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