Snowdrops, snowdrops everywhere….

February is associated with this beautiful flower and we have them in abundance. The name ‘snowdrop’ does not refer to the powdery stuff but to the long pearl drop earrings worn by women in the late 16th and 17th centuries. (as in ’The girl with the Pearl Earring ‘by Vermeer) Once you know this, it is easy to see the comparison, as snowdrops hang on a long thin green pedicel and move in the wind.

Daffodils are starting to show. ‘Spring Dawn’ is the earliest and is a pale colour that complements the snowdrops. For some years we have been trying to establish crocuses and this year looks like we may have succeeded with a few bulbs. If the mice find the bulbs in their first year of planting they will get eaten, every single one. After that, however, it seems that the bulbs dig down deeper or maybe their roots put the mice off and they are left alone. All along the borders of the cottage garden there are delicate spikes of purple,blue and yellow. Some are crocuses but others are the early and very beautiful irises Harmony, George and danfordiae.

In some ways, February is my favourite gardening month. The grass hasn’t started to make big calls on our time, the light illuminates the spring bulbs pushing up across the close cropped turf and everything looks tidy and manageable. There is time to appreciate the small things like the first bee of the year or buds breaking on cold branches. Even the young seedlings in the greenhouse say ‘Carry on, we’re in no hurry to move.’ A warm week in March will change all that.

Snowdrop Week runs daily from 15th February until 23rd February 11.00-4.00 Jackies talks on the snowdrop are included in the admission price and last about 20 minutes and have some seating. 12.30 and 2.30 daily.

We have a good selection of unusual snowdrops and hellebores for sale.

The gardens open for the season from Sunday March 2nd until end of October. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays.

 

First published www.alantitchmarsh.com (2010)

March at Easton comes in like a lion….

Last week the winds picked up and typical March weather had arrived. Small bulbs were unaffected by it and made brave showings in the cedar meadow. Coming out now to join the crocuses are Chionodoxa in blues, pinks and white.
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New daffodils are showing through every day including the Tenby daffodil (Narcissus obvallaris) (below) and, on the snowdrop bank, an old survivor from pre-restoration, sometimes known as ‘Queen Anne’s Double’. The flowers are stuffed with petals that threaten to bring the whole stem down.
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On sunny days (like yesterday) we spot frogs  in the ditch below the snowdrop bank. The weather was so fine that they ignored us to enjoy the heat and were splashing and croaking in the puddles. The grey wagtail has returned to the river where we can watch his bobbing flight with ease.
The hellebores are at their best now. Most of our hellebores are in the woodland walk where they blend with hyacinths, dogs mercury and golden feverfew. An unusual combination of plants that is well worth seeing.
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