Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden - Chinese proverb

Sunday, 15 March 2009

GBBD - Bring on the Dancing Daffodils!


The first thing I noticed about the garden on our return from Bruges was how the daffodils have finally exploded into full bloom. The odd splash of yellow available for Muse Day has gone and been replaced with them all in full flow. I've also observed my 'Jetfire' aren't so prominently orange trumpeted this year - has anyone else seen this? I'm wondering whether it's a general affectation after our harsher winter, or something that's particular to my garden.

I was very tempted to leave you with everything awash in yellow, but I couldn't resist another shot of my very ordinary purple crocuses and the absolutely gorgeously perfumed geisha pink of Prunus mume 'Beni chidori' seen in the two pictures at the top left (click to enlarge the collage if needed). A few Anemone blanda (top right) have also pushed their noses through the soil and the Pulmonaria has recovered magnificently from the snow (bottom right) to contrast nicely with my late flowering 'February Gold'. Kerria japonica 'Flore Pleno' (top right, to the left of the Anemones) is poised to add to the riot of yellow out the front and you can also see the primroses and Clematis cirrhosa 'Freckles' (now also with 'Balearica' mixed in on the left) are still giving good value, even when the 'Freckles' flowers lower down the wall have turned into delightful fluffy seedhead balls.

Flowers not making the cut for display this time are Viburnums - tinus 'Eve Price' and x bodnantense 'Dawn', Skimmia, Lonicera purpusii 'Winter Beauty', Violas, the first few tulips, yellow crocuses, budding grape hyacinths and the last of the snowdrops. Talking of which, I've carried on with my annual snowdrop count this year. The final tally (with last year's numbers shown in brackets) taken on March 1st was:

Back Garden - 308 (195)
Front Garden - 170 (107)
Side Garden - 578 (444)
Guerrilla Garden - 581 (444)
GRAND TOTAL 1637 (1190) - a most satisfying increase of nearly 38% from last year :)

But now, my thoughts are firmly turned towards the miracle of spring and everything the garden and allotment are calling me to do. So whilst I get on with that, I'll show you a few of my holiday snaps over the next few days - don't worry, most of them do have something to do with gardening ;)

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day is hosted by Carol over at May Dreams Gardens.

21 comments:

  1. Dear VP,
    I still wonder since last spring: HOW do you count your snowdrops?

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  2. Ewa - my snowdrops are in lots of clumps, so I literally count every single snowdrop in each clump and add them all together!

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  3. I've never realised that Prunus could be perfumed. I've been missing out! Your tally of snowdrops is an inspiration,
    HM

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  4. VP .. you are going to laugh at this .. last night we finally saw the Dr. Who episode you saw at Xmas time .. now how is that for irony ? .. everyone has something for bloom day and yours are so pretty !! : )

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  5. Hi VP, so much color, how cheering! I am most impressed with your counting of the snowdrops though. Since I started with five bulbs last fall, it will be easy to keep a tally, unless more are purchased, always a threat to the number crunching that! HA My Kerria is not even budded out yet, let along blooming, but our prunus, now ID'd as Bonfire is fully open. I thought jetfire a little less orange this year, but maybe it will darken with age. Some of the fancy daffs change color as time goes on, the pink trumpet ones in particular.
    Frances
    Frances

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  6. i didn't find your crocus ordinary :)such beautiful blooms.

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  7. I've never thought about counting my Snowdrops. I'm assuming that you count only plants that are blooming size. You've got a great selection of things blooming this month. It must be nice to have so many that you have to choose which to include.

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  8. VP, I am totally loving the poster of blooms...It is such a fantastic way to showcase blooms. How come Viburnum Dawn didn't make the cut? She didn't on my post either! But she does has a great fragrance! have a great afternoon~~gail

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  9. I really enjoy seeing what's blooming "across the big pond". And counting the snowdrops? That sounds like fun!

