42. andreamynard February 16, 2016 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous Blooms, I’m loving the slightly later dusk too, so much promise of lovely things to come.

    • Jessica February 17, 2016 at 8:25 pm - Reply

      British Summer Time next month.. Yippee!

  43. Cathy February 16, 2016 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    Glad you have some blooms to enjoy though – the camellia is clearly happy, so that’s a good sign, and of course you can’t beat snowdrops and hellebores at this time of year. Don’t be disappointed if Lady E doesn’t put her yellow petticoat on at first – it may take a year or two (or more..) before she rewards you.

    • Jessica February 17, 2016 at 8:27 pm - Reply

      She has a bud, so I’m hopeful if not confident. Jacquenetta had a flower bud too when I first bought her, but it came to nothing.

  44. wherefivevalleysmeet February 16, 2016 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    Lovely a joy to see Jessica – I have been enjoying bird songs too

    • Jessica February 17, 2016 at 8:29 pm - Reply

      The birds were really going for it this evening. Dusk came just as the rain stopped, it was a pleasure to hear.

  45. bittster February 17, 2016 at 1:48 am - Reply

    I really hope this has been the last of your winter deluges and you finally have a chance to dry out. Who knows, in another month or two you might be complaining of drought… although I hope you are only complaining about how hard it is to keep up with the cut flowers and vegetable harvest!
    The camellia and heather might be brash, but I love that brightness at this time of year. Hopefully the winter aconite and irises live to bloom another day.

    • Jessica February 17, 2016 at 8:31 pm - Reply

      Hopefully the amount of rain we’ve had means that drought is a long way off! But I know just what you mean, there’s always something. The gardener is never satisfied.

  46. Countryside Tales February 17, 2016 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    I’d forgotten they were poisonous. What on earth has happened to mine? I had loads :o( x

    • Jessica February 17, 2016 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      My first reaction would be the excessive wet, but snowdrops are still coming up here so it can’t possibly be that! Perhaps you have a new breed of super-resilient mice? x

  47. Marian St.Clair February 18, 2016 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Goodness, the garden is colorful! The pretty pink/purple of the camellia, hellebores, and erica really sing among the damp. Love those snowdrops too. You will soon pass us in day length, but our days are growing by more than 2 minutes each day and tonight the sun sets at 6:14, so we will have light until about 6:30. It can’t come fast enough now!

    • Jessica February 18, 2016 at 7:47 pm - Reply

      It’s quite cold here at the moment (our version of cold!) but tomorrow it warms up again and of course that means more rain. You’re right, it can’t come soon enough! Thanks Marian.

  48. Natalie February 18, 2016 at 11:35 am - Reply

    THank you for a breath of spring! Still winter here. 🙂

    • Jessica February 18, 2016 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      Brrrr. Keep warm.

  49. Linda P. February 18, 2016 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    As always wonderful photos. You do have plenty of February bloomers despite the wet and windy weather. The woodland plants are doing well. I can imagine how soggy it is underfoot in that area. Mention of the hydrangea has reminded me to do something about giving ours a trim.

    • Jessica February 18, 2016 at 7:53 pm - Reply

      It is ridiculously wet, the borders and the lawn are absolutely sodden. And I do so need to get out there and start some work. Hopefully soon! Thanks Linda.

  50. Leanne February 18, 2016 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    Hey Jessica,
    I’ve just had a lovely catch up here. For some reason I couldn’t access your blog via my computer, which although new, is crap. You have some wonderful plants. I particularly like the heather. I may invest in son for the new bit of the garden.
    Leanne xxx

    • Jessica February 18, 2016 at 8:16 pm - Reply

      Mike’s had the same experience, not with the blog but with the computer.. I wish I had a pound for every time he complains about it. Heather is much maligned. I love that you can plant it, watch it spread and stop worrying about the weeds. And all it needs is a quick lunge with the shears once a year.

  51. hb February 19, 2016 at 2:08 am - Reply

    Excessively wet soil: I’m trying to imagine that. Still you have many beautiful flowers–enjoyed seeing them all. I’ve noticed a lot of gardeners have inherited Camellias. They are incredibly long-lived in gardens–there is one at the Huntington we admired recently–healthy and full of flowers–it was there when Mr. Huntington purchased the property in 1906.

    • Jessica February 19, 2016 at 2:35 pm - Reply

      Wow, that is long-lived. They’re great for us, blooming in winter when there is so little else. Clearly they are adaptable too, thriving in such diverse climatic conditions.

  52. Rick Nelson February 19, 2016 at 10:02 am - Reply

    Shame about your bulb failures this year rd, many of mine tend to struggle through lack of light but when I try to emulate their natural habitats I do have more success. i find the likes of dwarf iris, flag iris, most tulips and dwarf narcissus need a good summer baking in very well drained soil whilst full size narcissus, snowdrops, Fritillaria meleagris, Camassias and many lilies will grow in damper humus rich conditions such as in grass or on the edge of woodland. To grow many of the former group I have to resort to containers.

    • Jessica February 19, 2016 at 2:37 pm - Reply

      Yes, I’ve reached the conclusion that I will have to go down the container route too. Then at least I can protect them from the worst of the winter wet. Or summer wet as the case may be!

  53. Jo February 19, 2016 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    I’ve discovered the same thing about hellebores, the one I bought two years ago didn’t do much last year but it’s really come into its own this year and put on a fabulous display, it’s been flowering ages and has really bulked up. Let’s hope your special snowdrops bulk up, then they’ll deserve their hefty price tag.

    • Jessica February 19, 2016 at 2:41 pm - Reply

      I’m inspecting the specials every day! At least it gives me something gardening related to do. I’m glad your hellebore has done so well, they’re wonderful winter plants.

  54. Chloris February 19, 2016 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    My garden is nothing but sog too and East Anglia is supposed to be dry. It is frustrating when you long to make everything smart for spring. What a pretty Camellia, so full of blooms. I think winter flowering heathers are brilliant for creating pools of colour at a time of year when we are starved of it. Lovely hellebores.

    • Jessica February 19, 2016 at 2:46 pm - Reply

      The garden is looking totally unkempt and I hate it. It’s not the rain so much as the state of the soil. I can’t help feeling trampling all over it will do more harm than good.

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