It has been bitterly cold this week. Some of my plants are looking decidedly frost bitten. The soil which had been washed quite flat by the torrents of rain, has the heaved up frosted look. This hasn't deterred the Prop from getting out there and seeing to his roses, or even setting out this morning for his every so long run. That chap has stamina, and determination for sure. Each Saturday he sets the pace and leads the pack the whole way: a marathon for sure. Thanks so much: us supporters will be hanging on your coat tails, for 100 metres or so in my case.
No snow except the finest slightest sift of snow powder was left one morning means that there are a few winter bloom opening in the garden.
1. A pale and interesting cyclamen
Cyclamen coum 'Maurice Dryden' has been out in bloom since the New Year, and if and when the sun shines, it is a joy as it catches the low winter sun.
Crocus chrysanthus var. fuscotinctus is the only yellow crocus planted in the back garden, and easy to spot.
Crocus tommasinianus 'Barr's Purple' and Crocus sieberi Firefly are also out: Firefly is easy to spot with its flash of yellow at its throat.
3.Hebe silver Dollar is looking 'pale and chilly'. It is a small slow growing hebe, but ideal for a small garden. The colours appear to be more noticeable than during the summer.
4. I bought a Snowdrop called Galanthus elwesii, a few years ago, and from some seed have now two or three newly flowering bulbs. I was quite happy with this as the original one has 'disappeared'.
As the bulbs are flowering, I decided to pick the blooms. I thought this way the bulbs can build up and produce some good reserves for next year. I noticed the beautiful heart shaped lower green mark on its inner petals with a thin green line leading to the upper mark. Two green marks on the inner petals, and stout blue green leaves are characteristic of elwesii.
Since this snowdrop is in bloom for Valentine's day I am naming this one Galanthus elwesii Valentine. I brought them onto the desk to trawl the internet to see if I could identify it. Someone suggested it could be Lodestar, but the heart shape on these is very distinct. To Mr S: My Valentine.
5. Corydalis Beth Evans is just emerging in the Conservatory bed. A couple of days of warmer weather will see a splash of pink. Oh the anticipation!!!!!!!!!!! From one plant a few years ago, I now have a few in the bed. I love the way these Corydalis, with their beautiful foliage, come up. Corydalis flower in Act I Scene II, as the snowdrops wane , and they quietly melt away and then are followed by late early summer beauties.
6. A few years ago, on trawling the internet, I came across Andrew's blog: Kind Hearts and Corydalis. Later when I joined this weekly get together, I was delighted to see that he also posted here mainly about his favourite set of plants. He is now at the stage in his life/growing corydalis and similar plants to launch out and follow through by selling his plants. Yesterday my first order arrived! Talk about showing how packaging should be done: absolutely delighted to receive perfect plants, all nicely labelled.
No soggy packaging, no escaped soil or grit: Corydalis solida 'Purple Beauty', Corydalis integra, Corydalis solida 'Ruksan's Red', and another Corydalis malkensis to add to the two already in the garden. The Corydalis malkensis card a beauty too!
The plants have had a water, and with a couple of hours of good light, they were looking very perky, and were shrugging off their travel weariness. Until day time temperatures rise above five degrees, they are being sheltered in the cool conservatory then they will be out in the garden: most probably on the display shelf.