February Is Bloomin’ Lovely

Galanthus nivalis


Galanthus nivalis

They’ve arrived. The woodland floor is carpeted with snowdrops and Spring can be but a heartbeat away. Yes, we’ve had snow and ice this week. And winter storms have once again littered the paths with twigs and fallen branches. But where there are snowdrops there is hope.



Galanthus nivalis

Wild snowdrops are at their most impressive when large clumps spread into each other to form drifts. I was lucky enough to inherit the hundreds of thousands of bulbs which must inhabit the woodland here but that doesn’t stop me wanting more. In places the drifts are already extending themselves downhill but it seems to happen at glacial speed. Now is the time to help the process along by lifting and dividing congested clumps. In other areas the ‘drops have self seeded to create a more random effect but not always exactly where I might want them. After the flowers have faded, but whilst the bulbs are still ‘in the green’, it’s easy to move them about. Plonk half a dozen in a new hole with a little water. They may wilt initially but soon pick up and by next winter look as though they’ve been in their new positions for years.


Galanthus 'Chantry Taffeta'


Galanthus ‘Chantry Taffeta’

I do love those varieties with the seersucker petals. There was a rather special visit last week to one of my favourite private gardens, Little Ash near Honiton, Devon for a snowdrop day. Helen Brown also opens the garden twice a year for the NGS (here). Days of rain preceded Snowdrop Day and days of rain have followed it. And yet last Friday we had clear blue skies. It couldn’t have been better.

Galanthus elwesii 'Jessica'

Galanthus elwesii ‘Jessica’

Also on my wish list. How could I not. Until I looked it up online that is. £20 per single bulb. The mice will know this too won’t they. Michelin starred dining. Still, it’s good to know that Jessica is such a classy ‘drop.



Snowdrops spreading nicely at Little Ash, where Helen plants them in drifts under trees.



In a few months time these borders will be jam packed with summer perennials but for now the snowdrops steal the scene, expertly planted with other winter flowering bulbs such as aconites and, as here, Cyclamen coum.


Galanthus plicatus 'Wendy's Gold'


Galanthus plicatus ‘Wendy’s Gold’

I suppose I should admit to a little indulgence..


Galanthus x hybridus 'Merlin'


Galanthus x hybridus ‘Merlin’

Oh very well then. Two little indulgences. I paid cash. Mike will never know.


It’s difficult to fathom where to go with the ‘specials’ from here. I started out growing them in the greenhouse where they didn’t really thrive. Perhaps it was too warm or too humid. So last year they were all planted out into the garden. Alas, with the mild temperatures so far this winter slugs abound, alive and kicking or whatever it is that molluscs do, and they have had a field day. I’m thinking it’s back to pots for the specials and a space in the cold frame. Where I can liberally scatter slug pellets without keeping myself awake at night. Any advice galanthophiles?



Hellebores all over the Little Ash garden were far more advanced than mine.



This is the best I can do so far. For memory it is a Harvington Double Pink.


Standing in the queue to pay for entry at Little Ash I overheard a conversation which struck fear into my heart. The lady in front of us was complaining that this year, for the first time, something has been eating her hellebores. It’s the same for me. I’d always thought they were bombproof and as such have, over the years, invested a not inconsiderable sum in these oh so cherished harbingers of Spring. My biggest and most established clump cut off in its prime. Every single flower bud. Munched. My most prized specimen of the Harvington Reds, with easily half a dozen gorgeous plump and deep burgundy buds has suffered a similar fate. There is absolutely nothing left of it above ground. But what could it be? The consensus was that rabbits are to blame. Flopsy may now have a tummy ache. And no, I won’t be running around with the Imodium. So far she hasn’t been back.

Iris reticulata 'J.S. Dijt'

Iris reticulata ‘J.S. Dijt’

Staying on home turf the irises have started to emerge this month.


Iris histrioides 'Lady Beatrix Stanley'


Iris histrioides ‘Lady Beatrix Stanley’

She is darker in colour than the light conditions in the photograph would have her appear. Planted in pots as autumn bulbs I have been watching the buds elongate all winter.



Iris histrioides ‘Lady Beatrix Stanley’ with Crocus ‘Snow Bunting’, the latter still going strong.

