It’s All Happening Now!

With a positive telling our full day in the garden yesterday might be described as an excellent example of the “Carpe Diem” attitude but, if truth be told, it was more a case of headstrong revolt against cabin fever for it was preceded by days of horrible weather with gales, heavy rain and flooding. After such weather the ground was saturated and working on beds wasn’t appropriate but I was adamant that a job on the long finger for ages should be done and, indeed, it was.

This apparently small clump of Leucojum vernum car carpathicum was congested and provided about 80 bulbs for another spot in the garden while I left 10 or so here as they have always looked well there.
We planted Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’ in this spot almost thirty years ago and have taken bulbs from here on several occasions over the years so there are certainly hundreds and hundreds of ‘S. Arnott’ in several places around the garden. The small clump on the right were taken yesterday and had enough bulbs to plant an areas of almost a square metre.

There were two small jobs listed before the main event – the lifting, splitting, relocation and replanting of a clump of Leucojum vernum var carpathicum (Spring Snowflake) and of a clump of snowdrops (Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’) both for the good of the plants and to fill two areas which needed a little interest. Both were light easy jobs, if a little slow, for there was a good hundred bulbs in each case but it will prove worth the bother when they flower next spring.

The main event was the rescue of two clumps of Iris ensata which had been encroached upon by super vigorous hostas, the cultivars ‘Empress Wu’ and ‘Sum and Substance’ and the division and replanting of these hostas. The irises came with ease as they are reasonably shallow-rooted but the hostas were big brutes and the work was made difficult by the soft, wet clingy condition of the soil after all the recent rain. ‘Empress Wu’ was divided and replanted as five large pieces with another smaller piece set aside to be grown in a pot near the house. ‘Sum and Substance’ made six large pieces and, again, with a piece set aside for a pot. We didn’t have suitable pots at the time but will got one today and will empty two others of winter pansies and use them.

This view shows the hostas which were divided and replanted: Left to right: ‘Big Daddy’, ‘Wide Brim’, ‘Sum and Substance’ (back a little) and ‘Empress Wu’ at the far-right edge of the photograph. Looking at the photograph now, I think ‘Big Daddy’ could very well do with similar treatment.
A different angle with orchids in the foreground and Hostas ‘Big Daddy’ and ‘Wide Brim’

When the work was finikshed there was still time to stroll the garden and to be amazed at the enormous burst of growth there has been in the few days when we were confined to barracks. Even when the weather is dreadful I usually manage to take stroll around the garden on most days so see what is looking well, to admire newly emerged plants and note anything which needs attention. A break of this routine for even a day or two at this time of the year guarantees many surprises when one returns to normal ways. A little growth day by day is noticed on a daily walk but it can be amazing to see the accumulated growth of a few days and the emergence of flowers where only very recently none was apparent. I find it one of the great joys of gardening and certainly far better than plonking about in muddy conditions to divide hostas and the likes.

Now, a photographic update on the garden at the moment:

A walk around on a recent bright morning:

These recent days have seen a wonderful explosiong of plant growth. We no longer look to the snowdrops for our flower interest and though there are some still in flower at this moment they are now overshadowed by the newcomers – magnolias, daffodils, trilliums and primulas among others.

With Mount Congreve Gardens only a few minutes away from us we are spoiled by the display of magnolias we can see there yet always delight in the handful of specimens in our own garden. We have been fortunate that frosts have not hit the blossom this year and the flowering of the magnolias seems to be as good as has ever been seen here. Magnolia x loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’ always gives the first and an outstanding display each year despite my heavy pruning to lift the lower branches. Magnolia stellata follows quickly, though ‘Rosea King’ was slow this year. Magnolia soulangeana follows with one tree open and others to follow – ‘Rasperry Ice’, ‘Heaven Scent’, ‘Yellow River’ and ‘Yellow Lantern’ and a few other later performers but they are for another day/blog.

When you click on a photograph to view in larget format, the name will appear underneath:

Ireland has a wonderful tradition of daffodil breeding which continues strongly to this day. Our climate and soil suit daffodils perfectly and it is no surprise that almost every garden will have a selection and it is common to see roadsides planted with drifts of daffodils each March. Here is a selection from our garden:

There was a time when I baulked at any attempt to grow trilliums in the garden. They were only available as dry plants, were quite expensive and were very slow to establish and then slow again, extremely slow, to flower and bulk up in number. That was enough to discourage me but I was given a piece by a friend from his garden and it simply romped away as did similar pieces received from kind friends who had them growing well so that they have now become a favourite plant here for their ease of cultivation, the wonderful display they give and the generosity with which they now self-seed in the garden – I planted out over 80 garden seedlings of Trillium albidum two years ago and most are coming into flower at the moment. Trillium chloropetalum is leading the show at the moment with several species yet to come into flower. None of the yellow forms of T. chloropetalum are open yet but all are in bud so something else special to look forward to.

Finally, it is just the beginning of the primula season with the first of the season opening:

Wherever you are, Happy Gardening!


12 thoughts on “It’s All Happening Now!

  1. Exquisite plants, Paddy. Your season seems quite a bit more advanced than mine. I particularly love the narcissus varieties. Such vivid colours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We rarely have snow here – none this year – and frosts are light so growth can continue over the winter though slowly – I have had snowdrops (galanthus) in flower right through our winter, October until now. When the warm days arrive growth moves along at a pace.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your gardens are impressive! I dabble in gardening but our summers have become so hot and humid lately that I’ve cut way back. I was in Ireland in the 1980’s and don’t remember seeing many flowers, but it was Sept….and rainy….practically every day for 3 weeks. Next time I’ll chose spring. I did some ancestral-research, but my ancestors came from Leitrim County and all the tourist places kept saying no one goes to Leitrim County! Barren countryside, lots of rocks, and it was foggy too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, Leitrim is not at the top of places to visit in Ireland. A pity to have a holiday with so much rain.


    1. LOL The trilliums are looking well at the moment with other species to come into flower yet. I’ve become very fond of them over the last few years and am making efforts to build up the numbers of the ones I am growing. T. chloropetalum, T. albidum and T. kurabayashi all grow very very well with me, bulking up and self-seeding generously while others are in smaller numbers.


  2. Love the Trillium albidum Paddy. What kind of soil do you have if you don’t mind my asking. Photography is stunning as ever. Whose your gardener……..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Trillium albidum is doing very well for us, self-seeding and bulking up well. The soil here is a rich loam which is slightly acidic. The gardener here? I am the Undergardener and my wife the Headgardener!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s