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Journal

Snowdrop Week at Altamont

13 February 2018 22:28:00

With the sun shining this morning, I decided to have a day out and headed off to Altamont Gardens. 

It was a cold bright day and the gardens looked resplendent in the sunshine.  I've visited Altamont before around this time; this year the snowdrops are at their absolute peak of perfection to coincide with Snowdrop Week which is in full swing.  Other early spring treasures such as hellebores, cyclamen, winter aconites, irises and hamamelis are there to be savoured too.  I joined the tour and talk by Paul Cutler, Head Gardner, which is at 2pm every day until Sunday and is very informative and enjoyable.  There was quite a large group, perhaps down to the good weather and the mention on Nationwide yesterday.

The plant sales area has expanded since my last visit but I resisted temptation (yes, really!); some of the plants were quite expensive, hellebores in particular and "special" snowdrops, but they were beautiful. 

And it was so nice to see restoration work on Corona North's house in progress too. 

Joann Joann 13 February 2018 23:20:29

Looks lovely with all those snowdrops Joan, I hope to get there sometime in the future for snowdrop week. I'm delighted to hear they working on the house, I was there late last summer and we did say how sad it was that the house was in disrepair, its such a beautiful building.

Jackie Jackie 14 February 2018 07:04:52

I too hope to get there one day and I have the programme recorded. I believe the prices of some plants are very expensive but lovely to look at I am sure. Lovely to see old building being repaired too. It was a nice day yesterday in the sunshine and out of the wind!

Jacinta D Jacinta D 14 February 2018 12:53:12

Gosh, my last visit must have been at least 5 years ago. Lovely photo, Joan.

Dick Dick 14 February 2018 17:59:26

Good that you got to Altamont. I saw it on Nationwide but very little relating to Altamont.

TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 14 February 2018 23:47:25

Decided it was just way too cold to go to Altamont this week - glad you enjoyed it! I've always found their plants a bit on the pricey side but I have fallen for some excellent Helebores in the past - and I also bought a bundle of the common snowdrops for about €20 a couple of years ago - it was supposed to be 150 bulbs but it was nearer to 250 when I got them home! I'm looking forward to seeing the progress on the house when the weather improves a bit. I always felt is was really sad to see shuch a lovely house decaying.

Early February flowers

08 February 2018 20:56:43

Though I have done no gardening for the past fortnight, spring is coming despite the cold and there are quite a few flowers to enjoy now.

Snowdrops and irises are out, crocus are about to open, Chaenomeles too; the hellebores are about the same as this time last year (some flowering, others to come).  Camellia 'Donation' is earlier than ever this year; a few flowers appeared in January and now it's about to burst out all over.

Hope you are all getting some time to enjoy your gardens. 

Jacinta D Jacinta D 09 February 2018 10:09:35

Great photos, Joan. 

Dick Dick 09 February 2018 15:24:37

These Hellebores are great , Joan. Your Chamellia is early so despite the low temperature to day(Friday), the spring is here.

Michele Maria Michele Maria 09 February 2018 20:56:55

Oh what wonderful photographs Joan. Spring seems to have sprung in your garden. Nice bit of sunshine here this evening after the snow and slippery roads this morning. 

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 10 February 2018 00:02:04

Joan, that Lidl hellebore is fantastic.

PeterW PeterW 11 February 2018 07:53:21

Looking great Joan, I love the Hellebore in the 2nd pic

Thank you Elizabeth7

07 February 2018 20:41:19

Over the past couple of weeks I've been delighted to see that Daphne 'Jacqueline Postill' has not only survived her transplantation from Cork to Dublin but has surprised me by producing these beautiful flowers already with their gorgeous scent.

Thank you so much Elizabeth, I'm thrilled with it and it has brought back memories of our most enjoyable visit with you last July. 

MargieD MargieD 07 February 2018 21:16:30

The flowers look beautiful Joan, I can imagine the scent matches the photo. Enjoy

Fleurette Fleurette 07 February 2018 21:47:03

How lovely Joan.  I know it has a wonderful perfume.  

TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 08 February 2018 00:47:26

Must say I'm also a big fan!

Jackie Jackie 08 February 2018 07:44:36

Oh wow thats a beauty Joan........I bought one last year and still only a slip of a thing and definitely not a blossom in sight!

Where do you have it planted etc Joan? I love it!

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 08 February 2018 07:49:51

The best of the daphnes for scent.

JoanG JoanG 08 February 2018 20:38:39

Thanks folks.  Jackie, it was a decent size when Elizabeth so generously gave it to me and I planted it in the front garden by the low wall between us and the neighbours.  I hoiked out a less desirable plant to make room for it. 

Iris 'Katherine's Gold'

29 January 2018 19:27:36

Like some of you, I planted the newly available Iris 'Katherine's Gold' last autumn and they have just started to flower.  This is a hybrid with 'Katherine Hodgkin' as a parent.  The colour is more pale lemon than gold, with some nice markings on the falls and creamy white standards.  Very pretty I think.

There were nine bulbs in the pack and eight are coming up; the first flower opened yesterday and got slightly torn in the wind but I decided to take the photos today as the forecast for later this week is poor.  I hope they'll be ok when the other flowers open! 

 

TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 29 January 2018 19:35:38

Very pretty!

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 29 January 2018 19:48:09

Delight yours turned out to be what it said on the packet. They are beautiful and looking forward to having them next year.

Jacinta D Jacinta D 29 January 2018 20:51:37

Yes, very nice markings. But the colour, like 'Katharine Hodgkin' isn't lighting my candle, I'm afraid.

MargieD MargieD 30 January 2018 22:32:55

The yellow is lovely at this time of year. I've the 'Katherine Hodgkin' in bloom and it brightens up a dull patch. 

Hopefully this snow and ice bypasses us and the few blooms I'm enjoying last longer.

Jackie Jackie 31 January 2018 07:28:51

Lovely little Iris and yes its nice to see yellow at this time of year when everything else is just about to start flowering!

January gardening

24 January 2018 22:51:19

After all the rain at the weekend, like many of you I was delighted to be able to get out to the garden on Monday.  It was more pottering than hard work; cutting back some perennials that were not done in autumn, gathering up leaves and debris, pruned a couple of roses, and a general tidy up (what a mess the birds can make foraging for food at the border edges! but I do love them).  

Snowdrops and cyclamen are out, hellebores, irises and primulas are starting to flower and the tips of bulbs popping up everywhere promise joy to come.  Hamamelis has been flowering since before Christmas; much smaller than Sean's beautiful one but it's young and coming on.  

I stayed out until nearly dark, so had to dash out yesterday with the camera to get a few photos. Back to the wind and showers today; ok as I had other things to do.  Tomorrow I'm supposed to help my sis-in-law in her garden, fingers crossed for a mostly dry day. 

Joann Joann 24 January 2018 22:53:33

Lovely pics Joan, its great to get out again to get stuff done, although today not great here again.

TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 25 January 2018 00:14:29

Hope you made it to the sis-in-law today! gardening with company is a special bonus!

Jacinta D Jacinta D 25 January 2018 08:25:16

All in all it hasn't been a bad week so far weatherwise. It's great when we get our first stint of the year. Love the Witch Hazel. I expected mine to be flowering too. But then, it flowered twice last year and the year before. So I expect it's just taking a well-earned rest.

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 26 January 2018 11:28:11

It was great to get out this week and not to many showers which allows us to stay out for a longer time. Your witch hazel is coming on leaps and bounds.

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