Feeds:
Posts
Comments

RIP Des

 Snowdrops on the Avon Bulbs standI don’t often write personal blogs, but my lovely husband Des died unexpectedly this weekend and posts may be erratic for a while to come.

I’m planning on planting snowdrops where his ashes will be scattered, and although he wasn’t a keen gardener, I’ll be able to sit with a cup of coffee and cake (cake being one of his true loves in life!) and think of him at snowdrop time in the years ahead.

RIP Des 1962-2014

Narcissus cantabricusI tweeted this gorgeous Narcissus cantabricus (white hoop-petticoat daffodil) last week as it was such a joyous (and early) sight to behold.  The cone shaped, slightly crimped petals have diminutive sepals dancing around their base and their delicate, wispy leaves highlight these showy little blooms (about 6inches high) to perfection. I glimpsed this arresting clump amongst the alpine planting at RHS Wisley (luckily on one of the drier days last week), but a little research has revealed that they’re a tad difficult to get a hold of. Annoying. Yellow versions of these bulbocodium daffodils, such as ‘conspicuus’ and ‘Golden Bells’, happily, seem much easier to buy.

Wisley don’t sell any N. cantabricus in their plant shop and Avon Bulbs don’t have them in their catalogue, but if they take your fancy, the very friendly Kevock Garden in Scotland will be stocking bulbs later in the year (from their new listings in April), so do get in touch with them and they’ll email you when the bulbs are for sale online again. They also have many other delightful and intriguing bulbs for sale, so definitely worth visiting their site. Kevock Garden, just south of Edinburgh, is open for group visits (and now definitely on my garden visiting list).

Rhododendron dauricum MidwinterOther stunners in flower at Wisley were this delicate Rhododenron dauricum ‘Midwinter’,

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Harry'this rich yellow Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Harry’,

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Harry' uprightwith a very pleasing upright habit,

Daphne Spring Heraldand this white Daphne ‘Spring Herald’, pumping out a deliciously strong, all-pervading winter perfume.

Sarcococca hookeriana var. digynaSarcococca hookeriana var. digyna has to be one of my all time favourite scents though, and I think the more pointed leaves and softer tone of green (and slightly messier shape) just wins out over a Sarcococca confusa.

Wisley car parkFinally, as the light was fading, even the car park had its own wow factor (Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’ flaming away here). RHS Wisley-always worth a visit.

Tardy bulb planting

Narcissi Rijnvelds Early SensationI thought my bulb planting was over for the year, but in a meeting just before Christmas, a new client expressed an interest in daffodils for spring. I’ve never planted daffodils this late before, so I gave bulb supplier Peter Nyssen a call early in January to see: One, if it was still ok to plant and two, if they had any bulbs left. Regarding the former, they said there’s just about time if you do it STRAIGHT AWAY (but the bulbs would flower later than usual) and yes, they had some bulbs left.

Jonqil Baby Moon

So I’ve planted some Jonquils, carefully, so as not to knock any sprouting shoots off and some Narcissi ‘Actaea’ and ‘Rijnvelds Early Sensation’ (thankfully not so sprouting). As I wondered how behind they might be, I had a very timely conversation with flower farmer friend Lizzie about Vernalisation (yes indeed). She’d been speaking to a daffodil grower who noticed that due to the lack of cold weather, his bulbs were a few weeks behind in flowering. Strange that, but many plants need a cold period to kick-start or accelerate flower production. Having said that, I’ve also noticed that some daffodils in neighbours’ gardens have popped up already, complete with flower heads, which annoyingly doesn’t quite fit in with the Vernalisation theory during this very mild (so far) winter. The more I know, the less I know!

Meanwhile, another friend confided in me that she’s often planted daffodil bulbs in February and they’ve always come up a couple of months later. Very reassuring, and I’m looking forward to finding out when these joyous bulbs will eventually bloom.

p.s. I’ll also be planting Allium bulbs tomorrow.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,990 other followers

%d bloggers like this: