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

DSC_0178
CHINIODOXA

DSC_0150 ANEMONE BLANDA

YELLOW

DSC_0172
FORSYTHIA

PINK

DSC_0176
RIBES

DSC_0158

HELLEBORES

PURPLE

DSC_0160

PRIMULAS

WHITE

DSC_0179
PIERIS ‘Forest Flame’

DSC_0164
PRIMULA

DSC_0162
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.

DSC_0170
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.

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.   

Signs of Spring: February 2014

Despite a really strong wind, the sky is blue, the sun is shining and more important it is NOT RAINING!!  I grabbed the moment this morning to check the garden for any wind damage and take a view on what is surviving the wet and wind.   We are in the first week in February, and bar one or two days have avoided heavy frosts and it is still relatively mild, so everything is slightly confused.  There are signs of Spring around

I found a primrose in flower growing happily under a Spirea shrub, albeit being nibbled by something.  This happens every year and I am yet to find out who or what the culprit is.

_DSC0860

I wandered around to find anything else that was looking Spring like but there was nothing much in the back garden.  The Ribes is just about to bud as is the Forsythia so there will be a photo opportunity for them in a couple of weeks.   The Sedum caught my eye.  I love the way the new rosettes nestle at the base of the previous years growth …

_DSC0876 (1024x683)

…and the raindrops tucked in the new growth.

_DSC0874

The front garden is a different matter.  It is full of snowdrops which I see every time I look out of the lounge window.

_DSC0866

Strange  how simple thing can excite me, I was delighted to see that flowerbed under the lounge window seems to think that Spring has arrived.  There are narcissus almost out.

_DSC0862 (1024x683)

The Kerria has tiny little yellow buds appearing.  To dispel any confusion this stem was tucked behind the Buddleia, which is the leaf you can see in the photo.

_DSC0869

I even have some tulips coming through, although I am not sure how they will make it because, as with the primrose, something is nibbling at the leaves.

_DSC0872

As I returned to the back  garden, I inspected the side garden which is full of daffodils and bluebells just poking their way through – way behind the daffs in the front garden and not very exciting to photograph so I gave them a miss.

The Pieris Forest Flame  is covered in buds.  This plant is in a very large pot and battered by the wind as it blows down the ide of the house but would seem to be holding its own, despite being blown over several times just lately.

_DSC0871 (1024x683)

I can’t leave this post without including a couple of photos of the Hellebores growing contentedly under the Choisya.  It doesn’t seem to like to spread itself but it has been there for many years.

_DSC0877 (1024x683)

_DSC0878

The soil is so wet the weeds are having a great time, but it is also making it easier to dig them out as their roots are not gripping their surroundings.  I have removed lots of dandelions this morning, so before the next tranche of rain, due this afternoon, I have had a beneficial morning.

What are the signs of Spring in your garden?

© Hurtlingtowards60 and Hurtled to 60 and Now Beyond ©AarTeePhotography; Unauthorized use and/or duplication of photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited

Related posts: 

Seven Signs of Spring:  17 February 2013  (hurtledto60.com)

Weekly Photo Challenge “Ready”: 7 February 2012 (hurtledto60.com)

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day: April 2012

Where is the  time going?  Already we are at the 15th of April and Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.   GBBD should now be getting easier each month with the garden coming to life at a rapid pace.  We have had some unseasonable warm weather, closely followed by a plummet in temperatures with ground frost over night, but it has not deterred  the plants in the garden.  The warmth of the sun has not brought forward blooms any faster than they want to at this time of the year, in fact, looking back there is nothing any more advanced in my garden than previous years.  If anything it is further behind, I wrote a post on 14 April 2011 and there are photos of greenfly on rose buds, at the moment there are no rose buds to be seen.  Conversely, the Clematis Montana has romped ahead, as you will see below.

It is surprising how easy it is to dismiss things when you are not really looking at things properly.   My initial thought,  as I went into the garden, was that my post this month should be called Garden Bloggers Almost in Bloom Day.

Here are my “Almost in Bloom” plants.

This morning I noticed that a couple of the Aquilegia are producing flowers buds, and the Rock Rose full of burgundy flower buds which will shortly become a mass of white flowers with pink centres.    The tight Allium buds are shooting up from the middle of the plant and there is one solitary tulip.  I am really dejected about their failure to flower not only by the tulips but also the daffodils.   I can’t think what went wrong this year and if anyone has any ideas please let me know : –

Having said none of the daffodils flowered, the Narcissus in the front garden more than made up for that.   When I was editing the photos for this post, I began to think how like very softly poached eggs they look.

Now for the plants that are in flower.

A number of the plants and flowers included for GBBD were also in my End of Month View for March but a lot can happen in a garden in two weeks especially when Spring has arrived.

The Elizabeth Montana Clematis,  is now in fully flower and the fragrance is just wonderful.    I am a little concerned about what to do with it as the shed is falling apart and needs to be replaced.  The plant is in an enormous pot at the side of the shed and I suspect I will have to prune it hard and move it to a new home until the shed is replaced.   Again, help and advice is needed on this please.

