Tuesday, March 11, 2008

An Early Spring Garden

This is the garden that belongs to my friends Anja and Machiel. Their garden is dominated by a lot of trees which make it a very shady garden. Because of all that shade and the stiff competition their plants would get from the trees for water and nutrients Anja and Machiel decided to create a garden where everything is in harmony with each other, instead of fighting to the death.
So they created a woodland garden where many plants and bulbs flower in late winter/early spring before the trees get their leaves.
And it all looks wonderful. I took these pics from early til the end of February and as you can see there is so much to enjoy already.
Hellebores and oodles of snowdrops in flower.
Witch hazel.
Beautiful Hellebores and snowdrops
Some more snowdrops
In this garden there are snowdrops in flower from October till end of April as Anja and Machiel are both suffering from a severe case of Galanthofilitis. It's not an illness that is bad for your health although the same cannot be said for your bank balance. Some rare snowdrops cost as much as 30 to 50 euro ( 45 to 75 USD/CAD) per bulb.
A gorgeous Witch hazel
Hellebores, winter aconites and snowdrops
Dark maroon Hellebore
Another beautiful Hellebore
Witch hazel
Christmas box or Sarcococca with a heavenly scent!
It's such a delight to go for a stroll in this garden as there is already so much in flower from early February onwards; it really lifts the spirit on a bleak winter's day.
But it is difficult to show you how delightful this garden really is as I can't take any overview pics because the blooms fall away then. The planting is so subtle in this garden.
The winter aconites are very happy in this garden and they have spread like wildfire.
They also have quite a collection of Hellebores which is quite sensible of course, one can never have too many Hellebores.
I think this garden is a wonderful example of going with what is there, instead of trying to force the wrong plants to grow where they have little or no chance to succeed. In a garden like this you can't expect lots of summer flowering plants because they need a lot of sunshine and that is never going to happen in a garden full of trees.
So the highlights of the gardening year in this garden are in early to late spring and in autumn when the trees have little or no leaves.
Anja and Machiel have shown with their garden that it is possible to have a garden full of blooms in one of the most difficult situations; lots of shade and even worse, very dry shade.

copyright 2008 Y.E.W. Heuzen

Gardens are places where we can connect with the weather, the seasons and the natural rhythms of plants and animals.
Monty Don, My Roots, 2005


Lis said...

Das scheint ja wirklich ein wunderschöner Garten zu sein. So viele Zaubernüsse und Helleborus, einfach großartig.
Mich würde interessieren wie der Garten dann im Sommer aussieht. Kannst du uns dann vieleicht mal ein paar Fotos davon zeigen?
LG Lis

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your friends garden is indeed beautiful. I love all the witch hazel and hellebores. I am going to try to find out if those hellebores are available here and will grow in our zone6.

Tracy said...

Just beautiful Yolanda! So much growing, blooming and thriving aleady! That hazel is wonderful...Happy week ((HUGS))

Barbara said...

Ein schöner Eindruck hinterlässt der Garten deiner Freunde. Ich wäre auch sehr neugierig auf den Sommer Garten, habe ich doch auch schattige Ecken und manchmal keine Ideen mehr...
Lieben Gruss, Barbara

gintoino said...

Beautiful garden! I can understand the galanthofilitis, the snowdrops are wonderful. I also like the witch hazel. Woodland gardens are something we don't see much arround here.

Frances, said...

Your friends must be as lovely as their garden to understand how nature needs to be cooperated with rather than battled. The spreading of the aconites shows what a well balanced space it is. Thanks for the tour!

Frances at Faire Garden

marl1 said...

En droge schaduw is toch wel een van de lastigste tuin omstandigheden die je kunt hebben.....dat is hier dus buitengewoon goed aangepakt! Prachtig gezicht en ik kan me voorstellen dat het daar nu heerlijk toeven is.

Rosengeranium said...

Lovely pictures and a lovely garden!

ourfriendben said...

Hi Yolanda Elisabet! Great post, great photos, great garden! I can sympathise with your friends, bring a bit of a galanthofilitist myself! I also love the listing of your cats and their histories--you've somehow captured them in a way that lets their personalities shine through. And being a bigtime Austenite, when I saw the quiz I of course had to take it. I too am Elizabeth Bennett (though unfortunately would probably be closer to Mr. Bennett if that were an option).

lintys said...

your friends have a lovely garden!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to a Spring-y Bliss!

* Lis: Yes, I will take some pictures this summer too of that lovely garden of my friends. I think it looks great all year round. ;-)

* Lisa: I hope the answer to your question is yes, as Hellebores are such wonderful plants to grow.

* Tracy: glad you enjoyed it and yes, those witch hazels are pretyy stunning and you haven't even smelled their lovely scent. ;-)

* Barbara: there will be pics of this garden in her summer dress too in a few months time.

* Gintoino: I love snowdrops too, they are such pretty little flowers and they flower at a time when very little else does.

