First HPS seeds germinated

I've started sowing the seeds from the HPS exchange scheme.

The Primula japonica were supposed to be sown as soon as possible. Well I didn't do that so I sowed them outside a week or so ago. I put some in two marked areas and then just spread them around. There is still seed left, so I may put some in a tray later.

I sowed some of the others indoors on the windowsill. Three of them have germinated so far. The first one was Salvia microphylla ex 'Cerro Potosí'. This is a reasonably sized seedling

Photo 7034

Next was Veronica longifolia ex 'Marietta', closely followed by Verbascum phoeniceum ex 'Violetta'. These are very tiny seedlings - particularly the Veronica which had a very dust like seed.

The Veronica is on the left, the Verbascum on the right.

Photo 7061

So doing a lot better than last year so far.

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Six on Saturday 16 March

Early this morning there was a small amount of snow in the ground but it was raining and the gravel area was flooded and even part of the left border was under water. A cyclamen was looking a bit like a water lily.

Later the sun came out and the water drained away, so I managed to take 8 pictures. Two of them were blurred leaving six which was a piece of luck since that is exactly the right number to play Six on Saturday...

1 Puschkinia scilloides var. libanotica

This is my first Puschkinia flower, I've not grown them before or even even seen one for real as far as I remember.

I planted 20 of these, but this is the only one I've found so far. The leaves look very much like Muscari leaves so I may have been overlooking them.

Photo 6999

2 Euphorbia

This used to be at …

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End of February round up

Compare with last years round up.

The month started with snow and ended with a warm spell with temperatures between 13 and 14C.


Cyclamen in the snow. At the beginning of the month there was a short period of snow. Here is a Cyclamen flower rising above its cover of snow.

Photo 6926

February is the time for snowdrops. The ones at the back left, under the cotoneasters are doing OK, but I think overall there is not as many as there were last year.

I consider that a clump needs at least ten flowers and we are not there yet.

The ones on the other side of the garden have not flowered yet again.

Photo 6952

The Helleborus was a mass of flowers. This is the most expensive plant I have! Hope this one survives until next year. If you compare with last years it is a much bigger plant with many …

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Six on Saturday 23rd Feb

The exceptionally mild weather for this time of year continues. Even the average night time temperature has been above 6C all week.

Growth is moving along at a fair pace now and there are few new flowers to show, so here goes with this weeks Saturday six selection.

I've seen more ladybirds today than I recall seeing for the whole of last year. I wonder if it is going to be a ladybird swarm year?

1 Primula

Two of my Primula that were outside the back door did not survive, so I got these orange and blue replacements. The 'Gold lace' primula survived and is flowering well.

Photo 6974

2 Anemone blanda

This is the first flower of these Anemones. In addition to the existing patch and the ones I planted in time for last spring, I also planted another hundred in other parts of the garden last Autumn. No sign of …

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Six on Saturday 16 Feb

A warm week especially from Tuesday onward. The nights have also been warm and there was only a slight ground frost on one day.

There was also a lot of sun, but the garden is still in a lot of shade and it takes a long time for things to wake up. Still there are signs of flower buds on the Anemone blanda and I have the odd crocus out, but I am behind gardens further south or indeed ones quite nearby!

Anyway here are six things I noticed today.

1 Ligularia shoot

This is from a Ligularia from last year, it has more than one shoot visible. It was sold as L. wilsoniana but it looks more similar to L. × palmatiloba to me.

Photo 6956

2 Lupin

This is putting on a lot of new growth, so I tidied it up a bit. It is just an ordinary purplish one, but …

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Ballyrobert gardens order

This year I am sending for one set of plants mail order from Ballyrobert gardens.

The order included the following plants. I got slightly carried away and cut it down from my initial attempt.

  • Persicaria vacciniifolia
  • Phlox maculata 'Natascha'
  • Sanguisorba obtusa
  • Veronicastrum virginicum 'Erica'
  • Astilbe 'Delft Lace'
  • Epimedium × warleyense
  • Helianthus 'Happy Days'
  • Campanula glomerata 'Freya'
  • Lupinus 'Persian Slipper'
  • Lythrum salicaria 'Feuerkerze'
  • Phlox paniculata 'Uspekh'

Speed of delivery

I placed the order late evening on the 11th. The very next morning (12th), I received an email saying it had shipped and it would take between 1 and 3 days. It arrived with the normal mail on the 14th around midday.

So it was a very quick turn around.

Unboxing the order

The packaging is different again. There was an outer box which I'm not showing a photo of. Inside were two boxes that fit exactly inside. Here they are:

Photo 6945

Inside each …

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Six on Saturday 9th Feb

Every day since Monday the temperature has risen above 6C. There was some rain, but fairly light and mostly at night with just over a centimeter over the week. Very windy last night and today, although it has calmed somewhat as I write this.

This is my first Six on Saturday this year, so here goes with six things though I had to resort to including a house plant as there is not much going on.

1 Snowdrops

I have a few clumps of snowdrops at various stages of development. These are the most advanced and are pretty much open now.

Photo 6934

2 Cyclamen

This Cyclamen coum was bought last year and it is doing very well. It almost looks like there are two there.

Photo 6936

3 Winter aconite

I bought two pots of Eranthis hyemalis this year, as the ones from last year don't seem to have survived. I haven't seen …

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End of January round up

Compare with last years round up.


Last year there was several snow falls before the end of January, but this year there has been none. There were some very severe frosts where all the leaves were covered in ice crystals.

There were 11 days when the temperature dropped below zero and the coldest recorded temperature in the garden was -7C on the last day of the month. Average 4.3C max 11C

Photo 6920


Not much flowering at the moment

  • Cyclamen coum. One of these has spread to quite a large area compared to last year. It is almost as if there are two.
  • Primroses
  • Snowdrops starting to flower
  • Winter jasmine, just about


Last year I bought some Winter aconites and a Hellebore; neither of them have re-appeared again this year. I am giving them another chance so I got two pots of Aconites and a largish Hellebore.

  • Winter …
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