Spring Treasures

Spring is gathering pace, the welcome sunshine illuminating drifts of early flowers throughout gardens.

Clump of snowdrops in spring sunshine

While my days are usually focused indoors at the moment…

Baby hand grabbing soft block

…I have been keen to get back out into the garden for more than a cursory stroll, and in the past week grabbed a couple of all-too-brief opportunities to get my hands dirty while the little one was being entertained by his daddy or granny – for part of the time he was wrapped up warm in his pram nearby, watching keenly as I pulled out handfuls of leaves from the long border and chopped down the decaying old stems to make way for the new shoots which are already emerging.
Hellebore budIn the space of a few days this fat hellebore bud unfurled its pale speckled petals.

white hellebore in flower

Across the garden, Helleborus x hybridus ‘Red Lady’ is blooming for the first time since my Mum gave it to me a couple of years ago as a young plant. Standing in the shade of the old birch tree, it has been hard to get a decent picture, but it is far lovelier than this snatched glimpse can convey.

Hellebore Red Lady in flower

The crocuses are in full sway now too, from the beautiful deep dark purple Crocus vernus ‘Negro Boy’ which return year after year (but seem sadly slow to bulk up, here at least)…

Crocus vernus 'Negro Boy' dark purple flower

…to the far daintier Crocus chrysanthus ‘Prins Claus’ whose white flowers are gently marked with purple on the outside…

Crocus chrysanthus ‘Prins Claus’

and the brash and blowsy Crocus vernus ‘Jeanne d’Arc’ whose dazzling white flowers are barely touched with the faintest of purple stripes on their stems.

Crocus vernus 'Jeanne d'Arc' white flowersI love the deep vibrant orange of their stamens contrasting against the brilliant white, and these ones look particularly handsome against the newly emerging red foliage of Euphorbia martinii.

Crocus vernus 'Jeanne d'Arc' flowers of pure white with vivid orange stamens

Another euphorbia plant makes a pleasing pairing with a self-sown primrose nearby.

Primrose and Euphorbia martinii in spring

With the leaves removed from the woodland end of the long border, the bare ground of winter is quickly being colonised by growing spring flowers: hellebores, primroses, pulmonaria, spears of daffodil foliage and other shoots.

Patch of spring flowers emerging

Such a marvellous time of year to get down on hands and knees and be reunited with old friends just beginning to push up through the earth. Again I’m thrilled to see the red shoot of my tiny Paeonia mlokosewitschii, which has only so far produced a scant pair of plush leaves in the two years since I pushed the tiny dormant pot into the autumn ground. Its re-emergence is full of promise that perhaps this year it will start to establish and produce a less modest showing, hopefully to equal the lovely plant spotted last Easter in Bristol’s Botanic Gardens, resplendent with fat buds.

Paeonia mlokosewitschii at Bristol Botanic Gardens


8 thoughts on “Spring Treasures

  1. Lovely post, gorgeous photos… and, as someone who apparently spent all sorts of time outside in her pram while her mother worked in the garden, I can assure that this sort of thing rubs off…

    Hooray for spring!

    • Thanks Kate, he seemed quite content to sit watching for a while in the warm spring sunshine, though probably wondering why his mummy kept ripping out huge brown bits from the border and throwing them onto the lawn.
      I’ve just realised I copyrighted all my pics 2014, ha ha, the wonders of sleep deprivation!
      Hooray indeed for spring x

  2. I agree with Kate and soon the weather will be warm enough for regular and longer excursions into the garden 🙂 Euphorbia martinii is such a tantalising colour Sara – if only I did not suffer from skin allergies. I hope that your Molly The Witch eventually reaches the girth of that magnificent plant in the botanic gardens. Have you grown your plant from seed?

    • Thanks Anna. I bought my Molly as a tiny 7cm pot of dormant earth from Great Dixter three autumns ago 🙂 where I suspect it was seed-raised earlier that year…

  3. Isn’t it lovely to watch those hellebore buds swelling and then unfurling? You must be quietly pleased to be out in the garden again and able to divert your attention away from Hillward Junior for a little while

  4. Hey, aren’t Hellebores difficult to photograph? It’s almost as if they are too shy to show their faces, and they often live in shady places.

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