Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Spring is coming

Yes, I know it's still late winter, but look, Spring is on it's way in the garden.

I have the Sarcococca confusa by the front door and the fragrance is divine.

I have a few snowdrops in pots. The first here is Galanthus ophelia. This one is special to me as was J-P's, and it was given to me by his wife Kate who felt I'd appreciate it. I so do. Just having something that J-P chose, in my garden, means a lot to me.

Next up is Galanthus ikariae.

If you are like me, it's hard to tell the difference between a lot of snowdrops. Ophelia and Ikariae looks so similar, so I took photos of the inside to see if there was any difference.

Galanthus ophelia

Galanthus ikariae

The main difference that I can see, is that the inside green markings on Galanthus ikariae are darker and a bit bigger than on Galanthus ophelia. I counted 7 and a bit 'bars' of green on Ophelia, but Ikariae has 8, with 'a bit' extra on each end of the bars. Perhaps a galanthophile could tell me the difference in botanical terms?! Either way, I love both, but especially Ophelia.

My other favourite snowdrop is Galanthus nivalis f. pleniflorus 'Bagpuize Virginia', who I've blogged about before. A lovely memory of our previous life in Oxfordshire.

And then there is the unknown galanthus - somehow lost the label. I like the way it's petals look like the wings of a wind turbine.

There also a lot of colour. I love the colour and texture of Helleborus x hybridus 'Double Ellen Red'.

And was also recently seduced by Helleborus 'Painted Bunting', and added it to my collection.

There is the ever cheery yellow viola.

The cool blue of Iris histrioides 'Lady Beatrix Stanley'.

The silky blue of Hepatica transsilvanica 'Blue Eyes'.

The volcanic red-orange of Primula Ember Glow.

Then the non-stop flowering of Erysimum 'Bowles's Mauve'. Seriously, this hasn't stopped flowering for months and months.

However, someone needs to tell Lavandula 'Regal Splendour' that it isn't supposed to be getting ready to flower for a few months yet. Still, I shan't complain.

And while we are at it, this Armeria pseudarmeria 'Ballerina Lilac' has also been flowering all winter. It's by the south-facing front door, which might help.

It looks like the weather may get colder again next week. Even some snow is being expected. But I don't mind, because the garden is telling me that Spring is coming.


  1. That hepatica is so pretty. I tried growing them from seed and have a few (very small) leaves but no blooms so far! I’m not looking forward to the cold weather, nope, not one bit. I hope you are feeling stronger Julieanne.

    1. I confess I've only grown plant purchased Hepaticas so far. But if you are getting leaves, that's a start, so hang in there as blooms may still come...

  2. always a lovely time of year in the garden with so many signs of life! Sarcococca is such a wonderful plant! I love mine! My nemesia has been flowering all winter long so i think the climate is confusing the plants!

    1. Nice to hear other people having the same problem with non winter flowering plants, flowering in winter..!

  3. Gorgeous signs of spring! I also have a thingy mauve and it hasn't stopped flowering since I planted it...in July 2014!

  4. Beautiful photos. WE have a small clump of double snowdrops. They were the first to open fully and are still blooming. I think the cold weather has helped but many of our other snowdrops are still tightly shut.

    1. Thanks Sue. I hope yours opened up before the latest snow has hit!

  5. Your blooms look so lovely! I especially like your different varieties of galanthus. Here in Vienna, plant centres only offer one or two varieties. I would love to have a collection like you have. Maybe I should visit the UK in February next year to buy some galanthus varieties.
    Best wishes,

    1. Thanks Lisa. If you come over, plan to visit one (or more!) of the many snowdrop gardens that are open, as that's where you'll get hold of some of the more interesting varieties. I highly recommend Hodsock Priory, and Anglesey Abbey, the latter has the best winter garden I've ever seen.


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