March 14, 2011

Bloom Day

I have been struggling to comprehend the scale of horror of what is going on in Japan.

I have started posts, and then felt it all to trivial to continue. Almost grotesque. Words, still, seem so inadequate.

But as much as I am utterly sickened at the desperate news we are all receiving, today I feel tentatively that, in the safety of my ordinary morning, I want to share beauty, I want to appreciate what I can with energy. Today, I am able to feast my eyes, so  in this pain-addled world, I think perhaps I should, partly in gratitude for the simple fact I can. Forgive the clumsiness of my words, I know we all hold Japan in our hearts at the moment.

So, into the garden.

We are getting lots of erratic early Spring weather at the moment, clear freezing nights, beautiful sunny cold days and the odd windy rainstorm. So when the sun is streaming across the garden I cannot resist chucking on the wellies and running out  - both trying to get the increasing number of jobs done, and in between the bouts of hard graft,  appreciating of the growth bursting out all around me. When I went out first thing this morning there had been a really sharp frost, and some of the early flowers were dripping wet and slightly frost ragged, but beautiful still in their mild disarray. As I walked around, morning cuppa in hand, these are some of the things I saw...

In the woodland, the hellebores are in their full glory still, and a few new varieties have come into bloom, the one below so pretty with its purpley splashes and quilted coronet in the centre.

It is the first year that the Lily of the Valley is thriving, just unfurling at this stage, but another candidate for bulking up over the years. I'm a bit in love with the idea of simple, divine smelling posies as a future Wild Acre early season offering because they seem unavailable in regular florists around here, and really, I can't imagine a more delightful gift.

Fritillaries are another favourite, but every year, the local pheasants use them as a salad bar, 

this year a few seem to be left whole and my optimism for them remains alive. Just.

More colour on the woodland floor is provided by pulmonaria, the gorgeous iridescent blue and a delicate white variety called 'Opal', which charms in its simplicity,

and by Cyclamen hederifolium.

The Lonerica fragrantissima is still releasing its utterly beguiling scent, and has been blooming alone most of the winter. Heroic really, and what have I been thinking not bringing in more boughs to beautify the house?

The hundreds of bulbs in the borders are still in green growth, but not in flower yet, the anticipation is so tantalising this time of year. The first tulip to open will be 'red riding hood', which is in containers.

A few wildflowers, welcome invaders, are just beginning to bloom too, cowslips and I think a tiny wild violet, but maybe someone could identify for sure (they are tiny and every shade of purple)?

The pussywillow is still looking fluffy

and in a zinc bowl on the garden table there are some striking striped polyanthus, not usually my favourite Spring flower, but these, in their rain-splattered denims, nestling on leaves that look startlingly like savoy cabbage, are winning me over!

Thanks to  MaydreamsGardens for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day on the 15th of each month.


  1. Belinda..I feel the same about what has happened in Japan and wanted to express it but couldn't- words simply fail me. AN amazing post and your photos are excellent as always.Love the fact that you say the pheasants have a salad bar!!...Sinead

  2. Beautiful photos and such true words.

  3. Yes Japan dominates our thoughts and all that is happening in the Middle East too but your gentle photos are soothing.

  4. YES. I was trying to write on Friday and felt idiotic. This post has really touched me. Such a powerful reminder that beauty just carries on even when there is horror and tragedy. And it's good to acknowledge that as well as being brought to our knees by the despair.

    Those polyanthus look like they've just been shopping for fashionable striped clothes! Love your pictures. X

  5. I feel the same about Japan. Each time I watch the news, I have to follow with going to check on my seedlings - proof of nature continuing life after evidence of her destruction.

  6. Beautiful Belinda, both the sentiments and the flower photos.

    I haven't written anything about Japan and the horrors, I felt others could do it better. And you have just proved that to me.

    Sending love and thanks.

    xo jane

  7. Belinda, your photos are lovely. What kind of lens are you using for those close-ups? I have got to get a better camera. Can't come close to that close. (Did you get that?)

    I love the polyanthus. Am not familiar with them. Do you know if they will grow in zone 7 U.S.? are they perennial?

    And thanks for the reminder that tomorrow is bloom day.

  8. Sarah, thanks for visiting, glad you enjoyed the photos.

    Sinead, it does feel wierd posting just now, thanks for your appreciation.

    F in the F, thank you!

