crocus and other spring bulbs



large Dutch crocus


tete-a-tete daffodils and crocus


some of the indoor hyacinths got planted outdoors, think they were from a bulb bowl? will check

hyacinths and daffodils

this is a better view of those fat fab hyacinth buds, Miss Saigon bottom left, other 2 Delft Blue

hyacinths and daffodils

White Pearl hyacinths at their peak

white pearl hyacinths

the crocus are blooming like mad (end of February)




the early daffodils are in bloom as well, tete-a-tete I think, those hyacinths are spent after blooming indoors


I still have lots of bluebells in the front flowerbed, the hyacinths are blooming so the leaves that look similar to hyacinths but without flowers are bluebells and I'm going to work at removing them

these are the "Sky Jacket" hyacinths which J Parkers sent me when the original bulbs weren't Sky Jacket - neither are these!

January 2016

spring bulbs outside

The pot of crocus (bottom right) are all the bulbs from the crocus vases and bulb pot (see gardenwithindoors) that did not bloom; I got tired of them on the windowsill so put them outside and planted them. Not sure if they will bloom but think they have as good a chance outside as inside. The hyacinths on the bottom shelf are prepared White Pearl but I ran out of room indoors for them. They are looking nice and fat and have big buds.

The pots on the left have muscari bulblets.

These were last year's crocus, blooming in a pot outside.

I love moss. I noticed this on the front garden wall yesterday.


my average self-seeded pot, clock-wise from the top cente: green alkanet, thyme, campanula, deadnettle, foxglove, forget-me-not - and - a bit of moss

even though the echium seedlings were doing well, they've been eaten so now they are NOT doing well

bergenia flowers


some unknown plants seen on a recent walk along the Regents Canal

Christmas week

It's cold today but the past week has been pretty warm for the time of year. I noticed a flower and buds on one of the blackberry plants. Much as I enjoy not being cold it is crazy weather and very confusing for plants.

blackberry flower

the nasturtiums are still coming out with the odd flower, they've been a great success this year: easy growing from seed and lots of flowering over a long period of time and they are self-seeding


end of November

The easiest identification is a seedling like this where you can see the distinctive seed, in this case globe thistle.

globe thistle seedling

nasturtium: another seedling straight from a distinctive seed and nasturtiums have distinctive leaves as well

nasturtium seedling

This is a knautia melton pastels which I bought earlier this year in bloom, it has a new flush of  flowers late in the year. I love those pincushion flowers which the bees love so I bought a pack of seeds which are doing well as young plants so hope to have lots of flowers next spring/summer. I want some scabious as well (they're all the same sort of plant to me even if they are different scientifically) so will be sowing those seeds in the spring.

knautia melton pastels

I'm having more success with the echium and monarda seedlings, maybe the ones I planted earlier, in the summer, were overwhelmed by the self-seeded oeonothera.

echium seedlings

Narcissus Green Eyes. I could not resist this pack of bulbs yesterday, the colour is intriguing - blue shading - but possibly just in the pic, in the spring I'll see what they really look like.

green eyes narcissus

autumn colour

The scent of mahonia at this sometime dark and dismal time of year is exquisite. Mahonia is unobtrusive and easily forgotten until you happen to walk past it and get that scent and you remember why it is so welcome in the garden.


Victor at the back door caught my attention as the sunset was so bright, it shows how surrounded by terraces of houses the sun is not consistent in my garden and they'll be times like this showing what it could be like

As things have quieted down in the garden I thought I would have another go with the echium and monarda seeds, esp as the seed company had given me replacement packets as I didn't have any germination with them the first time. The larger egg carton below has 11 germinated echium seeds (possibly not visible here) - hardly seedlings as they are so tiny but I can see green coming out of the seed. I only did the smaller carton at the top yesterday so awaiting germination of the monarda seeds.

I mistaken posted a pic of my "last" scabious flower the other day but now I have 2 more and some striking iris foetidissina seeds.

here's another view of the scabious flowers with a magnificent first-year foxglove (they're biennial so will bloom the following year), it's huge so looking forward to that next year - I love foxgloves!

