Simple pleasures

I have been absent from My Hesperides Garden on and off for the last 10 days.  As some of you will have read in my comments to Monday’s vase post my husband is in hospital.  He has had knee replacement surgery and is now following the hospital’s rigorous physiotherapy programme.

Tulips continue to open their buds around the garden which is giving me immense pleasure.  I continue to be amazed by their flowering so much earlier following being chilled before planting out.

Tulip Purissima

Tulip Purissima

I love that because the new tulips are flowering earlier they are flowering for longer in the cooler temperatures.

Tulip Exotic Emperor

Tulip Exotic Emperor

Exotic Emperor came into flower about the 24th February, they are looking a little ragged now but still adding to the feeling that the garden is slowly filling with flowers.

Actually I'm not sure which tulip this is

Actually I’m not sure which tulip this is

I ordered T. Request but I’m not sure that this is correct – if you have any ideas do please tell me.

Anemone coronaria Sylphide and Tulip Purple Peony

Anemone coronaria Sylphide and Tulip Purple Peony

T. Purple Peony has produced much better flowers in the ground that it did in a pot in the greenhouse, so that’s good to remember for another year.

Tulips that were planted in autumn 2014 are returning (except, of course those whose stems were eaten by mice or cut through by the mole last year)

Tulips that were planted in autumn 2014 are returning (except, of course those whose stems were eaten by mice or cut through by the mole last year)

By adding new chilled tulips to the garden the season will be extended by almost 2 months.

Colour on the slope

Colour on the slope

I haven’t been showing the slope on a regular basis as I once did.  It is coming to life with new shoots, masses of Californian poppy seedlings and the stream of Muscari is still there although some of the bulbs are disappearing under the rosemary.

Muscari stream on the slope

Muscari stream on the slope

Cerinthe and Muscari

Cerinthe and Muscari

Most of the clumps of Muscari around the garden need to be divided

Most of the clumps of Muscari around the garden need to be divided



Anemone coronaria The Bride

Anemone coronaria The Bride

I planted 100 Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’ and have been rewarded with hundreds of flowers, I hope these will begin to seed themselves around the garden as well as A. ‘Sylphide’ has done.  I have found 4 seedling in various places where I know there were no plants plus of course there may be more closer to the original plants.

Viburnum burkwoodii

Viburnum burkwoodii

Never before have there been so many flowers, the perfume is wonderful.

Viburnum burkwoodii

Viburnum burkwoodii

Clematis Armandii

Clematis Armandii

A pretty vignette of Hyacinth, Euphorbia and Anemone coronaria

A pretty vignette of Hyacinth, Euphorbia and Anemone coronaria

I have seen that spring is arriving almost everywhere now (autumn in the Southern Hemisphere) so that we are all enjoying a change in season and all that brings.

What is giving you the most pleasure this week?


62 thoughts on “Simple pleasures

  1. What a pleasure to see your beautiful drifts of spring bulbs, your tulips are fabulous. I really like the combination of muscari Stipa tenuissima, I’ve not see it before, what a good idea. Hope the knee physio goes well.

    • Thanks Kate the physio is going well, they had him climbing a shallow staircase 6 days after the op! Stipa grows all over the garden until I pull it out; I like it so leave it to grow unless it is smothering other plants, it seems to go with everything.

      • That’s great progress, so soon post-op too. I envy you the Stipa seedlings – I have a good colony or two, but they rarely set seed. You’re so right, it’s a very versatile airy grass.

        • He chose the hospital because they were so good with the physio after the operation. It’s one of those procedures where the physio is as important and the surgery. He is in the same hospital under the care of the surgery and he directs the physiotherapy team.

  2. Lovely to see everything growing in such profusion. Your Clematis armandii makes mine look rather pathetic. I think I will have two groups of flowers this year, which is one better than last so I am quite happy. They are beautiful though aren’t they. Your muscari too looks wonderful and healthy. Mine is just in buds at the moment, but I am looking forward to a lovely splash of blue.
    Your red/orange tulips are lovely and vibrant. My only thought was Ballerina, but I think they are too tall and too red. I hope someone can identify them for you.
    Mmm – what is giving me most pleasure this week? I think it is my little Tete a Tete narcissus, which are a lovely splash of colour in my still rather brown garden.
    Best wishes to your other half – I hope he is being good with his exercises and that he soon feels the benefit.