    VS, glad they were soothing, we all need some of that right now.

    Alice, we think the same.x

    Veg Artist, thanks for your visit, and yes it is a strange truth, that nature takes and gives all at the same time.

    Jane, kind of you to say, I am feeling very inarticulate about it all.

    Webb, I am actually in a photographic quandry right now - I have a tiny Canon compact, but mighty for its size and, I am told, about as good for macro shots as a compact can go. But I am beginning to itch for the next stage of a SLR or DSLR with separate lenses and the results would potentially be so much better! Hmm just short of a grand!

    The polyanthus, is, I have just discovered, technically a Primula - Primula Stonewash, hardy (to -15 degrees C) perennial that prefers a sunny spot and benefits from regular deadheading.

  9. It's hard to wrap my mind around what has happened in Japan. Your beautiful photos are full of hope. :)

  10. These images are just stunning! I felt the same way this morning and used my camera to express my feelings. It has been hard to find the words...

    Jeanne xx

  11. Beautiful flowers on your lovely blog... they help lift the spirits when we are saddened by the pictures of the devastation in Japan, Abby x

  12. I know what you mean about Japan...I am at a loss for words as well.

    Thank you for the lovely images of your garden blooms...the varigated primulas are so beautiful!

  13. B., I am doing it too, thanks for the inspiration. Next month can I borrow some photos?

    xo Jane

  14. Im so glad that you decided to share your beautiful pictures here - I love those striped polyanthus, and the dew on those tulip leaves is exquisite!

    It's very hard to watch the unfolding images on our TV's from Japan, my heart goes out to those people in their torn apart world and I cannot begin to imagine the depth of their loss - yet at the same time I feel a deep gratitude for the simple, and ordinary things in my life.

    Julia x x x

  15. Raquel, so glad you visited and thank you for the thoughful comment.

    Jeanne, some times pictures are more articulate than words aren't they?

    Abby, if the pics lifted your spirits I am so glad.

    Hostess, you are so welcome.

    Jane, delighted you are joining in, quite a good way of recording the garden through the year I think. Borrow what photos you like, I would be flattered, (minus the one of me making a total prat of myself in neon or my kids - not that you would anyway, daft thing to say!!)

  16. Julia, thank you, and you have expressed my feelings exactly.

  17. Your polyanthus are lovely, both the blossoms and the leaves. Thank you for sharing your blooms and thoughts with us.

  18. wow wow and wow. Such beauty. The polyanthus look like painted china and the hellebore details are inpirational. Thankyou for sharing your thoughts and such beauty.

  19. and in case you didn't see on my blog I replied to your comment. Fine to use any images you like...and thankyou. I look forward to your post. I'd love to see your own images though. It's strange that your having that problem!x

  20. Lovely.... lovely photos. I'm your newest follower.

  21. Caroline, thank you so much for visiting, glad you like the slightly wacko polyanthus!

    Hannah, the flowers are such a pleasure to share! Will keep trying with the photos of your lamps.

    Moogie - a big welcome to Wild Are, I will hop over to your place today!

  22. Fabulous, fabulous photos - so joyous.

  23. Dear Belinda.

    I share your difficulty in writing about the Japanese earthquake. It feels impossible to say anything worth saying. However, I think you succinctly and elegantly put your thoughts across.

    On your photographs of your flowers, they are stunning. And you captured those Hellebore perfectly! You take some beautiful photos of your beautiful garden. And these are exactly the kind of photos I look for, when I'm searching for inspiration. I struggle to find close up macro photos of beautiful flowers on the internet. Not here!

    Those striped polyanthus are so unique.

    Lots of love, Bella x

  24. Oh, and totally forgot to say that I've mentioned you in a blog post to be published tomorrow on my site. Hope thats ok?

  25. Absolutely stunning pictures!

  26. Mountainear, thanks for visiting and appreciation!

    Bella, I'm a macro junkie so there will be plenty more. If they in any way inspire your lovely work, I'd be absolutely chuffed! Of course, you can mention Wild Acre, again, chuffed!

    Charlotte, welcome to Wild Acre, so glad you like the pics, I see you are a photojournalist, so I am beside myself they get your approval!

  27. Stunning images and a beautiful tribute to Japan in their own special way. The Japanese peoples love for gardening and beauty is reflected here and if they could see them, they would greatly appreciate them.
    xo J~