Would I Lie to You?

IMG_4371Emphatically 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!

would.I.lieMy 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:

would.I.lie2Equally 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!


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22 Responses to Would I Lie to You?

  1. Christina says:

    How right you are about surprises; I really had looked at the Crimson patch on Monday searching for signs of Anemone Sylphide and there weren’t any them and you saw what happened in two shakes of the proverbial – wam-bam in 3 days both the Anemone and the hyacinth. Love your hellebores – all of them and your clematis, talking of which I should check Armandii as it had buds before we went away.

  2. I’m drooling over the hellebores AND the iris! 🙂

  3. Clever you transporting your clematis successfully. I love those freckles.

  4. Chloris says:

    Lovely hellebores and I am mad on Freckles. My Katharine Hodgkins is over now. I was talking to Sarah Cooke yesterday.( She used to be Head Gardener at Sissinghurst. She lives near me now.) We were talking about the way these little winter irises so often disappear in the garden never to be seen again. She reckons the most reliable ones for coming back year after year are George and Harmony. She agreed that Katharine Hodgkins and Lady Beatrix Stanley are quite reliable too. The others, pretty as they are, mostly have to be treated like annuals.

  5. this blog is always great. I love the photos and writing. You are a gardeners gardener.

  6. Cathy says:

    Oh yes, hurrrah! A tulip already! Everything seems to rush along doesn’t it. I must go and check on my hellebores tomorrow morning too. 🙂

  7. It’s such a great time of year when everything starts growing, so exciting 🙂

  8. Pauline says:

    Your little iris are so beautiful, I’m so glad they have decided to stay in your garden! I’m sure my fritillaries grew 6 inches overnight, one moment just one leaf and the next day much taller and flower buds almost ready to open.

    • Cathy says:

      Not sure about their staying power as it is their first year! Oh and I found a fritillary in bud at the weekend 🙂

  9. Your “lie” is forgiven for a display like that! My reticulate irises have not reappeared – at least I don’t think so. Love your hellebores! I need to replace my Clematis cirrhosa, I’m afraid, but I was confronted with 3-4 different varieties, not quite in flower at the time, and couldn’t decide. Let me ask you, Cathy, have you noticed a scent from “Freckles”? I bought it for that reason, but could never detect any perfume. I wonder if one of the others would have better scent. You might help me decide!

    • Cathy says:

      I have never been aware of a scent with Freckles but she is so sweet I have never thought of checking it out. I find Jingle Bells rather wishy washy in comparison and definitely prefer the freckled complexion 😉

  10. Anna says:

    Oh no another earworm Cathy but I loved that song and wonder why they did not make the charts again. One of my favourite television programmes too 🙂 It’s the perfect time for plants to take you by surprise at this time of year. I’ve got a few pots whose occupants I’m trying to guess. My ‘Katherine Hodgkin’ in a pot were done and dusted a couple of weeks ago. They do come through most quickly though. I just wish they would last longer as the markings are fascinating.

  11. rickii says:

    Turn your back for even a moment and the garden will pull tricks on you.

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