Rambling yesterday morning and seeking inspiration for Wordless Wednesday I was almost at the back door again when I spotted that hint of colour on Hamamelis ‘Harry’ – and there was plenty more hints elsewhere on the small tree. Needless to say I was thrilled, as regular visitors to this blog will know how much I enjoyed Harry’s company last year; he grows just outside the back door, only a path width away from one of the kitchen windows, and I gaze out at him frequently. Surprisingly, he still has all his leaves, although they are now just beginning to change colour and fall. Inspection of my other witch hazels proved fruitless, or at least hint-of-flowerless.
However, it is not only Harry who is murmuring to himself, as I noticed buds on the shrubby honeysuckle Lonicera fragrantissima (above left), promising sweet scents to follow me on my rambles in a few weeks time; the sarcoccca (above right) has been parading its buds for a number of weeks, but I don’t think I have ever seen as many berries on the plant before and it is clearly happy with its move from the species snowdrop border to the ex-D****’s plant border. Its scent, when the flowers open, will be even more pervasive than the honeysuckle’s.
Regular inspection of the snowdrop border, now regularised with a map of its occupants, shows a hive of subtle activity just below the surface, and the ‘Maidwell L’ spear which I featured a few weeks ago is now definitely sporting a flower amidst its neighbouring spikes (below left). Tempting as it is to gently scrape through the leaf mould and compost on the surface I am (fairly) patiently waiting to see what else pops through and when, although searching for all the varieties on my list was in itself a heartwarming activity. There are a few labelled as ‘unknown’, found when revamping the border in the last couple of years, but I know what is missing from my original list – ‘Lady Elphinstone’ and ‘Sam Arnott’, both since replaced, and elwesii hiemalis which hasn’t. I was therefore quite excited when scrabbling around to finalise locations on the map to unearth a clump of green spears, not in a planting basket (so pre 2012) and with no label – they may turn out not to be snowdrops, of course, but I am fairly confident that they are and puzzled that what is definitely a tiny clump and not just a single bulb went unnoticed last year and probably also the year before. The main suspect is, I think, ‘Sam Arnott’ of which I am sure I had a reasonable clump at one time.
Bring on more murmurings!