I have to confess it’s not the most inspiring time of year in the garden. Outside it’s cold and grey and the plants are looking well, sorry for themselves.
But my mum and I had a little moment of joy this afternoon popping into the Snowdrop Day at Marchants Hardy Plants in Laughton, East Sussex. I think our visit was worthy of a whole other blog post but until I get round to it suffice to say that among this week’s six is a box of five new Galanthus and a rather special hellebore (let’s not mention the price).
I am joining in with The Propagator, host of the evergreen SOS meme who invites us to feature six things from our gardens each week. It’s lovely to be reminded by some of his other followers that there are blue summer skies somewhere else in the world.
1. Hellebore unknown
This purplish hellebore was here when we moved in. I think it’s quite a common garden variety but an ident would be welcome.
2. Helleborus argutifolius
I have Instagram to thank for helping me to identify this self-sown hellebore as the Corsican variety. I think the seeds must have blown in from nextdoor.
3. Helleborus orientalis
This pink hellebore and the white one beside it are part of my little winter garden nestled underneath the bare roses and between a Spirea and a Phlomis, together with some cheery cyclamen and my new Pulmonaria rubra.
4. Hellebore and snowdrops
At the centre of today’s purchases is a rather special hellebore from Graham Gough of Marchants Hardy Plants who had it in turn from Elizabeth Strangman who he worked under at the renowned Washfield nursery in Kent. It doesn’t propagate well by seed but he brought a clump with him to Sussex and this year lifted and divided it to sell – hence the high price tag. It is called Palmina after the heroine of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte – Gough was an opera singer before becoming a plantsman.
Each year this Daphne near our front gate brightens up January and February with her intoxicating lemony scent so I am so excited to see her coming into bloom.
6. Clematis armandii
It’s been on my to do list for months to cut back our Clematis armandii but I guess it’s too late now as the new buds have already formed for an early spring flowering.