other chronicles May 2017 chroicle

March 2017

PICTURES March 2017

Greetings to all my gardening friends!

It’s now mid March and I’m able to note, with great pleasure, that during the 20-odd years that we’ve been living in our house in Tumba, the garden has never been as beautiful at this time of year as it is now. Without the least fear of exaggeration, I can say that at the moment literally thousands of crocuses, of different sizes and hues, are in bloom in the garden, ranging from the cream-coloured small-flowered crocus crysanthus Miss Vain to the stunning crocus vernus Negro Boy which, despite its politically incorrect name, isn’t black at all but rather dark purple (but it’s claimed to be the darkest of all crocuses). The crocus display in the garden at the moment is so impressive because it’s an overlap time when the early flowering crocuses are still blooming at the same time as the later blooming ones, such as the large white crocus Jeanne d’arc, are coming into their own.

Until 4 or 5 years ago, we had no winter aconite in the garden and, to be truthful, we were somewhat jealous of several houses in the area which, in their gardens, have this lovely, golden sign of life after the winter in profusion. We then decided to plant a few ourselves, and it proved to be a wise decision since winter aconite clearly like our garden and have spread greatly. We even bought some winter aconite bulbs from Holland through our bulb club (A Gentlemans Bulb Club), and the result is winter aconite that are significantly larger then the common Swedish winter aconite – but spread just as well!

Snowdrops are another important feature in the garden at the moment, and doing exceptionally well this year. Among other things, we have a clump of snowdrops that we brought home from Hungary 17-18 years ago. We were in the car on the way to somewhere during a three-week long stay in Hungary when we drove past a field of snowdrops – a delight for the eye that I’d never seen previously and have never experienced since. Obviously, we had to stop the car, get out and go and admire the beautiful sight. Once back in the car and after having driven only a short distance, we happened upon a farmer by the roadside with some snowdrops for sale. Since we knew not a word of Hungarian, it was impossible for us to enquire after the origins of the beautiful white pearls that we bought and subsequently planted in a shaded corner in a garden faraway, and which year after year return as a beautiful memory of an extraordinary experience.

Last autumn, we focused for the first time on mass planting of irises, and the results are now beginning to show. In the front garden, to the left of the steps up from the gate, we now have hundreds of dark blue iris sibirica in bloom, while on the stretch by the pond up to the rear garden, masses of blue-grey iris Katherine Hodgkin are in bloom, with a beautiful blue-yellow pattern on the petals. Not for nothing did an article in the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph describe Katherine Hodgin as the “Queen of the dwarf irises”.

At the moment, everything in the garden is happening so quickly, so there are sure to be lots of things to talk about when it’s time for my next chronicle.

’Bye for now!


A Gentleman Gardener