Sunday, 17 April 2011


When a new crop of flowers are out I like to take reference photos so here are some which I took a few days ago. I'm working from nearest to the house down to the shed-at-the-bottom.

The marsh marigolds are a bright, strong yellow and that's not a surprise when you know they're related to the buttercup family. The botanical name is Caltha palustris, which means it grows in a bog.

Gillian brought me these cowslips a couple of weeks ago and, despite not being watered, they
have grown remarkably well. Under the green plastic cover on the right are some very tiny ones, protected against Ashley looking for a loo.... Cowslips were known as 'cowslops' (from Old English) because they grew in fields where there were cowslops, ie, cow pats... do you wish you didn't know that? Somehow, this year, I have lots of different tulips so I must have bought packets of mixed bulbs and left them to Gillian to plant or else they are bulbs from a few years ago which were turned out of their original pots and put in to 'see what will happen' to them. Whatever, they look bright and cheerful; the orangey flowers look like a Parrot or Fringed variety. Something - pigeons after fallen sunflower seeds or the badger trekking across the garden - have trampled the daffodil leaves in the background. More tulips with some of the last daffodils still remaining while in the foreground those little knobbly buds are alliums. I bought several varieties from a grower a few years ago and they obviously like my sandy soil as they've self-seeded into the path as well.

Purple honesty pops up without any need to sow seeds, they are so plentiful. The correct name is Lunaria because the seed pods look like a full moon, flat and silvery. They're not usually under the correct name in garden centres! The sort of tasselly growth at the bottom of the picture is Aconitum, or Wolfsbane, and it's poisonous. It has purple flowers which are said to resemble a monk's hood, which is another common name for this plant. At the top right hand corner is my Philadelphus, a double flowered variety, which smells strongly when it's in flower.

Some years ago I fancied growing white honesty - in the days when I actually sowed seed, transplanted etc - but the seed had to be ordered from a family-run garden centre. The leaves were once 2 colours of green but have reverted to plain green but I'm pleased it's still around. It's not a prolific scatterer of seeds but it makes a large plant at this time of year. Behind the weeping birch trunk (cut down as it got too vigorous but sprouting again) is a Weigela 'Victoria' which doesn't grow any bigger than this, between 3 and 4 feet, and has a dark red flower. The Boy, my bird bath with Pan playing his pipes, needs filling again. Pigeons like to bathe in here, perhaps because it's deeper than the bowls on what's laughingly known as 'the lawn'. Forgetmenots are everywhere at the moment despite 'all' the plants being pulled up each year just as they begin seeding. Too late, obviously. But they make a nice blue carpet covering a multitude of things Gillian and I haven't been able to do yet. The tulips are in a blue pot for their second year, just ignored all winter; the pale ones are Holland Chic and the darker, central ones are called Burgundy.

If I remember I'll put some fertiliser on them...

The primroses are still very much in evidence, tucked in with the forgetmenots.

Don't look at the weed in there! These dainty little flowers are epimediums, or Bishops Hat, or even Bishop's Mitre, from the shape of the pointed leaves. They're unobtrusive plants but in the autumn the leaves turn a reddish brown so they have quite a long season of interest.

I wonder what I'll find to write next year.....


Kath said...

I love those tulips Silve. Your garden is charming, very informal and pretty.

Sylve said...

Thanks Kath, I like a comfortable, relaxing kind of garden where everything mixes and matches. I wonder how yours will turn out when it's finished??

painting techniques said...

I like your blog! Great work on these shots with the flowers...Daniel

Sylve said...

Hallo Daniel, thanks for stopping by. I discovered your post when I went into the Spam section so checked it on the blog. I'm pleased you like the photos, it's a fairly new camera so still finding my way round it. I just wish manuals weren't on a disc,not much help when Broadband collapses for the day!