Geum 'Totally Tangerine'

Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’

And who would believe it, a geum in February? This has to be the earliest I have ever seen this geum, or any geum, bloom. Only the one flower mind.. and looking rather lonely it has to be said but there are more buds to come. Another sign of the relatively mild winter no doubt.

Salvia 'Wendy's Wish'

Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’

Well you know how much I love a few clashing colours. But however mild the winter I can’t claim to be growing this outside. If nothing else the slimy ones would surely have devoured it by now. Or the rabbits. No, these blooms have been cheering up the greenhouse all winter long. I had meant to include them in last month’s bloomers and then forgot. They’re cuttings that I took last summer as overwinter insurance. A proper gardener would have cut off all the flower buds, diverting essential energy into the burgeoning roots, thus ensuring stronger plants for the year ahead. But could I do it? No.



Primula vulgaris

The wild primroses are gaining in presence with each passing day and will soon be covering the Devon banks with a haze of pale yellow.



Garden primrose

The proliferation of the wild species on the banks, in the hedgerows and increasingly all over the garden is enough for me. But occasionally something altogether more arresting pops up from nowhere. And should it prove sufficiently pleasing it is permitted to stay.



The river of pulmonaria on the Precipitous Bank. Returning reliably every year, stronger and ever more abundant than before.

For those in the northern hemisphere, keep the faith. Spring is coming.


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


2018-02-15T10:24:42+00:00February 15th, 2018|Tags: |


  1. justjilluk February 15, 2018 at 10:30 am - Reply

    How lovely you have all that colour. Still pretty grim up here.

    • Jessica February 16, 2018 at 8:24 pm - Reply

      It will come though Jill. We all just have to get through a Sudden Stratospheric Warming first. I wish that meant the temperature was going to rise.

  2. Ali February 15, 2018 at 10:37 am - Reply

    Where do I start with a post so full of riches? JEALOUS of those banks of snowdrops. I have about 10 healthy little clumps, and the rest are scared little huddled pairs from those I planted in the green last year. Still, I’m glad they are still there – I was beginning to worry.
    Our garden is 🙏rabbit-proof so no nibbling so far – like you, I would be gutted. Love the Harvingtons.
    You and other bloggers have totally inspired me to grow iris reticulata in terracotta bowls next year – my eyes are peeled! I had a couple of clumps outside, but so far they have failed to materialise.
    And no pulmonaria for me yet! May need to go and prod it a bit (cos that always works)!
    Thank you for this lovely post.

    • Jessica February 16, 2018 at 8:29 pm - Reply

      Ha! I’m always so tempted to go and prod the ground where I think something should be coming through. I wish it was possible to rabbit proof the garden here. When we first arrived I didn’t see any. Then one. Now that one seems to have extended an invitation to all his friends and relations too 🙁

  3. derrickjknight February 15, 2018 at 10:38 am - Reply

    Wonderful banks beautifully photographed. I imagine the different levels help with photographing head hangers without too much demanded of the knees

    • Jessica February 16, 2018 at 8:49 pm - Reply

      Absolutely. That and the zoom lens on the camera so that I can stick to the paths where possible. The soil is still totally saturated.

  4. Alana Mautone (@RamblinGarden) February 15, 2018 at 11:29 am - Reply

    Our snow may actually melt in the next couple of days. You give me hope. What fantastic displays of flowers. I’m not jealous…well, I’m trying hard next to be. Thank you for refreshing my soul!

    • Jessica February 16, 2018 at 8:52 pm - Reply

      Once we get into February I almost don’t mind what the weather is like because I know winter is almost over. Slightly concerned about the arctic blast that is forecast for next week though..

  5. New Moons For Old February 15, 2018 at 11:35 am - Reply

    Wonderful! A woodland garden really does come into its own at this time of year and I can feel your heart lifting from here.

    I’d love to know how you look after the iris reticulata, as I understand (from no less a source than Dan Pearson’s Dig Delve blog, http://digdelve.com/iris-reticulata/) that they’re not keen on ‘sitting wet’ year-round, and someone else I know has had problems with them coming up blind year after year. Did you put a lot of grit under them?

