greentapestry : February 2020

Saturday 29 February 2020

February Musing ~ Looking Forwards

Two short snippets to mark the month of February :

"The shingle heavy with dew sparkled in the dawn. A pale blue mist washes over the willows, the larks are up. Such a show of golden crocuses, a ladybird bathes in the pale blue borage - the pussy willow opens - later, in the cold of the dayI walk back home across the shingle - a shimmering opalescent light. Vermeer dipped his brush in such iridescent solitude".

- words from 'Modern Nature' by Derek Jarman.

and ~

"As we sit indoors, looking at the cold rain, nothing seems to move in the garden. But let us go out and look intimately at it, and we see that in spite of this checking weather, growth does not stop.  The perennial bed thickens. Scabious and phlox, delphiniums and veronicas sprout above the earth with their new crowns of leaves. Japonica bursts into flower. The stinging scent of the American currant already comes from shaped buds. Spring is upon us, and will not be hindered by winds or rain, or scurries of snow".

- words from 'Four Hedges A Gardener's Chronicle' by Claire Leighton.

I am wondering what the 'American currant' she mentions is - a form of ribes maybe?

I usually find a seasonal illustration for these monthly musing posts but today I've fast forwarded to early autumn in the shape of a photo I took on a visit in October 2017 to the garden of the late Derek Jarman at Prospect Cottage in Dungeness, Kent.

February here has been an utterly miserable month and to add insult to injury it's a whole extra day longer. Relentless rain and strong wind throughout. The first bee or ladybird of the year remain on the still to be sighted list but surely spring can't be far away. In good faith seed sowing has duly commenced.

Monday 24 February 2020

IAVOM - 'Get Off Of My Cloud'

It's that time of the year to get my cloud out and float some hellebores for this week's 'In A Vase On Monday'. Hellebore floating seems to have come early this year - late February instead of early March. I can only name two of the occupants of my vase namely 'Helleborus Madame Lemonnier' which is the biggest flower you can see and a  recent purchase of a white picotee ( bottom left) from Ashwood Nurseries. I hope that the edge is more distinct next year. The others are just what they are. The cloud was made some thirty years ago or more by a dear friend in her early days of dabbling with clay. She now lectures in ceramics.

In other news a nasty cold wind was blowing most of the weekend and is forecast to get stronger today. There has been the odd spell of dry though which has been most welcome. The first seeds of the year have been sown under cover in the greenhouse and will be getting some additional warmth from the heated sand bench. I have reluctantly decided that I need to pare down on my seed sowing activities and carefully plan sowing this year until I know what my right hand can cope with. I have narrowed the flower seeds list down and will shortly tackle the veg list.

The snowdrops have peaked both in the greenhouse and garden but other colour is emerging quickly - not only the hellebores but also irises, crocuses, little daffies, pulmonarias and primroses. There is also foliage stirring. Taking me by surprise yesterday was the green of the artist formerly known as dicentra specatablis spearing through the earth. My brief sortie outside yesterday afternoon was most satisfactorily concluded by stuffing the green waste bin to the gunnels in readiness for its first collection of the year tomorrow.

With thanks as always to our lovely hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' who is celebrating sunshine this week in the shape of some cheerful little daffodils. We are certainly in need of the odd ray or two at the moment.

Wednesday 12 February 2020

Portrait Of A Snowdrop - 'Amy Doncaster'

Every now and again I attempt to compose a definitive list of my favourite top ten special snowdrops. This is an almost impossible challenge and the list changes slightly each year. Growing in my affections over the last couple of years or so is galanthus plicatus 'Amy Doncaster'. Amy came into my care as a dormant bulb in 2017 if my memory and erratic record keeping serves me right. She was found as a seedling in 1988 in the garden of the plantswoman Amy Doncaster who gardened in Chandler's Ford, Hampshire. She gave it to her friend and fellow galanthophile John Morley of 'North Green Snowdrops' who named it after her. There is also another snowdrop with the name of 'Doncaster's Double Charmer'. If the name sounds familiar there is also a hardy geranium and a ribes speciosum named after Amy.

I'm still struggling to do her justice with a photo. This one was taken on my phone. If you pop over here to the excellent and informative 'Judy's Snowdrops' you can see her both in the shape of a single flower as well as in a sizeable clump. Hopefully mine will reach sizeable clumps size sooner or later.

Amy although not the most vigorous has made reasonable growth since arriving. She was planted out in the garden last winter and looks well. I also have a pot in the greenhouse hopefully containing a spare bulb to share with a friend later this year. This beauty is gently jostling her way into that top ten list.

Monday 3 February 2020

In A Vase On Monday ~ Not Quite What The Box Said

Try as I might I could not bring myself to snip the head of this hippeastrum for this week's 'In A Vase On Monday' so I hope that I'm forgiven. It's in a pot residing on the kitchen windowsill. The box it came in promised a white flower. It seems that I've been watching it for weeks in a state of animated suspension - the hippeastrum not me in case you wonder. I was delighted to see the first flower finally unfurling but when the first colour I could detect was red it was a bit of a let down. I thought that it might turn out to be all red but instead I've ended up with a rather stripy creation A note has been made to self to purchase from a reputable nursery this year rather from that German supermarket the name of which begins with an L. Having said that I bought a rather gorgeous double white hellebore from the aforesaid supermarket last week for the grand price of £4.99. You win some, you lose some.

I see that our hostess Cathy is celebrating some of the forty shades of green in her vase this week over at 'Rambling In The Garden' - do take a peek if you haven't already done so.

P.S. I limited myself to one hellebore purchase but there were some rather nice pale pink spotty- dotty doubles as well. I thought that I would return to buy a second but when we popped in this morning there were only the white flowering ones left.