Lockdown Gallery 21- week 7

April 12th to April 18th

Well, we hoped it wouldn’t be needed, but spring ’21 is here and lockdown is still a part of our lives!

Over the coming weeks, I hope you will enjoy sharing your garden pictures with fellow WYHPS members (and anyone else who wants to see them) until the day comes when we can visit each other’s gardens again.

Weather: Continuing dry and cold

Liz Hall leads off this week with a nice variety of spring flowers

Maggie Sugden is back again with yet more from her garden – and a question for you…

And Ann Fritchley has a Bergenia for you to identify

Ruth Baumberg’s great primroses surely prove that spring is here – even if the weather doesn’t

Welcome to Judith Edmonds, with her first contribution of the year!

Sue Gray’s contribution seem very appropriate, as we all shiver in the cold

Lockdown Gallery 21- week 6

April 5th to April 11th

Well, we hoped it wouldn’t be needed, but spring ’21 is here and lockdown is still a part of our lives!

Over the coming weeks, I hope you will enjoy sharing your garden pictures with fellow WYHPS members (and anyone else who wants to see them) until the day comes when we can visit each other’s gardens again.

Weather: An icy Arctic blast greets Easter Monday, and the temperature takes a while to recover through the week

Kate van Heel has a glorious Trillium in flower, plus a heron playing the good guy – unlike the ones that visit our garden…

There’s so much going on in Maggie Sugden’s garden, despite the weather

I think this is Glenda Wray’s first contribution to the Gallery – very impressive!

Amanda Fincham has a very seasonal Pasque flower for us – and I hope that Apricot is under cover during this frosty week!

Lockdown Gallery 21- week 5

March 29th to April 4th

Well, we hoped it wouldn’t be needed, but spring ’21 is here and lockdown is still a part of our lives!

Over the coming weeks, I hope you will enjoy sharing your garden pictures with fellow WYHPS members (and anyone else who wants to see them) until the day comes when we can visit each other’s gardens again.

Weather: Starts very warm, but turns cool for the Easter weekend

Brian Denison sends a good selection for his first contribution of 2021

Judith Ladley is guarding her precious Trillium this week

Ruth Baumberg has a very unusual primrose

Here’s Liz Hall’s first pictures of the new season, taken, she says, between the showers!

Diane Rawnsley’s first showing includes some impressive Hepaticas and a selection of Hellebores

And there’s been a bit of sunshine in the Hackett garden this week – we don’t get much before the Equinox!

Lockdown Gallery 21- week 4

March 22nd to March 29th

Well, we hoped it wouldn’t be needed, but spring ’21 is on the way and lockdown is still a part of our lives!

Over the coming weeks, I hope you will enjoy sharing your garden pictures with fellow WYHPS members (and anyone else who wants to see them) until the day comes when we can visit each other’s gardens again.

Weather: High pressure continues for another cool, quiet week

Ann Fritchley leads the way this week, with a little help in pellet form

Sue Gray’s submission includes another little beauty from David Barnes’ garden

Ruth Baumberg says “Well Spring has duly sprung; lots in flower but Iris unguicularis is 5 months later than last winter! The primroses are seeding everywhere including the lawn edges.

Maggie Sugden has found a few more flowers for us this week too

And to round off week 4, Judi Barton has a mystery plant for us to identify. She says “I think I planted this but can’t remember where I got it … does anyone recognise this leaf which has persisted through winter. There are shoots emerging nearby. I wonder – could that be a hepatica?

Mystery leaf

Lockdown Gallery 21- week 3

March 16th to March 21st

Well, we hoped it wouldn’t be needed, but spring ’21 is on the way and lockdown is still a part of our lives!

Over the coming weeks, I hope you will enjoy sharing your garden pictures with fellow WYHPS members (and anyone else who wants to see them) until the day comes when we can visit each other’s gardens again.

Weather: High pressure returns for a cool, quiet week

Judith Ladley has a basket that just demands new plants to fill it

Amanda Fincham needs some naming ideas for her delightful Daphnes

Ruth Baumberg is back with another treat for the galanthophiles – including that quilted beauty we saw before

Maggie Sugden has found a few flowers for us, but says ‘Everyone’s waiting for some sun!

Lockdown Gallery ’21- week 2

March 8th to March 15th

Well, we hoped it wouldn’t be needed, but spring ’21 is on the way and lockdown is still a part of our lives!