    • My Armandii was much bigger, it covered a section of the pergola but a lot dies back two summers ago through lack of water and I actually thought it was dead. I’m glad it survived and will make sure it has enough water in future, it doesn’t need very much and is obviously very tough for something that looks so beautifully delicate.

  3. So sorry to hear about your husband Christina and hope he is well and truly on the mend. With very best wishes for his speedy recovery.
    Great to see the slope again, I’ve always loved it. I am trying to naturalise muscari on mine too, they are back better than last year but have a way to go to look as established as yours.

    • I should show all parts of the garden on a more regular basis but like all gardeners I tend to concentrate my mind on the very good or very bad! the slope is now well established and just does its own thing apart from still needing to be weeded, which I had hoped would be smothered by plants by now! Muscari bulk up quite quickly so you’ll soon be dividing them as I need to.

  4. Gorgeous in every way. I laughed at your question ‘what’s looking good in your garden’ since there’s very little other than daffodils, hellebores and E.robbiae in flower. The clematis went over fast but the foxgloves are about to emerge as are the pots of tulips. The good thing about reading other blogs is the inspiration and reminder to get more stuff in especially for this time of year..

    Best wishes to your husband for a speedy recovery.

    • Thanks for your good wishes; he is improving every day which is fantastic. I would love to have masses of daffodils here, but that won’t happen; I will plant some more this autumn where I’m about to plant new dahlias so that they receive summer irrigation. I would love to have Hellebores too.

  5. It looks just beautiful. I love the river of muscari, and I’m looking forward to my Viburnam growing up to look like yours. Great that you have the slope looking after itself; that’s a major mission. It’s also good that your husband is doing well. He must be missing seeing the tulip display. Will you dig any of them up for re-chilling or just keep adding new ones?

    • I think digging up tulips to re-chill them is a job too many; while I can afford to buy some new ones each year I will, when I can’t I may think about doing that. This year I’m enjoying the fact that I’ll have tulips flowering in the garden from February through hopefully to late April or even May.

  6. Few here plant tulips, since they are only annuals for us, but the C. armandii and Muscari is blooming, so we must be on the same track. I hope everything goes well for your husband. Take care and be extra careful with all the driving.

    • In England I considered tulips as annuals and so planted them in pots. They are so beautiful and not very expensive so I thought a few pots each year were worth it.

  7. Wishing your husband a speedy recovery! You certainly have lots blooming in your garden. The Euphorbia in your last photo is quite popular here and an early bloomer for the bees–I guess I should consider adding some the the garden. And your tulips–sigh!

  8. Hi Christina, I really enjoyed seeing all the bulbs being in flower in your garden. I love the Muscari stream on your slope!
    In my garden I am getting the most pleasure out of the roses, which are just starting to bloom. It is such an exciting time! I also love my Martha Washington Geraniums and the Narcissus Paperwhites. I planted the latter only in February, that is why they are flowering now.
    Happy spring gardening!

    • Hi Christina; it must be very warm where you are to have roses blooming now, mine won’t bloom until the mid-April. Do Paperwhites grow outside in your garden and if so do they return each year?

  9. Delightful seeing your colorful blooms. That Sylphide and Tulip Purple Peony combination is perfect. My muscari is puny compared to yours. I should move mine or try some new bulbs in another location. My neighbors’s Saucer Magnolia is in full bloom and their weeping willow is greening; these make a nice backdrop to the redbud and spirea in bloom in my yard. Best to R.

  10. I hope all goes well with the knee. Oh, my goodness Spring has arrived in Lazio, what a profusion of blooms! You are the Tulip lady, aren’ t you? You have so many beauties. It is lovely to see them all.

  11. Hope your husband’s physio goes really well Christina, and he is soon out and about and pain-free. Your Spring garden is looking lovely, I was thinking of you yesterday when I was weeding the front garden and discovered cerinthe seedlings and the emerging leaves of Anemone coronaria, maybe they will flower this year! Enjoy your gorgeous tulips.

  12. Your spring blooms are glorious, Christina. I particularly love that drift of Muscari that flows like water.

    I hope your husband’s recovery goes smoothly. there’s a knee replacement in my future as well but I continue to put it off as long as possible.

