greentapestry : January 2016

Friday 29 January 2016

Just Now

my favourite is galanthus elwesii 'Rosemary Burnham' which has opened up this week. It could well be something else when more 'drops open over the next couple of weeks. Brian from Our Garden@19 asked recently whether I had a favourite. How do you choose from a bevvy of beauties? I think though with some agonising that I could probably narrow it down to half a dozen or so, which might be the subject for another post.

However for now 'Rosemary Burnham' is my leading lady. She is a snowdrop that I fell in love with at first sight albeit long distance when I saw her on various web sites. She was first discovered growing in Canada in the late 1960s by a lady of the same name. It was some considerable time before she was available to buy here and intitially the price she sold for was exorbitant. However after patiently waiting for several years I was able to treat myself to a dormant bulb last summer. I have been holding my breath since and was most relieved to see a green nose poking through the compost last month. As she is new I'm not sure whether she is flowering early/on time/late especially given the weird winter weather we've experienced. Like most virescent snowdrops she has the reputation of being a bit miffy to grow so please, please keep your fingers crossed for my bulb. 

Tuesday 19 January 2016

And The Winner Is .........

the lovely Shirley who blogs over at Shirls Gardenwatch! Please email your address Shirley so that galanthus 'Wendy's Gold' can wing her way over to you. 

The address is :

Many thanks to everyone who commented and entered the draw. I wish that there had been enough gold to share with all of you. I may though have the odd surplus bulb or two though as the year goes on so watch this space.

In other news it was cold this weekend and we saw some snow - not much but it was a relief to get some proper winter weather. the sort that might do some damage to the mollusc population. I'm not sure how the birds must have felt about it but keeping their refreshments topped up was a priority. I enjoyed being warm and snug inside looking out.

Illustration by Lena Anderson.

Friday 15 January 2016

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day ~ January 2016

It's so c-c-c-cold out there this morning - the ground is peppered with some sort of white precipitation which may have included the odd snowflake or two. The jury is still out on this. Before gloves became an item of vital clothing, I nipped into the greenhouse to take a photo of my newest special snowdrop. It only arrived last week and which is the source of much pleasure. This is galanthus 'Trumps' which I've killed off at least once before. I was talking to a good gardening friend about it recently and confessed to two previous murders of the same bulb but now think my memory has got snowdrops confused so I'm not a serial killer yet. Anyway fingers crossed that this one is in for a long life.

I mentioned in my last post that I am giving away one bulb of galanthus 'Wendy's Gold'. This is a snowdrop which I've managed to nurture for several years now. It seems to be a tough customer and clumps up well. If you would like to be entered for the giveaway all you need to do is comment on my last post here by the end of the day on Sunday 17th January. Sadly I can only post to UK bloggers in this instance.

Thanks as always to the lovely Carol over at May Dream Gardens who provides us with the opportunity to share our blooms each month. The pen and notebook are already to hand.

Saturday 9 January 2016

A Flurry Of Snowdrops

There may well be some freezing white precipitation before long but in the meantime there are snowdrops flowering a plenty inside the greenhouse (please excuse the state of the windows, cobwebs etc.). This is part of my small collection of named galanthus, many of which are flowering earlier than usual. There are usually a few that come out early in the new year, some before, but the last couple of months has seen many open before their anointed time. Although the UK has experienced some very mild late autumn/early winter temperatures I think that there are other reasons that might be behind such an early wake-up call, namely :
  • The snowdrops sit outside for a good part of the year but come under cover so that I can appreciate them in the dry and at close quarters. Although there have not been any prolonged cold spells (only one frost to date) which might harm potted bulbs, they came in earlier than usual because it was so wet in November. The pots were oozing moisture so I thought it might be an idea to get them in under cover.
  • Nearly all the snowdrops were repotted whilst they were dormant - not only did they have fresh compost but they were also all treated to a good dollop of leaf mould in each pot. 
  • All my snowdrops were treated to food last year. If only I could remember whether I used tomato food or a seaweed based food!
Anyway early or not I'm not complaining too much, as these little flowers give me so much pleasure and entice me of my January lethargy into the greenhouse. Yesterday saw some new arrivals in the post which hopefully I can share with you soon. In the meantime I would like to celebrate my snowdrop bounty and am kicking off the year with a giveaway. I have a surplus bulb of galanthus plicatus 'Wendy's Gold' which you can see in flower below :

She is a most attractive snowdrop which grows and increases well. The colour of the ovary and the inner markings can vary from a limey - green to a pale golden yellow. 

All you have to do to enter the draw is to comment on this post by the end of Sunday 17th January. Unfortunately I can only post 'Wendy' to UK residents. I will announce the name of the winning recipient as soon as possible after that date. If she comes to live with you she can either continue to live in a pot or be planted in the garden.

Friday 1 January 2016

Musing in January

"January cold and desolate;
February dripping wet;
March wind ranges;
April changes;
Birds sing in tune
To flowers of May,
And sunny June
Brings longest day;
In scorched July
The storm-clouds fly,
August bears corn,
September fruit;
In rough October
Earth must disrobe her;
Stars fall and shoot
In keen November;
And night is long
And cold is strong
In bleak December."

~ Christina Rossetti, 1830 -1894 - The Months
This poem sums up the weather pattern that I grew up with but "the times they are a changing". At the start of a new year I'm wondering what the weather holds in store for us this year. Let's hope it's a more gentle year for our planet. Happy New Year!