End of Month View

This should really be called the ‘Beginning of the Month View’ as I am so late with joining in with Helen’s popular meme this month. I have been away this week, enjoying gales and torrential rain in Liverpool rather than here at home. Apologies to the blogs I have not managed to keep up with .

Anyway,  I am back now and thrilled with what has come out in my absence. I love these black plants. Magnolia ‘Black Tulip’ isn’t really black at all, but it has really dark flowers. This bud will open into a lovely, waterlily- shaped flower. Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ has beautiful black foliage and the Celandine ‘Brazen Hussy’ which was found by Christopher Lloyd has very black leaves.

But this is supposed to be a post about garden views, so here are some views of my new Winter garden which is coming on quite nicely.

The next photo is the view looking back towards the direction of the house. On the the right hand side I have made teardrop- shaped bed where there was just a scruffy mess. The little stick-like plant leaning at a sad angle is  all that remains of a giant Echium pininana which didn’t like the frost. I am showing you this view for the first time because the Lonicera nitida hedge has been cut at last. The lawn needs cutting but you can’t have everything.







The bed on the other side is coming on too, I have got rid of all the nettles and other rubbish.
The Phormium is Phormium tenax ‘Rainbow Queen’ which I bought because it was half price and I can’t resist a bargain and the colour is just right. Last week I bought  Prunus serrula ‘Branklyn’ from the wonderful Beeches Nursery near Saffron Walden. There it is on the right. When it is mature it will have beautiful, shiny, cinnamon-coloured bark. There are so many rarities at this nursery that I did buy one or two other plants but I will show them to you another time.
Looking back towards the orchard the daffodils are out. I wish my predecessor here had had the foresight and good taste to plant all the same daffodils; these are all different colours and they all come out at different times. If I had the energy I would dig them all up and replace them with Narcissus pseudonarcissus, like  the ones Ellen Willmott grew at Warley Place. (See my last post for photographs.).

The next photo is the view looking down the garden from the other side of the newly- cut hedge.  You can actually see through into the other part of the garden now. The lovely bark belongs to the walnut tree which the squirrels love so much that they never leave us a single walnut. You can see the tops of the wooden vegetable boxes that the Pianist built for me last year. I have  been busy  there too and I will show you what I have been doing  in another post.
In front of the Camellia there are big clumps of Anemone blanda ‘White Splendour’ growing with the delicate white Narcissus ‘Thalia’ and the white periwinkle ‘Gertrude Jekyll’. I avoid invasive periwinkles like the plague, but this little low-growing one looks sweet weaving in and out of the plants here. At the front is a little white Grape Hyacinth.

Elsewhere in the garden there are plenty of Spring treasures appearing.  The double hellebore is one I bought from Elizabeth Strangman’s wonderful nursery, Washfield, many years ago . She was one of the first hellebore breeders to produce doubles. The sky-blue Anemone blanda seed around everywhere.

In fact, there is plenty of sky- blue around now.


The Brunnera macrophylla seeds around merrily and comes true from seed as you can see from the following picture.

Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' seedlings

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ seedlings







The hellebores are still going strong, they have been flowering for weeks. The large rose is ‘Canary Bird’ which is a very early one and should be in bloom later this month. The ruff  you can see round the tree in the lawn,  Acer  drummondii, are the leaves of the winter aconites which have finished flowering now.

Yellow is the colour of Spring and particularly daffodils.

Narcissus cyclamineus 'Jetfire'

Narcissus cyclamineus ‘Jetfire’







I grow the little hoop-petticoat daffodil in pots so that I can enjoy them close to. Christopher Lloyd naturalised these little treasures in the lawn but I prefer to keep them in pots. They are so delicate.

Narcissus bulbocodicum

Narcissus bulbocodicum







Other yellow treasures are the strings of pale yellow beads on the shrub, Stachyurus praecox and the yellow Crown Imperial, Fritillaria imperialis ‘Lutea’ which always blooms before the red and orange ones in my garden.

On the banks of the big pond, primroses are gradually seeding into carpets. The blanket weed in the pond is a job waiting for the Pianist. He has waders and he will need them as the pond is very deep at the moment. It is, I am afraid, an accident waiting to happen, sending the Pianist into the pond with waders. I shall have my camera at the ready. One wouldn’t want to miss such an opportunity.DSC_0212
I love primroses and have them everywhere, not all as tasteful as these lovely wild ones, I’m afraid. In fact, many of them are, I’m told, incredibly vulgar. A friend asked me the other day how I could be so lacking in taste as to plant primroses that look just like African Violets. I will show them to you another day and you can sneer at them if you like. Some of you may quite like them. I do.

