Signs Of Life

A Lupin growing wild on the shores of Lake Tekapo in New Zealand

A Lupin growing wild on the shores of Lake Tekapo in New Zealand

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed that there hasn’t been much activity on here recently. You will have to accept our apologies but I have been on holiday in New Zealand for three weeks where I saw the likes of Lupins, Sweet Peas, Kniphofia, Crocosmia and Agapanthus growing wild by the sides of the roads. In fact the beautiful Agapanthus that we so love over here is considered a weed down under and it is even prohibited to plant it in certain areas! Having been surrounded by so much Summer colour over there it was quite a shock to return to wet and windy England where at first glance everything looks waterlogged and mud-splattered! There are however a few signs of life here in Churchill’s gardens at Chartwell that have been giving us some hope for the much anticipated Spring. It may seem like a long way off at the moment but hopefully the photographs below that were taken this week will inspire you to come along and visit us to lift your soggy spirits…

Our dedicated Winter Border in the Orchard area is probably the best place to start.  You will find it edged with snowdrops and aconites all the way along.

Our dedicated Winter Border in the Orchard area is probably the best place to start. You will find it edged with snowdrops and aconites all the way along.

It is also home to the likes of this Viburnum tinus 'Eve Price'...

It is also home to the likes of this Viburnum tinus ‘Eve Price’…

...these Helleborous angustifolius from Corsica...

…these Helleborous angustifolius from Corsica…

...and these cheerful Iris danfordiae

…and these cheerful Iris danfordiae

These stunning dinosaur heads belong to our new Cardiocrinum giganteum plants.  You can also find them in the Winter Border and read more about them in a blog we produced last year.

These stunning dinosaur heads belong to our new Cardiocrinum giganteum plants. You can also find them in the Winter Border and read more about them in a blog we produced last year.

At the very top of the Winter Border, near the Pet Graves, you be able to smell the sweet scent of these Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill' shrubs before you actually see them...

At the very top of the Winter Border, near the Pet Graves, you’ll be able to smell the sweet scent of these Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ shrubs before you actually see them…

...while the carpet of heathers such as this Erica carnea 'December Red' are also a sight to behold.

…while the carpet of heathers such as this Erica carnea ‘December Red’ are also a sight to behold.

There is plenty to see elsewhere in the gardens too like this double white Camellia near the Mary Cott for instance

There is plenty to see elsewhere in the gardens too like this double white Camellia near the Mary Cott for instance

The rhubarb in the Kitchen Garden may not be ready to eat yet but it still looks beautiful

The rhubarb in the Kitchen Garden may not be ready to eat yet but it still looks beautiful

Most of the daffs are still to come but these early eager beavers along the South-facing wall of the Walled Garden are worth checking out now

Most of the daffs are still to come but these early eager beavers along the South-facing wall of the Walled Garden are worth checking out now

OK, so there's still a long way to go before these Paeonia mlokosewitschii are in bloom but even the sight of the buds emerging is enough to excite us gardeners at the moment!

OK, so there’s still a long way to go before these Paeonia mlokosewitschii are in bloom but even the sight of the buds emerging is enough to excite us gardeners at the moment!

At he front of the house under the Lime trees you'll find examples of our Crocus collection including these yellow ones at one end of the drive...

At the front of the house under the Lime trees you’ll find examples of our Crocus collection including these yellow ones at one end of the drive…

...and these more familiar purple types at the other

…and these more familiar purple types at the other

You'll still be able to spot some Cyclamen hederifolium dotted around the grounds...

You’ll still be able to spot some Cyclamen hederifolium dotted around the grounds…

...while even the wilder areas of the estate have hidden gems such as this little Vinca

…while even the wilder areas of the estate have hidden gems such as this little Vinca

The Spring bedding in our containers are already beginning to put on a show with these pop-pom ornamental daisies the current front runners

The Spring bedding in our containers are already beginning to put on a show with these pop-pom ornamental daisies the current front runners

The often overlooked Mahonia really comes into its own over Winter.  They have cracking early Winter foligae but now it is the turn of the lemon yellow flowers to take centre stage

The often overlooked Mahonia really comes into its own over Winter. They have cracking early Winter foligae but now it is the turn of the lemon yellow flowers to take centre stage

As the frosts haven't hit us too hard here yet this year, half hardy shrubs like this dainty Fuchsia 'Lottie Hobby' are still at their best

As the frosts haven’t hit us too hard here yet this year, half hardy shrubs like this dainty Fuchsia ‘Lottie Hobby’ are still at their best

The Chartwell snowflakes (Leucojum vernum) are also starting to make their annual burst for freedom.  Be sure sure to come back again soon to see them in full flower

The Chartwell snowflakes (Leucojum vernum) are also starting to make their annual burst for freedom. Be sure to come back again soon to see them in full flower

Well, hopefully this small selection of some of our plants that are currently strutting their stuff will help you see that it’s not all doom and gloom in the gardens of Great Britain right now. We hope to see you here at Chartwell soon where you’ll be able to check these out plus plenty more for yourselves. As they say in New Zealand, you’ll have heaps of awesome fun…

Jamie

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5 Comments

Filed under Plants

5 responses to “Signs Of Life

  1. AliG

    That’s a blog and a half Jamie, many thanks and welcome back!

  2. Sally

    Welcome back Jamie.The winter border is looking great.

  3. Enjoyed your blog Jamie. There are signs of spring bursting out at Sissinghurst too and the Lime Walk is awash with Crocus thomasinianus. It’s a lovely sight after so much rain. Helen (gardener)

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