The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Flowers from the garden: February 2008

Human flowers February 2008I was thinking about the joy that not buying flowers has given me over the past year. It has forced me to look at the world in an entirely different way.

I now treasure the flowers that I grow and enjoy those that are living elsewhere – generally a fleeting glimpse from Jaolpy’s driving seat as we pound towards the job that day. At the moment there are pools of tremulous snowdrops, polyanthus and primroses. The daffodils are opening and it’s only February.

Flower spotting on foot is a much more satisfying pursuit. The dogs are forced to let me stand and gaze occasionally. When we eventually move on, they follow satisfying scents of a doggy nature as I examine the banks for wild flowers and clues for future foraging.

Today we were engulfed with a waft of such sweetness that we all instantly stopped and gazed up. Plum blossom stretched out on a filigree of branches beneath an azure sky. And deep in those branches a bird was singing. Exquisite.

In the human sized vase we have Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia Lynwood Variety), Iris sibiricia, Viburnum (Viburnum x bodnantense Dawn) that has delighted me for months now. There are also branches of Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox) and the cool green flowers of the Stinking Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus).

Doll's flowers feb 2008The freshness of the doll’s vase is much more appealing. There are purple and white crocuses, two petulant pansies, polyathus, double snowdrops (I didn’t count them Clare!), a bud from the china rose, the first blue scilla and speedwell that I found on my morning walk. I was running late so the name speedwell carried the perfect wish.

I examined the tiny flowers peeping up from the rounded leafy collars when I got home. Quite perfect.

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Kate(uk)

    This iris is a must as it seems to flower on and off all winter. It’s so pretty too.

  2. Kate(uk)

    I collected my mother for lunch today and as we left her drive we spotted a gorgeous iris with masses of blooms against the front wall of the lady over the road whose garden is -to say the least-neglected.It brought out the guerilla gardener in us- you know, those gardens that clearly no-one cares about that have one glorious plant in them that really deserves to be kidnapped and put in a proper garden…I’m sure it would be easy to effect a rescue at dead of night, they wouldn’t notice…but the sight of this iris made us both think seriously about planting one. My mother had a huge one in her previous garden and I think I can fit one in against the dry and sunny south wall of my mega shed- the soil is rough so it should be very happy and I would see it from the kitchen window. Once the pile of builders’ rubble has gone…

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