Look Up and Smell the Blossom

I’ve been so busy looking downwards, watching and waiting for the daffodils and now the tulips to burst into colour, I have almost missed the wonderful blossom there is is around at the moment. 

The warmth has brought everything out in abundance, we just keep our fingers crossed that the blossom doesn’t get nipped by a late frost.  We are all to aware not to get complacent and caught out by cold nights and should still keep the fleece handy until the end of April.   Although we can’t cover the blossom trees with fleece! 

There is a breathtakingly beautiful blossom tree around the corner from me, on my way to my Mum’s nursing home.  I have no idea what it is but it has a real cotton wool look about it.  It was seeing this today, that spurred me into taking photos so I could write a post showing off blossoms on the 26 March 2017.

The Magnolias are looking particularly splendid this year, and the one above is in the garden of Mum’s home.  I do envy those residents who open their curtains and can see this so close up.   


My neighbours Quince is covered in pretty dark pink blossom.  The little House Sparrows love sitting in this tree and chirp away to their hearts content.   


Growing up against the front garden wall is an old Skimmia.  What endears me to this shrub is the white blossom in Spring together with the red berries that are on it all year round.   It is so good to look at from my lounge window.

In my back garden, there is a large ball of yellow.  I’m sure the forsythia is better this year than it has been for ages.


One of my favourite spring blossoms is the flowering Ribes, despite its pungent cat smell later as the flowers begin to die off. 


As a promise of things to come, the lilac tree is covered in tiny little buds so will give a grand display of lilac blossom before too long.   A few years ago it was heavy with blossom and you could catch its perfume way down the road, so fingers crossed it will deliver this year. 

You Can Never Have Too Many Daffodils

Seeing swathes of yellow daffodils really lifts the heart!  I drive to work on the A24 and it’s wonderful to see so many daffodils on the verges, and as I enter the town, the banks are complete yellow.  I looked at them last week as I crawled along with the local traffic, and it struck me how sad that in another month everything will be green again and we will have to wait until next Spring to drive through yellow corridors. 

I bought a large selection of daffodil/narcissi last autumn and all the back breaking planting of the bulbs has paid dividends.  The garden is full of a various pretty daffs, most of which unfortunately I can’t name. 

The narcissi above I can name, it is called ‘Iced Folly’ and the photo I took this morning in the rain makes it look even more beautiful don’t you think? 

On one of my many trips to the local garden center I came back having bought a large pot of narcissi called ‘Winston Churchill’ with the promise of clusters of creamy white, double flowers,  flecked with orange.  It looks like the label was wrong, because it has produced the above flower – very pretty but definitely not creamy white! 

Right in the middle of the pot, the above flower popped up!  It looks a little like ‘Rip van Winkle’ in shape but not colour.  A friend looked at it and thought it was possibly malformed due to a diseased bulb.  I asked on Twitter and Instagram if anyone could name it but disappoingly had no response so maybe no one knows what it is called and it will remain one of life’s little mysteries. 

To end this short post, above is vase of daffodils I picked today, that had been beaten down by the overnight rain. 

Enjoy Spring! 

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – March 2017

Oh what a delight it is seeing colour in the garden and to be able to take lots of photos for GBBD this 15th March 2017.

We are experiencing a few mild days here on the Sussex south coast,  which is warming up the garden and bringing everything into life.  However, while writing this there is a news report on the TV about snow blizzards and icy winds on the East Coast of the USA, and I do hope it doesn’t come our way.  I am all too aware of snow in April, but there is always hope that it won’t happen.

I am really happy with the variety of daffodils and narcissus in the garden, and there are many more waiting to burst into flower, so plenty opportunities to take more photos.  It really is adding brightness around the back garden,albeit hosting minute slugs which are nibbling away at the petals.

Rather than write any more for you to read,  I am just going to post photos instead in colour sections to enjoy.

BLUE

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CHINIODOXA

DSC_0150 ANEMONE BLANDA

YELLOW

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FORSYTHIA

PINK

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RIBES

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HELLEBORES

PURPLE

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PRIMULAS

WHITE

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PIERIS ‘Forest Flame’

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PRIMULA

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TULIP KAUFMANNIANA ‘ACILLA’
I have a ‘wild’ bit at the end of the garden, which is quite overgrown with ivy and a pile of wood that I leave as a bug hotel.   In amongst all of this there arie some proper primroses, which along with daffodils, I see as a true harbinger of spring.

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PRIMROSES
On the 15th of each month Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts this meme.  Please hop over there and take a look at all the contributions to Carol’s GBBD as well as looking at her lovely garden.

A Tulip Surprise

It’s surprising what little it takes to produce the feeling of sheer delight together with some frustration on occasions.

After growing just a few tulips in pots in 2016, last autumn I went mad and bought a lot of tulip bulbs.  I didn’t spend a lot of money from well known websites, and went to my local garden centre instead and my planting ‘scheme’ was to distribute them in no particular order across the flowerbeds.   The fault in this planting came to light this morning, when I found two tulips in flower that I didn’t know the name of, hence the sheer delight coupled with frustration.

