After the Snow

Just recently we here in Leicestershire have experienced some winter snows, lasting just a few days at the most but after such a long period of rain and grey vistas this pure blanket of white has been uplifting. But the best thing about the recent snow has been the emergence of my snowdrops! They are still juvenile clumps, no more than 2 or 3 flowers scattered among the spring primroses but heralding hope that better weather is on the horizon!

Herald of Hope – Snowdrop

Red Devil

As the rains continue I found myself wandering round the garden, the light drizzle reminded me of my many trips to the Lake District at this time of the year, when the sun is promised but rarely appears! I just love the smell of the rain, the fresh scent of green and blue. This little dazzler is a rare red among the plants in my patch, however it really is an injection of colour and I couldnt resist it’s burning hues against the muted watery backdrop of a wet July morning. It’s name is Lucifer and it is a Crocosmia, slightly larger than the usual Crocosmia and a real star of the border, forming large clumps that can be split down and moved in Spring…a real Red Devil!

The Don of Gardening

For those who follow gardening you will of course instantly recognise the person in the image below as Monty Don. I was lucky enough to watch him talk live last year having followed the Gardeners World programs for many years. The interesting thing about this talk session was that it was an open forum, any question could be asked and although I had many questions in my mind I sadly did not get the chance to ask any of them. Im not sure why I didnt stand up or wave my hand when the opportunity arose, maybe that old problem of fearing that I would sound stupid, that I should already know the answer….something that I am working on as we speak! Anyhow, this photo was taken at the point of another persons’s question and I have to say that the look on his face is a classic! The question was about a large tree that was dropping sap onto a car parked below, and how to prevent it from happening, the question was followed up by the person suggesting to chop it down…. you can of course imagine what Monty replied – NO! and that the tree should be worth saving and the car moved! Maybe my question was not so dumb after all!

A Geum of a Flower

Last year I had the privilege of attending the RHS Harrogate Flower Show, this was back in the day when you were allowed to leave your home and travel to an event. Sadly there have been no such escapes for me this year as all the RHS shows have been cancelled due to Covid 19. But the upside to this lock down has been a total focus on my own garden, time to actually watch the plants appearing from their slumber and grow to be the stunners that I imagined when I bought them at the show. And I have not been disappointed. This is a new Geum, usually to be found in deep reds or burnt oranges, but this is the palest of lemons, almost a sorbet yellow sitting perfectly against the deep green leaves from which the flower stems develop. A real gem of a Geum!

Holly’s Beauty (& the beast!)

Just as I was lining up to take this shot I was ambushed!

The photo was originally to be of the fuschia Holly’s Beauty, a stunning large flowering fuschia with the most beautiful of pale pink petals, however as I took the photo this little chap decided to land! As with life, just as you begin to believe that things are improving, or that your luck has changed something comes along and has a habit of testing you to your limits. Those things can take the shape of people in our lives who just don’t wish to see things from your perspective, or a sudden large expense that you had not budgeted for, I think we can all admit to having one of those in our lives at some point. But what happens when your life is full of only those testing times, when you cant get any relief and life is not a bowl of cherries? Well I would like to believe that even then, the situation is temporary, even though it may seem like an eternity and for every challenge there is a lesson to be learned.

Who knows where this little fly is now, but for a brief moment he may have spoiled my photograph, but he made me stop and think that everything is temporary and nothing is for ever……

Sundae Best

Ever since I can remember I have had a love of all things flora, no not the margarine although it is derived from sunflowers, but the pure simplicity of grass, lush beneath my toes as I’d run over the neatly mowed lines made by my grandfather. Or the sweet scent of tomatoes ripening to a rosy red under the aged and slightly green glass of the old wooden greenhouse hidden beneath a Laburnum tree, overhanging the gate to the world beyond. But as the years start to add up I have found new joy in plants never seen before, namely the dainty Tiarella as in the image below. It’s rocket like flower spikes appear almost overnight and open out into tiny individual flowers that look like twinkling stars against a backdrop of dark lush leaves. Late Spring to early summer these dainty flowers provide a show, like rockets ending the Spring display, heralding the start of Summer. The Tiarella Below is Raspberry Sundae……

The Power of a Flower

Just recently I have been spending a lot of time thinking, thinking about life, about what I’ve achieved, or rather what I haven’t achieved! The problem with thinking is that it starts you questioning just what your life is about, and can lead down a negative path, focusing on what you should have done or could have done differently…. but when thoughts begin to overwhelm me I go to my garden. The garden has the power to switch off thoughts and bring you back to nature. The vibrancy of the first blooms after winter, the endless buds promising a performance and vivid greens of all shades of the new unfurling leaves…the promise of an ever changing view and the heady scent of summer on the breeze….it’s amazing just how much power a flower holds over us and how much welcome relief from the mind they provide….. The flower below is the dainty Epimedium Amber Queen

Hope Springs…

As the title says hope springs eternal…..the weather here has been simply awful of late, high winds have wreaked havoc with my polycarbonate greenhouse and it has been reduced to a storage facility! But, having braved a break in the rain today I was met with the signs that spring is not too far away. So, grabbing the camera I¬†found the garden is quietly and determinedly coming to life against the odds! Here’s a few images that hopefully will encourage you as they have me that soon I will be back in the garden!

 

 

Remnant

IMG_0112 Walking around the garden at this time of year it is not easy to remember how wonderfully cheerful and colourful the garden looked last summer. The lawn is a bog and the borders and tubs a murky brown hue of old foliage and seed heads! I cant wait to get back to the greenhouse and plant up the seeds that last year grew into wonderful plants that gave me so many flowers and so much pleasure. I can honestly say that gardening is my refuge and although there are some jobs I can get out and do, at this time of the year it is short and sweet due to the cold and I miss it! The days are becoming longer, slowly, and hopefully I will be able to get back to the greenhouse and kick start summer very soon!