Spring Edginess and Plant Labels

You know the feeling… the gardening magazines are telling you what you should be doing this month, and the glossy catalogues are all urging you to buy young plants for spring planting…

…. and it is still cold and wet with frosty nights and icy winds!

I should cut back my Miscanthus and Calamagrostis in the butterfly bed, as new growth is just about showing. And the Buddleia can be trimmed down a bit more too. But I think they look so lovely still with the hellebores and a few scattered spring bulbs.

There is one thing about this picture that disturbs me though.

Those white plant labels!

Then I had a brainwave. The black plastic pots that plants from the nursery come in can be used again for seedlings etc, but there are always some with sharp edges or broken bases which end up at our recycling centre. Why don‘t I recycle them myself…. into strips that can be used as labels? I tried it out, cutting rounded ends so they can’t scratch me when I’m weeding, and my silver pen works just as well on them as on the expensive black labels I have bought in the past. What‘s more, they are softer and more flexible than the bought ones, which snap easily if trodden on by mistake. (We will see how durable they are long term.) I will also make the next lot just a little longer so they can stick into the ground firmly.

(If you do try this out, let me know how it works for you. Or maybe you have a better way of labelling plants…?)

So here is my latest purchase -a pretty creamy white hellebore, with new label: H. x ericsmithii ‘Shooting Star’.

Intrigued by the name, I googled it and found an article about Mr Smith, a plantsman from the middle of last century who specialized in hellebore and hosta hybrids among other things. Here is the article if you are interested in a nice read…

‘Eric Smith, a Plantsman’ by J.C. Archibald

The other labels will also be replaced…. once it warms up out there!

Wishing you all some nice gardening weather soon!

In a Vase on Monday: Hello Hellebores!

It is so good to be able to pick flowers again to join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday vase meme. 😃

Well, only one flower actually, as this is the first Hellebore to flower in the butterfly bed. But lots of buds are coming along on this and several other hellebores.

This one is Paradenia, one of the HGC collection, and is a fresh pale pink which shows up well in an otherwise brown garden bed.

I added some dark red Heuchera leaves that are beginning to regain some colour, a sprig of rosemary and and a sprig of Euonymus. The narrow necked jar stands on my latest gardening magazine on my desk… open at a page with gorgeous photos of spring bulbs and hellebores that are a sight for winter-tired eyes.

And on the book-rest behind I have a favourite double page open which is what my dream garden would look like… inspiration for new plans. 😃

I have not found it in English, but alone the pictures of this beautiful garden that the author created are stunning. Peter Janke was clearly inspired by the Beth Chatto garden where he worked for a couple of years before starting on the design of his own garden in Germany. His website is also partly in English:

https://www.peter-janke-gartenkonzepte.de/en/

Sadly this garden is far too far away (10-hour drive!) for a visit. 🙃

Thanks to Cathy for hosting the meme, and wishing you all a good week ahead.

☀️☀️☀️

In a Vase on Monday: May Bouquet

Mondays (today a rather damp one) are cheered every week with this lovely meme hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.

With glorious sunshine and temperatures climbing above the 20 degree mark I spent a lot of the weekend outdoors, also taking the opportunity to pick some wild flowers growing in various parts of the garden. I was especially pleased to see some Harebells as well as all the gorgeous Ragged Robin (which has an equally pretty name in German: Kuckucks-Lichtnelke, literally ‘cuckoo light carnation’).

I added some Euphorbia cyparissias, (spurge, or in German ‘wolf’s milk’ – Wolfsmilch), Leucanthemum vulgare (Moon Daisies), pink clover, cow parsley (just starting to open here) and buttercups as well as a few grasses.

Harebells always make me smile, as we have a lot of hares in this area and I like to imagine the hares playing with these flowers! 😉

From above you can see the variety of wild flowers and grasses a little better.

Click on the images below for a slideshow.

Thanks to Cathy and all the other vase makers brightening up the start to the week!

Visiting the ‘Old Garden’

Since moving further into the Bavarian countryside last year I have managed to keep up the ‘old garden’ and rockery at our village house and have been constantly surprised at how self-sufficient it is – a recent visit confirmed this yet again. Come and take a look with me.

The Acer and early peonies in the south-west rockery

The grasses, Lysimachia, perennial Geraniums and Golden Rod have already filled out this part of the rockery, suppressing the dreaded ground elder. An early peony is just showing a little colour. 🙂

THE rose that has probably been there since the house was built in the 70s has plenty of promising new growth and buds and some lovely Camassia are flowering in front of it. But the nicest thing in this picture below is the peony in the front, planted about five years ago. Paeonia itoh ‘Shining Light’ looks like it might finally flower this year at last – I can see two buds! It may be brought over to the new garden in autumn as it would love the Sunshine Bed I am creating, although I realise it might not flower again for a year or so after being moved.

Finally, out the front in my spring corner the perennial Honesty (Lunaria redivida) is flowering. The eliptical seedheads were featured in this Monday vase a few weeks ago, producing a lot of interest. I think most people only grow the annual which has round seedheads and flowers a little earlier.

Thanks for visiting. 🙂