Brightening my day today

As I wrote yesterday in my In a vase on Monday post yesterday, when I was walking around the garden looking for things to pick for a vase I was very surprised to find that the yellow Crocus were flowering; as there are so few flowers around at the moment they made my heart jump with pleasure.

This morning I walked around again to see if there were any other treasures.

Yellow Crocus

It is cloudy today and the Crocus haven’t opened their petals but maybe that will mean they will last a while longer.

When I saw the Crocus yesterday I thought they were early but sometimes when I check back I find things have flowered more or less the same day – but in this case I was correct, last year they flowered on February 6th which makes them about 3 weeks early.  I think this may be due to our cold autumn and early winter providing an early stimulus for growth.

Yellow Crocus with Euphorbia myrsinites

All the Euphorbia around the garden are showing signs that they are about to flower.

Euphorbia rigida

Euphorbia rigida

Teucrium fruticans never disappoints, it reliably flowers from November through to April

Th stripey  bumble bee flitted from flower to flower, rather quickly, maybe she didn’t find as much nectar as she would have liked.

Teucrium with stripey bumble bee

Snow drops

I planted a small number (25) of snowdrops in autumn 2016, some but not all flowered last year; this year there seem to be more plus they began flowering in December.

Snow drops

Arbutus unedo

I have been worried about the above Arbutus, it has been struggling to survive since it was planted in April 2015.  This winter it has put on more leaves but the number of flowers makes me think it is still very stressed and this flowering is its last gasp attempt at propagating itself.

Iris unguicularis

Iris unguicularis

I am so pleased that Iris unguicularis has established itself in the garden, it is now reliably flowering from November to spring.

What treasures are you finding in your winter garden.  Are there plants that you wouldn’t be without?

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46 thoughts on “Brightening my day today

  1. It is good to see that your garden is reawakening, although it never really sleeps in your part of the world I suppose. The crocus and Euphorbia make a lovely pair. Hope you are wrong about the Arbutus and it makes a recovery. It would be a shame to lose it. I keep stumbling over more and more Teucriums – the silvey foliage of this one is very attractive. Hooe you get some sunshine later! 🙂

  2. Those crocus are a fine sight for those of us who are only seeing white in our gardens 🙂 . They’re so bright. Most of mine have brown feathering on the outer petals, and don’t look nearly as colorful when not fully open.
    Of course I can’t pass on commenting on the snowdrops. They look very happy and it seems they just needed some time to settle in and recover, I can see that a few are already beginning to multiply! What are the seedlings which are coming up around them. They look promising.
    Here there are only a few browned grasses to look at, but whenever the weather warms enough to melt the snow I race off through the mud to search out any snowdrop sprouts which might be snowing signs of life.

  3. Your crocus are beautiful, just the colour of sunshine. My crocus are nowhere near ready yet! Bulbs are waking up though, so far just the special snowdrops, but the rest can’t be far behind.

    • So far, there’s no damage from the birds; sometimes they peck buds because there are water droplets for them to drink; in the past I’ve had problems with them doing that to the Wisteria buds.

  4. I must try Iris unguicularis. I’ve seen it blooming happily in December elsewhere in Devon so perhaps that gives me a chance. Spring and summer irises really don’t like it here. I’ve almost given up.

  5. The crocus are lovely. It is so special to see what is popping through in January. We are still getting a lot of rain and have an untypically covered sky. I am not complaining about the rain. Amelia

  6. We’ve had some lovely days, unseasonably warm, but I’m realizing that I need to plant more with this time of year in mind. As is so often the case, I will take a few tips from you.

  7. Your garden is promising a lovely year. I always seem to find more color than I imagine is there. I love the Euphorbias, they are great winter interest and the perfect foil for the gloom breaking crocus!

  8. I’m glad to hear that your garden is giving you such joy, Christina. My own Arbutus (‘Marina’) flower heavily this time of year so perhaps A. unedo’s heavy bloom isn’t a bad sign at all. Amazingly, although none of my other bulbs are blooming yet, I saw a few crocus blooms yesterday myself. A grower sent me the crocus as a gift with purchase and I planted them, even though those bulbs never last long here (too little winter chill). They had almost no stem and the flowers literally seemed to have opened as they broke through the surface of the ground. Pleasant, even if not long-lasting.

    • My Crocus often behave as you describe, Kris; I have to admit I’m not a great fan of them as they never flower for very long but they do add a splash of early colour. I think mine have flowered early due to the cold weather in autumn that we don’t usually have. My other Arbutus are also flowering and have been since October, but the tree I showed in ALL flowers, you can hardly see the foliage at all, so my fingers are crossed that it doesn’t just keel over and die

  9. Lots of excitement in your garden. Just began snowing here and ground is quickly turning white. Everything shuts down here when it snows. University classes are cancelled. Expecting two to six inches but warming up to 60s by weekend.

  10. Christina I love your yellow crocuses next to the euphorbia. Actually I like all your euphorbias. All the photos are magnificent, but the Teucrium with the bee is beautiful. The Snow Bells are beautiful. The Iris unguicularis are divine and I am happy that they have blossomed more this year. It’s a shame if your suspicions about the Arbutus unedo are fulfilled, with how beautiful it is. Hopefully it will recover little by little. You have a garden full of flowers. Have a good week. Greetings from Margarita.

  11. The euphorbias look elegant. I have winter crocuses, but they like the sun as you say, and grey skies and rain predominate here. My snowdrops are late ones, so just peeping through. Tiny iris , hellebores are flowering. But nothing likes the rain!

  12. Thanks for showing us the crocus – they really do brighten a winter garden although as they are notoriously prone to bird damage in the UK the lack of birds in your garden will be a benefit as far as yours are concerned!

  13. I’ve yellow Crocus coming up right now and not far from flowering. Must make sure to put a wire cloche over them as the blackbirds love ripping them to pieces. Weather is so rotten these days that one welcome every little flower. I’ve similar ones to yours as well as Hellebores about to open, Hamamelis, Clematis cirrhosa…

  14. Is your Iris unguicularis fragrant? I’ve read that it typically is when I came upon it at a local Arboretum I couldn’t detect a fragrance.

    You have a lot in bloom for the middle of winter! The only thing I’ve got blooming is a witch hazel. Even the buds on my Prunus mume got killed off by cold and that hasn’t happened since it started blooming 15 years ago.

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