Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Friday 25th January 2008


The weather continues to be pretty yuck but today we had a spell wherein I was able to get out into the garden for a couple of hours and do some serious gardening. A most enjoyable experience. As always the Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) are the most delightful of the sights at this time of year and even the early flowering Daffodils cannot compete. I think that in my next life I shall buy a woodland and plant a whole streamside bank with snowdrops.

I did some cleaning up of the ponds and removed some of the dead leaves that had found their way in over the winter. It is a process which has to be done almost leaf by leaf because there are so many tiny Newt tadpoles which have to be rescued and put back into the water.

One of the flowers that has only just finished its summer flowering is the Kaffir Lily (Schizostylis coccinea major) and even its stems of seedheads provide an attractive addition to the border.

Otherwise the main plants of note at this time of year are the dwarf conifers, some of the ferns and the grasses, bamboos, sedges and rushes. Those pictured above are one of the Golden Striped Rushes (Acorus gramineus varieties, either Ohgon or variegatus) and a Bamboo (Fargesia murielae Mae).

This is called Black Grass. In practice it is not a grass at all but a flowering plant Ophiopogon planiscapus nigrescens which has loose clusters of pink, white, blue or purplish flowers in summer followed by fat black fruits. I love it but so far have had little success at getting it to spread. Perhaps one needs to buy a lot of them for a good display.

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