Six on Saturday: Spring forward

The clocks go forward this weekend and with some beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures this week, it really feels as though Spring has set in. The garden has responded by blooming, although the soil is already starting to look a little dry here in Sussex, where we haven’t had much rainfall recently.

Each Saturday, The Propagator invites us to feature six things from our garden. This week I was spoilt for choice. Don’t forget to check out his splendid Six on Saturday meme and its many followers.

  1. Butterfly on cherry blossom

This photo, taken yesterday afternoon, sums up the beautiful transience of this time of year. Our little cherry tree has blossomed this week, a fortnight earlier than last year no doubt thanks to the mild winter and it is wonderful to see the butterflies which have suddenly appeared in the garden enjoying its pale pink flowers.

2. Chionodoxa luciliae ‘Rose Queen’

I planted these bulbs from Peter Nyssen in the autumn and even when I was weeding a few weeks ago I couldn’t see any sign of them coming up. Then this week, I realised they had not only poked through the earth, but also opened up into pretty rose pink flowers with little yellow stamens. They make an interesting alternative to the usual blue chionodoxa.

3. Puschkinia libanotica

Another Peter Nyssen purchase, I love the china blue and white striped design of this Puschkinia or Russian Snowdrop. I decided to try some new bulbs this year in a west facing border under our fence which is quite sunny for part of the day, but partially shady. So far I am quite pleased with the results. Next up I am waiting for Apricot Beauty tulips.

4. Fritillaria uva vulpis

Another new bulb I have tried out this year in a woodland patch underneath our fig tree is this Fritillaria uva vulpis or fox grape fritillary. I love the unusual combination of limey yellow and purple maroon on its flowers.

5. Erythronium ‘White Beauty’

Yet another new purchase this year was this Erythronium which is just about to come into flower. The leaves look a bit like Arum italicum leaves, of which we have plenty nearby. I am looking forward to seeing the delicate flowers when they have fully opened.

6. Nymans primulas

This week I have been reading Gertrude Jekyll’s Colour in the Flower Garden and one of the things she recommends is underplanting ferns with Spring flowers. We visited the gardens at Nymans recently and although I usually prefer the plain yellow Primula vulgaris, I was rather taken by these three brightly coloured primulas with names like ‘Lipstick’ and ‘Chameleon’. Jekyll was influenced by the colours in JMW Turner’s ‘The Fighting Temeraire’ and if you use your imagination, these primulas could reflect the colours of a blazing sunset behind a warship being towed down the Thames to retirement.

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Jim Stephens says:

    Two more for the shopping list, the Chionodoxa and Pushkinia. There seems to have been an explosion of new snazzy primrose varieties this year, I don’t think they sit well with my wild primroses so they get confined to pots. That one at the bottom is a beauty though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. janesmudgeegarden says:

    The photo of the butterfly on the cherry blossoms would make the stoniest heart sing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. fredgardener says:

    Thank you for sharing the Puschkinia. I didn’t know that one so far and the blue lines are very pretty. Do you know if they will remain in bloom longer than chionodoxa? I have chionodoxas higher than yours and I found that they didn’t remain long in bloom (already faded), maybe the variety? or drought because I don’t know about you but I had to water these days …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not sure but will report back on how long they remain in bloom. I am going to have to water too this weekend – worrying for March!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Chloris says:

    I love all the early little bulbs too and they spread and last for years. In theory, I agree with you about our native primroses but in practise I can’t resist all the delicious spicey and tawny or wine and jewel shades they come in. I started with Barnhaven hybrids and then went on to some of the early doubles and hose- in -hose and then onto some lovely hybrids coming out of Ireland and it just goes on and on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely, unusual selection of spring plants. My pink primula was featured in Six-on-Saturday a few weeks ago. I thought it had finished flowering but it is continuing to produce more blooms and it’s filling out. I will put it in next week.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. cavershamjj says:

    Lovely photos, must get some different spring bulbs this year, those look very pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lovely spring flowers, the butterfly is a special photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Heyjude says:

    The Puschkinia libanotica is a beauty. I might have to add it to the autumn list which is growing day by day. And love the cherry blossom and butterfly picture. Shouts out ‘spring’ to me 🌼

    Liked by 1 person

  9. One Man And His Garden Trowel says:

    The Chionodoxa luciliae ‘Rose Queen’ are lovely. May have to seek those out to add to the blue ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Noelle says:

    Some great additions to the Spring garden. I am already making notes of where to plant Chionodoxa…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. JohnK says:

    The want list grows ………… Lovely six. Still waiting for my tree cherries to show signs of life. Only the shrubby ones are flowering here.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Like there’s here, I never seen or even heard of Puschkinia libanotica (copied and pasted that one!). It’s like Dutch delft China. Very pretty and definitely added to my list.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pushkinia…..really nice jotting down that one for future reference.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You’ve grown some lovely little treasures from bulbs this year. So worth it and you’ve given me some new ideas. Love your peacock butterfly – I saw my first one last week too. They really gladden the heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. tonytomeo says:

    Pushkinia is so compelling. I have never seen a real one. Nor have I seen a Chionodoxa. They seem to be popular in some regions. I can only get them online or by mail order, but am hesitant to try them until I determine why they are not popular here. It might be that they dislike our climate.

    Liked by 1 person

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