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. 

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

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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.

What a Difference a Mowed Lawn Makes

At last its been dry long enough for the lawn to dry out and for the first time since the beginning of the winter months, I dug the mower out of the shed and mowed the lawn!   I never seem to learn not to walk on the wet lawn in the winter and yet again I have a number of  bald patches.   Some of the patches I have dug over and enlarged the flower bed – you can never have too many beds can you!  A spot of lawn seed purchasing is on the list.

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Today I felt really inspired.   It is amazing the difference cutting the grass can make, all of a sudden the garden started to look tidy and ready for spring.

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The Ribes Sanguineum (Flowering Currant) is starting to have those pretty dark pink flowers, and soon it will be a wonderful pink display of drooping clusters.

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I found a few Forsythia flowers coming out with lots of buds, so that is going to look splendid in a few weeks.  Underneath some of the shrubs at the  bottom of the garden there are a few primrose plants, and these have managed avoid being nibbled at the moment.  Something likes to eat them but I have never found out what.   This clump of daffodils have remained uneaten also.  I think I read somewhere there is a little bug that likes to eat them but I can’t remember what I should do about it.

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One of my favourite shrubs in the spring is Spiria Japonica ‘Goldflame’.  Whilst, in my opinion, it is nothing to write home about in the summer, it deserves a mention at this time of the year.  The leaves emerge into a bronze-red in the spring, almost the reverse of other plants that turn that colour in the autumn.

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Last year I left the Elder Sambucus Nigra and it grew to a great height and cast a lot of shade over the garden, when sun was badly needed.  Therefore this year I thought I would be tough and cut it down by half its height.   I am doing it slowly, and at the moment it is still looking slightly odd.   There were a few branches that were overhanging next door, on which they hung some of those peanut plastic bags, and the birds were not interested as they have been untouched for months.   So, with great difficulty I managed to lean over the wall, cut the branches and successfully hauled the branches back on to my side of the wall to dispose of.   This old tree is not going to be killed off easily, although that is certainly not my intention, it is full of little knobbly purple sprouts as you can see.   I know it won’t produce any flowers or berries this year, as they appear on growth from the previous year, but at least I will have a little more sun.

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The pots on the side patio are coming into their own now, and the tete-a-tete daffodils that I feared were looking rather stunted are now a decent size.  I am looking forward to a splendid display of tulips.

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Finally, the Jasmine Jasminum Officinale, which has flowered throughout the winter is amazing and smells glorious.   It usually flowers in June and July giving out a heady perfume in the evenings, so I am expecting it to continue to flower throughout the summer.   This was a tiny house plant and about 10 years ago I planted it out into a sheltered corner of the house.   The year before last it was getting really out of hand and I cut it right down the ground thinking I had killed – clearly not!!

 

 

 

Spring Has Sprung

I can’t believe how lucky I have been this week.  In need of a break, I took this week off work and the weather has been fabulous!  Unseasonably warm, at least until yesterday when a sea mist hung around all day and the day had a slight chill to it.  It was so lovely being outside and I tidied up the garden and did a stock take of what I had. Today is sunny, not quite as warm, but still good to be out in.  I always experience a sense of joy as I look around this time off the year and see all the dearly loved plants from the year before making another welcome appearance.  

The garden is full of spring colour I want to share it with you.   Before winter took hold I planted a large number of daffodil bulbs from an assortment bag.  Not as many as I expected appeared but those that have are so pretty and varied. 

     The primroses and primulas have spread well over the years.   

 The other yellow spring flower is Forsythia, it is like a bright yellow ball at the bottom of the garden.  The tiny Grape Hyacinths (Muscari) and the Forget-me-nots are beginning to create a pretty blue haze.  You may have noticed something white on the soil.  This is slug deterant scattered as a barrier around the Day Lilies because the slugs and snails have chomped a few of them down to stumps.  

 Take a look at the peony above!  Doesn’t it look great?  I love the dark red stems at this time of the year.  

I have to share the beautiful Ribes with you.  Such a shame that this shrub will start to smell of cat in a few months time.  Only another 5 days to Garden Bloggers Bloom Day and I will be able to share more blooms with you, especially if the weather remains warm.  The garden is so happy and, coming up to two years following the removal of the bowel cancer, so am I to still be here to enjoy it.   

Spring has Sprung

A little too late this morning for the solar eclipse, which in my part of the country was disappointing event due to heavy cloud, the finally sun appeared mid morning and it was a simply glorious day to do some gardening.  It was even warm enough just to wear a gillet. I hoed, edged, pruned and managed the first lawn mow of the year.  It was a very beneficial morning, not only for the garden but for me too.  Having been very low and negative for a while I perked up no end.  I even fell in love with my garden again.   It is very understandable that gardening is seen as therapeutic and seeing all the new buds on the shrubs and plants beginning to burst through the soil, it boosted my spirits no end. Last year I planted a whole heap of daffodil bulbs and was expecting a glorious display but since planting them I have had trouble with animals, cats and squirrels digging things up so what I do have I’m fairly happy with. The ones above are in the sunny border and are big and blousy.  The others around the garden are just about to flower and if we continue to have a sunny few days I think they will be out by the end of the weekend. The two shrubs that always herald spring, for me anyway, are the yellow of the Forsythia and the raspberry red of the Ribes.  Both are bursting with buds, with the Ribes being marginally ahead.

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The one very special plant I love to see every spring is the Peony with its red lipstick shaped shoots.  I spoke to it very nicely asking it to produce some flowers this year; it failed to flower last year.  There are a lot of Aqualegia dotted around and as I planted lots of new ones last year I hope they will come true to their variety.  Over the past years all the ones I did have reverted to pasty pink.

I am pleased to see the Astrantia has made it through to another year. IMG_2232 Last year I pruned the Montana Elizabeth a little too heavily and worried I may have killed it off.  Fortunately this is not the case, it is scrabbling over the shed and covered in tiny little buds. Followers of my blog may remember that I caretake the front garden as it is owned by the upstairs flat which is tenanted.  It has Just been re-let and new tenants are due in shortly.  I am hoping, as with previous tenants, they are not gardeners and more than happy for me to continue to look after it.   I gave it a bit of a tidy this morning and have moved into the back garden a number of the Day Lily offshoots.  It is looking healthier this year than I’ve seen for years and as it had spread considerably I thought I would dig some of it up before the tenants arrived.  After all it is a plant I put in, so I feel that’s only fair, don’t you?  It is a vibrant orange and will look good in the sunny border in my garden at the rear. Finally, I want to share the Kerria with you which is at the side of my bay window.  I love the button yellow flowers on this variety.

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Happy gardening everyone!