Saturday, 9 March 2013

Plants in the green – by mail

I buy everything online, literarily. Everything from mundane things like groceries and all sorts of things for the house, to clothes, shoes, furniture, camera, white goods and well, anything I need really. Being housebound means I never get to go shopping in shops and my kind of shopping has been for years sitting down with my computer. I use Amazon a lot, but I also have a range of companies I trust and feel confident with and order regularly from. Needless to say, all my gardening stuff, including plants are being ordered online too and very conveniently being delivered to my door.

I never get tired of receiving parcels on my door, it is just as exciting every time! Today I received two deliveries, one of which I will write about a bit later in the month, the other one was this neat little box from Naturescape.co.uk. They are a company selling native wildflowers and at the moment it is their bulbs in the green that are most interesting but they have things here for all year interest. It is a UK company but they do also send to rest of Europe for what I think is a very high charge. But if you have deep pockets and really want to immerse yourself into the world of snowdrops, what about 45 different snowdrops to choose from?! At Broadleigh Gardens they have 45 different types of snowdrops currently for sale online. Some of these are very interesting, but I can’t really justify spending £5 – 15 for one single snowdrop! Even though it might multiply in years to come and all that...

The snowdrops I received today were 50 Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno' and 100 Galanthus nivalis 'single'. I wish I could print the scent I got when I opened the box and took the bags out! Even though the flowers all look a bit dried and miserable, they still smelled fantastic in those plastic bags so I think they were in full flower when they were bagged. The bulbs and leaves were all in perfect order, as far as I could judge, this is my first attempt to buy plants in the green online, so I don’t really know what to except but I did know that the snowdrops could already be finished flowering by the time I received them. It said plant immediately on the box so that’s what I did.

It has been raining non-stop the last 2 days, but fortunately we had a let-up this afternoon. The soil is very wet, probably good for the snowdrops, I didn’t water them at all , that seemed unnecessary with a soggy soil. Here are some of them, on each side of some primroses.


And here are the rest of the single snowdrops. I know they look a bit miserable, but that’s because they are planted rather deep and because they are a bit limp after having been transported. The flowers are also past their best of course. But these snowdrops are not planted for this year’s enjoyment but for years to come.


Here are the double snowdrops, 50 of them planted around my Acer palmatum. It’s amazing how all those snowdrops kind of look a bit lost in my garden. I think a need several thousand to create a big drift – that I don’t have a wallet for. Wonder how long it will take these 50 to become 500?


None of the new arrivals today were particularly good looking, I think I have to wait until next year for a photo session of them, so here are some of my other snowdrops instead, Galanthus Woronowii.


Galanthus Woronowii



Galanthus Woronowii



And finally, the first daffodil has at long last flowered in my garden! Better late than never, but 9th March…that’s like a month later than usual!!


Getting my snowdrops in the ground today wasn’t just urgent for the sake of the snowdrops, tomorrow the weather will turn wintery again and we are expected snow, even here in London. The next 10 days are expected to be cold, bitterly cold with temperatures between 0-5 degrees Celsius during the day and below zero during the night. It will only slowly warm up at the end of the next 10 days and we might get snow several times during the next 10 days. So much for the feeling of spring I wrote about in my last post! But that’s how March is here in Britain, the month of big contrasts, anything between minus degrees and 20 degrees is quite normal, and we have had March months with well over 25 degrees too. Nothing that can be done about it, so far the weather listens to no-one :-) Until next time, take care.

32 comments:

  1. Lovely new additions Helene. I hope they bulk up pretty soon for you!
    Online shopping is a vital source for many and it's good that there are good companies out there who have embraced that market place!
    I work for one of those companies who deliver your parcels (red vans) and nowadays it's the majority of our business.
    Yes, the weather forecast is not great - can it be too much to ask that they get it wrong!! Hope you don't get it too bad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Angie, I hope they bulk up quickly too, but I am not sure what to expect really. My third type of snowdrops were planted only last autumn, as bulbs, so they haven’t had time to settle properly and I didn’t get many flowers.

      Nice to hear you work for one of the more reliable delivery companies, it was a red van that delivered my parcel today :-) Because I have deliveries quite often I get to experience all sorts of delivery service, and I have a special grievance with those in the lime green vans, I am sure you know who I mean!
      As for the weather, I don’t think they have got it wrong, sorry! Let’s just hope it doesn’t get too bad...

      Delete
  2. Lovely, lovely plants. What did we ever do before internet shopping? We are truly spoiled by its convenience, aren't we?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I couldn't do without them, I really depend on my deliveries :-)

      Delete
  3. Hi Helene... I'm still on the lookout for A narrow magnolia for you. If you'd consider a yellow bloomer, check out Sunspire... Extremely narrow based on my research Larry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Larry, I have two nurseries at the moment looking for a suitable magnolia for me. The issue is not so much the colour but getting one grown as single stemmed. I want one mature enough to flower next year, and don’t want to buy such a mature specimen and start pruning it into a single stemmed myself. Hopefully at least one of them will get back to me with something I can afford! Thanks for your help :-)

      Delete
  4. No idea which variety of snowdrop ours are as most came for my mother in laws garden.

    Your will look lovely next year,

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Helene
    Sad to learn that you are housebound. But it seems as if you have arranged yourself with it. Internet shopping I know too. Because of the lack of time I do most of the shopping over internet, too... that saves a lot of time. And my experience with plants are good too. But I still love to stroll through big garden centers and can hardly resist all the plants.
    I love snowdrops and the Garden Magazine I write sometimes for asked me to do a snowdrop special for spring 2015. You know, here in Switzerland one can just get two kind of snowdrops, filled and the normal once... that's it. As I've read in England are many more sorts available. I'm very curious and will do a research about the topic.
    Have a lovely Sunday
    Alex

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it is strange you only have two types of snowdrops, as there is no reason you can’t have as many as we have. But you can order from both the companies I have written about in my post, they both send to all EU countries, at an extra cost. Perhaps you could approach some of the nurseries you buy plants from at home and ask them to increase their selection, send them the link to Broadleigh Gardens and ask if they can offer something similar. Can’t see why they couldn’t, I am sure there is a market for it in other countries too, not just here in Britain :-) Have a nice Sunday!

