Tag Archives: Hamamelis Jelena

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – February 2015


As in January, a strange mix of spring bulbs and rather more exotic plants are blooming.  The Grevillea above has a number of genus companions, including this one.IMG_6026

These are both outside, the first in the ground and the other in a pot that’s too heavy and too far from warmth to move.  Bearing in mind they’re (largely) Australian, do you think they’re following the seasons down under?

As well as the Iris reticulata ‘Gordon‘ featured last month, IMG_5985

this has now been joined by Iris reticulata ‘Blue Note’, providing an early pool for the Lady Diver. Although why on earth she’d want to be swimming outside this early in the year I have no idea.IMG_6020

I’m very excited to report that since last month, my Hamamelis count has increased to three. The one below is the one I think is ‘Arnold’s Promise’.IMG_6000

This has been joined by a very small  H. Jelena featured in last week’s Wordless WednesdayIMG_6012

and, as of yesterday’s visit to the Hillier Gardens, a rather more magnificent H. Aphrodite.  I’m very chuffed that Aphrodite was my Valentine treat from the OH!IMG_5987

There are more Hellebores blooming, although they’re still not good at lifting their heads.  I seem to recall last year the first ones below, in particular, became more erect as the month went on.IMG_5994IMG_5998IMG_6008

As far as bulbs are concerned, I actually have more of these (inherited) Leucojum than Snowdrops. IMG_6016

as well as many little Muscari Armeniacum ‘Big Smile‘, planted in pots.IMG_6015

My only real ‘winter interest’ shrub is the Sarcococca confusa.  Sadly this is tucked away in the shady bed, thus breaking all the rules about keeping it near the door so you can enjoy the perfume.

I have been considering digging out a large Phormium (which is near the door) and replacing it with something new for winter interest, but I just can’t decide what would be best.  I’m vacillating between Daphne/Lonicera/Viburnum.  Any thoughts?IMG_6006

One of my favourite plants flowering at the moment is this little primrose.  It is self seeded on the steps which run between the two Lavender Beds.  It’s a lovely colour, rather more ‘dusky’ than this picture would suggest.  I would love more of it, but I’m terrified to try to dig it up to divide it in case I just rip the plant from the roots (it’s growing in a very small crack).  And I’ve never seen any likely looking seeds.IMG_6004

And, in case you’re missing the sun, (as I said last month), I give you the following.

Not quite as sunny as last month’s Abutilon ‘Orange Marion‘, but this one is the better named –Viola ‘Sunny Side Up’,IMG_5982

With thanks as ever to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts the GBBD.

Sir Harold Hillier gardens – winter wonderland


It was reading an article about the transformation of the Sir Harold Hillier gardens‘ Centenary Borders (in The Garden magazine in September 2014) which alerted me to the fact there might be rather more to see there than the impressive and unusual trees.  And a subsequent look online informed me that the gardens have, at 4 acres, one of the largest Winter Gardens in Europe.

A half term related visit to the mainland on Friday seemed an ideal opportunity to visit the Winter Gardens, right up until we saw the weather forecast.  However, we packed our stiff upper lips, together with our wellies, and set forth.  And actually, had we not lingered rather too long on our delicious fish and chips in the cafe(!) the weather wouldn’t have been too bad at all. As it was, is was soon grey and deteriorating, and sadly the photos weren’t helped by me forgetting the camera (again!)  However, I did my best with my phone, and hope, despite the gloom, some of the magic of this garden will be conveyed.IMG_0413

Although the Winter Gardens are long established here, they have recently been extended, with many new plants added, including 500 new cyclamen tubers.  There is, understandably, a relatively limited planting palette, but the size of the garden allows for some magnificent drifts of planting, giving wonderful effects.

See below, Cornus – I think this one is Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ – echoed by the planting on the other side of the pathIMG_0411

Another Cornus, C. alba ‘Sibirica‘, glowing in front of a dark Pittosporum

IMG_0418Large planting of Rubus cockburnianus together with Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’IMG_0423

and many hellebores including drifts of the yellow ‘Ashwood Garden Hybrids’,IMG_0409

with brighter yellow provided by the Eranthis hyemalis


There were also interesting foliage plants including the Anchor Plant, or Jet Plane plant,  Colletia paradoxa,


and Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Warnham Gold’


The garden also holds the National Collection for Hamamelis, and has all known species and around 90 varieties.  Many were clearly very long established and significantly taller than me.  Just stunning.

Hamamelis mollis ‘Brevipetala’IMG_0425


This one’s Jelena, the same one I showed in a 9cm pot in last week’s Wordless Wednesday.  I think I’ll have to be patient to see  mine reach this size!


So, not only one of the largest Winter Gardens in Europe and a National Collection of one of my favourite plants, but what else was going on?  Oh yes, an exhibition of snowdrops!

The snowdrops were all in pots and displayed inside, in Jermyns House, the previous family home of Sir Harold Hillier.  Apparently they have a series of these ‘floral displays’ with Hellebores in March and Camellia and Magnolia in March, a lovely idea.

By coincidence they had one of my favourites (which I’d admired on the Frustrated Gardener’s blog last week), Galanthus Diggory.  Not a great photo, but the petals have an extraordinary seersucker texture.

And I’ve included a couple more for the galanthophiles amongst you…IMG_0435



And finally, what of the Centenary Borders I mentioned at the start?  Well, as you can imagine, they’re not looking much at the moment, and my soggy Valentine (on the left) wanted to go home.  But I’m pretty sure we’ll be back!IMG_0446