Around the garden in early April

It's been a busy couple of weeks recently, which is great as it helps distract from the rainy grey days. There have been a couple of glorious mornings though, like yesterday, when we've had coffee in the garden with friends and family, but generally there's been too much cowering indoors dodging the heavy rain and hailstones like marbles. Still it's good for the garden, although even that seems to have gone back into hibernation, going through a fallow period with not a lot happening. In an unusually fine half hour today I wandered around and took some pics to show you.
The black widow geranium or Geranium phaeum is one of my favourites, as it's the first cranesbill of the year and self-seeds tastefully, always finding plants that complement its understated beauty. 
This splendid looking Camellia williamsii 'Donation' has never looked so good before, she's a blaze of blooms and colour right now.

Camellia 'Black Lacel' is a new addition in the front garden and seems to like her shady spot.
The walled bellflower Campanula poscharskyana is another volunteer that's almost a nuisance. However, she's such a pretty little thing that I can't bear to pull her up. 

The hellebores are in full swing and associate really well with the tail  end of the hyacinths...
...which in previous years have been planted out after first flowering indoors. The hazy figure of the bruised and battered garden gnome was made by Felix many years ago. I must confess I'm not a gnome lover, although I would never knowingly harm one. However, he's had many knocks over the years, being accidentally dropped by successive well-meaning but clumsy children. I've become quite sentimental about him as he magically moves around the garden for the grandkids to find.
Neither am I a lover of the elephantine daffodils that are planted in many gardens, although I do love them inside during the cold January and February days. But outdoors I much prefer any of the smaller narcissi, like these delicate little Tête à Têtes.
The last of the crocuses add a splash of much-needed colour. The birds have attacked all the others leaving them looking limp and defeated.
Django looking handsome under this scarlet amaryllis, nice contrast to his monotone palette 😉
Wanted to show you this fossilised centre of one of last year's blooms on our Magnolia grandiflora. It was such a poor summer that by the time most of the buds had formed, the weather was too cold for them to open and the petals just rotted and fell off leaving this structure in the centre. I love the different textures - there must be a sweater design in there somewhere!
Work in progress
Another thing that's been happening in the past few days is that we've been having the French doors in the music room replaced. The previous doors were only single-glazed to half way down, but now we're getting the benefit of the new full-length, double-glazed doors, feeling warm and cosy whilst having a much better view of the garden.
Nearly done, almost there except for a couple of bolts
The cut down old doors
The top half of the original doors are a real bonus too. Cut down, they'll be great to use as frames for a couple of outdoor quadriptyches (now all we have to do is make them!). Watch this space..
Izzi's teeshirt
Ava's teeshirt
lyra's tiedyed teeshirt
And finally, just wanted to tell you about something I've had a lot of fun doing with the grandkids - ie I've rediscovered tie-dyeing. It's really interesting how a few elastic bands and some colourful dye can transform boring white teeshirts into unique designs.  I'm quite tempted to do one for myself! 😀

Thanks for dropping by x


  1. "self-seeds tastefully" - Love that! Gorgeous pics, Jean. Spring is in full bloom here in Nebraska. The crabapples are stunning right now. I so love spring. Thanks for sharing your garden.

    1. Good to hear from you Merry. I love spring too, when the garden's bursting with promise of the good things to come x

  2. The colors in your garden are absolutely splendid. I do love camellia blooms, and don't see enough of them around here, so thank you particularly for sharing their beauty.

    Your fossilized magnolia definitely could inspire some knitting stitchery.

    Fun to see the tie dye results. It's such a fun technique, and brings me many memories, too. In recent years, I've been rather amazed by Japanese shibori tie dying techniques and have amassed a little collection of scarves that feature shibori. I do treasure them.

    My news is that I retired at the end of March, and am thoroughly enjoying my expanded open hours as daylight also grows longer with each spring day.

    Best wishes to you and yours. xo

    1. Many congrats, Frances, on your retirement - wishing you many creative and happy years.

      Collecting interesting scarves can be fascinating, I've been buying a few vintage silk ones on Ebay recently, to keep in stock for birthday gifts. Have you done a blog on your shibori ones, I'd love to see them?

      At the moment I'm enjoying the garden through the new doors, as the weather here has deteriorated again, much driving rain making the camellia blooms turn brown and fall off.

      Love to you and the Big Apple

    2. Thank you so much for those congrats, Jean.
      As I'd expected, I've been easily able to overload my new free hours and days with what pleases me.
      Thank you also for the idea of a post showing some of my shibori scarves. My recent retirement was from a fashion retail company, Eileen Fisher, that you might have heard of. Part of my employment's benefits included a monthly clothing allowance, so that I'd be able to wear current styles at the shop. This is what enabled me over the years to have my shibori scarves.
      Here's a funny bit. One day, I was chatting with a Japanese customer, who said that in school she had been required to take a shibori class. I said, "how wonderful, did you continue on with shibori?" "Oh no," she replied. "It was much too difficult." Indeed so.

  3. I love your flower garden so have a green thumb ~☆


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