Friday, 11 February 2011

An early Spring

It's all moving a little too fast for me. The mild weather has encouraged growth.
I fear a change of weather........harsh frosts are not something I care to think about at the moment. At this time I am enjoying working in the garden and I truly appreciate all that is around me. Everything is changing, and I almost can feel the sap rising within me.

I love Hazel catkins, I like to watch them dancing in the breeze.


The red flowers are hard to spot, they are so tiny. Look close now.......
Erica carnea 'Springwood Pink' flowers from November to March. They are very wind resistant and do well on this exposed site.
Skimmia japonica 'Rubella' covered in bunches of rosy pink buds. They like shade, too much sun and their leaves turn yellow.
I find the stinking hellebore strangely attractive. The pendulous stems, with their clusters of neat greenish - yellow cup shaped flowers, outlined in reddish - purple are so unusual.......I like them, I really do.
The plant has evolved an unusual way of dispersing its seeds.
They exude an oil that attracts snails; once the snail has consumed the oil, the seed sticks to its slime and is carried away to a new site. Fascinating.
Have a lovely weekend and I hope the weather is kind to you.




24 comments:

  1. Oh, those are wonderful photos! I wish it was remotely as warm here! So nice to see a burst of spring!

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  2. How exciting to have such beauty in your garden now. Seeing this makes me want to see something in my garden soon. Can't be soon enough for me. Amazing that snails can do something that is good for a plant. I had no idea.

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  3. Dear Cheryl, your photos are so delicately pretty, I always have to look at them several times, there is something about their delicacy which takes my breath away, they almost have a mesmeric quality :)

    Things do seem to be moving on apace, I do hope we don't get any damaging frosts but fear we may...

    I love Hazel catkins too and still get a thrill when I discover the first of the season just as I did when a child and just as I did (and still do) with the first Violets and Primroses.

    I can't grow Skimmias or Ericas as we don't have acidic soil, yours look lovely.

    I hope you too have a lovely weekend.

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  4. I forgot to say, that your information regarding the Stinking Hellebores and the snails really underlines the order of Nature and the part which even the humblest (and most maligned) of creatures plays in it!

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  5. Oh! Be still my heart. You have flowers in boom. : )

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  6. Hi Cheryl,

    Lovely photos, things are really speeding up now and I too worry about cold weather which is likely to happen. I just hope the plants and insects survive if it does happen.

    I sowed a bunch of your seeds today in a border... Ragwort, poppies, ragged Robin, wildflower mix to name a few. Thank you so much for sending them to me!

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  7. Hi Sarah....it is wonderful to see flowers and growth in the garden. February feels more like March at the moment.

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  8. Hi Lisa, Any bloom at this time of year is a treasure, is it not?
    Each day I discover new growth or a little shoot peeping through the soil.

    You are only a heartbeat away....your lovely flowers will soon fill your pretty garden.

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  9. Jan, That is so kind of you. I lost connection with my camera recently. Everytime I took a photograph it was not as I wanted. I have struggled these last few weeks. Today our love affair was renewed, so thank you, your words are just what I needed.

    I adore violets. I love the delicate flowers and their exquisite colour. I have to say the primroses are beautiful this year. Each time I look at them I think of you now.

    I find the snail/hellebore thing fascinating.
    I actually like snails.....I know they eat plants and flowers but I find they are not much of a problem in a natural garden. My wonderful song thrush does a fabulous job at keeping the numbers down.....she is a beautiful addition to the garden.

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  10. Hi Liz, I must say I am a little concerned for the bees in my garden. Despite the warmer temperatures and plenty of flowers I have not seen any bees. That is really unusual for this garden. The queen bumblebee usually comes out when the weather warms up but I have not had one sighting. I am concerned.

    I do hope your seeds are successful. Can you imagine all those lovely wildflowers in bloom, alive with insects......the sun beating down.

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  11. Thank you for posting blooms! I am dying to see them already. We have nothing here in NJ. I could stare at these all day. Grats!