Over the coming weeks, I hope you will enjoy sharing your garden pictures with fellow WYHPS members (and anyone else who wants to see them) until the day comes when we can visit each other’s gardens again.

Weather: Starts showery, but becomes wet and windy during midweek

Here’s Ann Fritchley’s first contribution of the new year, starting with a welcome re-appearance

Sue Gray is back again – with a ferny question…

Lockdown Gallery ’21- week 1

March 1st to March 7th

Well, we hoped it wouldn’t be needed, but spring ’21 is on the way and lockdown is still a part of our lives!

Over the coming weeks, I hope you will enjoy sharing your garden pictures with fellow WYHPS members (and anyone else who wants to see them) until the day comes when we can visit each other’s gardens again.

Weather: Cold and dry

The Lockdown Gallery’s first contributor of the season is Amanda Fincham, who reminds us that snow was not so long ago!

Sue Gray steps up next

I’m delighted to welcome Ruth Baumberg to the ’21 Gallery. She brings some fine Hellebores – and the ultimate ‘Drop of Desire…a dimpled beauty!

There’s not much to see in the Hackett garden this week, but I’ve found a few early blooms

Maggie Sugden offers a strange looking snowdrop

Plant of the Month: March 2021

Hellebore Love!

by Pat Hunter

 I do love Hellebores.

In February 2019, I went to Ashwood Nursery (Yes, the one that we were meant to be visiting for our Day Trip last year) for a conducted tour to see “behind the scenes” to view the stock plants, and the different species they use to produce their beautiful Hellebores.

Our tour started in the stock greenhouse where there were benches of beautiful flowering Hellebores.

These are the stock plants from which they cross pollinate to make the wonderful variety of colours that become the Ashwood garden hybrids.

The latest breakthrough in their Hellebore range being the  Ashwood Evolution Group, which have pale lime green leaves ( which can look a bit sickly- a personal comment) but the flower colours are something else!

Howard Drury

After the stock plant greenhouse, Howard Drury, our tour guide, explained to us the different species of Hellebore and their crosses.

They do say the Ashwood garden hybrids are exclusive to their nursery but they do also, in the talk, give praise to the breeding work of Rodney Davey and the marbled series. Names that are now well known – Anna’s Red, Pippa’s Purple, Penny’s Pink.

Hellebores are mainly evergreen perennial plants in the Ranunculaceae family from deciduous woodland in Europe and Asia.

This makes them ideal for gardens in the UK.


So now to my garden, I have 3 main areas of Hellebores; behind the house, which is north-facing, under a mature Oak tree and the third area is on top of a 6 foot high wall – this makes it very easy to show off the flowers.

Helleborus foetidus

One of the easiest Hellebores throughout my gardening life has been Helleborus foetidus, this self seeds around the garden, but is very easy to remove if it doesn’t fall in the right place. I have never quite managed to get the strain “Wester Flisk” with red stems or “Gold Bullion” with chartreuse green new foliage. I must try harder this year!

The first ones to flower this winter were Harvington double white, such a clean white.

Harvington Double White

Helleborus sternii, which is growing in a pot under the pergola as it is meant to be slightly more tender, flowers at the same time.

Helleborus sternii

This interspecies hybrid has now been bred with silver leaved varieties and used in breeding to produce the x ericsmithii hybrid which is a cross using H. niger, so it is hardy.

Springfield seedling

This is the other one that was flowering for New Year, and in my New Year flower count, a speckled hybrid.

Anna’s Red – buds

There is promise of more to come:

Meanwhile, just to show how adaptable Hellebores are, this is a Winter pot by the front door with Helleborus niger ‘Christmas Carol’ and Helleborus x sternii ‘Silver Dollar’.

Helleborus niger

Helleborus niger is the next to flower, with a much waxier leaf. Just look at those leaf edges –

(vine weevil?)


It is now into February and the Hellebores are in full flowering mode,

Walberton’s Rosemary is a firm favourite. It looks outward and the clump increases well.

Anna’s Red finally gets round to flowering (see the buds with the snow earlier).

Anna’s Red

The others around the garden include some of the many hybrids, double speckled.

Blotched,

One from the Evolution group,

And finally the Springfield seedlings, these are my hybrids. I do not help with any crosses, they are small plants that are grown on in the garden until they flower, at which point I either keep them or discard depending on their colours and markings.

Hellebores do not work well as cut flowers in the house but they are often displayed in a bowl of water.

A bowl at Springfield on 24th February.

