Category Archives: flowering in February

Coming back to Winter

I’ve just got back from a fabulous month long trip to the Antipodes – +30degreesC temperatures- and wearing my plant-hunter hat, the wonderful Lord Howe Island gave me all a ‘palm loving’ gardener could ask for. Forests of Kentia Palms (indigenous to the Island) and others – featured on the stamps below – only growing on the top of the these two mountains with their very specific climates.

Such a wonderful holiday, I was sad to leave, but my small bag tells the story!

Home I came, to a very different world of icy cold grey days and garden neglect..

Last year’s perennials strewn across the borders and Hellebore leaves obscuring the delicate new flowers.  For some gardeners this winter abandonment is absolutely fine as the coverage provides hiding places for wildlife. This is an excellent excuse to stay indoors and do nothing.  However I firmly believe that there are plenty of alternative hiding spots around the garden for the newts and frogs and if we stumble across a hedgehog nestled in some grasses we just tuck them back in again.

So with my trusty gardening colleagues Emma and Chris

we set about putting the gardens right.

With these two cheeky chappies, the jet lag was forgotten and the fun began.

the old hellebore leaves now no longer detract from the glory of these mid-winter beauties:

The dead fern leaves were cut back to the ground

and old flower spikes went too…

The hedges and Bay tree were trimmed before birds start nesting

and the weeds – yes the weeds are still growing – have been carefully disposed of (at least for now).

Aaaaaah, now that feels better and looks just great! The perfect antidote to coming back to winter.

 

 

In praise of Irises and Gloves

Today I headed up to the first Rhs show of the year, in London.  I was bowled over by the lovely displays of Hellebores, carpets of Iris and bountiful summer bulbs to pick and choose from. I never thought I’d be taken in by the myriads of different snowdrops available but even I was tempted by one,  until I saw the price tag – £45 .

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Wow, look at these beautiful Cyclamen coum

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Under the old cherry tree, they look like they’re spilling over the edge onto the grass

Beautiful flowers this Valentines day

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Who needs expensive roses when these timely little flowers from your garden can look so great in a vase on your dressing table?