Hosts of Daffodils

Hurray, the garden is wide awake. Daffodils are dancing a welcome at the entrance (February Gold). In the front garden they adorn the grass under the apple trees beside the drive (Bambi, Lent lily, Tenby daffodil), stand strongly at the back of the bank (trumpet daffodils planted by previous owners), mingle with the pale blue pulmonaria (Bowles blue) in the spring bed (Tete-a-tete) and brighten the ground in front of Viburnum tinus (Rapture and Bridal Crown). Still to emerge are Hawara and Narcissus fernandesii (tiny jewels) in the drive bed as well as Sun Disc. Jetfire in the cottage bed was ravaged by slugs this year.

In the back garden, clumps of daffodils have spread throughout the central bed over the last 30 years (Tete-a-tete, Jenny and Jack Snipe). New plantings in the Yew tree bed include Rijnveld’s Early Sensation (out for some time) and, still to come, Lucifer and Segovia.  Narcissus bulbocodium ‘Golden Bells’ is appearing in the pot of acid compost that holds my red-leaved Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Seiryu’.

Beds in the lower back garden hold groups of pale Thalia, stately Lanarth and Minnow as well as the dwarf narcissi, Bantam and Midget. Thin shoots of Narcissus cordubensis are visible beneath the multi-stemmed Betula utilis var. jacquemontii but I suspect it may not ‘do’. Cornish chuckles, Little Witch, Topolino and Peeping Tom have burst into flower in the small sloping ha-ha bank, where the grass has been weakened by two years of parasitisation by Yellow Rattle- excellent news. New lambs are bleating in the adjacent field- spring is definitely here.


Gales, alpine treasures and crocuses

February came to a dramatic end with gales and rain. The lids on my alpine troughs could not withstand Storm Doris (winds of 60-80mph) and  took off, ending up on the drive. But the troughs look so much better without their covers.

Flowers are opening on some of the tiny saxifrages in the trough I planted up last year- Saxifraga × boydii ‘Sulphurea’ (yellow),  Saxifraga ‘Coolock Gem’  (white) and Saxifraga ‘Rostyly’ (pink). I hope it is not too wet for them. Should I reinstate the covers?

Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ is covered in pink blossom. The sweet scent permeates the gravel area, lingering in the enclosed space of the garage. I prefer the perfume of the daphne to the fragrance of sarcococca (Sweet Box), which I find rather overpowering.

Jewel-like crocuses light up the garden including Crocus tommasinianus ‘Whitewell Purple’ and Crocus chrysanthus ‘Cream Beauty’. I added Crocus sieberi ‘Tricolor’ last autumn. The bands of colour on this crocus-purple, white and yellow-are evident both when the flowers are closed and when they open in the sun. I hope this gem will gradually spread.