Do visit Helen at The Patientgardener‘s blog to see other End of Month Views. And thank you, Helen for hosting. I will try to be on time next month.

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60 Responses to End of Month View

  1. Alison says:

    I love Primroses of all kinds, so no sneering here. The carpet of wild ones is very pretty.

  2. Helen Johnstone says:

    Love your new border, the garden looks wonderful

  3. rusty duck says:

    Certainly plenty to catch the eye in the winter garden. I spied a Stachyurus praecox a couple of weeks ago and am now kicking myself that it didn’t find its way back to the car with me. Isn’t it gorgeous.

  4. Chloris says:

    Stachyurus is a wonderful plant, they flower when quite young , but a mature bush is a fantastic sight.

  5. Well, I frankly covet that Phormium. I am told they melt in the summer here.
    Vulgar Primroses? Are they telling dirty jokes?

    • Chloris says:

      I don’ t suppose they tell dirty jokes, although they might. They are the floral equivalent of women with bleached hair, surgically enhanced big boobs, jangly jewellery and raucous laughter. Probably great fun. Cyril Connolly said’ Vulgarity is the garlic in the salad of life’.

      • I do believe the Southern ladies might say they were crass (and then ask for their hairdresser’s phone number)
        I do love garlic. My grip on the ‘appropriate’ is not strong!

  6. Debra says:

    The winter garden is looking great. I love all the curves and all that lush grass. I am a huge fan of primroses — especially the wild ones. All those smatterings of colour (blue, white, yellow) are so pretty. I am always trying to make my garden into something the other family members will like. When I asked my husband what kind of flowers he likes best he said he likes Betty flowers more than Veronica flowers. I assume he must mean small delicate spring flowers like you have shown here rather than the big showgirls like hibiscus. I will have to show him this post =)

  7. Chloris says:

    Debra it is so kind of you to call my badly overgrown lawn ‘ lush’ . As soon as I have fished the Pianist out of the pond this weekend, I will dry him off and sit him on the mower.
    I’ m glad your husband would like my ‘ Betty’ flowers.

  8. mattb325 says:

    The garden is looking wonderful – particularly those new borders. I love primroses…no spring colour is too gaudy or lacking in ‘taste’; to my mind in spring the object of nature is to out-gaud and out-compete every other plant

  9. Brian Skeys says:

    A great spring view of your garden. We gardeners are lucky if we have such a specialist nursery near by.

  10. What about Archie and Jughead flowers?

  11. gardenfancyblog says:

    Chloris, your new Winter garden is looking good, and your collection of white flowers is lovely. All the spring flowers in your garden are so fresh and pretty, actually, and I can’t wait to see your primroses — I like the ones that look like candy the best. I plant a few of them myself every year, but they never flower again for me (summers are too hot, I think). I’ll just enjoy yours instead. Thanks for sharing all your spring treasures with us! -Beth

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Beth. The bright new primrose hybrids never seem to return the following year. I like them, but I prefer the old fashioned primroses which gradually spread around.

  12. bittster says:

    Your end of month view is fantastic as usual. I’m always amazed by all the little goodies which find their way into your garden!
    I laughed at your definition for vulgar flowers. I was looking out at some of my biggest blooming snowdrops today and came to the conclusion they also resemble “surgically enhanced big boobs” and “jangly jewelry” with their oversized flowers. Must be the rain and overall greyness tainting my galanthomania.
    The primula look irresistible. Spring is not the time for subtlety.
    -oh and I’ll be giving my white vinca a little more respect this year as I spend hours pulling the dark atropurpurea. It seemed so much more special than the straight vinca minor, and facing an empty garden it seemed like a good idea.

    • Chloris says:

      Oh no, how could you say such things about your beautiful snowdrops? Oh well, it has been a long , momochrome winter for you, perhaps you are ready for a bit of garishness and bright colour. You need primroses.

  13. Kris P says:

    What makes a primrose vulgar? I love primrose and hellebore and can only wish I had displays of both like yours in my garden. But then, I also like the mix of daffodils so different strokes for different folks as the saying goes. I’m exceedingly impressed by the progress of your winter garden – I wouldn’t have expected to see so much color from it already.

    • Chloris says:

      I think what makes some primroses vulgar is the fact that they are over- hybridised. But I do have some very tasteful ones too which I will show in another post.
      I am delighted with the progress of my winter garden and I hope I can keep it looking good all year round.

