Blooms in the Greenhouse.

I was going to do a post on my ten Favourite Blooms for March this weekend. And then of course this happened.

The Return of the Beast.

We had a glorious day on Friday but apart from that, spring appears to be cancelled this year. We have had so much rain so far, that now we are waiting for a plague of frogs or boils. It’s jolly frustrating for gardeners. I have been scraping the barrel finding things to do out there. I have spring cleaned my summer house and painted it.

Summer House.

Although I don’t feel tempted to sit out there at the moment.

It’s a pity the roof is covered in snow, because it means I can’t show you the beautiful cedar wood shingles. My son-in-law, (obviously the world’s best) gave up so much of his precious free time last year to give my old summer house a new lease of life with a smart new roof.

I have also finally cleared  up my  plant pot shed. Clearly, I was really desperate to  do this on a freezing March day. Actually, it had got to the point where I couldn’t shut the door. It was so full of plastic pots, a towering monument to my extravagance. I wrote about my pot shed before and mused about what I might unleash when I reached its bowels.

Pot Shed Beastie














Actually, what I found was just more and more pots, not all mine, my predecessor left enough to create a whole new landfill site. Surely pots could be made of some slow bio-degradable material. We gardeners like to think we are helping to save the planet, not carpeting it with plastic pots. Anyway, I got rid of loads of them and the lovely Pianist put up some shelves for the rest.

No, several friends have already asked me, as you can see I didn’t wash them before I put them away. I will wash them as I need them. The Pianist wonders why I need to keep so many. ‘Oh reason not the need’ as King Lear would say. I have already taken so many to the dump that I am getting funny looks when I go there.

Anyway I digress, this is about the greenhouse as that is where the blooms are to be found at the moment. Cathy at RamblingintheGarden asked me which plants I had in there for winter colour. Earlier there were hyacinths, little irises, crocuses and snowdrops.  Sarcococca, skimmia and pieris will be planted outside when they have finished blooming as will the hellebores. Primroses come in every colour imaginable and certainly keep the colour coming. Of course apart from the jasmine, lemon and mimosa most of the plants are hardy but in the greenhouse they bloom earlier and are quite unaffected by ice and snow.

At the moment I am enjoying some diminutive daffodils. This little Narcissus cyclamineus ‘Cecil Nice’ is just 4 inches tall and was named after a head gardener at Nymans.

Narcissus ‘Cecil Nice’

I think pale lemon Narcissus ‘Gypsy Queen’ is even prettier. Next to it is the late- flowering reticulated Iris ‘Scent -Sational’ which is slightly scented.

Narcissus ‘Gypsy Queen’ with Iris ‘Scent-Sational’

Next year I shall grow some little hoop petticoat Narcissus romieuxii which flower in winter in the greenhouse.

Amongst the larger ones I have a couple of pots of the fragrant Narcissus ‘Bridal Crown’. ‘Tete-a- tete’ and ‘Jetfire’ are useful for early flowering, but next year I shall try out some different ones. I love the fluffy heads of ‘Rip Van Winkle’ which dates from the nineteenth century.

Narcisssus ‘Rip Van Winkle’

Muscari are nice in pots and next year I shall grow more of them. For instance I have the little ‘Pink Sunset’ in the garden but it never shows up very well. I think it would be lovely in a pot. This year I have ‘White Magic’, two -tone Muscari latifolium and pale blue Muscari ‘Jenny Robinson’. I have to have this as Jenny lived just down the road and had the national collection of muscari. She found this one in Crete. It is very similar to ”Valerie Finnis’. It is just coming out in the photo below. Behind it is a lily of the valley and a campanula.

Muscari latifolium

Muscari ‘White Magic’

And there is a scented grape hyacinth which is not hardy but perfect for a pot in the greenhouse. It is Muscari macrocarpum ‘Golden Fragrance’.

Muscari macrocarpum ‘Golden Fragrance’

In the garden under all the snow I have lots of corydalis as I am very fond of them and they seed around quite promiscuously. This one in the greenhouse is Corydalis pumila.

Corydalis pumila with N. ‘Cecil Nice’ and N.‘Gypsy Queen’

I have packed as much of my succulent collection as will fit in here, the rest still has to live on the bedroom window sills.

This one, Crassula multicava is in bloom and looks good with Helleborus ‘Anna’s Red’

Crassula multicava

As well as all the primroses, auriculas look wonderful in pots, I have just one in bloom so far. A double purple one.


Outside in the garden I am worried about the not quite hardy, Edgeworthia chrysantha, although I have given her a fleece hairnet. This year I bought a small red- flowered one called Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Red Dragon’. I am not going to risk it outside until it is much bigger.

Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Red Dragon’

So there we are, loads of colour and just as importance, fragrance to keep me sane whilst the garden stays monochrome. Winter wonderlands leave me cold. And I have quite a few treasures coming on to show you next time. But before that, I  hope the snow will go and I will be able  show you my Ten Favourite March Blooms in the garden.


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63 Responses to Blooms in the Greenhouse.

