Friday, 23 February 2018

Wasps and Perfume

There they sit on the display bench, swaying in the merest hint of a breeze. Galanthus 'Wasp' is at its finest now, flowering slightly later than suggested by some observers. Whilst many snowdrops are the same, 'Wasp' is full of character with its narrow shape and willingness to fly in the air. There's not even a sting these days with a plentiful supply to blunt the prices. I'm in the process of moving a lot of my cultivars from pot to border; in this case I'll maintain the display at eye level so I can duck!



Is there anything more sensational in the deep winter garden than Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill'? Well not here in the UK. Visiting Harlow Carr at the weekend I noted a lot of different daphnes without encountering one with the sheer exuberance of fragrance of 'Jacqueline'. The scent is present all day and night, spreading throughout the front garden. Neighbours love it and coach parties... I published a close-up last year so here is a section displaying the multitude of small flower clusters that light up our garden. In my opinion there is something of the hyacinth in the fragrance. Actually, you can see the slight yellowing of the leaves here, something that has been absent for years since I heaped some lime chippings under the shrub. I took a chance and it paid off, so I'll repeat the exercise as soon as it ceases to flower.


4 comments:

  1. Oh I agree about Jacqeline Postill, absolutely the queen of daphnes. I have her by my front door and total strangers call in to ask what it is.
    I think Wasp looks lovely in a pot, better than in the garden where it looks a bit anorexic.

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    1. Well observed on both counts. I toured a well known snowdrop garden at the weekend and some choice snowdrops were lost by being in the wrong company and looked down on. As for the perfume. Well.

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  2. Wasp is a delight. Interested in your comment about moving many of your cultivars to the border. I did this last year but down here in the SW, I've discovered, it's too wet and up until now too mild. The slugs have had a field day. I'm thinking of going back to pots. Where do you keep your pots and how do you keep the molluscs at bay? Be grateful for any advice.

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    1. I shudder to think of the bulbs I've lost in the last three years to the narcissus fly and moths. I'm going to focus on one solution in a blog shortly - extremely fine mesh black plastic netting. I'm hoping it will be a simple physical barrier. It arrived this very morning. Slugs eat the flowers when they are low in the soil making them unsightly rather than killing them. Again I have a physical barrier with copper bands for pots and I have tried physical barriers of treated wool, although I'm doubtful of the latter's effectiveness. The pots that have survived unscathed are those I have placed under the shade of a large fountain. Not one was lost in that aspect. No idea why.

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And remembering .....

Our Front Garden, 14th August 2005