I've moved a self-seeded centaurea montana (scraggly one to the left), as far as I've noticed I've not had any self-seeding before this year. I love them  so looking forward to more flowers next year. I've also moved the globe thistles so the centaureas should have more room.

centaurea montana


I can now see the self-seeded anemone is Harmony Orchid from the plants I received for Mother's Day earlier this year.

anemone harmony orchid

violas still looking good

self-seeded violas

this purple viola self-seeded next to this Melton Pastel knautia (I haven't grown them from seed before so looking forward to seeing how they turn out but so far good germination and growth and little slug damage)

dead-heading the nasturtiums (Phoenix) really has worked to keep the flowers coming and I'm very impressed with another grown-from-seed success

Chinese lanterns

chinese lanterns

chinese lanterns

In trying to sort out some pots for tulip bulbs I thought I should do something about this pelargonium. It self-seeded from a plant I had a few years ago. This has been growing over a year, not sure exactly. That bare stem doesn't look very promising so I thought I'd cut it back and see if flowering can be encouraged.

pelargonium after pruning, there are also a couple of snapdragons in that pot, a foxglove and I think a scabious under the foxglove (just looked again, I think both of those (under the foxglove and near the edge of the top of the pot) are the early rosettes of horseweed), also the ubiquitous nigella seedlings

I don't remember where the calendula seeds came from, maybe a special offer, although not my favourite they've added some early autumn colour.


last scabious of the summer

This is the last scabious of the summer.


I am loving the rosemary flowers.

rosemary flowers

status update on the cyclamen coum (large brown bulbs, one is visible in lower left pot): all have flowers and at least some leaves, one was covered with leaves but slugs ate every single leaf, one on the right has a mass of stems close together along with some self-seeded snapdragons and another self-seeded plant in the middle, liverwort, violas and an unknown plant in the pot on the left, self-seeded nigella in the pot at the top

cyclamen coum flowers

a closer look at some seedlings in early October

This morning I noticed this pot by the front door had an abundant number of seedlings - more than I realised.

Some of the seedlings only have the basic 2 seed leaves. Some have the 3rd true leaf which shows definitively what kind of plant it is. That 3rd feathery leaf is distinctive of nigella. There is a distinctively leaved milk thistle at the bottom and another seedling of it to the right.

Until I uploaded this pic to my pc I didn't even notice the very small-leaved dark green seedling at the bottom to the right. In the middle it looks like deadnettle.

nigella seedlings

At first I thought it might be pellitory-of-the-wall. I picked some (below left with the red stem) from next door and placed it next to the unknown seedling and immediately I can see they are completely different.

trying to organise more bulbs

I've been trying to organise more bulb forcing - but I'm doing it in the garden so this is one of those times when the garden outdoors meets the garden indoors (see further info and pics at my other site). Some of the pots I am leaving outside as the bulbs (eg narcissus and muscari) did better there than inside last year.

I always use fresh bulbs for forcing. They need that extra energy. I try to plant the spent bulbs in the garden but it can be difficult if the ground is frozen and I don't have room, especially with the long roots on the bulb which requires a lot of digging to make room for them.  These are some bulbs that were left in the syrup tins which I used as pots last year. Even though they are dried out some life is left in them - green shoots and green on the bulb. I am going to attempt to bring them back to life. It does show how bulbs want to grow, especially hyacinths.

there are green shoots on the hyacinth and muscari bulblets

the muscari bulbs have a lot of bulblets

I have planted all the bulblets in fresh compost

muscari bulblets

After a disappointing season last year I decided not to do the large Dutch crocus but I had some of the larger species crocus which will probably work in these vases so I'll give them a try. I find the crocus need the water in the vase right up to the bulb to spur it into action. They aren't as cooperative as hyacinths!