* Frances: they are very much in tune with nature and garden organically (of course!).

* Marl1: droge schaduw is ontzettend lastig maar dat hebben ze heel goed opgelost.

* Rosengeranium: glad you liked it!

* Ourfriendben: so we're both Elizabeth Bennett? Hmmmmm. LOL They should make this quiz suitable for men too then you could be either Mr Bennett, or Mr Collins ;-), or Mr Darcy or well, there's quite a long list, isn't there?

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

thebench said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

If ny garden wasn't covered with snow all winter, I'd be a Galanthophile too! That garden is so lovely - I'm partial to woodland gardens anyway, but the Witchhazels are spectacular & the Hellebores sublime! (Oh, no, I'm drooling again.) Thanks for sharing it.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

FYI - the "blogger" called "The Bench" is a spammer. I suspected that from the comment, so I investigated - no blog. Heronswood was such a great nursery before Mr. Ball got his hands on it & moved the name to Ohio as a subsidiary of Burpee.

jodi said...

Oh, Yolanda, how lovely! I needed a good dose of blooms this morning, though it's lovely and sunny, it's very cold here today. The Ice Queen continues to have her way with us...

Nancy j. Bond said...

Very beautiful. I'm pea green with envy. :)

Karin A said...

What a beautiful garden! Working with and not against the nature is also my melody. :) I just love all their hellborus and snowdrops. Witch hazels are also beautiful!

Thank you so much for the name - wire dome - and your lovely comments about what I'm doing. It's always nice when you stop by. :)

Well, the weather in Sweden is okay! Not that much spring yet but it's coming. Rain some days, sunshine other days. At least no snow. Take care and have a really nice (garden-)week! Kram Karin

stadtgarten said...

A lovely garden with all those lots of witch hazel, snowdrops and hellebores. They have made the best of their difficult garden situation.
I am also looking forward to see this garden in summer.
Groetjes, Monika

Kerri said...

Thanks so much for giving us a glimpse of your friends' well thought out garden Yolander Elizabet. They've done such a beautiful job! It's glorious to see all those blooms as we wait impatiently for ours to begin their show. Thank you! :)

Cheryl said...

Beautiful garden. I love aconites and snowdrops. They have a lovely lovely space there, everything goes so very well together. Good post.

lenie said...

petje af hoor , zit je te praten iedere dag tegen al die bloemen ???
is een mooi resultaat in de droge schaduw .......daar heb ik massa grond en nu bladeren ....maar ik vind het best ;))

Poppins said...

It must be a very large garden, filled with all these lovely plants. The red primrose is so sweet and I love snowdrops. For me it is strange that they flower through the whole winter.

PS Yes, I do love yellow! Especially in the spring.

Birgit said...

Sind sooo schöne Frühlingsbilder, die Du uns zeigst. Diese verschiedenen Hamamelis. Sie waren immer ein Traum von mir, leider habe ich keinen Platz mehr dafür. Die wunderschönen Helleboren. Einfach super toll alles.

Und: Dein neues Startbild gefällt mir auch sehr gut. Na klar, ist ja auch ne Pelznase zu sehen.

LG, Birgit

Matron said...

I just loved the witch hazel! Isn't it wonderful?

jason said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ladyluz said...

Great garden, Yolanda and I've spotted the mahonia again...super smell.

Pop on over - your birthday plant is there.

Love. P

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I see that you've been hit by "Jason"
the spammer too. Not fun! It is however fun to see your lovely spring post. I hope your feeling all better now.

Green thumb said...

Beautiful Garden dear Yolanda! It must be very inspiring to know people who enjoy and care about plants as your friends do. For me the inspiration is double; coming from Bliss and supplemmented by friends of Bliss.

Annie in Austin said...

This garden welcomes spring in a way I've read about in books but never seen in person! Yolanda, with all those witch hazels and blooming bulbs does your friends' garden smell as wonderful as it looks?

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

[it's not on my blog but I'm also a snapdragon; my Austen heroine quiz came up Elinor Dashwood.]

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

Looking at your photos, I feel insanely envious (in a good way). You've made me realize that my garden needs a LOT more flowers.

No Rain said...

Beautiful garden filled with interesting things. The Witch Hazel is new to me. I use it a lot as astringent, but never really knew where it came from.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Spring-y Bliss!

* Lintys: yes they do!

* MMD: their witch hazels are a sight for sore eyes (in more ways than one ;-)) and I love their collection of Hellebores too. Here's a tissue! ;-)
I thought as much but *the bench* was peanuts with only 1 comment. Later I was hit by spammer *Jason* who felt it was necessary to make 18 spam comments on my blog. There are some very sad people about.:-(

* Jodi: I'm glad you had a sunny day, everything always looks nicer when the sun is out. I knew you needed a good dose of blooms, you and so many of my garden friends who live up north!