    • Richard put his off because he’d been told that it could only be done once so it was best to wait as long as possible. It isn’t a pleasant experience but he’s very happy with the treatment he’s having. I think I will have to have mine done at some time too, gardeners lineal a lot so I can’t imagine what it would be like not to be able to do it. Btw I haven’t been able to leave comments on your recent posts but I’ll keep trying.

  13. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to your husband Christina, he sounds like a good patient. Your post makes me smile as my tulips are still just leaves, I am so looking forward to some flowers, if any are as lovely as yours I’ll be delighted.

  14. Best wishes to your husband, I hope he continues to improve, physio is such an important part of recovery after an op.
    Your river of Muscari is amazing, such an intense blue! You have so many wonderful spring flowers, your garden is certainly looking beautiful.

  15. All the best for the patient. Hope he’ll be home soon to enjoy your beautiful garden with you. There must be some delicious scents right now with the Viburnum, Freesias and Hyacinths. The viburnum is very pretty – there are so many sorts and I finally chose and planted a new one (V. carlesii) last year which I hope will flower this spring.

    • Yes, as I wander around the garden different perfumes assail me. I have a V. Carlessii as well as burkwoodii; it is always slightly later to flower but I think it’s perfume is even better.

  16. It seems your garden is exploding with colour. I love the purple tulip/anemone combination especially. Hope the physio goes well. My gardening colleague at Wimpole is having a knee op next Thursday and is currently both very excited and worried.

    • My husband is thrilled with the results. But especially with the rehab which I know isn’t as good in the UK, Richard’s cousin had her knee done in October last year in the Norfolk and Norwich and was left pretty much to just get on with it herself. Here 4 hours a day plus another 2 some afternoons really makes a huge difference. Good luck to your colleague.

  17. It is so exciting to realise you can have two additional months of tulip flowers – and even if just a proportion return year on year you will gradually be building up more colonies. Strangely the ones of mine coming back seem to be those in pots raand not the ground… You have some lovely shades of them – and your muscari looks such an intense shade too. Is it just the usual variiety? The C armandii is stunning – I am not ready to risk another one here yet! How long before you can expect Richard home?

    • The majority of the tulips return each year. I have some that have split and one original bulb produced 4 flowers, I can see dome already. The Muscari on the slope were just the cheapest available; there are also some that are a lighter colour at the top, I’ll check to see what they are called. Richard should be home next weekend and maybe the wisteria will be flowering for him!

      • I moved some of my Katherine Hodgkin today so I could move a grass that was flopping on the path and all the bulbs have split and produced a second one, so that’s good news for future years. With Richard’s op will you not be travelling to the UK for mil’s 90th as you had hoped?

  18. I hope your husband recovers quickly! My wife had a hip replacement at a younger than normal age. It was a challenge but she is doing great now. Could that orange tulip could be Ballerina or King’s Orange? You have a beautiful selection of bulbs and I really like the Viburnum. I have a young Viburnum carlesii, and I’m hoping this year it blooms for the first time.

  19. So lovely to see all your spring bulbs Christina! I am glad that Richards op went well and that he is doing so well with the physio. I hope that he is back home very soon. xx

  20. The garden has so many flowers, I can almost smell them. It will be a welcome sight for your husband after his operation. I like to see the flowers spreading and your Muscari certainly are. I have planted different Muscari but they are not spreading despite spreading in a friend’s house nearby. Amelia

    • Maybe your soil is too heavy for the Muscari? Or possibly you are too thorough with weeding; mine mainly spread by the bulbs splitting but there are quite a few that have seeded too.

        • Maybe it takes a while, I’ve had Muscari in the garden from when I started it so there has been time for seeds to grow to flowering sized bulbs; I only notice the new plants when they flower.

  21. Hi Christina, I hope all goes well with your husband’s physical therapy and that he has a speedy recovery.

    Your tulips are gorgeous! I am seeing more blooms in my own garden now. Azaleas are beginning to bloom, including my prized native azaleas, and my Viburnum burkwoodii is also in bloom; I love its fragrance!

    • I always find it lovely when a blogging friend has the same plant flowering so many miles away on a different continent. I don’t have Azaleas though so will have to enjoy yours.

  22. Glad to hear your husband is doing well, and what a beautiful spring sanctuary! Here we are finally getting warm sunny days to start the spring clean up…2 days but that should do it. Then the weather turns rainy and cold again.

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