Friday, 15 February 2013

February flowers

It is middle of the month again and time to document what’s flowering in my garden right now. It has been very cold the last month here in London, and in the whole of Britain, and although we haven’t had much snow here in London, it has actually snowed 3 times – which is 3 times more than many other winters I have been here. The last snowfall was only a few days ago but fortunately the snow didn’t lie for very long. But the cold weather has slowed everything down and the emerging bulbs and plants have been painfully slow, seemingly doing nothing from week to week.

My garden looks no different from last month's picture! And to be honest, even close up there is not much difference either. Some plants are finished flowering, some still go on, some are almost at the same stage as they were 15th January. The cold period has lasted very long. But there are change on the horizon; today it was 10 degrees in my garden, I was outside and I could almost feel my garden take a deep breath and continue with its business – where everything grind to a halt back in January. Let’s hope my garden catches up with things real quickly!

My Ferrari is still flowering, well that’s what I call it, the proper name is Viburnum 'Farreri'

 

Signs of things to come! My pink Hydrangea is sprouting.


Skimmia japonica 'Rubella' with its red flowerbuds. And Skimmia japonica 'Bowle's Dwarf’ with red berries next to it.


This is a corner of my garden I don’t show off so often, it’s where I have my big sarcococcas. Righht in the corner to the left is Sarcococca confusa  and then I have a Taxus baccata 'Fastigiata Robusta' which is finally starting to grow a bit after having sulked for a couple of years – I think it didn’t like being moved down here after having grown in a tub, but it simply got too big for the tub so it couldn’t be helped. Next to the Taxus is the largest sarcococca, Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna, my favourite. It sends out suckers which is easy to pull up and just put in a pot and hey presto – you got a new plant. I have one further up in the garden, two ended up in the garden next door and 2 at a friend’s garden.This one has, despite it's enormeous size, had several serious prunings over the years.

Sarcococcas have exquisite scent, so strong you won’t believe it comes from these tiny flowers the first time you smell it. I love these plants, they are evergreen and great fillers all year, and in the middle of the winter, when not much is flowering and certainly not smelling nice and sweetly, these plants are filling the air with such great scent they could compete with any flower I could think of – and the colder the weather is, the longer they flower. Mine have flowered for about 8 weeks this year, thanks to the cold weather we have had.

It is Hellebore season! This is the only Helleborus niger flower I got, not sure why such a meagre result, I had many more last year.


The Helleborus hybridus are ready to open, just waiting for another few days with warm weather. They have looked like this for the last 2 weeks, I have been wondering if they would open for today’s post but they didn’t….I will post a photo when they are properly open!


Look at all the seedling! I have thinned this area out once already, but since then more seeds have germinated. I better start pulling out some more, I want to keep some for growing here and some for lifting later on.


This is Chaenomeles x superba 'Crimson and Gold', and this is third flower flush this season! It’s such an amazing colour in the middle of all the dreary ones, I love that red colour!


Chaenomeles x superba 'Crimson and Gold'


And look at my little ballerinas, already on their way up! This is the large clump of Trillium cuneatum and there are more of these on their way up.


The snowdrops are flowering everywhere, it’s my first year with these ones so I don’t have many but I have spread them out in clumps everywhere. Hopefully they will do well and multiply!


And here is something for next month hopefully, these are some of my hyacinths, poking their noses through the ground.


The primroses I bought as tiny plug plants in October have been in pots since then, occasionally laden with snow, but steadily growing and flowering since before Christmas. Today some of them finally got a permanent home in the ground and I will continue to plant out the rest over the week-end.

That was the roundtrip in my garden this February Garden Blogger's Bloom Day.  If you head over to Carol’s May Dreams Garden you will be able to see many more gardens and what they have flowering right now. Have a great week-end, take care, see you next time!

60 comments:

  1. The promise of so many flowers ahead. The chaenomeles is stunning with that red. Happy GBBD and good weekend to you too!

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    1. Thank you Shirley, and happy GBBD to you too!

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  2. So many pretty plants and fragrance as well. Snow drops are one of my favourite bulbs.

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    1. I love snowdrops too, can't wait for mine to multiply, I mainly got leaves this year!

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  3. You have some beautiful blooms, Helene, and some are so unusual! The Sarcococcas is fascinating. I'd never heard of it before. Such quaint blooms! And the Chaenomeles is unique, too. I love the scarlet color! Each time I visit your blog, there's something new--how do you fit it all in?!

