After the snowdrops and aconites come the crocuses. You have to remember to plant them in the sun otherwise they will not open up. We have what we call the crocus lawn which is at the bottom of the steps. There is a mixture of Crocus chrysanthus ‘Cream Beauty’, Crocus Tommasinianus, Crocus speciosus ‘Ruby Giant’, Crocus biflorus subsp. Weldenii Albus’, Crocus chrysanthus ‘Prins Claus’, and Crocus chrysanthus ‘Blue Pearl’. They have seeded about and look pretty when you suddenly come upon them. In the paddock ten years ago we planted 500 Crocus vernus Vanguard, vernus Pickwick, and Queen of the Blues. They are quite a lot larger, and later, than the chrysanthus species, and Tommasinianus. They are not one of my success stories, as pheasants pecked the heads off one year, but this year they are more promising. Early on there are now 500, so I expect there will be at least 1,000 eventually. The idea was that you should sit at the table in the paddock with a cappuccino or a glass of wine, and look at them coming up amongst the snowdrops. Crocus vernus Pickwick seems much stronger than the other two who have virtually petered out, which is something no one ever tells you. It is a pity about crocus vernus Vanguard, as it is particularly beautiful.
The picture that I have put on this blog is Anemone Blanda ‘Ingramii’. It is a deeper blue than the normal, flowers earlier, and goes on flowering longer. In other words it is really worth growing. Initially I found it really difficult to get hold of, but I don’t think it is now. All these early flowers are worth their weight in gold, as is my Cornus Mas which is flowering its head off. Polly is cutting down Cortaderia Selloana Pumila, and you have to wear tough gloves as its leaves will cut your hands to ribbons. This has already happened to me. Almost all my hellebores are flowering beautifully now, and altogether they flower for about three months. The best thing to do is to float their flowers in water, as there is no point cutting them as they will collapse immediately. At the moment I am dividing snowdrops in the Klimt border, when yesterday I got caught in heavy sleet, and had to have a hot bath to recover!