Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: For National Gardening Week

April 10th saw the start of National Gardening Week here in the UK. It's great timing for this RHS-led initiative as Easter is the traditional time everyone spends more time in the garden.

Six flowers which are looking good in my garden during 2017's National Gardening Week

I had planned to spend all week in the garden and on the allotment to celebrate, but a severe cold with a high temperature saw me in bed feeling sorry for myself instead. I did manage to pop out for 5 minutes and take some photos of what's looking good and I've posted one each day on social media as my alternative celebration.

Here's what I said for my Plant of the Day posts for #nationalgardeningweek, starting with the main photo and then working from top right down to bottom left.

  • Perky scented 'Thalia' daffodils are my first Plant of the Day for National Gardening Week (Apr 10-16 2017). It has consistently met with approval by many gardeners on social media over the past few weeks.

  • The alpine clematis 'Francis Rivis' has lots of luscious blooms with an intriguing twist to them. I believe the alpine clematis are often overlooked as an early blooming climber, with their montana cousins usually stealing the limelight.

  • Lamprocapnos spectabilis aka Dicentra spectabilis, lady in the bath, bleeding heart etc etc. This is the only plant I've managed to get its new Latin name into my noddle ('our Spanish professional lamp wearing a cap' - snappy eh?). It obviously likes my shady part of the garden as I have around 8 seedlings coming up in the gravel path.

  • Brunnera 'Jack Frost', is a great alternative to forget-me-nots with the added bonus of interesting foliage which takes its season of interest from March/April through to the first frosts. I have 2 plants which bookend my shady border. This one has smaller leaves, the other in the more shaded part (also damper soil) has less but much larger leaves.

  • Tulip 'Spring Green' - I can't believe it's mid April and my tulips are nearly over already. So many other gardeners are saying how early the season is this year. This variety is ever reliable despite my leaving it to its own devices in a large pot. It brightens up my north facing front garden - that's probably why it's flowering later than the others. Apparently at Keukenhof they plant their tulips in layers so there's a constantly replenished display of later varieties pushing through the earlier ones. I must try that for myself sometime.

  • Apple trees - it's been a joy this week see see the blossom on my 'Red Windsor' apple tree unfurl from tightly closed buds into proper bee temptation. Peak blossom has yet to arrive and it's noticeable how the buds at the top of the tree are more open than their lower, shadier counterparts.

You'll notice I have one more plant left to reveal to close the week off tomorrow. If you were me, which plant would you choose to show - the one that's looking most tippity top on your plot right now?

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

Update: 16/4/2017

Here's my final choice:

Pulmonaria 'Majeste' in the shadiest part of my garden

Pulmonaria 'Majeste' has striking silvery leaves, though mine have developed a mottled form since I planted them out, probably because they're in one of the shadiest parts of the garden. They still please me, and I like how the flowers open initially as gentle pink, then morph into softest blue.

I've also guerrilla gardened P 'Redstart' (see my post-Doris Weekend Wander), which doesn't have mottled leaves, but its more robust nature means it holds its own amongst the weeds. Like its more refined cousin above, bees love this plant and like the other P rubra forms, it flowers early at a time when little else does.


  1. Sorry you've been unwell, I hope you're all better soon. Gorgeous flowers, the blossom is really sensational this year isn't it. The apple and cherry blossom is what I'm enjoying most here at the moment, also a white camellia. But the blossom comes with the promise of fruit, even if the birds do eat most of the cherries. I don't begrudge them.

    1. Thanks CJ, I'm itching to get out there which I hope will be soon! I'm envious of your white camellia - they don't grow well in my limey soil and I've decided they deserve more than a pot.

  2. How annoying to have gardening plans and then be laid low - I wish you better in time to enjoy some of the Easter weekend in your garden. 'Spring Green' and 'Apricot Beauty' tulips have opened just last week here; they were part of a pack from Sarah Raven with 'Exotic Emperor' which flowered ages ago so it was a very nice surprise to suddenly see a second flush of tulips in the cherry tree border. Jack Frost is a favourite since I saw it at Capel Manor. I'm hoping it self seeds as I only had the budget to plant a few in a client garden and it's lovely en masse. I'm popping out to the garden now to see what else is blooming here.

  3. It's happening frustratingly slowly Caro, but I have a promise from NAH to mow the allotment today, so that'll help it look much better up there. There are plans afoot for my replacement shed too :)

  4. Pretty blooms!
    Hope you are feeling better
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!
    Happy Easter!

    1. Thanks Lea, you have a good one too!

  5. Hope your cold is better. Like you we are a couple of weeks ahead and the tulips are beginning to fade.

    1. I spotted dahlia foliage in my terraced bed yesterday, which must be a good month ahead! Welcome to Veg Plotting Steve :)

  6. Hope you're feeling better. My Brunnera is seedling about nicely making lots of new plants. My plant of the moment has to be Epimedium Amber Queen, it is delightful.

    1. Now I'm intrigued Pauline, because I don't think I've ever seen my Brunnera go to seed. I'll keep an eye out. I really must treat myself to some Epimediums, I fall in love with them every year.

  7. Thanks for your good wishes everyone - I'm a lot better today :)

  8. You've showcased some of my favorite spring blooms, VP. Next to tulips and daffodils, Brunnera has to be one of my favorites. Hope you are feeling better!


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