It is impossible to know what to expect from the weather this week, with a mixture of snow flurries and rain and a dollop of wind forecast, but in-between this lot there have also been periods of sunshine and blue sky and it is probably the latter combined with the lengthening days that have suddenly coaxed Hamamelis ‘Arnold Promise’ (above) into bloom, about a month later than the other witch hazels. Only ‘Ruby Glow’ and the two flowering buds of ‘Zuccariniana’ are yet to break forth. Also enjoying these brief bright spells are the hellebores, boosting the length of the flowering stems and encouraging those promising buds to open:
As more of the clumps open up, watch out for a post focussing solely on them in the next week or so – and no doubt feedback from a visit to the special snowdrop event at Hodsock Priory. In the meantime, the natives (right) in the woodland edge border are catching up quickly, the Flore Pleno always first, then the nivalis – also evident in the picture on the right are first signs of those pesky little celandines that defy all attempts at annihilation!
Perhaps not unexpected is the purchase of more snowdrops (the first batch) to add to the collection and to replace some of those that have disappeared without trace. Suspicions that there may have been an issue with either the aquatic baskets or the compost used in these baskets were further aroused when I realised that the established clump of Galanthus elwesii ZP1 that was replanted last year in a bigger basket was producing only one shoot… Not wanting to risk this again, particularly as some of the lost varieties were not the cheapest by any stretch of the imagination, all newbies this year are going to stay in pots in the greenhouse until I am sure they are established, planted in a recommended compost mixture – will they be replanted outside in the aquatic baskets? Not sure yet. Not quite as inevitable as the snowdrop purchases are more clematis, to fill the mid to late season flowering gap – these can wait in their pots in the greenhouse till the current cold spell has been and gone. The clematis were from Taylors – excellent service and value.
Definitely unexpected was finding my rambling blocked yesterday by a rather large bush – the ceanothus having been pulled out of its support on the fence by a combination of the wind and presumably its own weight. Whether or not it will survive being righted is another matter as its roots have been partially pulled from the soil – as I have only recently given it an overhaul to curb its desire to hang over the path perhaps I should cut any potential losses and replace it with a new one that can be trained along the fence. When in flower, its blueness is a good backdrop for the blue & white borders and the bees love it, so its presence would certainly be missed.