greentapestry : 'Follow The Yellow Brick Road'

Sunday, 13 February 2011

'Follow The Yellow Brick Road'

Events outside the garden and lottie are taking up much of my time at the moment so no time for a diary post last weekend. I have been away for almost a week and on returning home I had a good wonder round the garden yesterday. Although it is still early in the year so much had happened in a short spell, no doubt prompted by a spell of warmer weather. The snowdrop clumps in the garden are now at their best, although the 'national collection of snowdrops' is in a sad state. I wrote about their frail state here. Since then there has been further wailing and gnashing teeth of as many of the survivors are not showing any signs of flowers this year. Oh what a to do. I can only hope that they revive but now face another twelve months to find out. More hellebores have opened and I am waiting for some to show their true colours for the first time this year. Iris 'Katharine Hodgkin' have opened and crocuses have croaked. All this colour out of nowhere in the space of a few days. It is too wet to be outside taking photos today so here is one of this exquisitely marked  iris that I took at my one and only visit to an RHS London winter show back in January 2006. Such show visits are a great way to dispel the winter blues but week day train fares from London make it too much of an expensive proposition these days.

I have not had a chance to visit the allotment but my trusted deputy himself has been down for a reccie. The work with the new fencing continues. Himself spoke to the contractors as some top soil is needed and they have agreed to drop some off onto the plot in the next week. Then I must get down to some work myself to get things into shape ready for the first inspection of the year in early April.

New to my bookshelves this week is the new edition of 'The Yellow Book,' the purchase of which always gives me a delicious tingle as it makes me think that spring is really on the horizon. I imagine that many of you are familiar with 'The Yellow Book' but just in case any introduction is needed, the book lists and describes  all the gardens in England and Wales, which open to visitors to raise funds for charity under the National Gardens Scheme. Although the information that the book contains is available online, I still get a lot of pleasure from dipping into pages full of descriptions of gardens both great and small. I have already penciled in a snowdrop garden to visit soon and an allotment site in June. Later on in the year I plan to cross the border over to North Wales, to be inspired by some colourful late summer planting here in Karen's, 'An Artists Garden's real life garden.


  1. Dear Anna, It is so true that at this time of year progress in the garden is often fast and furious...or nothing at all!! I do so hope that your Snowdrop specials are safe. It is so distressing when one's choice acquisitions are shy to flower, but in my experience they seldom die but may take a while to fully settle themselves in. Iris 'Katherine Hodgkin is indeed beautiful!

  2. I should have been doing something on the allotment yesterday as the weather was so good, but I decided to play hookie and had a family outing instead. I do hope your snowdrops put in an appearance, I would hate for you to lose the whole lot. I quite agree that online information, though invaluable in some cases, isn't the same as holding a book in your hands. I'm hoping to visit some gardens under the ngs scheme this year. It's so good that worthwhile causes benefit from us having a good nosey at other people's gardens.

  3. Oh I must get my yellow book - hope to be able to get to Karens on the big day as well.

    It is amazing how much has changed in the garden in the last week, in fact even in a few days there seems to be more and more appearing. Quite exciting

  4. Anna - I am delighted that you have penciled in the date all-ready - it is so lovely to know that I will have at least one visitor - two if Helen makes it!

    We have reached that moment in the year when we are poised to take a deep breath and not look up agin until October -

  5. Anna you've got your own little collection! I really do hope that they pick up soon. Maybe they just need another year to establish.

    I think that the little iris is just so beautiful - it will be a few more weeks before I have anything as nice as this flowering.

  6. Its that time of year, isn't it, when everything starts to move faster and faster and you can wind up feeling as if you are clinging on for dear life! I find myself resenting things that stop me from taking advantage of the few dry days to garden or progress at the allotment. I really must get myself a yellow book, the chance to nose around other people's gardens and raise money for charity in the process in unbeatable. I didn't realise allotments made it in there too, I must check that out, I will need inspiration.

  7. Hi Anna, thanks for telling me about the Yellow Book! We are considering a garden tour to England this year, and it sounds like just what I need. I'm amazed that your irises are already open and just lovely. So far it's only snowdrops in my garden (and hellebores), and significantly fewer than last year, so maybe that can vary from year to year.


All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at :


- Anna.