Saturday 23 February 2019

First garden visit of 2019 - Brightwater Gardens - snowdrops and friends

Last Sunday, my garden visiting friends Katy and Alison and I headed out for our annual pilgrimage to see snowdrops.  This is the start of the gardening season for us and we always look forward to it.  We were undecided where to go as there were quite a few snowdrop gardens open locally.  In the end, we plumped for Brightwater Gardens .  It is a relatively recent garden but every time we visit, there is something else to see.  There aren't the ancient wooded areas that some places are lucky to have, but we found plenty to enjoy.  Above is a lovely area full of white crocuses.
This wooded area was really beautiful.
 The snowdrops were nodding in the breeze (and I was glad I had taken my woolly hat!)
 A lot of planting has taken place.
 There were crocuses enjoying the sunshine.
 They just say 'Spring', don't they? (Even though it is still Winter).
 The cornus Midwinter Fire was shining brilliantly in the sun.
 Different coloured stems of cornus and willow were working well in this border.
 There were some hellebores...
 ...with different shades of purple.
 We hadn't noticed this little group under the tree before - Badger, Toad and Ratty -  but where was Mole?
 There he is, on the left.
 The crocus bank was full of colour.
 One garden I glanced at had me intrigued by the pale blue flowers.  When we got closer, we found they were clumps of irises in pale blue and creamy white/green, with the beautiful speckled markings.
 One of my favourite gardens, surprisingly, as it has such a meditative and peaceful feeling once yo are inside.  Hedges, pleached trees and grass are the only ingredients.
Looking through the vegetable gardens with a vista which draws the visitor onward.
We had a lovely visit and it was a perfect start to the garden visiting year.

Friday 15 February 2019

This and that

 Star plant at the moment has to be this rather glamorous Hippeastrum.  I showed a photo of it just starting to flower, but look at it now!  It certainly makes a dramatic statement.
 There are more buds yet to open, so I hope to enjoy it for a while yet.
I had a birthday recently, so have been making some thank you cards.  I have really enjoyed making these - some with stamps, some with dies and some with embossing powders.  I have also been steadily adding to my crafting stash!
I am off to see some snowdrops on Sunday, which for me is the start of the gardening season proper.  I'm not sure where we are going yet, but there are several gardens to choose from locally. 

Sunday 10 February 2019

More pink, white and green

You may remember this camellia bud from my last post.  I was worried about it as temperatures were due to fall and frost was forecast.  I found some fleece and rushed out to make it a little cover.  Thank goodness, I was just in time.
 I was in the garden this afternoon, pruning my autumn fruiting raspberries and tidying up hellebore leaves.  The sun came out and it was lovely.
I saw the pink of the camellia bud through the its fleecy coat, took it off and here's what was underneath!  No sign of being frosted and a pretty double flower. (No good for early insects, but with a fleece jacket, they wouldn't have been able to get to it anyway). 
 The combination of snowdrops and cyclamen coum in a pot always lifts the spirits.
 The winter flowering honeysuckle keeps on flowering (since December 2018), so is doing incredibly well.  It does need sun on the flowers to really get the scent, but even without the sun,  if you get your nose close enough, you do get a waft of that lily of the valley gorgeousness.
Exciting news inside the house too.  I was given this Hippeastrum at Christmas, potted it up, watered it and have been watching it develop buds.  I think it is supposed to be red and white stripes, but I will see when it opens.  Last week, there was no sign of any colour in the buds except green, so it has come on quickly.  Oooh, the anticipation...