Short Division

It was a real joy to be in the garden yesterday, photographing hellebores and snowdrops, witch hazels and primroses, for the purposes of this blog. The mild and brighter weather of the last few days has brought an awareness of lighter mornings and longer days, a progression that has not gone unnoticed by both plants and birdlife in the garden either. Everywhere you look there are signs of new life, from the wood anemones pushing their tightly curled leaves above the woodland floor to the magnolia buds swelling almost visibly – every ramble shows a new attraction, or so it seems. The 500 Tête-à-Tête I planted in the autumn are pushing up under the apple trees and less apparently through the grass beside the stream – no hint of yellow daffodil anywhere in the garden yet, but I did spy a handful of tiny spikes of purple near the stream, the remnants of some crocus disturbed by the reworking of that area. Reminder to self – I must plant more crocus.

DSCN1270When I rambled through the woodland yesterday I noticed that there were some sizeable clumps of primroses in the woodland, with many tiny plantlets where they have obviously self-seeded in recent years, so I decided to divide some of the larger clumps and plant some primroses outside the kitchen window, under Hamamelis ‘Harry’, where there is a trough with running water (pumped), loved by the birds.
When I came to plant them up in their new location I realised how little soil there was above the pond liner to the right of the trough, limiting planting there, but I found a few crannies and shall add more soil to allow some more to be planted tomorrow. The birds like to splash in the trough so the area is fairly damp, and well-loved by the ferns and an Arum italicum ‘Marmoratum’, and the primroses should settle in well.

DSCN1254‘Harry’ is obviously happy here too, and glows in the early morning sun that shines down this side of the house. I have mentioned him many times on this blog, so was thrilled to have a comment recently from the ‘Harry’ that he was named after – Harry Van Trier, a renowned botanist who has written books about hostas, bamboos and hydrangeas. The witch hazel was named for him by Mrs Jelena De Belder, who gave her own name and that of her daughter Diana to two other beautiful witch hazels (both of which I have). The original ‘Harry’ is in Essen, Belgium and was visited last week by the real Harry who found it a ‘4 to 5 meters high plant, upright growing and with a rather narrow habit, but full of flowers’.

The unexpected joys of blogging….


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7 Responses to Short Division

  1. Spring is further along there than here. Love your primroses and witchhazel.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, we still won’t get complacent here though,as we can still expect cold and wintry weather. February and March can be very variable – last year was exceptional (pleasantly so), and the jury is still out on 2013!

  2. croftgarden says:

    Spring must definitely be in the air, but it’s not got here yet, so I’ll enjoy a virtual walk round your garden, mine’s still too depressing.

    • Cathy says:

      I’d love it be other than just a virtual walk, but at least blogging is a way of sharing the joyousness of all that’s new, as it would be very selfish to keep it to myself. At least you have your beach to ramble along, which may be a small consolation.

  3. How lovely to have heard from your Witch Hazel’s namesake! I am missing primrose vulgaris in my garden, I must go for a wander up the river to see if there are any out there.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, and it was so out of the blue, as it wasn’t a new post he had commented on – so good to have that background info. My primroses are offsets from naturalised ones in my Mum’s garden; although I also bought some supposedly native primroses they were clearly not the same, and they didn’t survive the 2011 winter whereas the ‘true’ native ones did

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