Welcoming some new friends

Like any gardener, and as a collector of plants, it is always good to see old friends return for another year of flowering. But more exciting still is the joy of making new acquaintances.

Muscari Touch of Snow (main picture) was picked up from a garden centre just before we had to stop being out and about.

But more usually my purchases come in the form of bulbs or seeds requiring patience (or lots of patience) and of course a sense of anticipation.

Two sets of bulbs have repaid the waiting this week.

Muscari atillae

This spring, new friends include the tiny Muscari atillae (above) and the deep dark Muscari commutatum (below).

Muscari commutatum
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It may be a grey day but…

The wind was cold, the sky was grey, but one woman in the east was standing in her garden smiling…

Muscari racemosum

Lovely to see this old favourite back again. Muscari racemosum looking unusual among the blues and purples and smelling gorgeous.

Pseudomuscari chalusicum

New to me this year, I hope Pseudomuscari chalusicum goes from strength to strength.

Muscari armeniacum Touch of Snow

And finally the result of a trip to the garden centre last week, now showing off about the reason for its name, Muscari armeniacum Touch of Snow.

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Here’s looking at you…

This evening, while checking my photos, I noticed Muscari armeniacum Esther apparently looking back at me! I often see something new when I review a days photos. But I don’t think I’ve ever spotted one of my collection staring back at the camera before!

Muscari armeniacum Esther – 7th Mar 2020
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Back to buds

A lovely sunny day in the garden. Sadly I was mostly in doors painting the living room. But there is always time to do a bit of plant appreciation… Today I am loving the early buds and flowers.

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Pseudomuscari coeleste

So it took most of last year and two house moves, but my little collection of bulbs is finally settled in to a permanent new home and is now getting on with the business of being beautiful.

Pseudomuscari coeleste once again is the first to open a bud in the February sunshine.

Lots of green leaves and a few spots of colour as the usual early suspects begin to stretch.

It’s good to see some colour in some leaves too.

Muscari parviflorum is giving a tiny bold display of red flushed leaves which I have not noticed in previous years.

It’s also really exciting to see seedlings from last year putting on more growth in the greenhouse.

I’ve been very impressed with the germination and development of a number of seeds that I purchased from Plant World Seeds including these Pseudomuscari chalusicum.

Looking forward to the next few months… and looking out for any local snails!

Deb A 🙂

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Wonderful, marvellous, amazing…

Muscari Mirum – 23 May 2019

… surprising and awesome.

Well this is how the Latin word ‘mirum’ is defined on the pages of Wiktionary

Muscari mirum is a pretty little plant and I suspect by its colouring is more closely related to its Leopoldia relatives than its name suggests.

Along with one of those relatives, Leopoldia neumannii, it is bringing to an end the flowering season for my little collection this year.

Leopoldia neumannii- 23 May 2019

I have loved both meeting new species and welcoming old friends. So while the bulbs might be heading for dormancy, I am not. The obsession continues!

For me it’s time to hit the books, do my research, learn more and order the seeds and bulbs of some of the many wonderful, marvellous, amazing, surprising and awesome plants that I have yet to meet.

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Leopoldia loveliness

So the Muscari have all turned to seed and the Bellevalia have lost their colour and are lying about limply, pretending to fend off the slugs.

Just when you think it’s all over, the Leopoldia put it a lovely late spring production number.

Leopoldia neumannii – 18 May 2019

Previously I have only grown Leopoldia comosa and to be honest have been quite underwhelmed by its insistence on developing lots of leaves but not coming back in to flower.

However, for various reasons I find myself with several of it’s relatives this year and have been charmed by them.

Some are quite bonkers with their mad little heads of sterile flowers. But while they all appear to run on a theme of pink and purple, yellow and brown, they have distinct personalities which I’ve warmed to in the last few weeks. I hope they won’t be shy about returning next year.

Leopoldia weissii – 18 May 2019

For more on Leopoldia weissii

please follow the link. The rest of the Leopoldia section of the website is ‘in production’ at this time 🙂

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I think I have this beauty mislabelled as Bellevalia speciosa.

The unopened buds are very pink, the apex of the raceme is quite pointed and the leaves are wider than those of the other bulbs I have in the pot.

Bellevalia – 8 May 2019

But then again may be it is the other bulbs that I have wrongly labelled!!! Further research may be required, but whatever it is, it is gorgeous.

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Note to self

Note to self… Bellevalia’s need a lot more slug and snail protection than Muscari!

I imagine with their larger stems and thicker leaves the plants look like gourmet meals to the local Gastropoda. The little creatures certainly enjoyed dining in the dark last night. Of the two stems which were developing nicely yesterday, only one remains standing.

Amazingly, despite having half its stem nibbled away, Bellevalia fominii is still putting on a lovely display. Meanwhile, the snail has been ‘relocated’.

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Bellevalia dubia

It may be cold outside but that’s not putting Bellevalia dubia off from putting on a fine show this morning.

Bellevalia dubia – 29th Mar 2019

Two weeks ago it was looking like a frog, now it has become a handsome prince 🙂

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Bellevalia cyanopoda

Bellevalia cyanopoda – 28 Mar 2019

This low growing Bellevalia cyanopoda is displaying beautifully a purple stem, purple pedicels and unusual blue buds which open to white, with purple stamen.

