Spring is round the corner

Sunshine and I was off to visit Ronald MacKenzie’s  snowdrop garden for the first time – Barn Cottage, Shilton OX18 4AB. I was not disappointed and inevitably I have added a few more names to the wish list. I was particularly charmed by the vigorous ‘Emma MacKenzie’ (named for his daughter) and ‘South Hayes’. The tepals, which flare outwards, have a green stripe running down from the ovary to the tip.  I was also very taken with some clumps of miniature narcissi- ‘Bowles Early Sulphur’ and  ‘Candlepower’- which looked lovely amongst the snowdrops. Tiny daffodils amongst tall snowdrops- a reversal of the norm. I suspect my soil may be too alkaline for the little narcissi- still it is worth a try. We are setting off to the Harlow Alpine Show in a couple of weeks where, if I am lucky, I may be able to find out more and make some purchases.

My crocuses are looking great in the sunshine,

but the garden is still being ravaged by molluscs and now wood pigeons. I exposed the very fine Brazen Hussy celandines, when I did some tidying up, and I have watched those pigeons systematically pecking off the striking purple leaves. Now there is a forest of stalks- bother.

Ranunculus ficaria ‘Brazen Hussy’. Intact leaves- but how long until the wood pigeons arrive?