Galanthus plicatus "Three Ships"

On a bright and mild Christmas Eve it is lovely to see the ships come sailing into harbour.

Galanthus "Three Ships" 

Galanthus 'Three Ships' is a most reliable bulb. Christmas arrives and it's nice to have those little rituals: panicking over last minute shopping, gifts, tidiness, visitors, waistline. Then the eyes sweep the garden noting the lawn edges ruined by encroaching summer plants, the mud, the  dead twigs. We note the shoots promising so much but not at the moment...... to alight on flowers at their very height. In tune with the season. 'Three Ships'  is a must have for every garden. It was discovered in Suffolk's Henham Park way back in 1984 by John Morley, he of North Green Snowdrops fame, who brought us 'Comet', 'Trump', 'Remember Remember' and 'Mother Goose' - a snowdrop that is encouragingly clumping out in the garden for February flowering.

I have many new varieties this season. However the older ones are hard to beat. Happy Christmas.

Clematis cirrhosa var. purpurascens 'Freckles' from underneath!

Photographs tell lies. Have a look at this beauty photographed on the one quiet point in a dreadfully windy and wet day.

Clematis cirrhosa var. purpurascens 'Freckles' looks a million dollars at any time of year but in December and January it's priceless particularly as it has been festooned in delicate clusters of flowers for weeks, with the occasional one showing all through the year. However before you run off to purchase one, and let me say that it would be a good buy, make sure you have a position from where you can look up to admire the flowers. I had to gaze upwards with the camera to take this shot.

I have another winter flowering clematis with a flawed beauty to consider in a few weeks when all the buds burst into flower.

Northern Spain and Wild Flowers, 6th June 2019

Our early summer trip to Northern Spain was enjoyable. A long way from the beaches or the sophisticated cities, the cable car from the foot of Fuente De to the top of the Picos Massif was spectacular, if icy cold at the summit. But it was the wildly beautiful wild flowers that so impressed. When we returned from the top one of the 'gardeners' had scythed through flowers just like these by the cable platform. We were lucky to get down. The wind had struck up and the cable cars were terminated as high winds settled for the week. You can hear the wind in this short clip.

Galanthus 'Remember Remember'

First post of the season and it's the first showing of the year albeit in December rather than the preferred November. 'Remember Remember' has clumped out dramatically since last year but only two of the shoots are in flower. The snowdrops have been in bud for well over a week and this morning the temperature rose to 14°C and, hey presto, the flowers opened out. I've been experimenting with cameras. This was taken with my smart phone, a Samsung S9+ with a little darkening of the background to highlight the white flowers. Tomorrow, weather permitting, I'll take the same shot with a rather more specialist camera and expensive lens to see if it's worth it or has Samsung rendered my equipment redundant.

And remembering .....

Galanthus 'Mighty Atom'