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My Garden, February 1998

The weather is remarkably warm at the moment - far too warm for February - but I have resisted the temptation to tidy things up in the garden. We probably have some severe frosts to come yet - just to zap the fresh new growth - and I would rather have some of the old dead leaves there to give the plants some protection.

Clematis cirrhosa balearicaClematis cirrhosa balearica had quite a severe haircut last Autumn - it was blocking the gutter and had invaded the back room via the fanlight window.

It seems to have responded well and has been flowering enthusiastically for some time.

Clematis cirrhosa "Freckles" is just as exuberant in growth, having taken over the wall and invaded the ivy and the Mahonia.

It has larger flowers with beautiful red spots inside, but flowers much less profusely.

Clematis cirrhosa balearica
Hamamelis 'Arnold Promise' & ViburnumIn bed five, Hamamelis x intermedia "Arnold Promise" has just opened and is flowering very well, although Hamamelis x intermedia "Diane" has only a few flowers so far.

The pale pink Viburnum fragrans "Nana" has been flowering for some time and, now that it has grown a bit, is doing very well this year.

Abeliophyllum distichum in bed four has also flowered very exuberantly this year.

It needs to - it's a very boring, straggly little shrub for the rest of the year. Its only virtue is that it flowers so early.

Abeliophyllum distichum
Iris unguicularisIris unguicularis has been flowering for some time, its flowers partly hidden in the old leaves. I like their unruly appearance.

Iris unguicularis
Helleborus orientalisAll the Helleborus orientalis are flowering well as usual. This one is a particularly strong pink but has very little spotting.

The smaller things are also flowering now. The snowdrops, snowflakes and primroses scattered around the garden have popped up through dead leaves and other plants.

Crocus chrysanthus "Cream Beauty" is doing well in one of the old sinks.

Crocus chrysanthus 'Cream Beauty'
Saxifrage in tufa A very pale yellow Kabschia Saxifrage (possibly "Denisa" but I can't be sure) has just started flowering in one of the lumps of tufa on the crazy paving.

In bed five I spotted the first flowers on the pink Viola odorata "Coeur d'Alsace" today, so the white and violet ones will probably be out soon..

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