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 12:20 pm - Reply

      I have them in pots with a 50:50 compost/grit mix. Originally I’d intended to put them in the ground once the flowers fade this year but they’ve done much better in the pots than they’d have done there. If ever there is a place for ‘sitting wet year round’ it is here! So I’m now thinking they should stay where they are, at least until the pots get congested. Then I’ll divide them and maybe try the surplus back in the ground in as free draining a spot as I can find.

  6. Pauline February 15, 2018 at 11:37 am - Reply

    We are so lucky living where we do, February is a wonderful month for woodland flowers! We are only 5 mins from the A30, you should have popped in, although everywhere is so soggy! You can’t beat a drift of wild snowdrops, I will be splitting mine that have now formed large clumps, you are so lucky to have inherited so many.

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 12:23 pm - Reply

      I’d love to see your garden Pauline. We’re often up and down the A30, I may well take you up on it when the soil conditions have improved a bit. I used to hate February. Not any more. It’s the start of Spring down here isn’t it. Albeit the kind of Spring where it snows occasionally!

  7. Sam February 15, 2018 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Dividing and spreading our snowdrops around the garden is on my weekend list. Yours are looking wonderful. Sorry to hear about your hellebores but at least there’s plenty of other colour to cheer you up.

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 12:34 pm - Reply

      It’s a problem. I don’t want to see yet more chicken wire about the place and rabbit proofing the entire garden, or even part of it, would be impossible. I can only hope that now they have tried hellebore it has been scratched from the menu. It does awful things to the digestive system apparently. At least it does for us!

  8. SmallP February 15, 2018 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    Gosh, that’s a post to gladden the heart. Spring really is on it’s way 🙂 And the thought of Mr and Mrs Mouse sitting down a table with the finest cutlery, china and tablecloth to munch on a very expensive Michelin starred snowdrop bulb still has me chuckling now 🙂 xx

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 4:52 pm - Reply

      They always seem to go for my most prized and/or expensive plants. The weeds they never touch. Nor the Spanish bluebells I’ve been trying to eradicate for years.

  9. Peter Herpst February 15, 2018 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Your drifts of drops are glorious! Sorry to hear that rabbits are dining on your hellebores; I’m certain that Peter isn’t responsible for the damage. That darned Flopsy! We’d had a relatively mild winter here as well but with the arrival of the coldest temperatures of the winter predicted for the next week, we shall see what happens.

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 4:54 pm - Reply

      Yes it’s going to get cold again here too. I wanted to move some things today and thought better of it. Gosh I shall be glad when I can get out there and do some serious gardening again.

  10. Linda from Each Little World February 15, 2018 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    Oh those snowdrops! I’m not telling my rabbits what you said about Hellebores. Can’t bear to think about such a fate.

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 5:02 pm - Reply

      It’s almost unthinkable isn’t it. Nothing has ever touched my hellebores before. Well except for the pheasant, but he just ‘picked’ a few blooms.

  11. Anne Wheaton February 15, 2018 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Beautiful snowdrops and colours in the garden. Thank goodness spring is well on its way.

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 5:04 pm - Reply

      Thanks Anne. It will be good to feel the warmth in the sun again. And I need it to dry out the soil.

  12. Heyjude February 15, 2018 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    So many colours! You are well ahead of me and I am further west than you. I blame it on the cold wind that has been blowing since Christmas! Love your snowdrops, especially the pretty yellow one and those planted with the cyclamen. I need to buy some of those for under my little trees. I do have some crocuses flowering though 🙂
    [And now I am going to have a look at my helleborus niger which did have several buds a few days ago…]

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 5:35 pm - Reply

      That cold wind has been a real nuisance. It might look like a wonderful day from the comfort of the house but boy is it cold outside!

  13. Linda Evans February 15, 2018 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Sooo beautiful and I am sooooo jealous – still have at least 2-3 feet of snow in my front yard here in Atlantic Canada!

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 5:38 pm - Reply

      You have proper winters. But I think it’s going to get colder here. A Sudden Stratospheric Warming which apparently means anything but. I have fleece wraps at the ready. For the plants and for me!

  14. Jennifer February 15, 2018 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness, so beautiful!

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 5:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jennifer. I kid myself it’s summer even when it isn’t.