  1. Your greenhouse now has me wondering why in the world I didn’t pot up a few spring bulbs last fall and simply put them into the sunroom here at the Money Pit! *makes notes for 6 months from now* Sorry about the snow 😦 though I can relate, as I glower through the window at the remains of last week’s nor’easter (the second in as many weeks, ugh.)

  2. Heyjude says:

    Your greenhouse is such a treat to look around. The primulas look gorgeous – mine are out in the garden and nibbled by slugs so not so nice. Is your greenhouse unheated? I’m wondering whether I should plant bulbs in pots for my (unheated) conservatory next year. Would save nipping outside in the wet and cold to look at them 🙂

  3. How wonderful to see such lovely bits of spring! Still under a foot of snow here and suffering through a few days of cold temps. -2 F here this morning. It feels as though spring will never arrive.

  4. Ali says:

    This is just what we need, Chloris, as the garden turns white again. Edgeworthia is gorgeous! I love your delicate little narcissi. And that double purple auricula!

    • Chloris says:

      I have really enjoyed my new greenhouse this winter. When spring is so reluctant to put in an appearance it is wonderful to have a fragrant oasis filled with flowers.

  5. tonytomeo says:

    I was not impressed with ‘White Magic’ muscari when I saw it in a catalogue, but it looks splendid in your garden, and seems to be bigger than what I am accustomed to. I must look into that again. I will always prefer the common blue grape hyacinth, but anything white gets my attention.

  6. Christina says:

    Sorry about the return of the snow; that didn’t happen here but we’ve had torrential rain instead. You have so inspired me with your flower-filled greenhouse, I’m working on a project which will hopefully mean I can do the same thing next winter. I love the white Muscari; I have it in the garden but it is much smaller than the blue and doesn’t seem to seed around like the blue.

    • Chloris says:

      A new project? What fun. Amongst all the flowers I found room to borrow your idea of growing a pan of salad leaves.
      The ordinary blue muscari can become a nuisance in the garden but none of the others seem to seed around much.

  7. mrsdaffodil says:

    A stunning collection of flowers! I had to laugh about your “Pot Shed Beastie” – I could well imagine one showing amidst my stacks of plastic pots. It would be so easy to rinse them off and put them out with the blue bins which are picked up at the curb twice a month. Somehow, it just never seems to get done.

  8. Kris P says:

    And here I thought I’d accumulated a lot of plastic pots! I’ve been recycling many of those marked as suitable, which sadly isn’t all. My local botanic garden’s propagators will also take some of the one-gallon pots, provided they’re not flimsy, but that still leaves a large number for either the landfill or the burgeoning stack behind our garage. (I’ll have to check to see if I have a beastie in the mix!) Your summer house looks lovely and I’m sure old man winter will release his grip on the UK soon and you’ll be able to enjoy it. Meanwhile, your greenhouse is a dream! I love your Narcissus collection and I thought that purple Auricala was an Eustoma at first glance.

    • Chloris says:

      Well Kris, I can imagine that you accumulate a lot of pots just like me. You are just as much of a plant junkie. It is alarming at just how fast the pile grows.
      I have tried to grow eustomas without much success, I am always envious of your beauties.

  9. rusty duck says:

    A feast for the eyes. I planted Muscari latifolium this year but have been far less kind, it lives in the cold frame and isn’t quite open yet. Love your Edgeworthia too.

    • Chloris says:

      No the grape hyacinths in the garden aren’t out yet. When the spring is so long coming it is nice to bring things on early with a bit of warmth. I was thrilled to find a red edgeworthia, I thought they only came in yellow.

  10. Cathy says:

    Oh thanks so much for this post, Chloris. I shall be making notes, just in case… 😉 There are so many beauties there and even things that would have been OK outside are even better unsullied by wind and rain and snow and whatever. You must feel as if you are in Paradise surrounded by all of these 🙂 I was pleased to find a pot of Valerie Finnis in Aldi this week, as ‘specialist bulbs’, so I shall be keep an eye open for anything else a little bit different. I had to smile at your Pot Collection and there are several questions I might have asked you about them but perhaps I will just call you the Pot Queen instead 🙂

    • Chloris says:

      Valerie Finnis is such a pretty colour. Oh no please don’t call me the Pot Queen you make me sound like a drug addict. I don’t collect pots because I like them, they just seem to accumulate. I would like to throw them all away and replace them with terracotta if I could afford to.

      • Cathy says:

        Oops! No connotations of that sort intended!! I don’t suppose anyone thinks you go out of your way to collect them, but can you envisage ever using ALL of these at the same time? Could you not use your lovely new shelves for something more worthwhile than a pot mountain, albeit reduced? Only asking… 😉 ps email received, reply to follow

      • Chloris says:

        No, I can’t imagine ever needing all those pots. But I can’t bring myself to throw any more away, I’ve already discarded countless bin bags full. I have a friend who panics if she doesn’t have a cupboard full of toilet paper and as I tell her, even in the worst case scenario she couldn’t need it all at once. We are all a bit mad in different ways.

