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My Garden, February 1997

February 23rd, 1997

The garden is just beginning to liven up after a very dull Winter and I actually dared to go out and start clearing up today. I leave the dead leaves on many of the herbaceous plants to protect the new growth from the frosts, but I decided that I had to make a start before the new leaves grew through so far that removing the old ones would be difficult.

The sun was shining when I started, but by the time I gave up the light was getting dim and I did not manage to video a great deal - and what I did get wasn't very good! At least it shows that there is a little bit of colour in the garden now - although some of it is a bit hard to find among the weeds and brambles.

Everything is very late this year: the Mahonia and Lonicera x purpusii are still flowering, as are Viburnum "Dawn" and Viburnum fragrans "Nana". The hazels are covered in catkins and Hamamelis "Arnold Promise" and "Diane" are colourful, but Clematis cirrhosa balearica and Clematis cirrhosa "Freckles" only broke into flower a couple of weeks ago - they have been known to flower over Christmas in other years. Rosmarinus "Severn Seas" which flowers through the Winter has fewer bright blue flowers than usual.

Viburnum fragrans NanaViburnum fragrans "Nana"
Lonicera x purpusiiLonicera x purpusii
Hamamelis x intermedia Arnold PromiseHamamelis x intermedia "Arnold Promise"
Hamamelis x intermedia DianeHamamelis x intermedia "Diane" hiding in the brambles
Clematis cirrhosa balearica hanging over the back gate
Clem cirrhosa balearicaClem cirrhosa balearicaIts little cream bells have beautiful red spots inside
Galanthus "S.Arnott"
Galanthus S.ArnottThe smaller things are livening up at last. Galanthus elwesii and Galanthus "S.Arnott" have been flowering for two weeks and Galanthus nivalis and Galanthus latifolius opened this week. There is one patch of Crocus chrysanthus "Cream Beauty" in a sink and Scilla tubergeniana is brightening up bed 4. The Leucojum leaves are well up, as are most of the Narcissus - and there are even a few buds showing now.

Cyclamen coum "Abschaticum" is flowering well and I was delighted to find the leaves of Cyclamen repandum - I usually manage to lose this very quickly, but I seem to have found a spot it likes. Saxifraga "Wheatley Rose" is flowering in its pot under a bird cage to keep the birds out, Ranunculus calandriniodes is just starting to flower in the alpine house and leaves are showing in some other pots.

Galanthus elwesii
Galanthus elwesii
Galanthus nivalis doubleG.nivalis
Galanthus nivalis in clumps round the patioG.nivalisG.nivalisGalanthus nivalis growing through the ivy
Helleborus odorus' green flowers are well open but Helleborus foetidus and the various Hellborus orientalis have only just opened their buds. The strange dark double Helleborus "Blackthorn Party Dress" has several buds due to open soon. The first primrose (Primula vulgaris) is just starting to open today and Dentaria polyphylla looks promising with its cream buds although its leaves are still little hanging folded "hands", but Iris unguicularis, which usually starts flowering in January, shows no sign of interest at all.

On the plus side, however, leaves are poking through the ground, buds are developing and it doesn't look as if I have lost too much, so it should liven up later on. No doubt the weeds will as well!

Now I have to visit the tip with all the rubbish (the cat food and litter bags come in very handy for this!)

Scilla tubergenianaScilla tubergeniana among the daffodil leaves
CrocusCrocus chrysanthus "Cream Beauty" in the sink
HelleboreHelleborus orientalis (a white seedling)

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