Thursday 1 March 2012

It’s 1st day of spring in Britain

I know there is a debate about when spring starts, whether it’s 1st of March or 20/21 of March, but I think those who say 1st of March is the official start of spring got it right so I keep to that date! We have had lovely spring weather this week and I have spent many hours every day working in the garden. I really hope winter is over by now, although we can’t really be safe just yet as we have had snow in London as late as mid April in past years.

But spring has definitely arrived in my garden and there are crocuses and nodding daffodils everywhere. My camellia has started to flower, the hellebores are in full flower and the hyacinths are just emerging. There are signs of life everywhere and I have planted most of the new plants I ordered last month, although I am still waiting for one order that hasn’t arrived yet. Here is the garden today, in glorious 18 degrees afternoon sunshine, still quite bare between the evergreens, but give it another 6-8 weeks and all the flowerbeds will be crammed with plants.

Here are my crocuses, last time I posted a photo of them only the white ones were flowering. Now the purple ones are also flowering. They have the noble name of Crocus Species Tomasinianus Ruby Giant. The white crocuses are called Crocus Species Biflorus Miss Vain. And in between you can just about see the Anemone Blanda Mixed some of which has just started to flower. I bought 75 of each of these three and over the years they will spread and multiply, a great start to the spring :-) And when all of these flowers start to fade, the around 100 Arisaema amurense will take over. I started with one arisaema 8 years ago, planted it in a small tub and watched it multiply and multiply and multiply and last year I tipped the whole tub out on a plastic sheet and sifted through the compost to find all the bulbs and their tiny offspring. They were of very different size, from a couple the size of a daffodil bulb to numerous half the size of a crocus bulb. I carefully planted all of the arisaemas in groups in between the groups of crocuses and anemones. In another 5 years time, this whole area will hopefully be covered in arisaemas every summer taking over from the crocuses and the anemones.

More gorgeous crocuses close up.

Crocus Species Tomasinianus Ruby Giant

Here is my new hellebore addition, Helleborus niger, which arrived with flower buds from the nursery. I bought two of them on sale for half price and was surprised by how mature plants I got, I expected to get quite small plants for the price I paid but these were great. The last week they both have come into full flower and make a great addition to the three Helleborus orientalis I already have in this bed.

And here is my camellia, isn’t she great?! I call her she, some of my plants are definitely a ‘she’ or a ‘he’ and this is one of the ladies of my garden :-) She is quite difficult to take pictures of, the leaves tend to shine too much if there is even the tiniest bit of sunshine so she is easier to photograph in cloudy weather, but I think you can see that although she got loads of flowers already there are many more to come. I will try to take some more pictures when we get a cloudy day, we’re bound to get some soon after all the great days we have had lately! Mind you, this week-end we are supposed to get torrential rain, which I actually hope we will get, we haven’t had any proper rain for more than 2 months and my garden is getting quite dry. I had to water some of my tubs yesterday as they were getting dried out. A few days of torrential rain would suit me fine, and then we could get the nice weather back again. Definitely no more snow, thank you very much!

Whatever the weather, my garden is on full speed ahead and I go to bed every night thinking of my garden and wake up every morning ready to put the plans into action. Talk soon, take care!


  1. My crocus tomasinianus are flowering now as well. No daffodils yet though. Lovely Camellia. Can't grow them here, our soil is too alkaline. Looks like you might get your wish for rain on Sunday if the weather forecast is correct.

  2. It might as well be spring here. The temperatures are very warm. I am in awe of your crocus display. I am not able to plant them because the voles eat them. I still have some here and there that they missed. Perhaps one day I could try planting them in a wire cage.

  3. Your camellia is beautiful! And I love the mix of white and purple crocuses. I always forget to plant mine in a big patch like that, and they look spotty. Maybe next year I'll remember - yours are gorgeous!

  4. Oh my goodness, what a lovely collection of Crocuses you have! When I scrolled down to the shot of the Crocus garden, I said "wow" out loud. :) Most years, spring would still be a couple of weeks off for us on March 1, but this year flowers are blooming even here in the northern U.S. Next week the temps will be in the 50s, so I'm sure that will change things, too. We have to get through another snowstorm tomorrow, though. March is an "interesting" month.

  5. Oooh, your patch of Crocuses is just beautiful! Love the purple and white mix. Your Camellia is indeed looking terrific, even if you find you have trouble taking a great shot. I so enjoyed taking a peek at the signs of spring in your garden. We don't get to see the obvious change in seasons here.

  6. I have crocus envy! My garden is still in the early stage so I must remember to plant more Spring interest plants later in the year. It's raining and foggy here but I'm going to wrap up and have a potter outside anyway. Your blog and photographs are lovely!

  7. Thanks for all your lovely comments, March can be an ‘interesting’ month here in Britain too – today we have snow showers in parts of southern England and although it is raining here in London it is freezing cold. Very different from that 18 degrees C we had just a few days ago, last Thursday!

  8. ...*Deep sigh! (I envy your early Spring!)


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