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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.