Kitchen window gardening

Another wet and grey day. We are lucky as the garden comes right up to the house, and I am now looking out of the kitchen window. A newly added fern called Polypodium x mantoniae ‘Cornubiense’ is positioned between a deep maroon and yellow hellebore. The fern is a lime green colour and it completely sets them off. Dark maroon hellebores have to be set off by something, even with the white of the snowdrops. Surprisingly after so much rain our hellebores are very healthy this year. The ‘black death’ is alarming to behold. Amazingly enough when Polly first came to me she did not like hellebores. She does now. These plants are framed by Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ which has dark glaucous leaves and red buds. Straight in front of the window is Betula Jacquemontii which needs a good scrub. It is now taller than the top of the house. On the right and left hand side of the garden glistens the white and gold of snowdrops and aconites. We have started planting named snowdrops near the house, and have about 35 different varieties, not many I know, but each year they give us a lot of pleasure as they increase. Polly was laughing at me yesterday as I ordered 2 hellebores from Ashwood Nursery that are coming through the post and cost a fortune. When the weather is awful like this mail order on line is very dangerous.

Someone asked me the other day what were my favourite plants. I immediately replied Sarcococca confusa, because ever since January we have been getting the waft of this heavenly scent. Its shiny evergreen leaf is attractive too. At the bottom of the steps the crocus tommasinianus are springing up like miniature pencils. I am on the lookout for pheasants as they ate most of my crocus vernus vanguard one year. We have just had a delivery of two Clematis texensis ‘Princess Kate’ which Polly is unpacking now. We have a place for them near the greenhouse where our neighbour’s clematis montana has died.

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