One of my favourite combinations  Ophiopogon Planiscapus Nigrescens  and Galathus Nivalis Snowdrop & feverfew(tanacetum) aurea

Today has been beautiful-a full day of sun .A welcome change from the cold,wintery or milder but overcast weather of the last month.It was 14 degrees in the sun here as I tidied up in the garden .Signs of life in the plants.Ladybirds are coming out today and bees were buzzing around the Lonicera standishii(Winter Honeysuckle )as I worked

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Photo of the month Garden Answers Magazine published

Cobaea Scandens cup and saucer vine

April 2009

I have had a paeonia ,this white one for about 10 years which flowers on my clay soil .

Saxafraga 

likes well drained soil so I grow mine in a pot when I can control the conditions .Potted up ,it soon forms an attractive tuffet effect enhanced by having it in a round  container .This was was called Saxifraga ‘Cloth of gold’  In the sun it keeps its colour of  acid green rosettes of leaves topped with small white flowers 

This Hymenocallis did so well on my soil .I bought the bulbs at a stall at the Three Counties Garden show and in a very short time they had the most amazing flowers .They,being both white & fragrant, fitted perfectly into my theme and were so easy . Some people call them Peruvian daffodils  

I love bulbs,corms and tubers -I love the way that something beautiful and colourful comes out of the most unpromising  looking brown or crispy packaging .How they are self contained to bide their time waiting for the right conditions  and have stored all the nutrients they need to flower laying down next years as their leaves die down .

I like to choose them at  the garden centre  or from  a catalogue , looking at the pictures on the box or packet assessing the conditions they would like looking forward to seeing them adding to my own garden display 

As you can imagine  having heavy clay soil doesn’t make life easy for bulbs and the like .They wont like sitting around in cold wet soil for longer than is necessary .You could line the base of the planting  hole with a bit of grit but I don’t think it makes an awful lot of difference in my soil. I sometimes put them in pots which solves the whole problem  My new  tulips have been great ones like Triumphator ,Spring green and white parrot tulips (fringed)growing in the garden they last one year and I replace them the next !

 

nigella (love in a mist)I have had some success using annuals to fill the gaps while the soil is still improving .These nigella are quick growing ,low maintenance and leave attractive papery seed pods which you could pick & dry.These are Nigella Damascena  which have an attractive dark centre