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  12. Thank you ONG.....glad they have brought a smile.

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  13. Hi Cheryl,

    Have you considered keeping Bees? I think they'd be an excellent addition to your garden and I know how much love and devotion goes into your existing visitors :)

    Check this blog out: http://curbstonevalley.com/blog/
    This blog is very educational, and has the most amazing posts on their adventures into Chicken and Turkey keeping. If anything it's a nice, interesting read if you don't feel Bee keeping is for you.

    Oh, I discovered a couple of days ago that we also have some Heather in blossom - it's a white form, but I never get to see it because the previous owners planted it behind a, now very large Cotoneaster. It was only when I coppiced the willow behind the cotoneaster that I noticed the heather was flowering... I would move it, but I always kill Heather simply by looking at it!

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  14. Hi Liz, I have seriously thought about keeping bees. The reason I have hesitated is because of the grandchildren. When Poppi is a little older I shall look into and make a decision.
    I feel in my heart there be a bee hive on this site one day......
    Tku for the link, will have a browse.


    White heather.....lovely, lovely. I have found heather does not like to be moved.....I keep mine in large pots now. It is also rabbit fodder, so for me it is the only option.

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  15. HI Cheryl... I am wildly jealous of you right now lol, but I know when this snow melts you can be jealous of me : }}
    Beautiful just beautiful the colors and texture,and I did see that tiny, tiny red flower on the end of the branch!!
    Enjoy my friend!!

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  16. simply beautiful. i love hellebores and plan to buy some more this spring. I have a photo of them in a vase ive been wanting to paint the longest time. glad you identified the hazel katkins. I think there is one across the street on the walk i take to the mountain. tomorrow i will know for sure. have a lovely weekend and i pray you get no late frost to damage your blooms.

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  17. Hi Grammie, it is wonderful to have so many plants in bloom but I know if heavy frosts arrive it will cause a lot of damage. I would rather spring start at the right time....

    BUT I will enjoy them while they last.

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  18. Hi Chickory....glad I was able to help re the hazel.

    Hellebores are my very favourite plants....I have a vast collection now. I am waiting for many of them to open their buds.

    Have a lovely walk.....

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  19. Sweetbay, that are very pretty, aren't they......

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  20. Last year we had an early spring. There was no snow in March (very unusual) and I remember taking my grandson out for his birthday (he turned 9). The sun was shining, it was quite warm, and so I took him for some ice cream before taking him home.

    This year it must be your turn, and I'm glad. Let's just hope no nasty frosts spring up. We still have plenty of snow, as is usual for February. So I'm glad to enjoy your lovely pics of blooming spring flowers. They are all so pretty.

    Isn't it interesting how we are drawn to different flowers? Almost as if they each have a personality all their own (well they do!). I think snails are nice too. As long as I don't step on one in bare feet. LOL!

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  21. Hoping to have a day like yours soon.
    Love seeing the color and even the catkins.
    Spring is coming :)

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  22. Wendy, Thank you for sharing the sweet story of you, grandson and ice cream. I could see you so clearly in my mind's eye.

    I agree, treading on a snail in bare feet....oh my goodness. I do like them though......if you study them closely they are actually quite beautiful......but then I like most creatures, it is the nature of the woman.

    Hope you are well.....

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  23. Dear Cheryl,
    Looking at your gorgeous photographs lets me be right near you. I am standing and looking and gasping at all the beauty. I had an early Spring a few years ago. We were almost two months ahead on bloom time. I ended up losing over 200 plants. All of my heather was killed as were my rose bushes and my treasured Rosemary. I will keep you gardens in my "stay warm" thoughts.
    So lovely......I can wait for Spring to come here...I know the heart break of a too early Spring.
    The study of the relationships of the plants and all the creatures that are co-dependant is the most fascinating of all the studies I do. The snail is beautiful. My daughter loves the slugs that populate her Portland, Oregon gardens. We have so much to learn and Mother Nature is the best of teachers.
    Sherry

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