  14. Cathy says:

    The new bed is filling in nicely and I can see a colour theme emerging with the Phormium to complement the bark of the cherry. I am rather envious of all your primroses! It’s tricky getting them to grow here as I have too little shade. And that tiny daffodil you grow in a pot is gorgeous! I shall have to look out for bulbs in the autumn!

    • Chloris says:

      Yes I thought it would be nice if the plants round the tree were a similar colour. I have planted the grass Uncinia rubra as a skirt all round it and the colour is perfect.
      I don’ t know how Christopher Lloyd managed to naturalise the hoop- petticoat Daffodil. I grow it in pots fresh each year. The following year I just have a potful of grass like foliage.

  15. Flighty says:

    Thanks for a most enjoyable look round. I much prefer single variety groups of daffodils to mixed.
    I like the white periwinkle.
    There’s nothing about primroses to sneer about, and like you my mum had them all over her garden. xx

  16. Lots of lovely things here, but my favourite has to be the stachyurus 🙂

  17. hoehoegrow says:

    So much is going on in your garden Chloris, and lots of little gems are flowering. Prunus Serrula is a fantastic choice and won’t disappoint. I have had 2 over the years and sadly had to lose one, so only one remains. It never fails to give me enormous pleasure throughout the year, as the bark is just so lovely. I have to stroke it every time I go past. I love the way great streamers of bark unreel and hang off the tree, glowing red when the sun shines through them. The first time i saw it I thought my (then) children had decorated the tree !!

    • Chloris says:

      It is a gorgeous tree. I am looking forward to mine getting established and rewarding me with its beautiful, shiny bark. I have planted Uncinia rubra underneath which is a very similar colour.

  18. Robbie says:

    BEAUTIFUL!!! textured bark can’t pass up a plant with winter bark:-) I agree a good buy, I can always squeeze one mo re in…Question?Fritillaria – I planted a bunch in my garden last fall-do they come up after Daffodils? I have never grown the m before. The crocus, daffs and retiulated iris but have not seen any action with “Fritillaria”. My tulips are surfacing, not all of them but I wondered are they a bit later? I s ure hope the squirrels did not dig them up!
    I feel the same way about daffodils blooming at the same time. I have some “heirloom” daffodiles that bloom much later than all the others. I had no idea, but I did keep them grouped together. You are so right it looks better when the daffodils are blooming at the same time:-)

    • Chloris says:

      Ah now, which Fritillaria did you plant? There are so many different ones and some are earlier than others. Was it the snake’ s head with the checkerboard pattern? They should be coming up now. I have trouble with squirrels digging up freshly planted bulbs too.

      • Robbie says:

        darn! It was the checkerboard pattern:-) Well, I’ll check later today to see if it is breaking through..sure hope so

  19. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Your garden is looking quite beautiful! The newly created beds are filling in very well. Your diligent attention to your piece of Eden is an inspiration!

  20. Angie says:

    Your winter garden is coming on Chloris and is looking great. In fact, the whole garden looks great and if I may, could you please send the Pianist north when he’s done with your lawns, it would save me a job 🙂
    You have so many lovely blooms, way too many to single any one or two out. I just have to add that it would be a real shame if we all had the same taste in plants. It takes all sorts doesn’t it and personally I don’t mind some of those bedding primrose.
    You don’t happen to have a name for the mauve Corydalis in the picture 5th up from the bottom? It’s really pretty and I could find a home for one just that shade.

    • Chloris says:

      He has mown the lawn now but I don’ t think he’ d be very enthusiastic about coming up to Scotland to mow yours. He doesn’t do it with any enthusiasm. I have noticed that you share my enthusiasm for Corydalis. I think that one is Corydalis decipiens. I have bought a couple of unusual ones recently which I will show you later this month.

  21. Cathy says:

    How lovely to come home to your garden and see it like this – almost worth being away from it for…. 😉 Hope you enjoyed your visit to Liverpool anyway! Your winter garden has come on a bundle – doesn’t take long to fill up a new border, does it? Look forward to a Very Vulgar post in the near future…

    • Chloris says:

      We had a lovely time in Liverpool thank you visiting the Pianist’ s family. I thought of you when we were driving along the M6, I suppose we weren’ t far from where you live.
      The trouble about going away is being away from the garden but it was only a few days.

