And that means snowdrop time.

They’ve done exceptionally well this year. Carpets of them all over the woodland floor.

 
 

Galanthus 'Sam Arnott'

 

Galanthus ‘Sam Arnott’

I’ve also succumbed to a new one. Yes, I know. It seems I have caught the bug. But as blogging chum bittster (sorta like suburbia) said to me the other day, it’s “just one and really cheap after all”. The real ‘special’ I put back on the nursery shelf as my good friend Torrington Tina is my witness. £20 for just a single bulb.

 
 

Galanthus 'Sam Arnott'

 

Galanthus ‘Sam Arnott’

Who was Sam Arnott? And, crucially, was Sam a girl or a bloke? Well it turns out he was a bloke, born in Dumfries in 1852. And as he was a Scotsman I can still be justified in saying I was looking up his skirts in the photo above. He’s a big boy too. Sort of G. nivalis overblown with allegedly honey scented blooms. You’ll remember my sense of smell is awful.

I’ve a ‘Jacquenetta’ that I could have shown you as well. Not new, purchased a couple of years ago. She was planted in the terraces but something nipped her buds off before her petals even saw the light of day.

 
 

Galanthus nivalis

 

Fear not, dear reader, I have a cunning plan. My collection of ‘specials’ will not be diminished before it’s even begun. There are wild snowdrops naturally occurring in pockets under the trees all the way up the 84 steps. What if I was to sneak up there under cover of darkness, swap them out and put the specials there instead? Would the munching critters even notice do you think?

Being more or less at eye level it would be the perfect place to admire the snowdrops too.

 
 

 

Yesterday, in the rain, I noticed some doubles that are already there.

 
 

Helleborus orientalis 'Harvington Dusky'

 

Helleborus orientalis ‘Harvington Dusky’

The money I saved from not buying that very special snowdrop did not go to waste.

 
 

Iris 'Katharine Hodgkin'

 

Iris reticulata ‘Katharine Hodgkin’

I do love early flowering bulbs. They lift the spirits like nothing else when the weather is dire. This is my only surviving winter iris, of the very many I have planted. Something likes them even more than me. She’s sunk into the ground in a wire mesh cage but at some point the shoot must break the soil surface. Last year I was on the ball and put a cage over the clump air side as well. But if Christmas comes and the gardener is on the beach isn’t it the mice who will be getting fat?

 
 

Crocus

 

Crocus

Also thin on the ground but they’ve left me a few.

 
 

Primula vulgaris

 

Primula vulgaris, the wild primrose

Lovely to see primroses so early in the year

 
 

 

The woodland floor is slowly but surely coming back to life. The daffodils are late this year but what they lack in timeliness they’ve made up for in quantity. I’ve never seen so many buds.

 
 

 

Helleborus ‘Lost Label’

Relocated from my last garden and now forming a substantial clump.

 
 

Cyclamen coum

 

Cyclamen coum

The ants have been busy..

 
 

Cyclamen coum

 

Cyclamen coum

I planted an equal number of white, light pink and as here a darker shade of pink. White now predominates so these are a welcome sight. In the background the river of pulmonaria, cascading down the front slope of the bank, is just coming into bloom.

 
 

Pulmonaria

 

Pulmonaria

 
 

Helleborus 'Harvington Rebekah'

 

Helleborus ‘Harvington Rebekah’

So pleased to see this one too. Last year as a newcomer to the garden she was decimated by slugs. I moved her to a different location and bless her, she has thrived. If you are looking for a fighter then this must surely be it.

 
 

Erica carnea 'Nathalie'

 

Erica carnea ‘Nathalie’

The camera has turned her far too pink but I love how the Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ echoes the black centre of each bloom. Perfect planning or pure serendipity? Phew. Did I get away with it again? 

 
 

Vibernum x bodnantense

 

Vibernum x bodnantense

Late afternoon light.

 
 

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

 
 
 

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