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Tulip Kaufmanniana ‘Ancilla’
After posting a couple of photos on Twitter to ask what this pretty white tulip was called and getting no response, which is not surprising really, it’s Monday morning and most people are working, I then searched out the old bulb packets which I had carefully stored in a drawer and not thrown away.  Eventually I found one labeled mix of 25 bulbs called Tulip Kaufmannia ‘Mixed’, and turning to Google found this white tulip was ‘Ancilla’.

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The difference between the closed flower and when it opens is spectacular. I love the red and yellow ring around the stamen which is very eye-catching and if you look very carefully there are tiny little pink dots on the tip of the petals.   According to the pack, the other tulips will be orange and red.

Kaufmanniana Tulips are also known as a water lily tulip.  They have short sturdy stems and, as proven today, are usually the first tulips to flower.   Ideal for ground cover, they are also good for containers and window boxes and will gradually multiply if left in the ground.

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This little photo on the left is courtesy of the Thompson & Morgan website, gives you an idea of the other colours that are yet to come.  Spring is such an exciting time.

Help!  I’ve Made an Impluse Buy (again).

Generally my life is organized and I am a planner, however for some strange reason this doesn’t happen with my garden.  I am an impulse buyer, frequently left madly Googling information on how to look after my latest purchase and then standing looking at the garden wondering where to plant it.   This leads to rather haphazard, rumble tumble effect that I like to call an English Country garden! 

Highdown Gardens March 2011

No don’t get excited, this is not my garden, the two photographs above are of some of the splendid tree peonies growing in  Highdown Gardens, I have always admired them and wrote a post about Highdown in March 2011 saying then I wanted one in my garden.   There is a big difference, as we all know, about wanting something in the garden and actually doing something about it, and most sensible people will do a little investigation first.   What has this got to do with my impulse buying?  

Meet my latest purchase… Paeonia Suffruticosa my very own tree peony.  Whilst wandering around the garden center at Stansted Park Hampshire last week I came across a stand packed with tree peony plants of various colours. After a short deliberation I opted for a pale pink.  With no thought as to the soil conditions or where to plant it, I bought one. 

I suspect a lot of you will look at the above pot in horror.  It has been home for at least 10 years to a red rose, the name of which I have no idea.  As well as the rose, at the moment it is also full of weeds.   Looking at it today I am beginning to wonder if it is about time to give the rose a new lease of life, take it out of the pot and give it a lovely new home in a flowerbed.  

It will then free up the large 35cms stone pot for the new addition to the garden. My problem now is  I read that tree peonies do best in a sunny spot with rich, well-drained soil that is neither strongly acidic (above pH 5.5) nor prone to getting waterlogged.   I also read that they grow quite large and planting in a container is not recommended.   I don’t know what to do for the best.  My thinking is that if I move in the next year to two, I can take it with me and my soil is heavy clay so it may be happier in a pot. 

My plea for help is if anyone has any advice they can give me to care for this plant I have wanted for many years, please help me – thank you! 

My Garden Right Now

When Michelle Chapman at Veg Plotting said she wanted to start a new on-line project asking us to show what our gardens are like the weekend of 4/5 March, straightaway I put my hand up and said “Yes please!”.   Then I fell at the first hurdle and failed to post on my blog during the weekend.  I hope I am forgiven for being a day late.

Nothing has changed since Sunday, these photos were taken first thing Monday morning.  I can’t wait to take the covers off the garden tables and sit in the warm sunshine, but sadly not yet.   It has been so wet, the lawn is like a quagmire as I squelched my way to the bottom of my small garden to take a photo from an angle I don’t usually use.  I stood at the back of the end flowerbed, and didn’t notice the green stick in the viewer!  The sticks and chicken wire are meant to be a deterrent from foxes, cats and squirrels but don’t work.  I am seriously contemplating buying a sonic scarer, but have bought cat repellant spray to see if that works.

The tulips are slowly making an appearance and the daffodils are beginning to produce a bit of colour in the garden. There is a Ribes to the right of the photo which is covered in tiny little pink buds and the forsythia at the bottom of the garden also has yellow buds on it.

This little bed has always had raspberries, but this year, I have filled it full of spring bulbs.  The iris reticula were a little late  and only 6 flowered and they are nearly over.  When I see photos of my garden, it brings home how much tidying up and work is necessary.  This is my ‘untidy’ corner.

These pots are packed with tulip and daffodil bulbs and are a joy to see out of the kitchen window.  If I look carefully into the leaves there are a few tulips ready to shoot up some flower stems in a couple of weeks.

This is the side patio from the other end.  I have sweet peas and dahlias cooking nicely in the little greenhouse.  The large pot is wedged in front of the greenhouse with a few bricks inside, to prevent it from blowing over in the wind.

A short post  but this is my garden right now.