It struck me yesterday, when Karen from An Artist’s Garden came round to visit my meadow – just getting into its stride – how much I have moved away from the plantaholic I used to be.
(Admittedly I’ve swapped my ornamental plant addiction for vegetables and the meadow, where the narcissi are just opening…)
But there are all sorts of joys already present, and I don’t think I’ve been appreciating them enough. And how many whites there are, among all the yellows (all those daffs, and all the the primroses)…
There are a few white fritillaries out; by and large, they open later than the purples:
I can never get over how unlikely fritillaries are. The whites look almost normal – not like the illustrations in a colouring book which the purples resemble – until you look at the backs, and you can see the faint traces of the squares.
Enough of the meadow for a change.
The whiteness is concentrated in the bottom garden, really, where the Magnolia stellata is now doing its thing, flowering away and resting on the roof of the old pigsty.
When I moved in, I had no idea at all this was here. It was obscured – as was so much – by a big Rhododendron ponticum. It had leaned on the rhody for years, so had to be supported (by a very dead section of rhododendron trunk – can’t think where we got that from, ahem). But it still flowers its socks off.
Some magnolias are very blowsy, almost over the top, but not my stellata. For one thing, it can’t grow much more unless I move it, and there’s no way I’m doing that. Also under the Portugal Laurel are my two camellias, and they are good this year too:
Beneath the magnolia and this double camellia, the ground is covered with ramsons – that would be more whiteness, but they’re not quite in flower yet. Then there’s the single camellia, which usually flowers after the double has turned into an unattractive browny-yellow camellia. This year, they are just coinciding.
Absolutely no idea what either of them is – that’s the trouble with inheriting some lovely plants. Or maybe it’s an advantage; I’d rather have large, mature, abundant camellias and not know what they are, than a spindle with a name that I bought last year. (Actually I want both.)
So now I’m not only fondling my beans, I’m going around peering closely at camellias and the backs of fritillaries. Um…