Sunday 15 April 2012

April bloomers

It is Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day over at Carol’s May Dreams Gardens, a whole month has passed since last time, where did it go? Here in London we have had all sorts of gardening weather, mainly dry and fine although cold, but the last week we have finally got a bit of the long awaited rain. Not enough to call off the hosepipe ban that was introduced on the 5th April though, rumours say we might be stuck with the water restrictions the whole summer.

So much has happened in my garden the past month, some flowers have come and gone, some has just started to emerge. I still wait for some plants to stick their heads above the ground or put on leaves, probably due to the rather cold weather we have had the last few weeks. But let’s get on with the list, I have lots of photos for you today :-)

Narcissi Pipit is a late version of daffodils, some have yet to open on my shady side. Here they are next to Tulip 'Purissima', also a later version than my other tulips, the pink and the red ones, which all have finished flowering by now.

Narcissi, Pipit close up. They are advertised as sweetly scented, I must admit I don’t like the scent at all….I think it smells like cat wee!

Tulip 'Purissima' close up, they really are pure white.

I promised you more flowers of my rhododendron Christmas Cheer last month, but the flowering is almost finished, the plant decided to put all its effort into growing new shoots instead. This rhododendron was a new purchase last autumn, and will take a few years to become an established plant. It can reach 2m in width and height after 15-20 years.

Here is also a newcomer to the garden, I have two and I haven’t even found a permanent home to them. This is Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Rubra', not really a very showy plant, but still quite striking when it gets a bit bigger. It can reach a height of 1m after a few years and mine are destined for the shady corner under the big conifer.

My ballerinas are still flowering, Trillium cuneatum is the name of these beauties.

The mice in my garden are growing well, Arisarum  proboscideum, or 'Mouse Plant' as most people will know them as.

The camellia is still flowering, the first flowers opened on 19th February, and there are a good few weeks of flowering left, that is quite a long flowering period for a camellia I think!

The Loropetalum chinense, new in my garden last year, is flowering again, despite flowering last November!

And here is a teaser for you for next month, Lily of the Valley. I started with 6 plants I got from someone as suckers 8 years ago. Since then I have dug up and replanted suckers every year and I have them in 3 different areas of the garden. I have no idea how many I have in total but there must be well over 100 plants! I love these tiny flowers with the sweet scent, a true spring flower and lovely as cut flowers in a vase.

The woodland corner in my garden is continuing to develop. I am quite chuffed that it actually has turned out exactly like I wanted! First I had cyclamens through the winter, then white crocuses, then blue, then came the anemones in between the crocuses, and now finally the Arisaema amurenses have entered the scene. This is a plant in the ‘Jack in the pulpit’ family and I got one tiny plant 8 years ago. It grew in a large pot and self seeded prolifically, so much that when I replanted the corms last autumn to my woodland corner I think I must have had 70-80 corms of various size.

Only the larger corms flowers, but I have found lots of leaves from the smaller corms so they seem to have tolerated the move well. Give it another 5 years and this area will be covered with arisaemas every spring! I have put together some of the photos I have taken from the woodland corner and made a short video. It starts in January and ends a couple of days ago and shows how this corner has developed after I redesigned the garden last autumn. The video is best viewed in 720p and in full screen, please adjust your settings for best quality. Any annoying ads can be removed by clicking the X inside the ad.

And lastly, my cat hasn’t been here for ages! I thought it was about time I showed some photos of him again, as he is my companion whenever I am outside in the garden. He usually finds a sunny spot to lie and relax, but will come and get a stroke and a cuddle now and then.

Isn’t he cute? :-)

So that was my garden in mid April 2012, so far a quite average spring despite the relatively mild winter we had – nothing very early and nothing very late. I still have hellebores and one sarcococca flowering, my roses are in bud and the lilies are on their way up. My rhododendron Dopey has fat buds that might open soon if we get a bit of warm weather and the dregea sinensis has tiny leaves and flowers emerging. Isn’t spring a great time! Until next time, take care.


  1. Your woodland corner is developing so very well. I really enjoyed the video clip, watching it change over the past months.

    Love the Camellia, the mice, the ballerinas and those pure white Tulips. The top photo shows just how lovely your garden is looking right now. It's a great shot. I think I'd be sitting on that chair first things in the morning with my cuppa!

  2. you have some super cool plants! The mice plant is great. I also love all your planted containers. I really need to incorporate more of that.

  3. Love the Mouse Plant! About a month from now my little bunch should be blooming here in Nova Scotia, Canada. And the Mouse's relative, Jack in the Pulpit, is one of my long-time, all-time favourites. Thanks for the pictures.

  4. This is my first visit to your garden. I love it. I'll be returning for sure. I never heard of a mouse plant before. I like it.

  5. So many interesting plants in your garden! I love that reddish variety of euphorbia amygdaloides - never seen that before, very cool. Funny about the scented narcissus - I've sniffed lots of narcissus advertised as being fragrant, and they all smelled either terrible or not at all to me!

  6. ahhhh the mice plant - I used to grow that years ago in a previous garden. Jack in the pulpit is a plant I would love to find sold locally here - love it's vertical appeal in the borders. My Euphorbia seeds all over the place though it's never reached 1 m - you'll love it for it's acid lime green florets in the spring. I've that same daffodil in the garden - heading out later to actually smell it - maybe it depends on what time of day it is for it to smell pleasant.

  7. Oh, my, that camellia is amazing! And so is your cat. He looks so much like my beloved Nicholas whom I lost last year. Thank you for sharing him.

  8. I've never seen a mouse plant! Does the cat like it? ;) Your pure white tulips are beautiful, and I love the trillium and that big, gorgeous camellia! Happy GBBD!

  9. aloha,

    i love those trilliums and your camelia is just loaded, wow!

    thanks for sharing your garden this morning :)

  10. The camelia looks great, so lush! Kitty is adorable. Jeannine

  11. Hello Helene
    Happy Bloom Day! Loved theYouTube video! You have so many unusual plants. I am going to investigate and see if they would grow here. My favourite was the Pipit daffodil.

  12. Really like your unusual plants especially the trillium and the mouse plant.

  13. Your cat is wonderful! I love the woodland Jacks and trilliums...such lovely blooms throughout your peaceful garden Helene!

  14. Thank you all for your lovely comments!
    Bernie: yes, that chair is my place in the garden, although not in the morning, as my garden is west facing so the sun comes to the chair at around 2 pm. But I am no morning person so that suits me just fine!
    Holley: funnily enough, my cat isn’t really bothered about my mouse plants…but he is a rather clever cat so he probably wouldn’t be fooled that easily :-)
    I wrote a separate post about the mouse plants on the 5th April for anyone who’s interested in them.

  15. Wow, that is a really super sweet video and your garden looks great! It's interesting how each locale has a slightly different mix of bloomers. That Camellia is incredible!


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