Spring is sprung – maybe…


Ok, it’s here. My snowdrops are over, the daffodils are flowering, the equinox is passed, the Garden Club spring show is on Wednesday: it’s spring. Of course, it’s still $3!!**5% cold at night (we’ve had frosts) and there’s a nasty bite to the wind, but I’ve almost run out of chopped logs so it has to be spring.

And anyway, this has happened. Colour has come back to the garden, and not before time:


I do love my chionodoxas.

The wonderful chionodoxa carpet, which I feared had been disturbed by the taking down of the rowan and consequent rebuilding of the wall above which it spread, is back. The little darlings have shrugged off emergency tree surgery, gales, demolition, trampling, me helping, men with chainsaws, men with boulders and the attentions of the Hell Hound of Harlech. In fact, I think they’re better than ever. They’re spreading, too.

I love my chionodoxas, and I love my primroses as well. They’re coming out in their hundreds – it will soon be thousands – and they are everywhere.

prims and chio

They’re in amongst the chionodoxas, the daffodils, the hedges. They’re in paths, beds, the lawns, walls. They run riot in the meadow where they appreciate the lack of cutting (in a couple of weeks I’ll be able to see clearly where the paths have been mown in the past by the relative absence of primroses). At present they’re mostly the wild, pale yellow variety…

but then this happens:

coloured primrose

There are more and more of the coloured variants of the wild form, in everything from an almost grey yellow and greyish-pink, through salmon and pale pink to a really deep crimson. They’re not uncommon round here, and the primrose class at the Spring Show always includes a rich range of colours. I was bowled over with them when I first saw them, and I still am. Lovely things.

I’ve a newbie this year: hellebores. I’ve never been really into them; my brother adores them, and I let him fill the vacant hellebore niche in our gardening-mad family. But in recent years I’ve been given some lovelies, all singles, all orientalis:


I need to have three perfect blooms for the show (I know I won’t win, but I’m determined to enter), all of the same variety, and they have to float in a bowl. As does my camellia, which is astonishigly still flowering though it’s been at it since November – it is beginning to look a bit ratty, mind. Or the double one is ratty, the single – well, we’ll see.

The meadow is really starting it’s thing, what with the daffs and the prims and everything – oh, the anemones, how could I forget the anemones?


Mostly deep blue, some paler and a few white. Again, they’re spreading, and I’m so glad they are. Go anemones!

Walking up this way I saw a sort of haze, a blur, a vagueness, over the old bonfire site. Last year I planted it up with some foxgloves from other places in the garden, but that wasn’t it. I even thought it was my glasses. But it wasn’t:

moss flowering

It’s been colonised by the prettiest, softest moss – all flowering away like mad. This is the meadow so I don’t care – and anyway if I tried to eliminate moss from this garden I’d be left with lawns that looked like an outbreak of a particularly virulent skin disease and a nervous breakdown. It’s not going to happen. You have to come to terms with some things. Like the sudden loss of rowan trees. Opportunities, not disasters. And I love the textures of moss. I could have been twisted away form the path of righteousness by winning moss garden classes in the village show when I was a child – and I’m pleased to say there’s a class for them in our show on Wednesday. My one regret is that I’m not either 5 and under or 6–11. Rats.

And it’s sunny, right now, so I’m going out to do a bit of tweaking before I go to work.

colour returns

Or I could just dance around the garden singing ‘The sun has got his hat on, hip hip hip hooray, the sun has got his hat on and he’s coming out to play…’


20 Comments Add yours

  1. Pauline says:

    Fantastic, spring has certainly arrived in your garden! Love your Chionodoxas and the plants in your meadow. I hope you do well with your Hellebore flowers at the show!

    1. kate says:

      Well, I hope so but I’m not really counting on anything – we’ve had snow at this time of year before. But it’s all vanished from the mountains, so…

      Am sure hellebores won’t even be placed, you should see some of the competition. Of course, thee’s always weedkiller. Ahem.

