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The hellebore, flowering above, is doing very well. It is planted in a north facing position, in semi-shade. When planting I incorporated lots of homegrown compost, but once established the hellebore will tolerate most soils.

The dark purple 'lenten rose' is a welcome addition, the only herbacious perennial, alongside spring bulbs, flowering at this time of year in my garden. Plant preferably on a bank at more or less eye level, as hellebore flowers do have a tendency to bow their heads.

Three or five cut hellebore stems do look beautiful in a vase, if you can bring yourself to take them from the garden.

The beautiful illustration above is taken from Culpeper's Complete Herbal with The British Florist 1812.


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After flowering last year, I allowed the foxgloves around the garden to set seed. The result is good, and many new plants have sprung up, in the right place and equally some in the wrong place.

After a spring tidy today, I have found many a new home. I haven't the heart to move the one in the photo above, it has decided to grow from a crevice in the wall and looks to have settled in rather nicely.

The photo above, taken in my garden last year, shows the beautiful speckled-pink spires of a foxglove, nestled amongst a pale pink peony.


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The Primrose gets its name from 'prima rosa' meaning first rose.

At the beginning of a new gardening year, the pretty 'primrose yellow' flowers are one of the first to come into bloom.

Last year, immediately after flowering, I divided clumps which had become congested to multiply along banks around the garden. Now my 'plants for free' are coming through, with great success.


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Throughout the winter months there will be many resident blackbirds around the garden. Leave a few apples on the ground, they will soon be found, and enjoyed.

At this time of year with the breeding season ahead, each male blackbird will become highly territorial, and will be seen, and heard, vying for the attention of the female. The winner usually being the dominant one.

The apples, and the copious amounts of rain we have been having lately, will too attract slugs. Notice the tiny black one on the terracotta, a real menace to the gardener!


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This old tree stump sits in a wild area of my garden.

Can you see what I can see?


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Above, a beautiful Hibiscus flower.

The African Tulip Tree with its flame-red flowers.


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I knew when Winter swirled
Not by the whitened world
Or silver skeins in the lanes
Or frost
That embossed
Its patterns on window-panes
But because there were transfer-sheets
By the bottles of spice and sweets
In the shops in two little streets.

by Barbara Euphan Todd

These days, for heavy snow to fall in the South, is a rare occurrence. This was the wintery scene waiting to greet us on Monday morning (02/02/09) after the night before. The snow has now thawed and it's raining.

I wonder whether we will have more snow?