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    1. I cram them in, sideways!! I did a count here on another post, counting every single plant, big and small, every single crocus and Lily of the Valley etc, I probably have close to 1000 plants all in all. That' how I get something flowering literarily all the time, no exception.

      Sarcococcas are quite common plants over here, especially in parks and public spaces, but I wanted some in my garden cause I love scented plants! And since they are evergreen they look nice all year round anyway. And you can grow them in complete shade, can you get a more versatile plant?!

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  4. How strange that your hellebores are still in bud - ours started opening in January.

    Maybe the taxus was just busy excitedly developing roots having been freed from its strait jacket

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    1. Mine are always later than usual, they are in a rather shady area. If I am successful with those seedlings I will make another hellebore area in a more sunny position, to proling the season.

      The taxus is lovely, but has been in a bad mood for a long time, hasn't flowered and set berries either since being moved!

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  5. So many beautiful plants! Lovely hellebores! Lots of stuff poking their noses out to see if it is Spring yet. I'm surprised at the Hydrangeas sprouting already. Maybe your fences shelter them a little. I may buy some Primroses - yours are so beautiful!
    Great post for Bloom Day!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

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    1. Thanks Lea, the last couple of days it has been a lovely spring feeling in my garden, but I am not fooled, we could quickly be back to where we were last week! I remember last year, how much further everything were, things seem very slow this year. Can't wait for spring to take off properly!

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  6. My Sarcococca isn't doing well at all. I think I'll have to move it as the flowers have been so disappointing for years. You certainly have been cold down there as you're normally about 6-8 weeks ahead in the season compared to us. What a great Chaenomeles you've got - if I get 1 flush of flowers I'm doing well.

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    1. Sarcococcas normally take any kind of soil, any kind of aspect and can be neglected pretty much all year round! Which type do you grow? If you have it in full sun you might consider moving it to a semi shade or full shade position. The two you see in the photograph have pretty much full shade all year round except for midsummer early mornings. They have acid soil with bark chipping which help keeping the soil moist. I have never given them any fertiliser and I get lots of flowers and berries every year. They are both 8 years old and have both given me several offspring.

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  7. I am so pleased you wrote about Sarcococca - it is such a valuable addition to the garden, yet so quiet that we barely notice it until we get a whiff of the scent, which really knocks your socks off! Your garden is way ahead of ours - there are no flowers on our Hellebores yet and I am about to pop outside and plant a few Hydrangeas I potted up last year (their buds are barely discernible yet) and our Chaenomeles are only just showing buds now, so it's lovely to see your plants and have a little taste of what we have to look forward to!

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    1. And I feel my garden is late this year! Can't wait for it to get going properly. It has been a lovely day today, and it was yesterday, a few more days like this helps a lot.

      I really like sarcococcas, even when they are not in flower they are lovely plants, and the berries stay on for a long time. Funnily enough, the birds are not interested in the berries, they must taste bad, I haven't tried!

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  8. A very respectable show for such cold weather. I especially like the viburnum. My sarcococca has not started blooming yet but I look forward to its wonderful scent.

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    1. Thank you Carolyn, we have many plants in common, some of them flower much earlier in your garden than mine, others much earlier in mine, must have something to do with aspect and soil and sun and things like that.
      My sarcococca confusa started to flower first week of January and is almost finished now, hookeriana digyna is coming to an end soon. Can't wait for spring to take off properly!

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  9. Hello Helene, looking only at your plants doesn't convey the cold to me, although of course i know your temperatures this time of the year. And your plants are giving a great beautiful promise. I've seen snowdrops only once in my lifetime yet, and that makes me love it at sight. I wonder if i will ever see it again. Keep warm, i wish some of your cold will blow this way to minimize our discomfort. haha!

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    1. I'd love to blow some of my cold weather your way, and get some warm air back! I really don't do well in cold and can't wait for warmer temperatures. I wouldn't mind having 25-30 degrees Celsius all year round, but then I couldn't grow many of the plants I grow!

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  10. You have subtle, but beautiful changes in your garden, Helene. It is hard to find a lot going on, right now. I love your Skimmia...a beautiful plant!

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    1. Thanks, I love Skimmias too, and they keep those red flowerbuds for 6 months in my garden, that's quite amazing.

