Six On Saturday: Spring at Holehird Gardens

Mum and I called in at Holehird Gardens in the English Lake District this week to see what Spring had brought so far. I’ve written about Holehird before, here and here, but today I’m joining in with The Propagator’s Six on Saturday. I had thought that the ‘Six’ had to come from your own garden, but the helpful participant guide says six things from a garden visit are also welcome, so without further ado:

1. Chionodoxa (Glory of the snow)

Blue star shaped flowers with white centres

Blue and pink Chionodoxa were at their peak in and around the rock garden. We were a little early to catch the daffodil field in full flower – I’d guess it was a week or so off looking its best.

2. Fritillaria michailovskyi

Bell-shaped dark maroon flowers with bright yellow tips

A visit to a garden is always a treasure hunt, so I was happy to spot a few of these, hidden away just past the hellebores, not far from a small clump of Fritillaria meleagris. The bell-shaped flowers are an unusual colour combination – rich purple-brown with bright yellow tips. 

3. Caltha (White marsh marigold)

Low growing white flowers among last year's fallen leaves

Plant lovers are funny creatures. Out of the whole garden, this small clump of flowers was the one I was most excited to see, partly because I hadn’t a clue what it was. I half thought they were bulbs, though the leaves didn’t seem bulb-like. Their white petals with smudges of green, golden-yellow centres and starry shapes peeping out among last year’s leaf litter made them seem like tiny miracles, as spring flowers often do. After consulting one of my go-to books, it’s a white form of marsh marigold: Caltha palustris var. alba.

4. Pulmonaria (lungwort)

Furled blue and pink flowers on hairy stems

One of my favourite cottage garden plants with hairy foliage and spotted leaves. The flowers are typically shades of blue and pink on the same plant, like this.

5. Erythronium (dog’s tooth violet, trout lily)

Daily pink flowers, elegantly held above chocolate-splashed leaves

Another plant with blotched and spotted leaves, this time, chocolate and green. I love the graceful, swept back effect the petals adopt when fully open and the chocolatey smudges on their reverses that echo the leaves.

6. The greenhouse

A traditional greenhouse packed with potted plants

I’ve chosen a couple of shots to illustrate this classic greenhouse, which is stuffed with plants, including a table full of cacti and succulents. After writing about attending a talk about a lot of remarkably similar small, green spiky things, it serves me right to discover I’d been converted into a believer (or should that be beleafer?).

Succulent plant with a branched spike of orange flowers

It tickles me how the sheeny, pinkish-grey rosette on the left appears to be offering its unlikely flowers up to its neighbour for adoption.

If you’re considering a visit, plants in flower at Holehird Garden at the moment include snowdrops, lots of early daffodils and a few tulips, irises, primulas, crocuses, eranthis, cardamine (pink and white), muscari, cyclamen, and black mondo grass, so striking at this time of year.

Please take a look at some of the other submissions for this week’s Six on Saturday and consider submitting six of your own in the not-too-distant future. The challenge neatly bridges the social media divide, so you’ll see some familiar faces as well as garden bloggers from other platforms.

44 Replies to “Six On Saturday: Spring at Holehird Gardens”

  1. I, too, love dog’s tooth violet, the dainty flower as well as a the name. As for succulents…I’m a huge fan of those hardy souls. If I lived in a sunnier spot, I would have many varieties in my gardens. As it is, all I can grow are hens and chicks, and in the summer I have tucked them everywhere, even in tea pots, mugs, etc..

    1. The delicate, furled petals make a great contrast to the hairy foliage and you see quite a lot of variation in the leaves. The flowers always remind me of nip bone (comfrey), another plant used by herbalists.

    1. I hope the weather is kind to you! I had fancied calling in at Wollerton Old Hall, which has just begun its open days for this season, but I’ve decided to take a rain check instead. I’ve only ever seen it in early or late summer.

    1. I keep expecting someone to say ‘That isn’t a caltha’ because I hardly believe it myself! The petals seemed a little sturdier than the yellow ones have.

  2. That is a stunning greenhouse. I love that smoky apricot flower stem! Lovely selection of spring bulbs. Also love pulmonaria.

  3. My caltha are nowhere near flowering yet though they’ve got mounds of foliage. I didn’t know there was a white variety. Damn want list grows again! Thanks for that! 😉

    1. I agree it seems early. I don’t know how widely available it is as I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen it before, but it looked very desirable to me too. It might be like the white rosebay willow herb in that does not multiply as readily as the common form.

  4. Their Erythroniums are well on aren’t they, way ahead of mine. Their lovely Kalanchoe tomentosa is looking better than mine too, I needed just a bit more heat in the one really cold spell we had. Envy on a broad front.

    1. The Kalanchoe is healthy looking, I agree. I didn’t know the name so thank you for that. There were more Erythroniums a little behind this one, at the just open bud stage.

  5. I don’t think I’ve ever come across Chionodoxa before (or if I have, I was unaware of its name!), but that looks stunning. I’m a fan of ‘unusual’ looking plants, so that Lungwort is definitely a great one.

    1. I imagine the Chionodoxa spread well when they are happy, because you often see them in drifts. The pink ones are a soft shade, but the blue ones are quite bold and striking.

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