As I write, the sun is shining at Wisley. What a pleasant change. The Garden is looking very pretty, with some outstanding witch hazels (Hamamelis) shining brightly in the Wild Garden and on Battleston Hill. Their fragrance carries some fair distance, and the sweet scent mingles with that of the numerous daphnes and sarcococcas around the Garden too. Visit our Looking Good in the Garden page to find out more.
And don’t forget the climbers this month. In February we have some very pretty clematis in full flower. It's our Plant of the Month.
Snowdrops and even the first crocus flowers have been pushing up despite the 40cm of snow we had last week. And in the watery winter sunshine, the coloured stems of Cornus, (dogwood), Salix (willow) and various others bring a smile to my face.
The Butterflies in the Glasshouse are still pulling the crowds. The Plant Centre is holding its Hellebore Heaven this weekend, and next week we have a full program of half term activities for all members of the family to enjoy.
One part of Wisley that is reliably special is the Alpine Display House at the top of the Rock Garden. We have an ever changing array of exquisite and delicate plants that you can appreciate up close. At the moment these include hoop-petticoat daffodils Narcissus bulbocodium, cyclamen and saxifrages. Although hardy, the delicate flowers are protected from the inclement weather in here.
Narcissus bulbocodium is native to Western France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco and is by far the most common and widespread of the hoop-petticoat daffodils.
It grows in a variety of situations from near sea-level in France and Portugal to over 3,000m in the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco. It prefers an acid soil which retains plenty of moisture in the spring growing season. It has narrow, dark green leaves between 10-40cm (4-16in) long and bears funnel-shaped deep yellow flowers 3.5cm ((11/2in) across, with expanded trumpets. Several localised subspecies and varieties exist in which the flower colour varies from pale yellow with green markings to deep primrose yellow, and we have some of these here too. Later in the year our Alpine Meadow is full of these glorious flowers where they self-seed, and make a sight worth seeing.
What's flowering in your garden? And what is your favourite area of Wisley at this time of year?
Looking Good in the Garden
Plant of the Month
Butterflies in the Glasshouse
half term activities
See you soon.