But a giant pot at Ashwood nursery!

Pat Hunter

Pictures courtesy of Pat Hunter

Desert Island Plants: Judith Ladley

1 Papaver cambricum double-flowered, orange (d) (formerly Meconopsis cambrica aurantiaca flore-pleno

My original plant was purchased from Mrs Sybil Spencer at York Gate.  Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be grown there currently but I love it.

Papaver cambricum double-flowered, orange (d)

2 Hebe Hulkeana

I bought this plant many years ago from Mrs Philippa Rakusen who lived near Wetherby and had a strong association with Harlow Carr.

Hebe hulkeana

3 Filipendula ‘Red Umbrellas’

Fairly new in my garden but I like its colour combination.

Filipendula ‘Red Umbrellas’

4 Heliopsis helianthoides ‘Burning Hearts’

 I like the dark foliage which emphasizes the bright flowers.

Heliopsis helianthoides ‘Burning Hearts’

5 Helleborus foetidus Wester Flisk group

This is one of my favourites -I enjoy its foliage as much as its flowers.

Helleborus foetidus Wester Flisk Group

6 Helleborus orientalis

A good specimen bought at Dove Cottage nursery.  It produces good seedlings.

Helleborus orientalis

7 Euphorbia griffithii ‘Dixter’

I first saw this at Newby Hall and couldn’t rest until I got one! 

Euphorbia griffithii ‘Dixter’

8 Crepis rubra

Originally bought from a little nursery near Richmond a long time ago and I found it again at the nursery near Luddenden Foot.  Its very difficult to propagate.

Crepis rubra

9 Euphorbia polychroma

Growing in a crack in my path!

Euphorbia polychroma

10 Galega officinalis mauve form 

This is one of the first plants I remember as a child.  I think my Mother acquired it from a family member and it has been around ever since.  I do have a white form but this mauve one is special! Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of the mauve form – here is the ‘Alba’ version

Galega x hartlandii ‘Alba’

All images courtesy of Judith Ladley, except Euphorbia ‘Dixter and Galega ‘Alba’ which are from the HPS Image Library

Desert Island Plants: Maggie Sugden

1 Melittis melissophyllum ‘Royal Velvet Distinction

This is a plant I have had a long time and it has moved house twice. Very reliable and a prolific flowerer in spring.

Melittis melissophyllum ‘Royal Velvet Distinction’

2 Paeonia ‘Buckeye Bell

I bought this from Binny’s Plants when I went with ‘The Gardeniers’ (our little gardening visiting group) up to an HPS AGM in Scotland many years ago. Again it moved house in 2012.

Paeonia ‘Buckeye Belle’

3 Rosa ‘Guinee

A beautiful rose that flowers all summer. It was formerly on a wall that is now inside as we had an extension in 2018. It has taken well and flowered in its new position. (Sorry – no picture available for this one)

4 Rosa ‘Wollerton Old Hall

A special rose bought when we visited the hall on our HPS holiday

Rosa ‘Wollerton Old Hall’

5 Hosta ‘George Smith

Another plant that moves with me, George Smith is a famous flower arranger who lives in Heslington near York. I have visited his beautiful garden a number of times and bought this on one of my early visits.

Hosta ‘George Smith’

6 Galanthus plicatus ‘Wendy’s Gold

A beautiful yellow one that cost the earth. I bought it at Primrose Bank nursery in 2019, when they opened for their snowdrops A super day and will go again when I can.

Galanthus plicatus ‘Wendy’s Gold’

7 Delphinium ‘Alice Artindale

An unusual delphinium that I got from either Liz or Jackie Giles. I have tried it a few times but it likes where it is and is now flourishing.

Delphinium ‘Alice Artindale’

8 Coronilla valentina subsp. glauca

A wonderful winter shrub, I bought this a few years ago for this garden.

Coronilla valentina subsp. glauca

I have had it in others and bought it because Gill Evans always brought it to the Plant Forums and I loved it. It is also perfumed.

9 Prunus serrula

This is small tree that has the most wonderful bark It needs to be positioned where it receives a backlit sun Spectacular.

Prunus serrula

10 Daphne tangutica Retusa Group

Bought at Harrogate Show in 2001. Again moved house with me. Transplanted well and the pink flowers begin in spring and go through the summer.

Daphne tangutica Retusa Group

All images courtesy of Maggie Sugden, except Prunus, Daphne, Coronilla & Hosta which are from the HPS Image Library