A few years ago there was an abundance of Forget-me-nots in the garden and,  in an attempt to reduce the spread, I pulled a lot up before they started to go to seed.  This was clearly not a very sensible idea, because for a while there were very few Forget-me-Nots, which was sad, and it is only this year they are starting to appear all over the garden again.

I love the way that the colours of flowers are synonymous with the seasons – with the vast majority of Spring flowers being shades of yellows and brilliant blues.

Whilst the Forget-me-Nots are establishing themselves again, another delicate Spring flower slowing making its mark in the garden is the tiny little violet.  I didn’t plant these so figure they have been spread on the wind or by a kindly bird.   I find then tucked away mainly in flower pots and some are at the back of the flower bed.

The Forsythia at the end of the garden is thick with flowers.  Some Forsythia shrubs I have seen have flowers evenly spread along the branches – I don’t know what variety my shrub is but this one produces masses of flowers in a very up close and personal fashion.

I love pansies, they look so happy and friendly and have several pots by the front door to welcome callers.   Nothing seems to deter them, even if we do have another really cold snap (which is predicted for next week) they will continue flowering and smiling regardless.

A couple of weeks ago I bought a tray of violas, they are still sitting on the table in the garden but this weekend I intend to find some interesting vessels to put them in – such as an old watering can or even a couple of old garden shoes.   Check out the blog in a week or two to see what I have done with them.

 Included in the End of Month View at the end of March was one of my favourite plants, the Pieris, Forest Flame.  Just two weeks ago it was in flower and now it is producing the  fabulous red leaves it is famous for.

As I come out of my kitchen door onto the side patio, the first thing in front of me is the Choisya and within the last week it is now covered in flower buds.  I gave it quite a heavy pruning recently but that seems to have encouraged it to flower all the more and when it is in full bloom it will look spectacular.

I changed the header of this blog a few weeks ago when the Anemones in the pots on the patio were in full bloom.  They were, at the time, all a fabulous blue, now some white flowers have appeared.   They really are the most delicate and beautiful flower.

I find it intriguing that one species of plant producing different colours doesn’t always flower at the same time.  A prime example are the Cleome seeds I sowed recently, the pink ones came up relatively quickly and I had almost given up on the purple Cleome until last week when they decided to make an appearance.  I suppose it is all down to varieties.

It is a great and exciting time to watch plants and shrubs coming back to life.  Although that is not solely limited to our nurtured and loved plants, it also means that weeds such as Dandelions are also making their presence known – especially in the lawn.  As I started to pull up the flowers, before they produce seedheads, it dawned on me what a pretty flower it is.   Therefore, I photographed them before de-heading and consigning them to the garden rubbish sack.

Happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day and a very big thank you to the GBBD host – Carol at May Garden Dreams.  Please take time to visit her blog and the other GBBD posts.   I also want to thank Donna at Garden Walk Garden Talk, whose recent post, complete with the most beautiful photos, reminded me about the 15th.

My mobile phone camera takes great close-ups

The more photographs I take, the more self-critical I become and eager to take better photos.

I still can’t get to grips with the macro on my camera.   Recently I gave out a plea for advice and bloggers have kindly given sound advice, which I have taken on board.  I focus on my subject, the little image square changes from red to yellow.  Perfect, I think!  I snap away, eagerly download them and then suffer disappointment.  The majority of the close ups are out of focus, such a shame, buds, seedlings, and new shoots lend themselves for brilliant photographs.  Spring is a fantastic time to capture all of these.

I have pondered on this for a while now and spent a lot of time Googling articles such as “How to make the most of your digital camera” to name but a few.  The more I try to take a good photo, the worse they seem to be, or perhaps I am being too critical.   So the conclusion is : (a) don’t try too hard, and (b) take an ordinary photo and then photo fix it when it is downloaded.

This morning, I went into the garden with my camera, only to notice the battery had run down.   So, I took my new mobile phone instead.  I am still working out how to use this all singing and dancing Android touch phone, so practice and snap away was the best way to learn

First of all these are my little pea shoots.   These are in a large pot just outside my kitchen door, against a south facing wall and is my own little micro-climate.  Last year, I grew mange tout, chives, chillies and oregano in this pot.  The chives and oregano made it through the winter and the chillies will go in later.

Next to the vegetable pots there is the potato sack.  My Duke of York first earlies went in a few weeks ago and two of them have sprouted already.

Then I went to the bottom of my garden.  The right hand corner is my little woodland area, with a variety of ferns.  Aren’t these just great?  I love the way they uncurl.

Tucked away under some shrubs, I found the naturalised primroses.  They seem like shy little girls, I love them.  They are great in pots strategically placed, as a reminder that Spring is here, but growing like this is how they should be found.

The Muscari are in a blaze of colour at the moment.  I always forget what a wonderful blue they are, but I am sure this year they are more vibrant than ever.

Imagine my delight when I downloaded them.  Close-ups, hoorah!  They were clear and in focus.  Success!!    I am still going to put a photography course on my birthday list but in the meantime I will use my mobile phone for close up shots.