  2. Glorious, just like the weather. My chionodoxos on the other hand are a no- show. Ho hum, more bulb buying for the autumn. My task for the day is to now the grass and sow some seeds. Then weeding. Lots of weeding.

    1. kate says:

      Such a shame with your chionodoxas. I’m wondering if (later in the season) I could perhaps lift a little chunk of wall-topping for you – they might move. Just a thought… or how about planting some in a pot, and then transplanting them once they’ve got cracking?

      Rain. Drizzle. Low cloud. Niwl (great word). Gormod o niwl heddiw.

      1. That’s a lovely generous thought – I think my mistake was picking a place with not enough early spring sun. I shall try them again under the birches. Assuming I get around to clearing the weeds…

        1. kate says:

          Certainly they seem to be really flourishing with extra light here. I mean they’ve always been good, but now they are stunning…

  3. pbmgarden says:

    Pure delight! I love the anemones. Enjoy the flower show and best of luck!

    1. kate says:

      They’re so lovely, aren’t they? I always wanted them, but attempts to grow them deliberately failed. These just arrived!

      Thanks. I’m threatening my amaryllis (‘any other bulb/corm in a pot’) as I type…

  4. Jane says:

    So lovely to see so many beautiful spring blooms. Good luck with the show… even though I know you don’t expect much from it… these things are so inspiring.

  5. Joey says:

    breathe in the beauty
    a spring blooming lushly, then
    dream of a garden

  6. hillwards says:

    Beautiful. Our primroses spread like wildfire too, with a few unexpected pinks – the brighter ones somehow seem too bright to be natural but I do love them all… Must introduce some chionodoxas here too, they’re such a vivid splash of blue.

    1. kate says:

      Isn’t it great to have spreading primroses?! So lucky! I didn’t believe the coloured ones were natural when I first saw them, but apparently they are – and to the best of my (and my elderly neighbours) knowledge, there have been no brightly coloured primulas planted here for at least 50 years. I thought they might have been crosses…

      Do go for the chionodoxas – they’re gorgeous!

  7. wellywoman says:

    Fabulous. Doesn’t this time of year make your heart sing? For someone who doesn’t have any grass in the garden I’m very envious of your spring meadow. Some bulbs just look so much better surrounded by green rather than brown soil. My primroses though are flowering in profusion. I love them and they last ages once picked. That was such a revelation – I thought they’d wilt immediately. Good luck at the show.

    1. kate says:

      It really does – I’m not joking about dancing round singing silly songs – er, though I do feel a little less like doing so after spending yesterday morning moving plants in the rain… still, the best weather for it.

      That’s helpful to know about the primroses – I can pop out and select the best for tomorrow today, rather than taking a chance with the weather tomorrow morning!

  8. Angie says:

    I can clearly see why you love the Chionodoxa – I would too if they grew like that in my garden. There are a few dotted here and there but I love your last shot with the yellow daffs, it might be an idea I could copy. I hope you don’t mind me taking the inspiration from your garden.
    Good luck with your entries, I’m sure you’ll do better than you think.

    1. kate says:

      Feel free – I always say that my garden is essentially nothing to do with me; it does what it wants as long as I don’t interfere too much!

      The chionodoxa get better and better every year. They really seem to like it now that the rowan is down. So it’s really true that every loss is an opportunity, despite it being sad at the time.

  9. Anna says:

    A wonderful time of year. Good luck with the show Kate not that you will need it. You will have to complain on ageist grounds to the show committee. There should be a separate moss garden class for the over 21s 🙂

    1. kate says:

      Um, I’m on the show committee and it didn’t get me anywhere with Shallot Wars, so I can’t see them extending the moss garden ages any time soon. But I’ll give it a go!

      (Once it was suggested, several of us got misty-eyed about childhood entries in flower shows of the past, so maybe I do stand a chance!)

  10. Cathy says:

    I love that last shot too. Sigh…making a moss garden…. 😉 Good luck with your primroses and floating hellebores. How intriguing that the the coloured primroses just sort of ‘appear’….

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