It’s the 15th of the month. It’s time to browse the garden for flowering plants. Fortunately it wasn’t too cold today and the snow of last night didn’t come to anything. My lunchtime browse was a more like a full blown search… not much out there this January. Mm… the official flower count was a grand total of two and as I don’t do house plants that’s the lot. A few plants did catch my eye… before the rain came on. Oh… but don’t be too disappointed with my offering… read on to the end.
The rhododendron buds I would have expected to see today but I was surprised to see some on the Choiysa. February is usually much colder here so I doubt these buds will last. I was too busy focusing on the buds that I didn’t notice an insect on the leaves.
The gunnera flower spikes have now darkened as have the leaves protecting the crown but they always catch my eye when I walk by. The hellebores in this area were put in just over a year ago but as they were young plants I didn’t expect flowers until this year. However one thought it would get ahead of the game flowering out of season and now sits hanging it head full of seed.
Sedum Carl Forrester looks like its trying to get ahead of the game too but the cold of February will surely set him well and truly back! This skimmia is a bit of a disappointment. It has berries of a sort which are starting here and they will get a lot deeper in colour. Mm… I’m thinking a revamp in this bed beside my Arbour and it could go!
Magnolia buds are unmistakable and always a joy to see – but why do they need to tease us for quite so long? Ah… but the biggest tease for flowers has to be the wisteria. Will it or won’t it flower and what do wisteria flower buds actually look like anyway. Ah… it’s all in the pruning. It can take a few years but it is definitely worth the wait!
Small flowers seem to go unnoticed at this time of year don’t you think? My tiny viola flowers (grown from plug plants) aren’t really lifting their heads up much at all just now. These guys need a little sunshine to bring a smile to their faces – and who doesn’t? This tiny white arabis flower brought a smile to my face today. There were only a couple above the carpet of foliage but hey… it completed my count for today!
This pieris blossom worries me a tad. I really don’t think we should be seeing it and I worry if it does survive February then it may flower early and perhaps the blue tits won’t get any insects from it when they are feeding their chicks. Oh… just in case you missed it… we have roosters (I suspect from different pairs) in both our camera and non-camera nestboxes.
Bulbs popping through my lawn are appearing daily at the moment. Here you can see some narcissi and crocus. My more recently planted ones in a different area may be a little later this year but I will be delighted to say them whenever. The final image above is of polygala. This one, in previous years, has flowered for going on eleven months. But for some reason it seems to be in limbo. For a few months it has been at this stage and I have no idea what it’s up too. They are such beautiful pea like flowers and the bees love the good sized carpets I have.
Ivy flowers are the strangest of things here seen on the variety sulphur heart. The birds apparently will eat them but I’ve never seen them. Usually when I’m out taking my photos for Bloom Day there are some birds about following me. I try to include them in my posting. I bet you are curious what the photo above on the right is about.
The photo with the hand squiggles in it was taken through my window. At lunchtime just before I went out with my camera I spotted something on the fence/post. All I could initially see was a tail. It wasn’t until it moved a little and I saw the shape and pattern I realised what it was. More than half its body was hidden too!
This griselinia is one of my favourite plants of the garden – I brought it from my last garden in a pot. Therefore, I was horrified to see a female Sparrowhawk dive in it for its lunch! In a split second a small bird (don’t know what it was) came ‘flying’ out as shown by the red line. The Sparrowhawk gave chase around my bamboo. The bird dived into the safety of my hedge and the Sparrowhawk continued its chase through there too.
Some of the bird feeders were empty. I considered what to do. The birds were going to risk coming out looking for food if I filled them up or not. In fact they would more than likely be safer getting food than taking longer to search for it. I filled them up and as I was out taking photos now I guessed they’d get a chance to get to it as my presence would deter the Sparrowhawk. That was the theory.
However, as I was taking my last shots of the magnolia before going inside the Sparrowhawk came behind me. I wonder if it was watching me too! As I walked towards the door it swooped down towards my griselinia once again although this time it was a fly by. I’m guessing she didn’t catch the bird earlier. Mm… now wait here Mrs… you are crossing a line here now!!
I stood in the doorway to see if it returned – I might even get a photo. It was deadly silent. Aw… one of things that I always associate my Bloom posting is birdsong as I take my photos. I turned and went inside and someone else caught my eye. Elisa, my daughter’s guinea pig was sitting silently watching me. She didn’t squeak or chatter for food. She didn’t run around to get my attention. She seemed to know it was a quiet time. Camera in hand I took some photos of her. I have decided she can be my favourite ‘flower’ for this posting.
Oh… but wait a minute I have a few more flowers to share. My last posting cleared my camera card but I’ve heaps of video tapes to go through and I have been keeping this one back as a gardener’s ‘pick-me-up’. So many of my garden blogger friends have cold, snow and ice covered gardens. These are for you and anyone else missing flowers.
The videos below were taken back in June 2008 at the Scottish Garden Show ‘Gardening Scotland’ in Edinburgh. Usually I would cut back the sound track of people chattering in the background but this time I thought I’d keep it in so you can all enjoy the buzz of a garden show. I have also let the odd carrier bag of plants come into shot too so you can really feel it all. There is also one silent piece in the first film to simulate stepping out of the hall for a little quiet time… and hot choc and even hotter fresh doughnuts with my daughter!
There are always favs at shows and the second video shows mine. I will always have a soft spot for alpines and rocks as well as the mosses, primulas and blue meconopsis poppies. However, the poppies in the last section of the first video really, really caught my eye too and came a very close second.
Finally, before you leave… two things. Firstly if you’d like to taken part in Bloom Day pop over to Carol’s posting and leave your link there. If you would like to browse all the gardens that have taken part you will get links there too – there’s quite a few already. In my last posting I was considering something. I have a quick question for you…
If you were to be stuck on a Desert Island which three plants would you take? Let’s assume there is plenty of food available. Perhaps you’d like to think about it and join me for a posting next Thursday the 22nd of January. A photo would do if you are short on time. I’ll set up ‘Mister Linky’ as Carol does and you can add your posting there. This could be fun… I hope you can join me. Thanks Karen (for requesting three and not one as I originally thought) and Frances for asking about food!
All photos above were taken in my garden on January 15th 2009. The videos were taken in June 2008.