  15. Chloris February 15, 2018 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    Snowdrop time is so exciting and we do need something to cheer us up when it is so cold. Chantry Taffetta is lovely and new to me. I expect it was bred by Wol and Sue Staines of the magical garden, Glen Chantry. And of course you have to have lovely Jessica.
    Hellebore-eating rabbits? Your wild life has strange tastes, I think they do it to annoy you. The rabbits, mice and squirrels are all in league.

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 5:50 pm - Reply

      I chased three squirrels down the lawn today, a group of them working the bird table together. They are ganging up on me for sure. Thanks for the info re Chantry Taffeta, the garden sounds like it might be down your way.

  16. Sarah February 15, 2018 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    I’m suffering from snowdrop envy! No geums yet, but up here in the north end of Somerset I do have a pink and a marigold.

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 5:54 pm - Reply

      Hi Sarah and welcome! It’s odd isn’t it how flowers poke up at unexpected times. My pinks are looking a right old mess.

  17. Dorothy Borders February 15, 2018 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    February certainly is bloomin’ lovely in your garden – as is every month. Happy Bloom Day.

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 5:59 pm - Reply

      It would be rather dull without the snowdrops and the few pots of bulbs that I’ve managed to protect from the nibblers. But it is the start of the gardening season and that gives me pleasure enough!

  18. offtheedgegardening February 15, 2018 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    I think you were very snowdrop restrained, it could have been so much worse. Iris are delightful, always make me smile. All lovely 🙂

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 6:04 pm - Reply

      It could have been far, far worse. Now it’s a case of where to put them so I have a chance of seeing them again next year.

  19. Louisa February 15, 2018 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    Beautiful pictures, Thankyou! I’m learning lots about plants – something I’m very much a beginner on – thanks to your gorgeous blog. And your comment about Michelin dining for mice on posh galanthus had me choking on my cup of tea.
    Must plant snowdrops for next year – I just have to admire them on Devon banks at the mo, none in my little garden.

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 6:13 pm - Reply

      Hi Louisa, welcome!
      You must plant snowdrops. They are the cheeriest things, especially if it’s cold outside. Slugs are a problem although I’ve never seen it as bad as this year. Perhaps the forecast cold snap will slow them down a bit.

  20. Kris P February 15, 2018 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    You have a great start on Spring, Jessica! I’m mightily impressed by those massive drifts of snowdrops. I can’t think of anything in my own garden that blooms en masse like that. Your other early spring blooms are beautiful too. Sadly, most are out of reach in my warm and ever-drier climate. Even the hellebores seem to have gone into hiding here this year, possibly confused by the summer-like warmth of January and the utter lack of rain. Gardens present their challenges no matter where they are it appears. Our slug and snail population is contained by raccoons but their assistance has a cost too. *Sigh*

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 6:18 pm - Reply

      Given that the garden here is still fairly immature it’s really only snowdrops and bluebells that bloom en masse and they’ve clearly been in the woodland for years. I’m seeing new patches appear where I waged war on the undergrowth last year so maybe at one time there were even more.

  21. ginaferrari February 15, 2018 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    The snowdrops are stunning, well it all is really… and not a single washed birch tree in sight 😉

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 6:20 pm - Reply

      Maybe if I looked hard enough I might find a birch trunk under all the moss!

  22. Susan Garrett February 15, 2018 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    How great to inherit a snowdrop wood. Our primroses haven’t shown their faces yet.

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 6:24 pm - Reply

      They are only just starting. Soon they will be everywhere. I used to carefully relocate any that were in the wrong place but soon gave that up. They grow like weeds down here.

  23. wherefivevalleysmeet February 15, 2018 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    Your images really do make me feel that spring is on her way – I think it was perhaps fortunate that you paid cash for Galanthus plicatus ‘Wendy’s Gold’ she is a sweetie and must have cost a pretty penny.

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      I like the snowdrops that have something a bit different about them. Wendy’s Gold certainly has that. Many are so similar it’s difficult to tell them apart without very close inspection.

  24. Cortney February 16, 2018 at 12:07 am - Reply

    The envy! I’m drowning in it. We are still covered up in snow and at least another 4 weeks away from any warm up. Thank you for sharing these beautiful blooms with me to tide me over! Your snowdrops are stunning!