      Delete
  6. O yes, internet shopping is so easy and comfortable. I do this too, certainly with bulbs, seeds and books. It is so exciting to receive a parcel with new plants. You ordered quite a number of snowdrops, lovely. Next year you will have a real snowdrop garden. I received last week my new dahlias, anemones and irises, just fun to have something new for the garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought I had ordered many snowdrops by ordering 150, but they didn’t look much when I planted them out! I hope they bulk out quickly. I have also ordered more plants, I am waiting for some lily bulbs and some dahlia tubers. I am also waiting for two new hellebores and in April I will receive some geraniums and fuchsias for my front garden. Always something new for the garden :-)

      Delete
  7. Helene, it's nice you could buy a lot of snowdrops! I have them a bit in my garden and when I shovel the snow they are there and surprise me! I hope yours will flower prettily next spring!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nadezda, the snowdrops are a great sign of spring, I hope yours flower soon too!

      Delete
  8. Hi Helene,

    I always enjoy reading your comments on my blog. Beautiful photos of snowdrops and a nice sign of spring. I tend to buy quite a few things online just to save time. I think if I could purchase groceries I would too for the convenience. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Donna, I always try to leave meaningful comments, not just some platitudes.
      Here in London we have 4 big companies to choose from when it comes to online groceries, and perhaps some smaller ones I might not know of, but 4 is plenty for me. Creates nice competition between them in terms of price and service. I have bought all my groceries online for many years, once a week, very convenient to get it delivered to my kitchen :-)

      Delete
  9. I didn't know you could order spring flower bulbs that had already begun growing. I also like to order plants on line, though I still buy many plants at garden centers, especially annuals. Perennials too, since I can rarely plan well enough to avoid needing to make last minute purchases.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To be honest, this is the first time I have bought bulbs in the green, but I am very happy with what they looked like - as far as I could judge. The result won't be possible to see until next spring though!

      Delete
  10. Hi Helene,

    I buy almost everything online too. :-) I do it because I can always find exactly what I am looking for, and discover all sorts of new things as well (the Internet is the most fabulous department store). I enjoyed your beautiful photos of the snowdrops and the daffodil. I do believe spring will be sprung soon. All the best! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Beth, we are having a mini winter again - hopefully this will be it, but it is very, very cold in London right now. It's not just down to the temperature, but we have a bitterly cold wind so the minus 2 Celsius we have outside right now feels more like minus 9 due to the wind chill factor.

      It's not that long since we had 17 plus, but it seems a bleak memory right now!

      Delete
  11. How very lovely! It sounds like our weather is very similar now. Spring is actually making an appearance with lots of rain and warmer temperatures. Yay! The snow is melting fast, so hopefully soon I'll see the beautiful Crocuses and Snowdrops, too! How wonderful for you to get another fun shipment that you can enjoy right away. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is snowing here in East London right now, the wind is howling around the corners and it is bitterly cold. Any feeling of spring couldn’t be further away! I am not doing any gardening today, and we will have this weather the rest of the week. Great to hear spring is on its way to you, it will be back here too, soon hopefully!

      Delete
  12. March weather here in the U.S. is very variable, too. Friday and Saturday were warm, sunny, beautiful. Then yesterday cold, hard rain, lots of wind.
    Lovely daffodils and Snow Drops you have there, and those new Snow Drops will be gorgeous next Spring!
    Hope you are having a good day!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lea, I'm having a very cold and windy day, no gardening!
      Have a great week!

      Delete
  13. I am looking forward to seeing your Galanthus 'Flore pleno' the next Spring. I sowed the broad bean today, the weather was beautiful.
    Thanks for visiting my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I look forward to seeing them next year too!
      Great to hear you had nice weather, can't say the same here!

      Delete
  14. Congratulations on your new bulbs, now to find the patience to wait until next year to see them flower :) Gardening is such a good teacher, don't you think? Love the daffodil, little piece of sunshine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the only piece of sunshine here today, it's been a terrible weather with snow and awfully windy.
      But I can be patient, planning for next year and the years to come :-)

      Delete
  15. I didn't know snowdrops smell nicely. I have to get some then. Most of the flowers that I get don't have any smell :-(. While growing up in India, flowers meant heavenly smell. Not here. Don't if there is any difference between tropical and temperate flowers and which affects their smell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You say that most of the flowers that you get don't have any smell, do you mean cut flowers? Many cut flowers have very little scent, except for example lilies. But you should be able to surround yourself with scented flowers in your garden most of the year. With a little bit of planning you can make sure there is a succession of scented plants all the months you don’t have snow. I have scented plants in my garden all 12 months of the year, perhaps I should write a post about how to do that... :-)

      I am not sure if there is a difference between tropical and temperate flowers but plants that flower in the winter or early spring in the northern hemisphere often smell more intense than summer flowering flowers because there are less insects around so they have to have a stronger scent to enable the insects to find the flowers and pollinate them.

      Delete
  16. I want to thank you for your comment on post about de austin Rose.
    I learned a lot of it. A lot of succes with your new bulbs Helene.
    Have a wonderful evening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome Marijke! I hope your rose will flower beautifully for you this summer :-)

      Delete