Seen at the Festival of the Tree

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

Monday, 8 February 2010

Aaaaah, That's Better

It's been good to have a couple of days in a row to get out into the garden and to start to make serious inroads into the late winter clearing. Borders are looking much tidier and I love the way my clothes smell after a spell in the fresh air. It's like bringing the outdoors inside for a while.

In spite of the cold winter we've had, the plants can't resist making their plans for the spring. I found some fat pink buds of Dicentra spectabilis, lots of Monarda leaves pressed flat against the soil and the tiniest of miniature Lupin plants. Fingers crossed the slugs don't find the latter for a tasty snack.

Bulbs are in bud everywhere and it's high time my annual snowdrop count started. My major delight yesterday was finding the first Iris reticulata 'Katherine Hodgkin' in flower. I bought these at the plant sell-off at last year's RHS Plant and Design show in London. I was going to plant them out in the main part of the garden, but thanks to a timely article by James (with one of his other blogging hats on), I planted them in the gravel at the side of the house. They're much more visible there than the spot I'd originally chosen for them. Cheerful colour heralding the end of winter is now just a few paces away :)


  1. Hi VP, that is the best of news, real outdoor gardening being done! It is a tonic for what ails us after a harder than usual winter. Katherine is on my want list, at the top, after seeing photos in Gardens Illustrated. Yes to planting in gravel, the better to see you, dear. :-)

  2. Aw, so cute! I'm remembering from last year that now is a terrible time for me to read blogs of people in less harsh winter climates, sob!

  3. 'Katherine Hodgson' is my (current) favourite iris. I have some in a pot but the green shoots are only just peeping through.

  4. such stunning colors! i'm looking forward to my tulips coming up. esp. as this is a new supplier.

  5. Oh, sure, now I see the Iris reticulata planted in gravel. (Long after I stuffed mine next to a large Hosta in the border near the lawn.) I guess I'll have to get some more next fall and plant them in the gravel under the front windows. I have no clue whether my reticulatas are doing anything yet, it's still too snowy. 'Katharine Hodgkin' is a beauty.

  6. Glad you had a goo couple of days in the garden - we have had a lovely few days here too.

    Lovely Katherine Hodgson - went to check on mine to-day - but nothing there yet :(

  7. Your iris is out? I have some grassy shoots in the bulb pans in the greenhouse but the ones outside are truly invisible.
    I have been away from home with my parents for a few days. That has been lovely but reading this post has made me realise how very much I need to get home.

  8. Wasn't it great to be outdoors again :) I had a good spell pottering on Friday afternoon and then again on Saturday before fog descended. I have 'Katharine H' growing in a shallow pan - she has come through the compost but is not in flower yet - soon I hope:)

  9. It seems this Iris is a bit of a winner with you all. Until last year, I'd only really had time for the dark purple varieties, but after seeing so many of them at the RHS Show, I did finally fall for this paler little number :)


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