Bitter, brisk, chilled, frigid, raw, cutting, biting, squally, gelid, blustery, frosty, piercing, icy and shivery – but a few days closer to Spring


Galanthus nivalis – nothing common about this common snowdrop

There’s snow Up North and temperatures hereabouts are heading back down to near freezing. There was an icy wind gusting around the glasshouses at Petersham this afternoon though a wintry sun made a welcome but unheated appearance between some very driven bouts of rain.

To buoy us up on days such as these, there are primroses in all manner of colour’d garb, grape hyacinths and Hyacinths proper, Narcissus (the double and doubly fragrant Bridal Crown as well as sweetly-scented Paperwhites), rich-blue Iris reticulata and equally rich crocus, mixing with pristine snowdrops and pristine early hellebores, early Camellia blossom too, intoxicating Daphne, spicy, wiry witch-hazels and the thread-like flowers of winter box, Sarcococca, pumping out their rich, honeyed fragrance.

The Cutting Garden is groaning with the potential of all of the bulbs planted last year and there are tips of blue-green tulip leaves pushing through the cold earth. Perennials slumber on.

Definitely not Spring, not by a good many weeks, but not a bleak mid-winter either.

Definitely time to appreciate the scents abounding just now and the building tidal surge of colour heading our way.

This is Muscari Big Smile, showing off the larger clear blue flowers with a thin white margin, a vigorous new selection.

IMG_5372(below) (i) One robin seems to have seen off the competition in the Glasshouse (there were aerial battles between three very competitive males this past week)  (ii) The Cutting Garden  (iii) The newly built potting bench at the far end of the Garden Shop – complete with reference library and back copies of Gardens Illustrated, The English Garden and Gardeners’ World…


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