Making me smile this week 3rd February 2016

Weather-wise it has been a mixed week with a couple of days of really warm sunshine and blue skies and the rest rather grey with a cold wind.  On Monday I began pruning the wisteria on the pergola at the front of the house.  I wish I’d taken a photograph immediately as the new structure against the blue sky was really making me smile a lot, against the grey sky today it looks far less impressive. 

At the end of last week I was working on clearing some of the decaying growth of last year’s perennials, this is always enjoyable as I discover new self seeded plants and new growth already pushing through the soil.  I certainly wouldn’t have seen the first couple of Iris reticulata ‘Purple Gem’ as they came into flower.

Iris reticulata Purple Gem

Iris reticulata Purple Gem

Iris reticularta Harmony

Iris reticulata Harmony

The intensity of colour of Harmony is incredible, the image above was taken today when it was very grey using a macro lens but with no treatment of any kind.


Muscari – sorry out of focus, but I wanted to record the first opening flower

Anemone coronaria Mr Fokker

Anemone coronaria Mr Fokker

This Anemone also shows a wonderful intensity of colour.

Euphorbia rigida

Euphorbia rigida – this has become my favourite Euphoribia especially when seen with a macro lens.

Lonicera fragrantissima

Lonicera fragrantissima

Lonicera fragrantissima

Lonicera fragrantissima

When I arrive home or on my way out this Lonicera is near where the car is parked; this year I think it has more flowers than ever before and is a constant attraction to various bees even on a cold grey day like today.

Lonicera fragrantissima with small bee

Lonicera fragrantissima with small bee

Iris unguicularis

Iris unguicularis

I’m showing you this iris unguicularis again this week because this one was flowering in a new place in the new woodland walk so I think it must be a seedling from the patch a few feet away.  That really makes me smile!

Miscanthus sin. 'Morning Light'

Miscanthus sin. ‘Morning Light’

With sun back-lighting Miscanthus sin. ‘Morning Light’ I can’t help but be happy.  I will need to cut all the grasses down very soon otherwise this year’s growth will have begun.

To finish, I wasn’t smiling all that much when I took the image below as it was bitterly cold and every time the cattle came closer a stray dog appeared on the scene and the cattle moved away.  But I’m pleased with how the light is hitting the bare branches and the cattle.  I need a much better telephoto lens if I’m to have any success with photographing the birds we had gone to see.

Seen while in a bird hide at Lake Vico

Seen while in a bird hide at Lake Vico

I was going to show you how my vase of Tulip Exotic Emperor are progressing but I think there are already too many images here.  I’ll share those with you later in the week.



47 thoughts on “Making me smile this week 3rd February 2016

    • It doesn’t feel all that spring-like today but when the sun shines – that’s a different story. I needed sun protector on my face on Monday when I was high on the ladder pruning the wisteria.

    • It is like the garden is awakening from a sleep, a similar thing happens in autumn after the summer drought, I need more autumn flowering bulbs to give me the same buzz.

  1. That lonicera is so impressive, it must have a wonderful perfume. Mine has never ever flowered that much. Perhaps yours has more summer heat to ripen the wood – or perhaps you prune yours better!.

    • I hardly prune it at all because it grows much more slowly here with less water. This year it has put on more growth than ever before and all the branches are covered with flowers.

    • The nice thing about these these small Iris reticulata is that they don’t don’t need much space and will also survive in a small pot so I’m sure you could find somewhere to plant some, they die back completely in summer.

  2. I really like the title of your post Christina, I wish I had as much in flower at home as you do, with our mild weather I have already started to cut back grasses but its a shame to remove the flower heads when the February light is so lovely. That’s the most floriferous Lonicera I have ever seen, I can imagine how much joy that gives you.

  3. son preciosos todos las plantas. Siento una especial atracción por los iris, los adoro. Y me gustan ver las vacas en el campo. Yo veo a lo lejos ovejas con cabras cuando ya han segado el trigo. Saludos, margarita141.

  4. Your post made me smile too, with promise of things to come. My Harmony irises are still a way off and my newly planted Mr Fokker is just showing leaves so far. It was lovely to see your plants in full flower. But I bet you can guess what my favourite was? Yes, the Miscanthus looking wonderful with the sun shining through it.

    • I suppose because the Miscanthus has been looking fabulous for a few months now I don’t appreciate it as much as I should. Most of the Anemones are just foliage but I planted a lot more last autumn so I am hoping for a good show in a few weeks.

    • Lonicera fragrantissima has the best perfume of any plant I think, Elaeagnus has also been flowering since November and that also has a lovely fragrance and that has been flowering for a couple of months. Winter flowering plants usually have the best perfumes because they have to attract bees from a wider distance as there aren’t so many around in winter.

    • I may end up boring you with T. Exotic Emperor; one always values ‘the first’ more than all the rest – silly really but I think that’s why everyone is so crazy about snowdrops (which I like but am not fanatical about).

  5. Your Miscanthus is beautiful! I immediately looked it up, but vaguely remembered looking at this one before. Apparently it rarely flowers here – I suppose it needs a much longer season of warmth. I wish I could smell your Lonicera. And your irises are beautiful. It is trying to snow here tonight…

    • ‘Morning Light’ never flowered for me in England, but your summers are probably hotter so it might flower in Germany; it is the Miscanthus with the most beautiful form, like a fountain; I would happily grow it even without flowers.

    • Lonicera fragrantissima has my favourite perfume of all plants; I love it because it isn’t overpowering even in a confined space but that it is strong enough to carry over a large distance.

  6. I love all these flowers of early spring. The little irises are like jewels, such vivid colours. The weather here is awful, day after day, but still the spring flowers keep on coming. Your lonicera is magnificent, the scent is a superb.

  7. I always love seeing your iris unguicularis and I have planted them on more than one occasion but to no avail. The big iris, on the other hand, thrive. Your iris unguicularis must really be happy to self seed. I always get a pleasure if plants do that. Amelia

    • I’m surprised you haven’t been successful with I. unguicularis; they do take a few years before they flower but once established they continue to produce flowers all winter.

  8. You managed to make the cows look quite content in their grazing, stray dogs or not!
    I love the color on those anemones and that’s the first time ever I saw a winter honeysuckle actually look attractive! Must have been al the moisture last summer, I bet many a shrub liked that.

  9. So many reasons to smile! Nice little patch of Iris reticulata Purple Gem–such a pretty color. Glad you’re out enjoying your garden. We’ve had only an odd day here and there that was nice, but I’m hoping spring will find us soon.

    • The weather is mixed; some beautiful days but the weekend was horrible with cold, very strong winds and today it’s raining; Friday was so beautiful with warm sun and blue skies. Have a good week.

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