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  11. Looks like your garden is ready to go - as soon as the weather will cooperate! I was mesmerized by the trillium. And your viburnum is lovely - what a trooper it is to keep blooming through the cold.

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    1. Thanks Holley, it is a real calendar moment when the Trilliums flower in my garden, I wish I had many more different plants, but some of them cost a fortune - for one single plant.
      I am ready for spring, have been for weeks, mind you, it has been lovely yesterday and today here in London.

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  12. Isn't it wonderful how we savour and celebrate each new shoot in the spring. Out of the dull grey-brown earth comes one diversion after the other.

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    1. I love this time of year, from mid february to mid June, that's when most things are happening in my garden.

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  13. No garden time yet , the weather is too cold still. It is so sad when everything freezes.

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    1. I know what you mean, I used to live in Norway! It is at this time of year I appreciate most living in London and garden in a climate like we have here.

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  14. In spite of the cold weather you've had, your blossoms are beautiful. I'm always so interested to see what is growing in other gardens around the world. Yours is one of my favorites.

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    1. Thank you Dorothy, I am also amazed by the difference in plants around the world, regardless of season - but sometimes also by how many similar plants we grow, just at opposite times.

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  15. Helene-you have a lot going on in your garden! Your cool weather blooms are lovely, especially the Vibernum and Hellebores...and you have buds on your Hydrangea! We were starting to have signs of spring here a week ago and then we had a blizzard!

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    1. It's lovely at this time of year, I hope the mild weather we have right now will stay for a long time!

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  16. The Primroses are so cheery, and Chaenomeles if such a beautiful red. The Viburnum blooms caught my eye as well. I can't wait to see those ballerinas take centre stage.

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    1. I guess the Trilliums will be out by next GBBD, and hopefully the other ones I have too, Trillium luteum.

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  17. I didn't know sarcococcas were so strongly scented. I might have to put those on my winter wish list! Beautiful flowers on your Chaenomeles too.

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    1. Over here in Britain gardeners have lots of problems with Box, I believe they in many cases could plant Sarcococca confusa instead and get an edging that is not only beautiful, but scented in the winter with berries in the autumn. Who can ask for more?!

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  18. Thanks for new knowledge about sarcococca. It’s sad that they can be grown in Lithuania only as orangery plants. I love the bright header photos of your blog very much. They are so inspiring and energetic!

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    1. I suppose your winters could be a bit too cold for these beautiful plants :-) But although my Sarcococca confusa requires zone 8-10, both Sarcococca hookeriana humilis and Sarcococca hookeriana digyna should be happy in zone 6-9. Perhaps if you found a sheltered spot in your garden, or planted one in a large tub next to your house which you could wrap in a blanket and bubble wrap on cold nights during the winter, you could have one too?

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  19. When I compare our two gardens, then yours is much further on than ours... I guess about 4 weeks. We still got snow, lots of it *iiiiiek* and I can hardly wait to see finally the first snow drops and of course the helleborus hybrides. Thanks for bringing a little bit of spring feeling into my home.
    Take care
    Alex

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    1. You're welcome Alex, we don't have snow very often here in London, and if we have any it will be gone in a day or two. But it can be quite cold for weeks on end so it's good it finally have been warming up a bit here. You'll get there in the end too!

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  20. I agree the bulbs seem painfully slow. My garden is also quite shady. I don't have all the amazing flowering shrubs that you have. It's pretty warm and spring like today though and forecast to be mild for the next few days so I'll be doing some serious gardening today.

    Thanks for the link to Coblands nursery by the way. I found my 'dream hellebore' on there but they are not dispatching until later in the month plus there was the delivery charge so I held back in the end. I'm popping out to buy some potting compost this afternoon - or at least pretending to. It's my cover for spending money on hellebores :-)

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    1. Hi Claire, hope you found your dream hellebore! I agree that postage at Coblands is a bit much if you only want one plant, but if you buy 4-5 or even more then postage is quite reasonable. If you order for more than £60, delivery is free - not likely for me, as much as I would like to spend £60 on plants in one go, I really could not afford that.

      I have been out gardening today too, and found my first crocuses in bloom! A lot happens in one day with just a bit improvement in the weather :-)

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  21. Hi Helene,
    It's fun to see how your garden is doing this time of year. We are a little behind last year, but that's OK with me. Once spring gets here, I hope we have some nice spring weather.