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 6:56 pm - Reply

      Gosh, it sounds cold in Wisconsin! Devon is one of the mildest counties in England and it is a long time since we saw any significant snow. 2010/11 for memory. The lowest we’ve got down to so far this winter is about -3C but it’s the wet that is the killer. The soil doesn’t dry out from Autumn to Spring and for most of that time it is very wet indeed. Only the truly hardy survive!

  25. Jeannie February 16, 2018 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    I loved that you slipped and bought the bulbs with cash to keep your husband from knowing. I do the same thing and it is so ridiculous. He would never say “no” but just roll his eyes. Still, it is best to try and hide my addiction as long as possible.
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.blogspot.com

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 6:58 pm - Reply

      Hi Jeannie and welcome.
      I reckon there are worse addictions. That’s what I tell him anyway!

  26. Brian Skeys February 16, 2018 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    A knowledgeable country women once told me that young rabbits nibble off plants to see if they taste nice enough to eat. Although is it to early for young ones with you?
    Have you tried the organic approval slug pellets to protect your specials?

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 7:10 pm - Reply

      They must have nibbled off and then eaten because there’s no evidence of anything left behind. Little rascals.
      I do use the organic pellets but whether they are truly safe as opposed to ‘less harmful’ I don’t know. I’m thinking that another route would be to leave the specials in the ground where they are until they start growing again and then put down slug pellets with a chicken wire cage over the top so the birds can’t get at it. Once the pellets have been consumed and the ‘drops well up perhaps I can take the chicken wire off.

  27. smallsunnygarden February 16, 2018 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    Suicidal rabbits?! I didn’t think they’d eat hellebores. The little stinkers just decimated my first six-pack of pansies, so I’ve been holding off planting other things till I can do it with chicken wire. :/ I admit to a bit of iris envy seeing your little beauties. Reticulata types haven’t done anything much for me here, so I must just admire at a distance. Hopefully my Dutch and German varieties will flower this year – fingers crossed! Happy nearly-spring! 🙂

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      Good luck with your irises Amy. The slugs get any type of iris here and I’ve pretty well given up having lost so many. At least in pots I can move them out of the rain and out of nibbling range. Slugs, rabbits, mice, deer.. it’s a wonder anything green survives at all!

  28. bittster February 17, 2018 at 12:51 am - Reply

    Oh I needed that 🙂
    The photos are beautiful and even better to see the flowers open and enjoying the sun! Hopefully your hellebores will be safe from here on in. No sense in the local pests developing a taste for a new plant.

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 7:24 pm - Reply

      I wonder what drove them to it. It’s not as if it’s an especially harsh winter. But hopefully they have learned their lesson and returned to grazing the lawn.

  29. Jenni Dennis February 17, 2018 at 2:03 am - Reply

    What a beautiful tribute to the emerging season of spring. But, a geum bloom in February?! That’s crazy talk! And disappearing hellebores? It’s can’t be true. Bad Rabbits!!

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 7:26 pm - Reply

      Very bad rabbits. I was amazed to see the geum. And I hadn’t noticed until uploading the picture that there is another shrivelled bloom just below the opened one.. so it must have been flowering even earlier!

  30. Christina February 17, 2018 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    Lovely post Jessica that tantalises with the hope that spring really is just around the corner. We have not enjoyed a mild winter like you and I am ready for some warmth, even if when I am dying from the heat in August I might rue these words!

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      Thanks Christina. Apparently most of Europe is in for a cold blast next week. But if that puts a stop to the rain here it will be something. Some of the plants have started back into growth and I really need to get out there and clear away all the old foliage.

  31. Cathy February 17, 2018 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    Jessica, your photos are always so wonderful – even the ones not in close up show so much detail. I know you have a ‘posh’ camera though and that you know how to use it, so mine are always going to look second rate in comparison. I think it’s pot luck with the special snowdrops – if you are going to keep them under cover they will still need special attention, but risking any expensive specials with fine dining mice around is not a course of action for the faint hearted and sadly I lose some of mine every year even without a mice problem… The decision is yours… but they perhaps need armour plating. I divide my natives even when flowering – sometimes taking a trowel with me every time I go down the garden and diving another clump or two. Out of one hole and unto the other in minutes, and they seem quite happy with that. Shame about the hellebores… Oh, and did I say how wonderful your photos were…? 😉

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      Mike has the posh camera, which I use occasionally, but mostly these days I use a bridge camera. The long zoom works well for shots across the garden (thus avoiding trudging through the muck) and the macro function ditto for close up shots. And it can be more or less point and shoot if I want it to be, which is most of the time.
      I think I’ll give the specials another year in the ground and see if they come back more strongly next year, with a dressing of slug pellets under chicken wire as a bit of insurance. I had hoped they would spread a bit if they got themselves established.

