The mildest winter I can remember seems to be coming to an end...although, this being Britain, there could be a late freeze on the way! In my optimism, I have begun to sow some zinnias, fountain grass, and cleome in the greenhouse.
In the first half of February, there were still roses and juicy-red rosehips, sage and viburnum.
The crocuses almost drowned in the swamp of a winter garden, but there were enough to add some colour to the grey and brown, and to cut for a tiny vase.
Now they've gone, and the narcissi and hyacinths are about to take their place. The hyacinths have lasted three years and several moves.
My muscari looked like they were going to flower months ago, but there has just been a lot of leaves. Now the narcissi and tulips have caught up, and many of them look on the cusp of flowering. I'm hoping the Bridal Crown narcissi (front row, middle) flower - I saw them at Chelsea in 2012 and they looked beautiful, but mine didn't flower last year...probably because I tried to force them indoors in a freezing cold flat!
The Honeymoon tulips didn't flower last year, so I'm ever so excited to see this now. And the beautiful, variegated foliage of the Chinatown tulips offered so much promise last year, so I am hoping they deliver flowers this year! Most of the bulbs were bought at the RHS Wisley show in 2012, from Bridgend-based Pheasant Acre Plants.
In other news, the Moody Blues nigella (from Sarah Raven) are still looking good, and in the last week, the Higgledy Garden Nora Barlow aquilegia have grown a little more. The cornflowers are looking decidedly ill though. so I don't think I'll get any flowers from my autumn-sown seedlings. I'll have to try my luck with spring sowings instead.
The autumn-sown sweet peas are looking ok, and hopefully they will fare better than the spring sowings I attempted with no joy last year. I know it's too early to move them outside, but I got impatient looking at my sweet pea pots, which are all ready for new plants, so I planted a couple. I'm just curious to see what will happen!
There are two hanging baskets filled with forget-me-nots - blue in one and pink in the other. They are from the wonderful Shannon's Garden Centre in Forest Hill, and the idea of forget-me-not hanging baskets came from Seedball.
I bought a few pots of bluebells to see how they grow - one pot of English bluebells and one pot of pink Spanish bluebells. The Penny's Pink hellebores are still doing well. And finally, I spotted lots of new growth in the garden, including these sedums. Come on, springtime!