Garden Bloggers Blooms Day: Prim Little Roses and Heavenly Hellebores

prim.little.rosesI had just finished planting the new roses and set off with my camera for today’s pictures when the dampness of the day suddenly transformed itself into a distinct wetness, so with dripping camera and gradually soggier clothes I rushed round as quickly as I could to record what was blooming on Garden Bloggers Blooms day in February this year. Carol at May Dreams Garden hosts this meme on the 15th of every month so do click on the link to find further links to blooms in other blogger’s gardens.

The primroses shown above have been in sporadic bloom for a few months, but there are now several clumps which are flowering their socks off – not just established clumps in the little woodland (right), but also the two clumps that were transplanted last year to brighten up the area next to the stone trough outside the kitchen window. A family of rats came to drink from the trough today, but had gone before I could get my camera – I have seen single ones here before, but not a family group. The primroses are easily split and I shall be dividing established clumps as the weeks go by, gradually extending their presence in the woodland.

There were hellebores flowering at this time last time last year, but not quite coming into their own till March, whereas there are new discoveries to be made and exclaimed over every day at the moment – the subtle differences in colour, shading, markings, leaves, height and attitude all contributing to their appeal :

heavenly.helleboresThe witch hazels are earlier than last year too and although some are past their best they have been and still are stunning – I really hope to buy some more to add to the collection. Here we have, clockwise from top left: Arnold Promise, Ruby Glow and Zuccariniana, Diane and Harry. Lovely, every one of them….

witch.hazelsThere are lots more purple spikes of Crocus tommasinianus appearing in the grass by the stream and in time perhaps they will all grow into clumps like the established one on the left. During one of the sunny spells earlier in the week I caught some of this clump opening up, thinking I wasn’t looking! In the newish hedge (ex D****’s Plant) border there is the first show of colour on the Crocus ‘Snow Bunting’ that were planted last autumn, leaving me wondering why I hadn’t ordered 100 instead of just 50 of them….

crocusIMG_1313Elsewhere in the garden there are several polyanthus in pots, those just coming into flower still looking pristine whereas those already flowering off and on looking rather bedraggled from all the rain. Lots of  Tête-à-Tête’ are showing buds but it will be a few weeks before they will be tempted into flower, still earlier than last year. A big surprise today was a sliver of pink on Rhododendron ‘Cheers’ – one of only 3 or 4 buds after last year’s dry summer. The snowdrops are of course also bringing daily doses of joy, the species snowdrop border being in view of the kitchen windows with numerous groups of white heads bobbing about, holding their own private family conversations.

Snowdrops in the woodland edge border are a little behind the specials as usual, although the floro pleno are opening in advance of their more common cousins. A week or two and a little more sunshine will see this border awash with white – and splitting the bigger clumps every year has helped increase the colony fairly rapidly. Contrary to what it might seem, that is not me standing naked and knee deep in the background of the photograph!


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29 Responses to Garden Bloggers Blooms Day: Prim Little Roses and Heavenly Hellebores

  1. Annette says:

    How wonderful! Love your hellebores…crocuses (I’m at war with the blackbird!)…snowdrops (fine clumps!) and the Hamamelis. Should have planted my Diane in front of something bright as I find it hard to see the flowers without binoculars!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Annette. Diane was moved from the woodland last year and she has really thanked me for it – I am so pleased I moved her. And I had forgotten how beautiful Jelena was (had one before and lost her). They really have been stunning this year, all of them.

  2. annette2121 says:

    Hi Cathy,
    Lovely to see the primroses – I will look forward to mine coming out in a few weeks. Now these do seem to self seed all over the place which is nice.
    Small problem to the link to May Dream Gardens blog – I think you have just missed off the www as I managed to search for the site OK.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for alerting me to that, Annette – I have sorted it but should have checked first. My primroses originall came from my Mum’s in the Inner Hebrides so they have Scottish ancestry – and yes, mine self seed as well which I didn’t notice at first. When will yours be flowering?

      • annette2121 says:

        No problem. Not sure when mine will flower as I have only just started keeping better records. No sign of flower stems yet. Mind you last year was nothing to go by even if I had kept records as everything was about a month late.

  3. I love how you have these bulbs and trees blooming up in the early spring.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Donna – I love them too and they are all so reliable so I can look forward to them every year. It may vary from year to year when they start flowering but that is all part of the fun – and the hellebores will still look good for months even when the flowers are no longer fresh. When I first had witch hazels they weren’t happy and I lost them (expensive business!), but they are clearly very happy with where they are now.

  4. It’s all beginning to kick off ! I hadn’t how much was actually in bloom until I ventured out with my camera ! Not a lot – but more than I thought !

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Jane – thanks for dropping in. Hope you found some lovely things in your garden today – that’s one of the joys of blogging and of memes like GBBD, discovering things you might have missed. I found a hellebore flowering today that I had forgotten I had – and it was good to see that hint of rhodendron flower.

  5. Chloris says:

    It’s all looking lovely. Gorgeous Hellebores! The weather might be awful but you have lots out to enjoy.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh yes, indeed, Chloris – ” It may be winter outside (but in my heart it’s spring)”…. I love my woodland edge border with all the hellebores and snowdrops….

