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.
- 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.