      • Cathy says:

        Yes, yes, OK then. I will confess to buying my decaff coffee 8 jars at a time, the only item I do a price check for and go specifically to where it is on offer at the cheapest price. It quickly fills a whole shelf in the cupboard of course

  11. Anna says:

    Oh your greenhouse is a veritable Aladdin’s cave Chloris. I’m most taken by the red edgeworthia. I was unaware of such a treasure – no wonder you are keeping it under cover until it gets bigger. The narcissus together with iris have both gone on my wish list. You have probably already considered this idea but are there any allotment sites or community garden projects near you that might welcome some of those pots? I’m guilty of having a surplus too 😦

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Anna, it does give me a lot of pleasure. I am saving some pots for a friend of mine who grows a lot for Plant Heritage. I akso thought of telling people to help themselves at the next garden open day.

  12. janesmudgeegarden says:

    What a cornucopia of delights is your greenhouse, Chloris. I hadn’t heard of an edgeworthia before: it looks like a stunning plant, but I think the summer here is far too hot for one of those! Every time I look at someone’s blog, I learn something new.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Jane. Yes, Edgeworthia comes from China, Japan and Nepal so Australia would probably be too hot. It doesn’t like extreme frost though.
      I love to see what you can grow too, you show such exciting plants.

  13. Eliza Waters says:

    So much delightful colour! I envy you, your greenhouse. It looks like a happy place to while away a dreary winter’s day.

  14. Fantastic! I think you should attach the greenhouse and summerhouse!

    • Chloris says:

      What a good idea, although it would involve rather a long enclosed walkway. But then this year, I think it would have been nice to enclose the whole garden.

  15. What a collection Chloris, so lovely. Rip van Winkle looks a rascal.

  16. Oh, you have some beautiful blooms in your greenhouse, including those tiny Daffodils and Irises! Your summer house looks like a very inviting place! Pretty soon it will be warm enough to spend time out there and in the garden. Yay!

  17. pbmgarden says:

    You’ve created a beautiful way to extend your gardening pleasure. So colorful. A real happy place!

  18. Cathy says:

    Can I come and live in your greenhouse until spring comes?! 😉 It’s so lovely, with all those gorgeous flowers. Thank you for sharing it all with colour-starved gardeners like me!

    • Chloris says:

      It would be nice if you could come and spend some time in my greenhouse, but at 8’x10′ it’s a bit cramped to move into. It is a lovely place to get a flower fix though.

  19. What a fun visit to the greenhouse. I think you are right, the muscari look fabulous in a pot; I’ll do the same next year. There is no kindness from Mother Nature here either. After bitter cold in December and January, just two weeks of warm, wet weather in February brought everything out before another round of freezing weather, so the early hydrangeas are fried for another year. Hope spring arrives for you soon.

  20. More beautiful things to cheer me up, so much to love, so much to praise. Thanks for the joy on this wintery day.

  21. Lovely spring blooms! I think the pale yellow ‘Gypsy Queen’ is my favorite. Though I’m not sure the name fits. I would think a Gypsy Queen would wear bright and brash colors.

  22. Brian Skeys says:

    So much to enjoy, I do though like Gypsy Queen. The organic no dig gardener, Charles Dowding, says you do not need to wash pots, they contain beneficial bacteria. Love the summer house.

    • Chloris says:

      I live Gyosy Queen too. Thank you very much for saying you don’t need to wash pots, it’s my least favourite garden chore. Good for Charles Dowding, he sounds like my sort of gardener.

  23. Awesome post and GREAT photos!

  24. Sam says:

    What fantastic flowers and colours to cheer us up. The snow has almost gone here but it’s still COLD and I can’t wait for it to warm up. We have a lot of pots, too, but not as many as you!

  25. homeslip says:

    I got rid of most of my pots a while ago (I found they were harbouring lots of copulating snails) and now we are moving and I’m digging up and splitting plants (today I did my special purple stemmed thalictrum bought from Lowder Mill many years ago) I have had to resort to the pot mountain behind the allotment hut. Keep your pots Chloris, you never know when you might need them. Oh and gorgeous greenhouse blooms. I will be inheriting my first greenhouse very soon – it has been a long wait.

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, snails love them so now I have sorted mine out I have got rid of that problem. But I propagate all the time so I do use a lot and always need different sizes.
      What fun to be getting a greenhouse; a playpen for gardeners.

  26. Beth says:

    Chloris, what a lovely display of blooms you have in your greenhouse — that Blue Zebra primrose is amazing, as are all the many spring bulbs. Sorry to hear about your snowy spring setback — we’re having the same here. Just about everyone in the northern hemisphere seems to be having a slow spring this year. I keep telling myself that it just means more things will bloom simultaneously in a shorter period of time, for a spectacular display one spring finally arrives (that’s what I keep telling myself anyway). Thanks for sharing this burst of color in your greenhouse to tide us over until spring arrives outside. Best, -Beth

  27. Peter Herpst says:

    What a special treat to have so many glorious blooms to enjoy in your greenhouse even if mother nature isn’t being particularly kind outside.

    • Chloris says:

      Well you have so much to enjoy in your greenhouse too, in fact you inspired me to make sure I have a colourful winter retreat. But mine is smaller than yours and is not full of body parts. Well, apart from a head.

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