  32. Christina February 17, 2018 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    What a shame about the new dietary requirements of the rabbits! You are so lucky to have inherited all those beautiful snowdrops, I love them when they are plentiful like that.

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      I’m at a loss to know what to do about the rabbits. I can’t keep them out of the woodland in any practical or affordable way. Or any part of the garden come to that. They look cute grazing the lawn but sadly don’t content themselves with that!

  33. Anne February 17, 2018 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    Wonderful to see your treasures Jessica; lovely close-ups. I grow Iris reticulata in pots but not in England at the moment, away for a few weeks so I will not see mine this year. Thank you for sharing.

    • Jessica February 17, 2018 at 7:57 pm - Reply

      Thanks Anne. It does seem as though pots is the way to go. I’d hate to lose them having got this far. The colour of ‘Beatrix Stanley’ is just superb.

  34. Freda February 18, 2018 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    Your post sent me out to take a look around…very little but a few snowdrops with stems of black grass are looking pretty under the lamp. Can’t wait for the ground to begin to dry out!

    • Jessica February 18, 2018 at 7:20 pm - Reply

      It is still completely sodden here. I tried today but can’t help thinking my feet did more harm than good. Still, half the bottom terrace cleared and it does look better for it.

  35. pollymacleod February 18, 2018 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    I have a huge smile on my face after looking at your glorious photos. Spring flowers bring so much cheer. Jessica is indeed classy and Wendy’s Gold is splendid.

    • Jessica February 20, 2018 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      Flowers in February are so very welcome. I hope this week’s wintry weather doesn’t set things back too much. Just when I’d convinced myself Spring was coming!

  36. Indie February 19, 2018 at 3:10 am - Reply

    Oh be still my heart with those glorious snow drifts! I have a couple clumps given to me by a friend, one of which is actually in bloom in our very frozen February, since it is situated right next to the south side of the house. What beautiful blooms you have, though! I could not have cut the bloom off of that Salvia either.

    • Jessica February 20, 2018 at 7:43 pm - Reply

      I expect I shall suffer for enjoying Salvia blooms all winter. The parent plant doesn’t look too healthy either so I might have needed the insurance. Oh well, it was worth it.

  37. Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening February 19, 2018 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    You have so many lovely blooms for February and those drifts of snowdrops take my breath away. Oh, just when I needed a fix of spring, here it is! Happy Bloom Day!

    • Jessica February 20, 2018 at 7:45 pm - Reply

      It looks like we have some freezing weather coming our way now too.. at least the snowdrops bloomed first!

  38. willisjw February 19, 2018 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    Wow, someone eating hellebores. Never seen that before. I could plant snowdrops for a hundred years and never catch up with your plantings. It’s like my youngest son used to say about the older one eating ice cream — ‘I’ll never catch up!’ I love the way your blog keeps evolving and yet remains so readable.

    • Jessica February 20, 2018 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      Hi John and thanks for your compliment on the blog. I guess I can never stop fiddling with it.
      The most satisfying thing is seeing snowdrops come up in areas of the woodland I’ve recently cleared. I’d never known they were there before.

  39. Backlane Notebook February 19, 2018 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    You are such a hard worker in the garden and this post shows the payoff. Such a lovely lot of plants in flower and the ground well covered for February.

    • Jessica February 20, 2018 at 7:53 pm - Reply

      I can’t claim any credit for the snowdrops, they are just there. But gradually the garden is evolving around them and it is lovely to see that they still look very much at home.

