Signs of Spring…

January and February don’t usually find me in the garden, so it’s been fascinating to see plants stirring and stretching and, in some cases, in full bloom.

The Snowdrops are normally all but finished when I arrive back… just the pollinated seed heads as testament to flowering. So, an especial pleasure to have seen them at their best:

Standard Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis). This clump which is happily increasing year on year was originally three or four bulbs from my mum and dad’s front garden.

These beautiful doubles (Galanthus flore pleno) are a less elegant plant from a distance as the flower head seems to be too heavy for its slender stem, so they look a little dumpy. But when you turn the flower over to look more closely…. what a beauty!

You really need to plant them up high so that you can get underneath to see them…

I’ve split the clumps now ‘in the green’ and spread them around to increase the beauty next year.

Iris reticulata flowered even before the Snowdrops… I’ve got these in pots. Another plant that needs/deserves to be seen at close quarters to really appreciate its beautiful markings and colours.

I don’t have as many Crocus as I’d like. I’ll be remedying that! But these large-flowered ‘Pickwick’ have been amazing.

Daffodils are flowering really well now; taking over when the Snowdrops tail off. I’ve planted a couple of hundred on the bank along the roadside. In Summer it’s very dry because of the Ash and Chestnut trees growing there, but in Spring, before the trees get going and with the Winter’s rain in the ground it really works for the Narcissi. I’ve planted mainly Tête-à-tête, but when they weren’t available I added in ‘Martinette’ which flowers later and also some wild daffodils that I collected from the Gorge and grew on in pots…

The other stars are the Narcissus ‘Jetfire’. Fantastic colour combination and such a cheerful, reliable presence every time I look out of the window.