Hundreds and Thousands

Being away from home  for a few days invariably results in new discoveries in our gardens on our return, especially in spring and summer, although perhaps not as many as this rash of primula seedlings:

These are seedlings of Primula ‘Harlow Carr’, the originals having been grown from seed from the RHS, presumably directly from Harlow Carr itself. I recall having  grown just a few plants from the original seeds and every other attempt at growing primulas from seed have ended in failure; the above dense patch of seedlings clearly shows that they would rather choose their own sowing regime, thank-you-very-much. These self-seeders will grow very quickly into flowering size plants, so I shall pot up a number of them for distribution elsewhere or to sell at my open garden in June.

Returning home from my Mum’s on Wednesday was not a pleasant journey, with snow on the Scottish leg and heavy rain for much of the English leg, but we still managed to get home in the light which allowed a brief ramble around the garden before exhaustion packed us off to bed. It was certainly a joy to see buds on lots of the tulips, both in the shrub border and various pots; here is Tulip ‘Saké’ peeking out from behind a prettily floriferous Daphne mezereum ‘Rubra’:

And look at the gorgeous fresh foliage on this patch of aquilegia and dicentra/lamprocapnos, a surefire indicator that spring is well and truly here:

This patch of Anemone blanda in the hedge border have enjoyed some sunshine in the last couple of days, and in the woodland their cousins the wood anemones are now joining the primroses  and welcoming the first of the fritillaries:

Blue A blanda was added to the blue & white borders last Autumn and were joined this week by Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ and hyacinths planted out from a previous year’s pot:

Rhododendron ‘Cheers’ is often in flower at Christmas but not so last December; the first few buds are only just showing pink (left) and, would you believe it, are those buds I can see on the Winter Sunshine sweet peas in the greenhouse (right)? Now that IS exciting!

It’s certainly good to be back home again and getting on with all those gardening jobs that are piling up, weather permitting. Good too to be able to catch up with the goings-on of some of my blogging friends too.

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37 Responses to Hundreds and Thousands

  1. Nothing worse than traveling in nasty weather but glad it was a safe journey….and lots of nice surprises in your garden. I am just presprouting my sweet peas to plant them out in 10-14 days here.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Donna. The Winter Sunshine sweet peas need to be grown under glass here and will flower earlier and in lower light levels than ‘ordinary’ ones; I am just debating how soon to plant out the ordinary ones…

  2. tonytomeo says:

    Is the columbine from North America? I just planted a few, but am not familiar with them. The native specie is not as bold.

  3. Ali says:

    That’s an incredible number of primula seedlings! Like you, my attempts to grow from seed was an abysmal failure, but Primula vulgaris self-sows very happily.

  4. Oh this Winter has been long and slow and disruptive. I feel behind on every garden task and know that as soon as it warms up its going to be crazy. Primrose seedlings are rampant when they like it. So much happening out there to welcome you home

  5. janesmudgeegarden says:

    I love it when plants self-seed (sad that weeds do it as well though), all those new plants for free.

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Jane – had to rescue your comment from Spam so hopefully WordPress will recognise you another time. I definitely agree with you on the self-seeding, and on the weeds too!

      • janesmudgeegarden says:

        Hi Cathy, I had to contact Akismet when I realised all my comments were disappearing. They say they’ve fixed the problem now.

  6. Anna says:

    Oh that certainly is a veritable rash of primula seedlings Cathy. Mother Nature certainly knows what she is doing when it comes to germinating seeds. I did wonder when you were traveling back and am sorry to hear that the journey was grim. Still lots of treasures to greet you both and no doubt warm you up.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna, and the weather could have been much worse than it was, but with travelling such a distance it was an unknown quantity – it was a lovely sunny day from the North Midlands southwards although there had been floods here on the Tuesday. So good to be at home though 😊

  7. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What a mass of primulas. If I had but three or four survive the rigors of our gardening year. Glad you got home safe. The garden always looks so good when one returns home for some time away.

  8. Alison says:

    Glad you got home safely, I despise traveling in snow. How amazing to see that carpet of primula seedlings! I always check out the garden immediately after being away. It’s the first priority after the cat.

  9. johnvic8 says:

    Seeing all those plants coming back is like welcoming a pair of old friends. It seems like a good time to raise a glass.

  10. Cathy, I am very happy that after the trip with bad weather you have arrived safely home. And the garden is great. Hundreds of Primula seedlings “Harlow Carr”! Wonderful! The Tulip “Saké” next to the Daphne mezreum “Rubra” are beautiful. I love the Aquilegia and the Lamprocapnos with their tender foliage. Yes, Cathy, it is exciting that the Rhododendron “Cheers” and the Sweet Peas Winter Sunshine have the same outbreaks. I love that the soft anemones and wood anemones of the forest continue to blossom and grow. It has a lot of beautiful plants and flowers throughout the garden saying it is already Spring. Greetings from Margarita.

  11. Interesting to see that you have healthy aquilegia. I used to have a sea of tall blue common ones which looked wonderful but they have all disappeared and now I have none. (wiped out by some disease I believe). Did yours avoid that?

    • Cathy says:

      Gosh, sorry to hear about your aquilegia 😐 I knew the Welsh lady who bred them had been affected but I hadn’t heard of anyone else. Most of mine were from seed from her nursery and all flowered OK last year

  12. Glad you had a few pleasant surprises after your trip. Have had a few of those bad weather drives and they are no fun. love the Primula explosion.

  13. That is an impressive patch of self seeds! I just bought a pot of Jack Frost too, to go next to a patch of blue anemone blandas. Spring is truly coming.

    • Cathy says:

      They are remarkable, aren’t they? I shall pick out a number of the larger seedlings and pot them up, but will have to remove the rest

  14. Chloris says:

    One of the joys of going away is coming home to the garden again, specially at this time of the year when it changes so quickly. What a lovely lot of primula seedlings, you will be able to have carpets of them. I find brunneras seed around happily too and the variegated ones come true. Oh and your anemones are a picture.

    • Cathy says:

      I am wondering where else I could plant them, Chloris – they are certainly happy where they are at the moment and very keen to procreate… I am especially pleased with the wood anemones as I probably only started with 100 from Peter Nyssen way back in 2000 but it must be 1000s now. They took a couple of years to begin establishing but now spread readily. Every so often I dig them out where they spread onto the ‘path’ through the woodland and plant them in new clumps – and I have shared tehm many times. Is it something you have and if not, would you like some?

  15. Brian Skeys says:

    The weather has not been to conducive for getting on with the jobs in the garden Cathy. I seem to have lost my variegated brunneras, they all appear to have plain green leaves.

  16. Cathy says:

    Strange for the brunneras to lose their variegatedness – not something I have come across. You should get lots of gardening done this coming week, Brian, unless the forecast changes 😀

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