Six on Saturday- a walk round my garden, 9th February

I’ve got a pair of old nursery trolleys made out of metal with wooden plank tops. They are perfect for moving compost and plants about the garden. They hook together so in theory your could pull two. Usually we just use one at a time. They also make a good platform for a spring bulb display. It’s lovely to see my grandfather Ted Foulds’ Sankey terracotta pots out on show. He used to love to visit my garden each week and “walk the estate.” He had a good sense of humour and was a very kind man.

Iris Katherine Hodgkin is just coming into flower. So pretty, with markings that look as if they’ve been drawn in blue ink. Behind them, there’s royal blue Iris Harmony, and pale yellow Katherine’s Gold- a sport of Katherine Hodgkin, and new for me this year.

Behind the iris pots is an old zinc container full of Hyacinth Blue Jacket. It’s a beautiful deep velvety blue flower, and the scent is fabulous. I grew them from prepared bulbs, started last autumn. Some flowered for Christmas, but by leaving a few in a cold poly tunnel, I’ve spread the flowering over a longer period. It’s just now that I start to need some colour in the garden. I’ll put some hazel sticks in amongst the bulbs to support them. Those flower buds look so promising on a freezing cold day.

Still on the subject of bulbs … I never know how these posts are going to go on a Saturday, I usually just roam about the garden taking a few photos, and somehow a theme emerges. This week, it’s early bulbs. Here in the wild garden there’s cyclamen Coum and winter aconites Eranthis hyemalis. I didn’t plant them exactly in this spot. Mice or some other creature has carried them here. I actually planted them further across to the left, about 3 metres away. Still, they are thriving here, so who am I to complain. I’ll not disturb them now, or fight nature.

I’m pleased to see the snowdrop corner is finally starting to get going. I planted these yellow and white snowdrops two years ago after sharing a purchase with a friend. It’s the most I’ve ever spent on snowdrops, £12.50 for three little bulbs. And I probably won’t do it again. But they are such pretty things. I’m delighted to see they have doubled in number this year. They obviously like the leaf mould and undisturbed spot, under ash and willow trees.

Talking of trees, one of our huge beech trees had to be felled this week. It was leaning precariously towards the house roof. I can hear the chain saw sounds right now as my husband chops it up for next year’s firewood. I always feel sad when we have to chop down a tree. But it’s opened up a patch of sunlight in the paddock. Maybe I’ll plant something lovely there in its place. Meanwhile, I can’t stop gazing at the green mossy logs. They are a thing of beauty, don’t you think.

As you can see from my view from the potting shed window. There’s plenty more trees in the garden. We really ought to thin them out some more. But I can only face doing it a bit at a time. I’m very averse to change, and I’m getting worse. I would probably like time to stand still. But with gardens, as with everything in life, that’s not going to happen.

Six on Saturday https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/six-on-saturday-09-02-2019/

Cyclamen Coum https://www.gee-tee.co.uk/bulbs/cyclamen/cyclamen-coum

Eranthis hyemalis https://www.gee-tee.co.uk/bulbs/eranthis/eranthis-hyemalis

I wrote about Ted Foulds here https://bramblegarden.com/tag/tulips/

62 thoughts on “Six on Saturday- a walk round my garden, 9th February

    • Thanks for reading, Jim. I’m afraid the whole garden is covered in cow parsley all summer. It would be impossible to weed it out. It seems to look just right for us though and for a few weeks the garden looks like it is filled with white lace. You could grow epimediums, Pulmonaria, geraniums, summer turkscap lilies, if you were more in control of your weeds. Sadly we are not. Enjoy your weekend

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  1. Great post this morning! I am going to read the three other posts too! I am especially interested in those pots! This week they were mentioned in the snowdrop book I have been reading and I didn’t know what the author was talking about. Oh those Irises, aren’t they just gorgeous! I ordered some that will come in March and they said they MAY bloom this year…….I’ll see. I have one, old. old, old zinc pot. It is huge and every year I plant something different in it. Who knows what will be in it this year!

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    • Thank you for reading. The snowdrops have looked really lovely this year. They started early due to the mild weather, and they seem to be lasting well. Good luck with your irises. I’ve just planted some summer ones too. I’ll use them in my flower arrangements for my Mum and Mum in law. Enjoy your garden 🙂

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  2. What a beautiful display of bulbs for the first week in February – I think you may be about a month ahead of us! That is a very evocative last photo to finish on. Do you have much success getting your irises to repeat flower? I seem to be ok the first year then they dwindle a fair bit. I suspect I should keep them somewhere drier through the autumn and winter?

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    • Thank you Keith. That tree is just past the end of our garden. I love the winter shape of it. These iris were bought and planted last autumn. They were huge fat bulbs from a good supplier. I potted them 50 /50 grit and compost and watered them thoroughly just once. They went under the staging in the greenhouse and were only watered again when leaves were showing. When in flower, I put them on the top shelving, and then outdoors when I need the space for seed sowing. I’ll water with seaweed extract when they’ve finished flowering until they die back, then I’ll either transplant into the wild garden under beech trees, or push the terracotta pans up against the eaves of the house where it’s dry for the summer to have a dormant period. Good luck with yours. Feeding after flowering seems to be the answer, plus keeping them dry all summer, and bringing back into growth in autumn.

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    • Thanks for reading, Noelle. These were all fresh bulbs planted in autumn in 50 50 grit and compost, watered once and then left to grow. Watering too much causes them to rot. You can give them more water when you see them starting to flower. These pots were pushed under the greenhouse staging all winter, and just brought out when they flowered. I’ve put them all outdoors now as I need the space in the greenhouse. When they have finished flowering, I’ll feed with liquid seaweed and then I’ll transplant them into the woodland garden under the beech trees where they will be dry all summer. Otherwise, some terracotta pots can be pushed up to the house wall under the eaves to stay dry there till the autumn. Feeding after flowering ensures the bulb bulbs up for next year. Keeping them dry over summer when they are dormant stops them rotting and gives them the dormant period they need. Hope this helps.