I just noticed these seedlings yesterday growing on the moss on a step from my patio to the rest of the garden. They are the same as the seedlings in the pot (previous blog entry below). Still no idea what they are.

the bees are still loving this corner of the garden, these late flowers are keeping them going: nasturtiums, violas, deadnettle, just about all I have left in bloom

violas still going strong

the butterfly is enjoying the violas

butterfly on viola







just when I think about discarding a plant (deadnettle in this case), I notice bees loving it, they are also loving the violas and nasturtiums, pretty much the only flowers still in bloom

bee deadnettle

bee deadnettle

bee on phoenix nasturtium

the bees like to go right inside the flowers

bee in nasturitum phoenix

nasturtium with bee

I also noticed them on the auricula in bloom (middle shelf on the left)

nasturtium phoenix

rosemary seedlings

rosemary seedlings

this pot of seedlings is intriguing, the foxes knocked it over and some of the soil was knocked out exposing these seeds which germinated and starting growing, obviously a number of the same type of plant and I have no idea what! they were in the soil so a few more started growing out of a hole in the bottom, the larger leaved ones look like milk thistle, some look like a grass-type plant, will just have to wait and see

foxgloves have tiny tiny seeds, I shook out the seeds from that enormous foxglove in the back garden, I threw them into a couple of pots and have ended up with hundreds of seedlings, I've tried to split the seedlings into these small pots

foxglove seedlings

I had a wooden trough of muscari but it fell apart so divided the muscari into about 5 pots, while dividing them I found some bulblets, I'm used to seeing hyacinth bulbs with bulblets but never muscari bulblets before

muscari bulblets

end of August/beginning of September

Japanese anemone

a few days later, a spider has spun a web

the flower on that hosta with the enormous leaves, right above

hosta flower

a close up of the mahonia buds

mahonia buds

I'm happy I have flowers on these Phoenix Nasturtiums, especially as I didn't sow the seeds until July 2nd. Thompson and Morgan advised these were the closest to the Nasturtium Fruit Salad which I had problems with last year. They just look like bog standard nasturtiums to me, not sure what makes them Phoenix.

nasturtium phoenix

just similar to the nasturtiums by the front door below

flowering rosemary

I've had rosemary plants before but no flowers, this one I bought in flower Sept 2014 and it's been blooming on and off ever since. They seem fragile as branches break off if I even breath on it! Those little branches at the bottom right have broken off so I just put in the soil but they aren't growing, just turning brown.


surprising rosemary seedlings as I've heard they are hard to germinate but I have no idea if they will flower and when (the Diet Coke is for scale)

rosemary seedlings

I've been unsure about these self-seeders. They generally look like centaurea montana which I've had off and on for a few years although they've never self-seeded. The two at the top have prickly-edged leaves. Why and are they the same plant?

a few days later and it's all become clearer! The current centaurea montana are growing in this flowerbed and I took the two pots with the unprickly-edged plants and positioned them under those in the flowerbed and I feel sure they are centaurea montana. Self-seeded to the left in the blue and white pot looks like another one which I will see how it grows.

As I was positioning these plants I saw a little shoot from the base of the globe thistle to the right which looks exactly like the prickly-edged examples in the pots to the right.

a close-up of the self-seeded globe thistles in the two pots to the left and the sprout from the base of the globe thistle to the right

I look forward to lots of centaurea montana and globe thistles next year.

Socks, finally looking at the camera, the apples to the right have fallen from the tree in the back garden, sadly they are not very good even for cooking as they cook down to mush in no time, I've been having to pick them up every day recently they've been falling so quickly.

a huge bumblebee on a second sunflower I have blooming in the front garden

Sowing the milk thistle seeds has been a great success, at least one seedling to each pot, most pots have more. The slugs have gotten to some. I need to be more vigilant. After the seed leaves there are the distinctive patterned leaves, prickly on the edge, so my idea that maybe the other centaurea-looking plants with prickly edged leaves are milk thistle is false.

milk thistle

I put the lupins on these shelves to keep them away from the slugs. The slugs are more wiley than that! They've made it up to the bottom pot which has another self-seeded plant it - something left by the slugs.

lupins in terracotta pots

Those lupins above and the violas below have this fungal growth on them.


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