A Little Bit O’ Bloomin’ Luck


Today began dark, wet, and windy. Thinking we would be unable to do much more in the garden we transported the results of yesterday’s crab apple pruning to Efford Recycling Centre.

Plant pots

As is the Head Gardener’s wont, she bought two more fibreglass faux terra cotta plant pots from the sales area.

The sun did put in brief appearance this afternoon, so I was able to present a snapshot of the first official day of Spring.

Jackie has also started buying plants, like these violas,

Snakes head fritillaries

and these snake’s head fritillaries just plonked in an urn for the moment.

Kitchen bed 1

Both are visible in this shot of the kitchen bed.

Camellias 1

These camellias shed their confetti-like petals on the Dead End Path.

Garden view from Margery's Bed

Others are visible on either side of the decking in this view beyond Margery’s Bed;

Dragon Bed 1

more in the Palm Bed;

Head Gardener's Walk 1

and beside the Head Gardener’s walk which also displays cyclamens.

These two were buried in darkness when we arrived three years ago. Now they are able to flower,

Dragon Bed 1

being visible from across the Dragon Bed.

Head Gardener's Walk 2

Figures lining the walk include dragons and a cherub.

There are, of course, hellebores and daffodils everywhere;


and pulmonaria, such as these clambering over a brick boundary.


A small mahonia planted last year is thriving along the back drive,

Vinca and hellebores

where a periwinkle has been stencilled on our neighbours’ wall.

A little bit of luck is essential to a successful photoshoot. As I was focussing on the garden it was appropriate that mine today should be blooming.

Epimedium 1

I was unhappy with my first shot at the epimediums, so I went back out to make some more efforts.

Then came my first ‘little bit o’ bloomin’ luck’. A bee had decided it was now warm and dry enough to flit from bloom to bloom.

As I clicked away at this insect, I received a second stroke. More clicking above my head alerted me to the fact that a pair of long-tailed tits were using the weeping birch branches as trapezes.

This warranted a tribute to Stanley Holloway:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jfkaf70SYM&w=560&h=315]

This evening we dined on our second helpings of yesterday’s Chinese takeaway with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Callia magna Malbec 2014.


  1. I sang the whole way through the post because I am a musical theatre nut. The garden is lovely, and the plants are so “frilly” in comparison with the tough sort we have here (the beating sun, you know).

  2. I’m just stopping for a spot of lunch and what a grande walk through your garden I’ve had. I love that you’ve named area’s of the garden and paths too. It’s like a story book. The Camellia’s are simply ‘knot-my-socks-off’ gorgeous. Man, I wish we could grow that here. All gorgeous, yet my favourite is your little bumble bee visit! I love to see them in the garden, I’m adding new things to keep them coming. Such a dainty little flower to hold on too, even if I were a bee. It would be kind of fun to eat upside down, but I won’t be trying that any time soon. Cheers to you x Boomdee

  3. Loving all the colour in your garden Derrick and those are two great terracotta pots 🙂 Its done nothing but rain today.. And looks like we may well get a little snow tomorrow.. Spring is not knowing what to do.. 🙂

  4. It’s like someone said, open and wow did they ever listen. Looking wonderful as the signs of Spring are making great noise in your garden. Here’s to you and the head gardner!!

  5. The kitchen bed is looking all ready for planting up – it’s amazing what you (well Jackie really) has done in three years and how keen everything is to get going. I love the bee shot!

  6. I enjoyed listening to the music as a scrolled through the photos. Everything is looking beautiful. With all of those chairs, it looks like you’re ready for all of your blogging buddies to come for a visit. 🙂

  7. I’m with Luanne–as soon as I saw the title of your post, I thought of the song from My Fair Lady. 🙂
    You got some perfect shots for the first day of spring, Derrick. Such patience! The photos with the bees and the one with the birds–wonderful!

    1. Thanks, Susan. I hadn’t known it before, but love it. When we first arrived 3 years ago it didn’t flower. Jackie divided it and spread it about. It obviously liked that.

      1. The first time I came across them was when I found a patch of leaves in dry shade under a shrub. I dug them out as part of bigger job and left them on a stone (by mistake). Weeks later I noticed despite the neglect, they had produced tiny, insect-like flowers. I’ve been hooked ever since.

  8. Sorry to disappoint you Mr Holloway, or should that be Mr Do little, which is perhaps more apt, but the sun is still south of the equator, the equinox is running a trifle late this year; tomorrow the 22nd here in Australia we will have the sun for 12 hours and 7 seconds, so I think perhaps the night of 22nd/23rd will be it!

  9. Lovely Epimedium and bee.
    I have a new orange one that has not bloomed yet. My yellow is blooming now. The white will bloom later. They are my favorite subtle flowers.

  10. Long Tailed Tits are hard to photograph, being such quick and flitty creatures so that’s a really shot to get. Garden is looking good.

    I always liked Stanley Holloway in My Fair Lady, so this was a bonus. 🙂

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