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      • Thanks… I will plant some in pots for my shelf next season…..and be sure to give the clump in the garden some seaweed feed. They have really cheered up up since the start of the year.

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    • Thank you Laura. I often think that I’ve started this garden, and that some other hand has just continued the work. Another lovely reader described them as spread by “gnomes.” I rather love that idea too. Thanks for reading.

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  3. Karen the photos are magnificent. Your Grandfather would be very proud that you use his precious terracotta pots with such beautiful blooming bulbs. The panorama is spectacular, I love it, with Hyacinths, Daffodils and Iris. Kindergarten cars should be great (I’m healthy envy of them :)) Iris Katherine Hodgkin is wonderful. The royal blue Iris Harmony is divine. The pale yellow Iris Katherine’s Gold is a beauty: I love them all. I love the zinc container filled with Hyacinth Blue Jacket with moss on top. The Cyclamen Coum with its dark pink flowers and the Eranthis hyemalis yellow as the sun and moved by the gnomes, I like them very much, very much both in the wild garden. The white and yellow Snowdrops are fascinating. Karen yes, you’re right, the mossy trunks are adorable. The view from the shed is very beautiful seeing as many trees, living beings as the plants: I could not remove them either because they inhabit wild life. Divine sunset with the tree in the foreground. Thank you very much for all the links, I have entered all and I have loved. For your Mother, love and memories from me. For your family and for you, love, health and strength. Take care and rest my friend. Very loving greetings from Margarita.

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    • Thank you so much Margarita. I always look forward to your commentaries. They a,ways make me smile, as I see my garden though your eyes. I’m just off to my Mum’s and will see all my brothers. I see them every week, and mum usually twice, or three times. Today also, with much excitement, I’m going to see a rescue puppy! It’s a while since our beloved Arnie died from Cancer. There’s a space in front of our fire for a dog, and I have a bit more time for one now. I miss having one by my side in the garden. Wish me luck! Loving greetings to you all. Xx

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      • Karen, thank you very much for your kind words about me. Arnie is in the sky of animals very happy. That poor puppy does not have parents, especially a mother who cares for him and gives him a lot of love and takes care of him. If you already have a place by the fire for a dog, you would be the perfect mother for him. I would like to have a dog but I am very bad with my back, my hip and now my legs and I am only 45 years old; and my parents are older to get it out. And if he gets sick I can not assure him that I can take him because even that day I can not walk well and I can not pick him up. There are days that I can not drive. Under these circumstances I can not take care of a dog or a cat, even if the house is empty without them. Karen, I wish you good luck as you asked! You are a good friend and an excellent person. Take care. Very loving greetings from Margarita.

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      • So sorry to hear of all your problems with your health. It is so sad. No news as yet. When we went to the rescue centre there were dozens of people all milling about. I filled out the adoption papers and we shall wait patiently to see if we have been successful. I’ll share the joys with you, don’t worry. I feel as if happiness is catching , and I’m sending mine your way. Loving greetings. Take care. Karen xx

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  4. I like those ‘yellow’ iris which I thought were white – and it was good to see more of your garden too. You might have seen a wry smile on my face when you talked of your 3 snowdrops for £12.50 as I would not care to admit how much I have spent on snowdrops in recent years – but I do have a (nominal) upper limit on an individual bulb…

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    • My friend and I laughed all the way home in the car, as we had said when we set off that we wouldn’t be tempted by the expensive snowdrops. When we saw Galanthus Madeline we both loved it, and 6 bulbs in one pot meant we could share it! I’ve been out there looking for all the other named varieties I’ve bought for a few pounds here and there. Not a sign of them. So I’ve learned my lesson….for now 🙂x

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      • Assuming the pot was £25 for 6, that was a brilliant price as that is the sort of price you might expect to pay for just one bulb from a certain well-known supplier – as I did last year, and sadly Madeline is one of this year’s no-shows…. 😦

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      • Oh no! We got ours from Lord hesseltine’s snowdrop garden. Rather grand and expensive there. But the snowdrops were well priced. I’ve looked at some this year- and you are right, they are exorbitant – for one bulb. I’ll wait until they come down in price. Sadly many of the ones I’ve bought for£4 – £7 haven’t even produced leaves this year. Something must have eaten them.

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  5. Cycalmen coum, as well as Cyclmaen hederifolia, are two that I have never seen before. I happen to like the common florists cyclamen; but it bothers me that they are grown as annuals. I grew mine as resilient perennials when I was a kid. I intend to eventually try at least one of the cyclamen that are grown as perennials. They would have a short season here, but I want to try them anyway.

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  6. Lovely to see your bulbs coming up so well. I have finally admitted this year that I can only grow bulbs in pots, other than snowdrops and daffodils. I always thought the mice were to blame but I think it’s also the wet winters we get down here. The poor things drown!

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    • Thank you Jessica. Are you back from your travels? Just in time for spring flowers. Yes, bulbs do just as well in pots to be honest. I’m growing lots of tulips in pots. They always reliably come back each year because I dry them off and don’t let them get soggy. I dream of a beautifully co-ordinated display all in muted shades of blue and yellow. I’ve just seen a magazine photo and sighed. Mine are like a rainbow 🌈 an unplanned mush mash of every colour. Thanks for reading 🙂 xx

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  7. Pingback: Glorious February Days | Rambling in the Garden

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