  6. Liz says:

    Hi Cathy,

    Interesting to see isn’t it, how things are earlier than last year regardless of the rain – perhaps because this time last year we had snow time and again (never very deep, just kept coming)??

    Lovely Hellebores, and jealous that every one else seems to have primula vulgaris blooming; mine are barely even beginning to produce leaves. This is very unusual as normally I would have blooms by now. Perhaps I need to split them and then they’ll be happier?? The clumps were very large these past two years.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh do try and split them Liz – it is so easy to do as the smaller clumps easily pull away with their own roots. I would even do it now to give them the chance to establish this year. Don’t know if that’s why yours are not doing a lot yet – although it is my bigger clumps that are flowering and the smaller ones are only just coming through. Last year it was the cold as well as the snow, as it we had days of negative temps and we have had very few of these (so far!) this year. Any interest in your house?

  7. Pauline says:

    Lovely primroses, I do look forward to them in the garden and they are just starting here. All your witch hazels are fantastic, its so annoying when you lose one as they’re no cheap. At last my Hammamelis mollis is just starting to show a tiny bit of yellow, so much later than last year, I wonder why. Your little crocus look so good, all standing to attention like soldiers, mine after the storm are now all over the place as if they have had a riotous night out!

    • Cathy says:

      Oh what a shame about your crocus, Pauline…. and strange that your H mollis is later than usual this year. It was a lesson well-learned about the witch hazels, albeit expensive as you say, as any new acquisitions will be much better placed 😉

  8. Renee says:

    Hellebores and crocus – two plants I always see and wish would grow reliably for me. I’ll just enjoy your wonderful pictures of them instead! Those clumps of crocus in particular look like they will be lovely in full bloom. Thank you for sharing you flowers at GBBD, which is how I found your blog.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for dropping in, Renee. Sorry hellebores and crocus don’t do too well for you – here they are just getting better and better at the moment, especially the hellebores. And they don’t need any attention either – other than admiration, that is!

  9. Anna says:

    Glad that you were able to get into the garden yesterday to capture your lovely flowers for GBBD. Too wet and cold here to set forth. Not surprisingly I love the snowdrop border – fascinated by that wooden head looming out of the border. Can we have a close – up sometime please Cathy?

    • Cathy says:

      It would have been a rain-free photo shoot if I had done it 10 minutes earlier, Anna! I shall show a close up of the ‘head’ you refer to shortly – just one of those quirky things we like to pick up… 😉

  10. croftgarden says:

    Garden looks lovely and your early bulbs are obviously thriving.
    I’m not sure about your visitors, a single rodent is not good news but when it brings the family it is time to put up the eviction notices!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christine – once these early spring flowers start there seems to be no stopping them.The rodent family live next door, we think, but just popped over for a drink – so we don’t want them evicted in case they move in here 😉

  11. rusty duck says:

    Given your experience of moving the witch hazels, what conditions have you found suited them best? I still have to find a spot for my new Diane.
    Beautiful hellebores.

    • Cathy says:

      No more shade than light shade, Jessica – it was too dry in the little woodland because they were too sheltered I think. And I have read that they do enjoy sunshine – so dappled light sounds ideal. Some are under the apple trees, but Harry is next to the hedge and Arnold P is in the woodland edge border. And do try and find somewhere where you can see Diane from the house.

  12. Christina says:

    Your photos are lovely even if you had to rush to escape the rain. I think I like your red witch hazel the best, does it flower as much as the more usual yellow ones?

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina – and yes, the reds do flower as much as the others, or at least as much as the ones I have. Jelena is over, and Orange Peel, but the others are all still flowering strongly.

  13. You’re certainly not short on blooms this bloom day Cathy – what a wonderful selection of Hellebores you have. It must be such a joy wondering around your garden, despite the rain. The Crocus are wonderful and I’m sure it won’t be long until those 50 bulbs increase without planting more, mind you I’m sure you don’t need any excuse to buy more 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Angie – once the hellebores start, the woodland edge is on a roll for the rest of the year… I love it! You are right about the crocus of course, although at £4.50 for 50 Snow Bunting from Peter Nyssen it is hardly worth resisting!

  14. Well I am relieved that you hadn’t decided to handle the dampness by disrobing to preserve your clothes Cathy 😉 I adore the native primroses, there is something so cheerful about their pale yellow flowers, they always make me smile, and I always want more of them! Lovely collections of hellebores and hammamelis too, and I am deeply envious of your crocuses, I planted a load in the grass in the back garden and not a sign of them, not one! Perhaps they rotted away, its not exactly the best drained area in the garden. Ah well!

    • Cathy says:

      Because the leaves are so fine it is impossible to see them here until they have that first sliver of colour, Janet – I put in another 100 in the autumn but I don’t think they are through yet as I planted them in a kind of swathe that should be recognisable if they were…. Perhaps yours are still on their way – hope so! The yellow of primroses is indeed very acceptable – and they just get on with life regardless! Admittedly I am well pleased with the hellebores and the witch hazels – and the former have barely started yet 😉

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