  40. MusingintheMeadows February 19, 2018 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Hi Jessica – I am new to your blog and absolutely love all the beautiful pictures! So nice to see so many flowers out in February. I have a soft spot for hellebores so I hope yours avoid further nibbles

    • Jessica February 20, 2018 at 7:55 pm - Reply

      Hello and welcome!
      I share your soft spot for hellebores. They don’t do brilliantly here for some reason but the munched ones do appear to be trying to put out new shoots. Leaves is probably all I’ll get this year but at least they are still alive!

  41. Charles February 20, 2018 at 1:04 am - Reply

    No primroses in Somerset but daffodils and snowdrops are present and correct. Rhubarb is coming up well, I need to eat the last leaks to make room for broad beans, which are going to start in the greenhouse. Shallots and more red onion sets going in, due to space crop rotation is honoured in the breech….as always you have fantastic pictures, I will go and check my helibores in the morning, we are low on rabbits here which is a mystery because there are lots of the little devils around. You can feel things starting to move although we are promised an icy blast by the end of the week.

    • Jessica February 20, 2018 at 8:01 pm - Reply

      Every time I look at the weather forecast the temperatures seem to have dropped even lower. So much for my hopes of an early Spring. Still, last year we had frost in May and that was seriously damaging. If it’s coming at all February is much better.
      I hope your hellebores are all present and correct. There is no sign of rabbits returning here so I do believe Flopsy has learned her lesson. I’m behind with the veggies. Tomatoes are sown though..

  42. CherryPie February 20, 2018 at 11:16 pm - Reply

    I really need to get out and photograph the snowdrops before it is too late…

    • Jessica February 21, 2018 at 9:36 am - Reply

      Go for it Cherie. I can already feel the cold wind coming through too.

  43. karen February 26, 2018 at 11:55 am - Reply

    Fabulous photos. I find iris really difficult to photograph. I plant my bulbs out and give them a cow pat surround of wool based pellets Slug Gone and then that straw mulch called Strulch. Slugs hate that. Also have lots of little ponds about for frogs; my army of slug eaters. And houses for hedgehogs. My second line of defence. I bought 4 Jessica bulbs in a pot for £10- and thought of you- from the Hardy Plant Society sale. Must admit, it’s the most I’ve ever paid for a snowdrop. but they were so glorious, I couldn’t resist, will let it bulk up and send you one next winter 🙂 xx

    • Jessica February 28, 2018 at 10:26 am - Reply

      Iris are difficult to photograph, almost as bad as epimedium! I have seen Strulch advertised and wondered about trying it. It sounds like I should. Slug Gone hasn’t worked for me though. The other thing which you’ve convinced me to do is join the Hardy Plant Society! Thanks.

  44. karen February 26, 2018 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Forgot to say, they like being planted in clumps, so what I do is plant my special purchases in with some basic nivalis ones. It must be something to do with moisture. Anyway, they bulk up- and you can soon see which is the special one and which is the tiny nivalis. You can then divide them every 3 years, until you have a patch of them. Good luck.

    • Jessica February 28, 2018 at 10:28 am - Reply

      That’s a really good tip, thanks Karen 🙂

  45. oldhouseintheshires February 26, 2018 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    What gorgeous photos. I absolutely love snow drops. X

    • Jessica February 28, 2018 at 10:51 am - Reply

      Thank you and welcome. Yes, I am smitten too. Until we came here I could never see the attraction and now I am a budding collector!

  46. Anna March 6, 2018 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    I think that I could kill for your patch of woodland Jessica 🙂 Excellent advice from Karen about the snowdrops. I have a friend who always plants trios of snowdrops as she insists they establish better that way. Local HPS group meetings or plant sales can be an excellent source for plant purchases including snowdrops at less painful prices. I have most of my specials in pots under cover because I love to see them at close quarters and at eye level but I’ve also got a number in the ground. Mice and squirrels don’t seem to be interested in them but I do get some slug damage. I still have to keep an eye open in the greenhouse during the winter for slug invaders there too 🙁

    • Jessica March 6, 2018 at 10:09 pm - Reply

      The woodland was a lucky inheritance without a doubt, especially at this time of year and in May for the bluebells. I really must join the HPS, I don’t know why I haven’t before. It’s a good group down here and I already know some of the members. I’m hoping that our cold snap has slowed the molluscs down a bit.. they’ve been worryingly active all through winter. That’s not playing fair now is it.

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