February already, and the garden is quietly beginning to slough off its slumbers as the days draw out once more.

Miscanthus sinensis Undine winter stems

It’s almost time to cut back those stems that have valiantly stood through the winter, to make way for the new growth that will soon erupt through the borders.

winter frosty morning in the garden

Horses grazing on a frosty morning

Even the most ragged of stems and seedheads take on a magic of their own, sparkling in the low winter light of a frosty morning Рas does an otherwise unremarkable wooden gate.

Frost on gate

Beneath the burnished copper foliage of the beech hedge, a glimpse of gold amid those muted winter colours and textures announced the arrival of our earliest daffodils (Rijnveld’s Early Sensation), bursting into bloom along the front boundary.


Rijnveld's Early Sensation

A few weeks later than last year, but a very welcome sight as they began to open early in January; these daffodils are really bulking up now. While there are still some gaps between clumps I am determined this year to mark them, so that when the foliage has died back later in the year I can safely interplant a later variety to carry on the show in future years once these flowers fade.

Rijnveld's Early SensationOther old friends are also making their return; the first hellebores include the short-lived apple-green corsican hellebore, Helleborus argutifolius, and Metallic Red Lady.

helleborus argutifolius

Hellebore Metallic Red Lady

A glimpse of primrose yellow gleaming deep in the field border though was the one to make my heart soar. On a dull day (of which there are still sadly quite a number), these flowers really sing out amid the rough tangle of drab browns in this border.



I bought this beautiful Harvington clear yellow-flowered hellebore in bloom a couple of years ago, and was sad not to find any flowers on it upon its reappearance last year (though the new foliage was a welcome sight.) I hoped it was simply resting after being forced into bloom for retail the previous year, and thankfully this would seem to be the case. Whew!


I’m also pleased to see the return of all three dark-leaved ‘Brazen Hussy’ celandines, bought cheaply last year as they went over. Somewhere there should also be some winter aconites, but I have yet to spot these. ¬†They’ll be hard to miss if they flower!

With the first snowdrops opening, there is something new appearing in the garden almost every time I look – and new lambs in the neighbouring field. What a marvellous time of year this is.


11 thoughts on “Glint

  1. Your early Daffs are putting on a glorious show. Brazen Hussey is a welcome sight when it reappears in the spring, I must go and check mine out when it stops raining.

    • They’re a welcome sight after the drab winter. Looking forward to more gold appearing soon too when the celandines join in with flowers. I must change my feed to your new site!

      • [J] We (in particular me – J) have been through such times – one gap in the big garden blog is more than a year long. In fact we had to use a whole can of WD40 to get it going again ;~) Catch the ideas as the drift into your head, make a quick note and some pictures, and if you don’t find the time to turn it into a post, store away the bits for possible re-use another time, and wait for the next inspiration. If you’re struggling, reject the thought you somehow need to catch up on or explain big gaps. Don’t try to paint a big picture – just focus on the here and now, or just possible the there and then, but always a simple idea expressed well. This is not FB, WordPress readers are it seems to me sympathetic, patient and interested in you – in us! – just as we are, for what we are, our individual life story and struggles. That’s D and I, anyway!

    • Thanks Cathy. Definitely still enjoying the garden even if most time in it is spent chasing an energetic little boy around! I never tire of our landscape here, we are blessed with marvellous views.

  2. The daffodils look fresh and give a taste of milder times – though it is very cold and wintry here in Yorkshire at the moment. What variety are they? None of mine are in flower yet despite the buds swelling out.

    • It’s lovely to see so much colour naturally so early. They are Rijnveld’s Early Sensation, some years they’ve been in Bloom at Christmas! The only drawback is that they die back as most daffodils are starting into flower, which is why I hope to interplant them with a later variety to prolong the show.

  3. Oh you must have been so delighted to see your lovely yellow hellebore flower reappear this year. I hope that the aconites have been equally considerate.

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