Strange how the cold breeze ruffled some of the new flowers on the Magnolia stellata, but not others- and with no windbreak either. The weather is bouncing quixotically from 2C in the morning, to 21C, and then greying over in the afternoon with a cold wind- which accounts for the fact that most things are biding their time for more stable temperatures- but it is Skegness-bracing for us humans- and the ground is slowly regaining malleability as the torrential rain seems to have stopped.
Only small moments are happening in the garden- human activity is focusing on big-weed removal, like dandelions where I don’t want them- they can help themselves to the ‘lawn’ in my view. Personally, I wouldn’t grace our mossy and dry, how can it be both?, grass with the term ‘lawn’. But then again, I’m not that bothered about lawn-stuff. My eyes glaze over when Monty Don starts on about lawns and grass.
I rather like the delicacy of this little tulip. I have a feeling that I should have planted them deeper, I will try and remedy that for next year. I bought a handful of Tulipa clusiana ‘Lady Jane’ in the autumn, as an experiment. Of course, I had forgotten where I had planted them, and then I had also done a massive clearout of the vicinity, which may have disturbed them a bit. So they are a bit on the wobbly side. I had a go at tucking them up a bit more with some pale gravel, which does set them off quite well but may not really help anything. Let’s hope that they are tougher than they look.
If there is enough sunshine, the flowers open wide to show thick chocolate stamens and a splash of liquid gold at the centre. I think, though, that I like the half-open position, so that the soft pink contrasts with the white of the flower.
Continuing with the pale and delicate theme, these daffodils have graced me with a return this year. I think I have to review my bulb purchasing. The last couple of years, tulip and narcissus bulbs have done very poorly for me, despite growing them in pots with sharp sand to help with drainage. So, last autumn, I just threw some old bulbs into the ground, thinking, ‘Fat chance’. But, there they are. Looking back, I think I have named this variety properly, but carelessness abounds.
By contrast, these daffs, from a purchase last autumn, have positively shocked me with their Disneyland colouring. I am sure that these were meant to be cream with an orange trumpet, a sort of extra-frilly one, but you need your sunglasses on for these.
With a name like ‘Chantilly’, you would expect cream, wouldn’t you?!
The white Japanese quince, Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Nivalis’, was pretty nipped by the frost the other week, but bolstered by a background show from the Magnolia stellata, was giving a final show. I rather liked the impressionistic feel of the breeze through the blossom.
But for more to happen, we must wait more. A beautiful installation at the Garden Musuem, London last month took my fancy on a wintry day. Called ‘The Vitrine’ and made by Rebecca Louise Law, it is a simply gorgeous copper wire suspension and arrangement of flowers. Here is the view from one side, and, with reflections, from the other side. Magical.