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The Great White Cherry and other spring flowers

When I opened the curtains this morning I was greeted by the beautiful sight of the cheery tree at the bottom of the garden. It was covered with white flowers set off to their magnificent best by a bright blue sky. It was a photo opportunity that could not be missed. It is Prunus Taihaku or Great White Cherry.

Prunus Taihaku or Great White Cherry

Whilst I was in the garden with my camera I snapped a few of the other spring flowers. I have tubs of Viola F1 Coconut Duet that were planted in the autumn and have been providing winter colour since then. In the past few weeks the blooms have multiplied and they are putting on a marvellous display. However, they are in danger of being overshadowed by the tulip plants that are now pushing their way through.

Viola F1 Coconut Duet

The Bergenia cordifolia is just starting to come into flower. My Bergenia plants originally came from my parent’s garden. My mother referred to them as Elephants luck but the usual common name is Elephant’s ears because of the large round leaves.

Bergenia cordifolia

Near the bottom of the garden is a delicate sprig of Chionodoxa. The bulbs came as part of a mixed bag that I planted in a tub a couple of years ago. When the bulbs finished flowering I planted them in a patch at the end of the garden.

Chionodoxa

My Camellias are just starting to flower. I have two bushes against the garage wall. There are lots of buds so there is the promise of a colourful show in the next couple of weeks. In some past years a late frost has caused many of the buds to drop of but hopefully that will not happen this year.

Camellia

Finally a miniature daffodil caught my eye. It is gallantly holding its own in a tub of relatively large tulip leaves. Its tiny trumpet is less than half an inch across but it is a welcome sight on a sunny spring day.

Miniature daffodil

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Who’s been eating my primulas?

My primulas are in flower but something is making a meal of the petals. If it was slugs I would expect them to go for the leaves rather than the flowers. Or are the flowers extra tasty to a slug? Maybe the bright yellow colour is attracting the birds to have a peck although I haven’t seen any birds attacking them. Maybe there is some other creature that likes primula flowers. It is heartbreaking to see the well munched petals. Do you have any idea who might be doing it?

Update

March 23, 2011

Soon after I took the above photograph I sprinkled some slug pellets around the plants. The latest flowers are much less nibbled so I suspect that the culprit is a member of the slug family. There are no dead slugs to be seen so the creatures must be tiny enough to disappear from sight. I don’t like resorting to chemical methods but the directions on the packet say the pellets are safe for pets and birds if used sparingly.

After using slug pellets the new flowers are much less nibbled

Frogspawn and crocuses Spring is early in my garden

The frogs in my garden seem to think that spring is here even though it is only the last week in February. The frogs have been mating and frogspawn has appeared in our garden pond.

Lots of plants are coming to life and putting out new shoots. The crocuses were putting on such a brilliant display that I felt compelled to take some photographs of them.

Winter sunshine

“The sun has got his hat on Hip – hip – hip – hoo – ray!” in the words of the Noel Gay song from Me and My Girl. After days of overcast gloominess where we were putting the lights on a 2.00 o’clock in the afternoon a sunny day raises the spirits. In my garden the first of the spring bulbs are beginning to show. At the local lakes the leafless trees look magnificent in the winter sunshine.