Splashes Of Colour

Torrents of rain, fierce winds and plummeting temperatures continue to push into February.

Bergenia 'Eroica'; Crocus tommasinianus; Pulmonaria 'Blue Ensign'

Yet sometimes the sun breaks through, for an hour here or there, drying up the ground and illuminating stems,  leaves and flowers in splashes of intense colour around the garden. The leaves of Bergenia ‘Eroica’ glow crimson through the winter; a handsome plant which I hope to propagate. It will shortly be joined by some small plants of Bergenia ‘Abendglut’ which I raised from seed last year that are currently overwintering in the greenhouse, to form a ring around the base of the old birch tree in place of the Geranium macrorrhizum which currently scrabble around its roots.

Euphorbia xmartinii foliage in winter

There is more colour from two young Euphorbia x martinii plants, whose dark winter foliage is handsomely tipped with red as they begin to push forth their first acid green flowers.

Hellebore and cyclamen

One or two of our hellebores have flowers shyly hanging down to the dark earth; they reward closer inspection with a glimpse of maroon speckles on ivory skirts. The first flower has also emerged on one of the small pots of Cyclamen coum ‘Maurice Dryden’, pretty in white and pink livery.

primroses, pulmonaria and other February gems

Primroses in shades of butter and cream dance through the borders, while the vivid pulmonarias are so bright that they almost seem to fluoresce in the sun, along with young dogwood stems that range in colour from the ruby stalk of Cornus alba varieties to the orange and yellow flames of Midwinter Fire.

February primroses, geum and snowdrop

The quieter shades of russet from last year’s geranium leaves and the nodding heads of Geum rivale are just as delightful as the stronger colours, while pure white snowdrops punctuate the dark earth.

The hottest colour in the garden is still undoubtedly yellow, although restricted mostly to the front garden where our early daffodils blaze along the fence.  Bright bursts of egg-yolk yellow are just appearing along the back fence as Kerria japonica begins to open its buds, while some of the later daffodils around the garden are now beginning to show slender buds.

Narcissus Rijnveld's Early SensationIt’s astonishing how much colour there is around the garden so early in the year, and I’m continuing to enjoy watching the garden advance.

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18 thoughts on “Splashes Of Colour

  1. How lovely, those moments of sunshine are so precious when we are having so much rain, so many grey days. Interesting to see geum rivale, something I am thinking about growing from seed for my back garden, but that must come later, have just ordered seed for the front garden, and think I need a large polytunnel if I really intend to grow all those things this year!!

    • Precious sunshine indeed, especially while there are still flurries of snow around!
      My Mum gave me a couple of the geum rivale plants, and they form tidy clumps flowering almost all year round. I like their subtle colour – I’ll see if I can save some seed to send your way when you have space.
      Ah, you’ll be amazed how many trays of seedlings you can balance in your greenhouse surely?! 😉

    • Thank you Jason – they both brighten up the ground no end. Most of the primroses were already here, though they have been spreading happily since we began to reclaim the garden from the wilderness.

    • Nooo, your snowdrops are in proper clumps, not like our ones, twos and threes; and you have a meadow full of colour, with pink primroses and everything! We were in N. Devon this weekend and saw pink primroses, such a lovely surprise among the pale yellow ones.

  2. It’s the splashes of colour like these that really gladden the heart at this time of year, with sheer excitement when there is something new! I really like Geum rivale too – I bought one plant when we built our stream and it has really spread and seeded itself around (but I still like it!) so I will always have plantlets to spare if Janet reads this 🙂

  3. Some lovely splashes of colour which is still a bit lacking in my garden though there are a few signs, the hellebores only just starting to open their flowers and I love primroses, you can’t have too many in the garden. I’m looking forward to my daffodils though.

  4. I love primroses and they are so easy to propagate. I’ve got them popping up everywhere. After months of drabness it is great to see colour again. I can’t believe you’ve got flowers on your geum. That really is a treat in February.

    • Primroses are lovely plants indeed.
      The flowers on the geum are unexpected; another plant in the opposite border still carries its seed heads, so not sure what convinced just this one to flower so early!

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