The word ‘cyanopoda’ actually suggests blue feet!

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Beautiful Blue

Bellevalia turkestanica- 29 Mar 2019

The flowers are beginning to open on Bellevalia turkestanica also known by the synonym Bellevalia atroviolacea.

‘Atro’ means ‘darkest’ and this unusual and beautiful plant displays the darkest blue of all the Bellevalias.

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Muscari Name Game

Muscari ‘Ocean Magic’ – 23 March 2019

In the world of Muscari cultivation there are many varieties which have lovely names… but who fail to live up to expectation.

I think Muscari ‘Ocean Magic’ is an exception. There is something very much like an ocean wave in its colouration as it opens its buds. A real beauty, well named.

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Brazen Bellevalia

So Bellevalia’s are new to me and I genuinely did not know what to expect.

As far as I can see so far they are a weird and wonderful world of curious pleasures 🙂

Bellevalia longistyla – 22 Mar 2019

Bellevalia longistyla has a dark stem at its centre and delightful purple stamen inside white, green veined flowers.

The flower buds are gradually loosing their elegant, upright poise. A bit like a Victorian lady undoing her tight corset and suddenly letting it all hang out!

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Muscari pulchellum pulchellum

Muscari pulchellum pulchellum –
21 Mar 2019

Sometimes it is not about the flowers being fully open.

Sometimes there is just a perfect moment, when the lower flowers are just opening, the buds are still displaying their interesting early colour and the flowers at the top are looking amazing in the low light of a gloomy afternoon.

Muscari pulchellum pulchellum is more than living up to its Latin name today.

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Bellevalia buds and babies

Today I have three tales from the Bellevalias to share in pictures.

1, The buds on Bellevalia longistyla are still green and tightly packed, but the appearance of a dark collar at the base of the raceme adds a touch of elegance as the flower spike pushes up.

2, Bellevalia cyanopoda looks a little like a pineapple sitting on its leaves with the raindrops close by. The leaves have a subtle touch of red along their margins.

Bellevalia cyanopoda – 15 Mar 2019

3, And last but not least, not much to look at may be, but very exciting to me… seedlings coming through for Bellevalia paradoxa.

Bellevalia paradoxa seedlings – 15 Mar 2019

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Muscari adilii

I have a number of new bulbs this year which I have been eagerly anticipating.

Muscari adilii – 3 Mar 2019

Muscari adilii has not disappointed, with its fat little collection of deep violet flowers tipped with white. What a beauty!

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Pseudomuscari azureum

Another early flowering variety, Pseudomuscari azureum make me think of ballerinas in tutus.

Pseudomuscari azureum – Feb 2019

So the website is beginning to take shape. I’ll be adding to it this year as and when there is something interesting to report.

The page for Pseudomuscari azureum is already online. Please stop by and let me know what you think (constructive criticism is always welcome). And If you like it, please share with your garden friendly friends.

Thank you 🙂

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Pseudomuscari coeleste

Let flowering commence!

While I have a few new comers in the collection this year, Pseudomuscari coeleste is, once again, the first of my lovelies to open its buds in the bright February sunshine.

This species is a native of Southern Cappadocia, Turkey.

Coeleste in Latin refers to divine, celestial, heavenly bodies.

The flowers begin with a tight conical raceme of blue green buds. These open as pale blue campanulate flowers with darker blue stripes down the centre of each tepal. They remind me of old fashioned striped pyjamas.

As the flowers age they turn a deep lilac blue. They have no discernible scent.

The leaves are a mid green and not much longer than the flower spikes at maturity.

My bulbs were purchased from

Further details about the species can be found at

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Muscari madness?

8c2b31e0-c117-41f9-b2a0-8e5ee954dca9I imagine that anyone looking at the collection of pots outside my back door at this time of year would question my sanity. I appear to have spent no small amount of time amassing and potting plants which, at this point, mostly offer grass like leaves which all look the same.  And that’s even if they’ve bothered to poke their noses through their gritty compost yet.

Ah, but while I’m willing to admit Muscari madness, I can not agree that they all look the same.

There is Muscari macrocarpum Golden Fragrance, looking fresh, tall and strong.

M. macrocarpum Golden Fragrance

There is the somewhat lax and lazy Muscari commutatum alba, lolling about.

M. commutatum alba

For a spot of colour we have Muscari verticillaris with a reddish infusion at the base of the leaves.

Muscari verticillaris

Then there is Muscari Mount Hood, each bulb sending up 5 or 6 strong green leaves apparently making a grab for any sunshine they can find.

Muscari Mount Hood

While Muscari mirum is content to make minimum effort on the foliage front.

Muscari mirum

To me, of course, they are all interesting and all hold the promise of the best being yet to come.

But then, just as I was ready to go in for a cup of tea I spotted this…

Muscari adilii

It’s the first year I’ve grown Muscari adilii. I wasn’t sure what to expect. It turns out he’s so excited about flowering he can’t even wait for his leaves to grow.

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