Saturday, 2 March 2019


A couple of weeks ago I was cursing our Euphorbia myrsinites after its latex caused me to develop a nasty blistering around the eye. But now, with the early crocuses and dwarf irises having ceased blooming, it is providing almost the only bright spot in our front garden. The specific name 'myrsinites' means 'myrtle-like', but I can't really see it. Given a spell of warm sunshine and insects will visit the curious flowers, each in the form of a cyathium.

Forgiven! Euphorbia myrsinites is brightening our front garden with
its golden flowers. Stefen Hill, Daventry. 2 March, 2019
There is more colour in our back garden. Clumps of the extremely popular narcissus variety 'Tete-a-tete' are in flower. It must surely be the most frequently-seen narcissus in Britain at the moment, favoured perhaps because gardens are now generally smaller.
Clumps of Narcissus 'Tete-a-tete' brighten our back garden. 2 March, 2019
Aubretia, Aubrieta deltoides, is now blooming more prolifically. There has been the occasional flower for weeks now, but they are now blooming with more enthusiasm. Like the Euphorbia, they will attract insects but in greater numbers and I hope to see the bee-fly, Bombylius major, visiting the flowers in a month or so. Many people ask me about this insect. It resembles a fat, furry bee, and will hover before a flower to extract nectar with its long proboscis. There are several species of bee-fly in Britain but this is the commonest by a country mile.

Aubretias are at their best when tumbling down  a wall. In our back garden
 they are spilling over the edge of a raised bed. 2 March, 2019
Our aubretias have seeded themselves throughout the garden. A few will have to be removed but many are now flourishing between the slabs forming much of this back area and there they are very welcome.

Finally our Camellia. As I mentioned a couple of blogs back, it was an anniversary gift from our daughter, Jacqui, and her husband, Dean. I was delighted to find earlier today that it is now coming into bloom, and it is certainly lovely. I know little about camellias other than the fact that they were named after George Kamel, a 17th century Asiatic traveller, and that Camellia sinensis is the Tea Plant (the family is called the Theaceae).

Our camellia is now coming into bloom. Stefen Hill, Daventry.
2 March, 2019
Our species is a form of Camellia japonica. Many early flowering shrubs can be spectacular when in bloom but are then dull for the rest of the year. Forsythia is a well-known example, as is Kerria. However, the rather handsome glossy green foliage of the camellias remains attractive throughout the summer.


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