    Hellebores are such cool plants! I am glad I discovered them a few years ago. I love trilliums, too, and hope the one a friend gave me last year survived. It went dormant pretty quickly, or else died. We will know in a couple months.

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    1. I hope we all get spring soon, this winter has been tough, after such a dismal spring and summer last year, at least for us over here.

      As for your trillium, they usually die down pretty quickly, as they are spring plants, mine are gone in July, depending on how good I am watering them, they need a lot of water! In hot dry spring and summers they might be gone before end of June if you don’t water enough. Remember that you can’t pick them, they need to end their life by dying down, or else you won’t get any plants the next year!

      Trilliums take a good few years to clump up but they do multiply and won't need to be divided for many years. I love them, they are such gems in the garden, lasting just a short while and then they are gone until next year!

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  22. I enjoyed seeing your February blooms Helene. I'm heading to London later this week for a day so I hope that the snow does not return. It has been a long cold winter but the last few days have seen the temperature rise and even better sunshine after so many grey days. I'm a big fan of sarcococcas too - their scent takes some beating :)

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    1. You might get some snow if you come towards the end of the week, it seems winter isn't finisehd with us after all!

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  23. I've taken note of the Sarcococca. I can always use more fragrance. I'll have to find one so that I can check out the scent personally.

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    1. Welcome to my blog, you haven't shared the address to your blog so I don't know where in the world you live, but if you are here in Britain you will be able to see and smell Sarcococcas just about everywhere at the moment.

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  24. Sounds like your flowers know just what to do in this cold spell - sit tight! It might be slow but at least nothing is damaged and you'll still have flowers in the near future.

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    1. True, cold spells are a lot less dangerous for the garden now than in 4 weeks time, when the camellia is flowering and lots of other more tender plants are on their way up. Still, I can't wait for proper warm weather :-)

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  25. Hydrangea is flowering in London,now!? Wow! as it will not flower here until May/June/July. You are really good with plants name. How do you remember them? I have to look for that sarocococaa (or whatever way it is spelled) plant.

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    1. My Hydrangeas are not flowering yet, they are just sprouting leaves, the leaves comes first. They will not flower until June here either!

      I usually learn the name of the plants in my garden by their Latin names, I often don't even know their common names. I don't remember all of them all the time, I have too many plants, so I have a list with all the plants in my garden, and I keep a drawing where I put in every time I plant a new plant. You can see the drawing and the plant list on the tabs here on my blog.

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  26. Wow, I am for the first time on your blog and love it, especially the beautiful red header I like.
    It is still winter but your garden looks tidy, I hope it will get a bit warmer soon for I have lots of gardening to do.

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    1. Thank you Janneke, and welcome to my blog and my tiny garden! There is always something to see in my garden, all year round, even in December and January, as we seldom have any snow here in Londnon, and if we have, it doesn't lay for more than a day or two.

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  27. I fell in love with your Viburnum 'Farreri' and vermillion Chaenomeles right away. There is so much vigour and positive energy in your garden. I can feel it just by looking at your lovely garden.

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    1. Thank you, and spring is right around the corner, it has been a lovely couple of days lately and that has made a difference in my garden :-)

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  28. De blog en blog de jardinage, je parviens jusqu'à vous E France aussi, certaines régions ont eu beaucoup de neige. Mon département a été touché le weekend précédent et aujourd'hui il règne un beau soleil. Nous avons toutes hâte de revoir le printemps.
    Bon dimanche et à bientôt
    Jocelyne

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    1. Salut Jocelyne, et bienvenue sur mon blog!
      Ici, à Londres, nous avons eu presque le printemps derniers jours, mais le temps peut tourner rapidement à cette époque de l'année. Je ne peux pas attendre pour mes roses pour commencer la floraison, mais j'ai beaucoup de fleurs printanières de la première fleur!

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  29. Your hellebores and snowdrops look lovely. It's nice to see some green and some blooms. My garden is still just a study in brown.

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    1. Thank you, you'll get there, soon, before you know it :-)

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  30. Hello Helene, nice little buds of flower, I love your skimmias and sarcococa. I will wait to see your hyacinth . barbara

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    1. Thank you, I need a bit more warm weather for the hyacinths to flower, it has been so cold for such a long time! But they will come soon :-)

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