Emphatically NOT! Not intentionally anyway, and yet I swore blind to Chloris just a few days ago that despite Katherine Hodgkin’s appearance in the greenhouse there was no sign whatsoever of her outside – yet only a day or two later there they were, big, fat shoots… and after another day or two what you see above. Zero to Hero (well, heroine!) in two shakes of a lamb’s tail, or something equally fast!
I love surprises in the garden, and at this time of year when spring is trying to spring, there are usually plenty. I have been admiring the hellebores as their buds fatten up and then suddenly burst open when the temperatures pick up, but even so I still managed to miss the debut of some I had forgotten about, hiding amidst ferns in the woodland edge border. On the left is, I believe, ‘Yellow Lady’ and the one on the right is probably one of the ‘Ellen’ family but the label has disappeared down a rat hole – a bit of Googling should confirm which sister she is. The camera had to peek up their skirts for these photos as they were both quite shy and retiring – no wonder I nearly overlooked them!
My current Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’ (left) has a long way to go to match the non-stop 3 years of flowering of my original, but there has certainly been one or two flowers on it for several months now – I have a real soft spot for this clematis, probably because it was my constant companion for so long. I can see its flowers from the kitchen but not so ‘Jingle Bells’ on the clematis colonnade – and as they were literally over my head I nearly missed any evidence of the little clutch of flowers they had:
Equally exciting is the appearance of fresh green shoots and little buds on some of the Clematis alpina (left), this being ‘Constance’ who I hope will be returning to her former glory once she forgives me for digging her out in full flower and cramming her in a pot for several weeks before being rehoused in the colonnade in 2012. At least she is talking to me now! Another surprise on the right is the first sign this year of a tulip flower – ‘Persian Pearl’, one of the little species varieties which share two pots with ‘Queen Mother’ roses – hurrah and double hurrah for the first tulip!