Saturday, March 15, 2014

Garden Blogger's Blooms Day March 2014

Another 15th of the month and a chance to show what's flowering in my Plymouth garden for Garden Blogger's Blooms Day.

We've had a very wet, but also quite mild winter.  That, combined with some fine, sunny and - for the time of year - quite warm weather has really brought out some early spring flowers.  Even my Magnolia 'Raspberry Ice' has been hurried into opening its buds - though the main display is still a few days away.  Even the few flowers that are open look better against a bright blue sky after the leaden heavens that have been commoner this year.

Magnolia 'Raspberry Ice'
Stars of the show are the camellias.  Rather than just show closeups of the flowers I thought I'd show them in context this time round.  This is 'Donation' in the front garden, part of a mixed planting of Phormium 'Tricolor' and Rhododendron 'Wilbrit'.

By the front door 'St Ewe' overtops my ever increasing shrub of the variegated Pieris 'Flaming Silver', also in flower at this time of year.

In the rear garden 'Cornish Snow' is putting on its usual show of single white flowers, petals crumpled as though they had only just got up.

Camellia 'Cornish Snow'
'Anticipation', also in the rear garden, is not making much of a show this year.  So, I'll have to break my promise and just show a single bloom.

Camellia 'Anticipation'
At ground level I remembered to cut my epimediums back this year.  Often I forget and the first flowers emerge among the wreckage of last years rather tatty leaves.  There is only one in flower at the moment - but it's very welcome.

Epimedium x versicolor 'Sulphureum'
Clematis cirrhosa 'Freckles', my multi hued collection of semi wild primroses, and Ranunculus ficaria 'Brazen Hussy' are showing one or two flowers but are not as interesting as the ones above.  However three bulbs are producing some additional colour.

Pale blue Muscari armenaicum 'Valerie Finnis' I much prefer to the commonplace dark blue grape hyacinth that seems to be in every garden around me.  It's just beginning to open.  Another few days and it will be in full flower.

Muscari 'Valerie Finnis'
Erythronium 'Pagoda' has flowered early this year.  It's normally the beginning of April.  Slow to increase, eventually I'll have a large clump.  I hope.

Erythronium 'Pagoda'
Finally, I mentioned last year that my plant of the South African corm, Chasmanthe bicolor, had flowered for the first time in a few years.  It's done even better this year.  I potted some of my corms up into a large tub and there are flowers emerging on a good many of the individual plants.  Half-hardy, this one, the foliage being winter green and requiring mild conditions to get  through.  Unusual rather than spectacular, the individual flowers with their purple stamens are still very interesting and a pretty thing to finish off on.

Chasmanthe bicolor
As always, click the pictures to embiggen.

As ever, my thanks to May Dreams Gardens for hosting the Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day meme.  Head over there to see what's flowering in many more gardens round the world. 


  1. Your Camellias are lovely. Our harsh winter this year was not kind to some of mine, particularly the whites.

    I looked back at your Bird in the previous post. So beautiful. Just once I'd like to bring a Strelitzia to bloom. I am going to try again this year.

    1. We've had a very mild winter this year. No snow and virtually no frost - so things are early.

      Strelitzias need to be a decent size before they flower and if they're pot grown (mine are) need to be a little root bound so don't be tempted to keep moving them on into larger pots. Once they start they should flower twice a year, in spring and autumn - but they'll need a lot of light if they're indoors.

    2. E. Pagoda is very early, mine is still in tight buds. I love M. Valerie Finnis, it is very similar to one I have called Jenny Robinson which was one that came from the garden of a great plants woman who lived down the road from here.

    3. Yes, it surprised me as well - but it has been very mild down here. A little bit of light frost on a couple of days this winter and that's been it.

  2. Your magnolia is lovely, I have ‘Heaven Scent’ and it is almost finished flowering. I didn’t know the Erythronium 'Pagoda', had to look that one up, lovely plant. I still haven’t had any frost in my London garden, I hope the rest of March hasn’t got any silly things in store for us – like snow, the forecast is for colder weather but I hope it will be above zero in my garden.