Tag Archive | Camellia

Snow in March



For the second time this year, we have laying snow here in North Devon, and very pretty it is too. Thick enough to completely cover the grass on the unmown, shaggy lawns, it has turned the garden into a winter wonderland.




Icicles drip from every overhang, and the sheltered side of every tree trunk is plastered with layer of snow.




The poor spring bulbs have had a bit of a shock…




The larger daffodil varieties are looking particularly sad, but the small ones such as Tete a Tete are coping better, poking bravely through the snow.




My big drift of snake’s head fritillaries was about to burst into flower, and it will be interesting to see how they respond to being snow-covered.





The camellia is still flowering profusely, but the current crop of flowers may well go soft and mushy when they defrost. They do best when sheltered from the morning sun from the east…if the flowers defrost slowly, they are less likely to suffer.





This Corylopsis is looking particularly fine, with the snow as a backdrop.






Many shrubs have started to produce their spring leaves, such as this red-leaved Spirea. I hope they don’t get too cold!





Some native flowers will cope fine, such as this little primrose, tucked on the sheltered side of the garden wall.







And the gorse on the hill is flowering well, as it does all year round.




The spring catkins will also be unconcerned by a bit of snow.




Last summer’s seedheads look particularly fine against a white carpet.






So it may be cold, and difficult to drive around, but there is no better time to go explore the garden!






The daffs are late…or were they early last year?

This is our second winter in this garden, and they couldn’t be more different. Last winter was mild and wet, with few frosts and rain most days. This winter has been drier, but with many heavy frosts, some lasting all day. The differences really show in the garden.

Firstly, many perennials such as Alchemilla and Crocosmia remained green last winter, whereas this year the leaves went brown and mushy in December.




This photo was taken today of my earliest clump of daffodils, and I have an almost identical picture take last year, but a whole month earlier, in early January.




The difference in timing is not so great with the snowdrops – they may have been only a week or two earlier last winter. But they do seem to be in greater numbers this year.

My camellia is in full bloom, and also seems more floriferous, but it seems to have grown significantly over the year, which would account for that.




So I think that this is a more normal spring, and that the mild weather last year accelerated the growth of many bulbs, but particularly the daffodils.

I find the early spring such an exciting time of year, with new flowers peeking out every time I go in the garden, and fat buds appearing on the shrubs. The witch hazel and the shrubby honeysuckle have fragrant flowers to search out and sniff, and the hellebores are unfurling their dangling blooms. I must cut some and float them in a bowl of water so that I can admire them.




Early spring flowers



Today has been very mild, so quite a contrast to the recent heavy frosts. The first of the mini daffs has opened, and seems a true miniature of a large yellow trumpet type. The snowdrops continue to pop up in the woodland, but are not fully open yet.




As with the daffodils, I keep finding them hidden under other plants, and I will need to dig them out and give them a better home. They are too special to leave hidden in the undergrowth!




I found a grape hyacinth today; only a common bulb, I know, but it is still nice to know that I have some…or one anyway!


Grape hyacinth


The first of many daisies has flowered. I do like daisies in a lawn, so the front lawn will be spot treated to remove unwanted weeds, while leaving the daisies, primroses, and bulbs well alone.




My new hellebore has opened it’s first flower. It is such a pretty double. The only others I have found round the garden have been less impressive, so I think i need to treat myself to a few more choice varieties.





The frosts damaged all the open flowers on my azalea, but I think there are more buds which will open. The camellia suffered the same fate, but has already covered itself in fresh flowers. Such a joy to see them at this time of year!



Around the garden

We are still waiting to see our new garden in sunlight, but at least we had a dry afternoon. Friends visited, and we all had a wander around the estate. We have a bottle bank…


bottlebank small


We have some interesting neighbours…




With the help of our friends we managed to identify some of the plants. Those in leaf and flower I can usually work out, but winter twigs can be a bit of a challenge. We have a stunning Christmas tree, but I am resisting the temptation to deck it out with lights and baubles!




Next to it is one of my favourite conifers, Cedrus deodara, with its soft, drooping branches




A small camellia is covered in fat buds, promising a beautiful display soon. But in what colour, I wonder?




Some plants were in flower, out of season, either early or late, including this lovely pink azalea which is presumably early.


azalea small


This Abelia grandiflora has a long flowering season, so is presumably still flowering from the summer?




We also have several nice rhododendron specimens, all of which will be a surprise when they flower. I just hope they aren’t all the same variety!