    Thanks for joining in for bloom day.
    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

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  10. That's some impressive snowdrop count! We had a very bad year with them - not just my garden, but our area. Ouch! Like knowing yours did well. If I had the impressive amount you have, I would count them as well! Nice presentation.

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  11. VP - I love your collage. I am going to have to learn how to do some of these things. And the garden is beautiful, unlike my New England garden. However, I am unexpectedly in Boston and found a few blooms, only one of which am I responsible for.

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  12. What a lovely collage of color, VP! I know you're in a much warmer zone than I, but I am getting antsy to see spring finally come to my garden, too. 1600 snowdrops?? I would have lost count midway, for sure:)

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  13. A lovely collage. And crocuses are never ordinary!

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  14. Now I love your photos but am particularly fascinated by the snowdrop count. I have planted loads and long for them to increase. Perhaps if I count this year and next I will have some idea of how they are faring!
    Thank you also for your very kind comment on mine. I really do appreciate it.

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  15. Jetfire - what does that look like? I have some daffs with orange trumpets, they are quite small and delicate but they seem as orange as ever. I am really bad at remembering daff names.

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  16. That's a lot of variety already to be able to select plants that don't make it in pictures. I'm green with envy. Yet another reason to remember to include crocus and snow drops in my garden though I'm sure they wouldn't be blooming here yet anyway.

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  17. Great collage VP. My daffs are already gone:(

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  18. You have such beautiful pictures again!
    In my garden, I've noticed that most of the bulbs are doing very well this spring. I have many more snowdrops this year (although I didn't count them), lots and lots of crocuses, and my daffodils are doing better than previous years.
    I have heard other gardeners (both in Belgium as in the UK) mention the same thing, so I keep asking myself if the rather long growing season in 2008 has something to do with it: spring was unusual early last year, and although summer wasn't hot, average temperature was rather high and it was fairly humid, ideal for many plants. And I know that the bulbs are 'dormant' in summer, but the new buds are being formed in that period...

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  19. Hi there VP, great colours in your garden at the moment!

    Now... I too am impressed at your snowdrop count and the increase percentage! Okay, now I have a challenge for you... how would you like to count the ones in my posting? A rough estimate would work for me ;-)

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  20. Holy hand grenades, that's a LOT of snowdrops! Cool!

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  21. HM - neither did I until I stopped to photograh it!

    Joy - LOL and thank you!

    Frances - you were so right about the Jetfire, they're now looking as expected. Thanks for the tip.

    Petoskystone and Chaiselongue - I only called them ordinary as they're from a mixture and not a named variety. Of course, they're not ordinary when they come to flowering like they do :)

    MMD - yes, I just count the flowers. Any other method would be a bit insane, even for me!

    Gail - Dawn didn't make the cut because I didn't think the photograph was good enough. I like doing the collages too AND it also means I use up less space showing lots of pictures than by just showing them singly. If I'd done the latter, I think this blog would have run out of space by now.

    Carol - yes it is fun!

    Helen - thanks. I started my snowdrop count because I was worried that summer conditions weren't suiting them that well. Luckily I was wrong and now I just think it's a fun thing to do :)

    Pat - thank you. Collages are easy - I see you're a blogger user, so just have a play with Picasa sometime

    Rose - luckily I have different garden sections, so I count each section and then add them up. At some point it's going to get difficult as I'll run out of fingers to keep a tally of how many hundred I've counted already!

    Elizabethm - do count yours - I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised!

    PG - you've described Jetfire exactly.

    Cinj - you'll soon be catching us up - I seem to remember that happening last year when I started reading blogs from across the pond

    Debbi - thanks and it shows that even though we're technically in the same Zone, our gardens are totally different!

    Anne Tanne - you could be right, though I think our harsher winter this year may also have had a hand in our better displays - crocus, daffs and snowdrops all need a cold period for them to do well, that's why there's a concern that global warming may bring an end to our traditional, lovely springtime.

    Shirl - I'll hop on over and take a look ;)

    Monica - bananas! They're great ;)

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