      • Cathy says:

        Going north we get on the M6 at the Cannock junction, Jn 12, which is about 20 miles from us along the A5. You will have had lots to welcome you in the garden when you got back 🙂

  22. snowbird says:

    What a beautiful tapestry of delightful jewels you have, gorgeous! How can a primrose be vulgar? I love them all! I can’t believe how much you have blooming so early in the year….I may sneak up in the middle of the night with a trowel…..Your Winter garden is looking marvelous!xxx

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Dina. I love all primroses too. You don’ t need to sneak in with a trowel, if you come down to Suffolk you are welcome to whatever you like. Talking about sneaking in with a trowel; you never said, did you succumb to temptation and steal those snowdrops?

  23. mrsdaffodil says:

    Love the hoop-petticoat daffodils!

  24. Anna says:

    Funnily enough we swapped the gales and torrential rain of Liverpool for a couple of days in Cumbria this week Chloris – if anything the weather was even worse up there. I hope that you enjoyed your time up in this neck of the woods. As usual your garden yields an abundance of treasures 🙂 You must feel encouraged by the way your new Seeing your ‘Brazen Hussy’ has got me to wondering where mine has disappeared to.

    • Chloris says:

      I think the storms were all over the country. We were complaining to the Pianist’ s family that ‘ it’ s grim oop north’ with appalling weather. When we got home part of the fence was down and panes of glass had been blown out of the greenhouse. I hope you had a lovely time in Cumbria despite the weather.

  25. I love the daffodils by the orchard just as they are – I think you would lose something if they were all the same variety. The Brunnera in my garden also likes to seed itself around, and I am happy to let it do so.

    • Chloris says:

      Well perhaps you are right, it would certainly be a shorter season with just the one variety. I have had Brunnera seeding around before, but I was surprised that the variegated one, Jack Frost comes true.

  26. And this is why it takes me so long to comment on people’s blogs. I got as far as that picture of dark purple and black loveliness, laughed that you have the same magnolia that my sil was telling me I had to get, and then spent a happy ten minutes making notes on euphorbia blackbird, which I clearly have to get…

    I love your poo!s of pale yellow primroses and pure blue flowers. I have made a start on the prims, but still need more blue. Blue, yellow and white pooled around the feet of deciduous shrubs and trees is my idea of the perfect spring garden. That plus lots of hellebores. Lots of inspiration, thank you!

    • Chloris says:

      Magnolia Black Tulip is fabulous. It is a gorgeous colour and the shape of the flowers is beautiful. It starts flowering when it is still young , so really it is one to consider. Much nicer than the ubiquitous Soulangeana.
      I agree about the blue, yellow and white,; a really lovely spring combination.

  27. Wow, lovely blues. Aren’t Chionodoxa sparkling little beauties? Great colour everywhere.

    • Chloris says:

      I love all the pure blue flowers that start appearing in Spring. Chionodoxas are great because they seed around so freely and so do the lovely blue Anemone blanda.

  28. Someone told you your primroses are vulgar?! Throw them in the pond the next time they offer their opinion! Personally, I love that your daffs are all different. That’s how mine are and I haven’t a clue what they’re names are. The staggered bloom times mean I have more color for longer periods. Love that double hellebore. 🙂

  29. Chloris says:

    Well, I have to say I prefer the simple native primroses, but in early Spring I am grateful for some in your face colour. So I don’ t mind garish, and over- hybridised . They don’ t usually come back again the following year.

  30. What a beautiful End of Month View, Chloris. I’m just catching up on some posts I missed, too. Got a little behind before and during the holidays as we hosted the bigger family this year. Love all your gorgeous blooms, especially the sky blue anemones! But really, everything looks great! Your hard work has paid off. 🙂

  31. Jane Brewer says:

    Oh the hosts of golden daffodils, how I miss them! I would even trade some bee orchids for them right now. How lovely your Spring garden is xx

  32. Chloris says:

    Bee orchids? I would love some of those. I have had one or two in the past but they never last in my garden. I just can’ t get them established.

  33. I had forgotten about Magnolia Black Swan, it is as you say not black at all but a wonderful rich dark pink which looks so striking when still in bud, in fact I think I prefer it like that. The Celadine is also great but i introduced it to a pot in my last garden and it appeared all over within a few years so I will not be choosing it again. Those blues are really great and I especially love the look of Brunnera Jack Frost. In fact there seems to be so many beautiful Spring flowers in your garden its a wonder you have time for blogging as I think i would want to be spending all my time out there. Dellightful, thanks for sharing.

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