* Nancy: pea green suits you! ;-)

* Karin: of course, it's the only way that makes sense, every gardener should work _with_ nature.

Glad to help you out!

We're having rain and sunshine here too and it is a bit colder as well. Well, what can we expect, it is only March. :-)

* Monika: they have turned a disadvantage into an advantage and as a result their garden looks lovely.

* Kerri: they have done a beautiful job, I agree!
Spring will come for you too Kerri!

* Cheryl: winter aconites and snowdrops are amongst my favourites too. Thank you!

* Lenie: ik klets meer tegen mijn katjes. ;-) Tis een mooie tuin op een nogal moeilijke plek.

* Poppins: it's about 1000 m2 big. There are very special snowdrops for sale that flower at unexpected times. The ordinary snowdrop flowers from December til February (depending on the weather).

* Birgit: the Hamamelis were a revelation for me too and it is thanks to my friends garden that I bought a Hamamelis too this year. Luckily I still have space in my garden. ;-)

The Startbild is a pic of my lovely Russian Blue Emma while we were on holiday in France. For me it is a picture about heaven as we had such a truly wonderful time there.

* Matron: witch hazel is magic! ;-)

* Pam: oh yes, that Mahonia has such a great scent, it says Spring to me. ;-) Thanks for finding my birthday plant, I'll pop right over!

* Robin: indeed, 18 times is a tad excessive, even for a sad little spammer. Yes, my energy levels are almost back to normal but unfortunately the jaw infection has returned, but we're working on it.

* Green Thumb: yes, that is very inspiring, one of the reasons why I started my garden club. It is so nice to be with other people who feel about gardens as you do. That's also why I like blogging so much; it's such fun to encounter kindred spirits!

* Annie: yes, their garden smells wonderful like a Spring dream.
They also have a big Sarcococca next to their front door so when you are standing there the scent is almost overwhelming but in a good way. ;-)
BTW Elinor Dashwood is one of my favourite Austen characters, someone whom I would have loved to meet in real life. I'm not surprised about the snapdragon thingy. ;-)

* MSS: IMO a garden could always do with more flowers. Happy buying lots of blooms for your garden Melissa!

* Aiyana: the things you learn while blogging eh? ;-)

VP said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely! I particularly like the witch hazels because I can't grow them here (wrong kind of soil) and the reflections in your globe.

Ki said...

Your friends have a beautiful garden. I'm surprised their witch hazel blooms so late in the season when the flowers on our shrubs are all withered. Our corylopsis don't even show a hint of buds yet but theirs overlaps with the witch hazels...very interesting. I love their collection of hellebores. And I see that their Japanese quince is about to flower too. Thanks for sharing the photos.

Marie said...

What a beautiful post!

jason said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Connie said...

Your friends have created a lovely garden! Thanks for sharing.

rusty in miami said...

I learned something new today. I didn’t know that you could have blooms like that in mid winter in your part of the world.
PS I also love those Witch Hazel.

Hanneles paradis said...

So beautiful.

nikkipolani said...

What great use of the shade they have instead of pining for the sun they don't! I'd never seen aconites before - they are such delicate little things.

heirloomgardener said...

Wow, what beautiful and inspiring photos--especially those witch hazels.

Naturegirl said...

Woodland gardens are so interesting if one takes the time to plan and your friends did a lovely job..Spring is invigorating!!
I am in Paradise in the desert with blossom everywhere!!Sun everyday!! sunkissed NG

Surya said...

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Your friends garden is very beautiful with colorful flowers. I like the Mahonia, Witch Hazel, and Dark Maroon Hellebores.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to a Spring-y Bliss!

* VP: what a pity you can't grow witch hazels! The refelctions in that globe are fun, aren't they?

* Ki: the pics were taken last month, their witch hazels have finished flowering by now. Well spotted that the Japanese quince is about to flower!

* Marie: thanks!

* Connie: you're welcome!

* Rusty: we can have a lot of blooms in January and February over here and March is considered to be almost Spring. ;-)Although we can have snow and frost in May.

* Hannele: thanks!

* Nikkipolani: winter aconites are among my favourite flowers. They flower even earlier than snowdrops!

* Heirloomgardener: getting inspired is always a good thing! ;-)

* Anna: woodland gardens are very enchanting! Glad you are soaking up all that much needed sunshine.

* Surya: welcome and glad you liked my friends garden so much!

Thanks all for visiting and commenting on my blog, I enjoyed reading it all, except the spam. ;-)

Ewa said...

Thank you Yolanda for introducing us to your friend's garden.
It is very sweet indeed with so many blooms. I am pretty shocked to learn that galanthus bulb can be up tp 50 euro per bulb...

Rosemarie said...

Such a beautiful array of flowers and plants. I have to admit that I never thought about planting spring flowers before the trees grow in - of course!

Marian said...

Wow, mooi zeg!
Daar mag je in de loop van het jaar nog wel meer van laten zien,
ik ben benieuwd wat er dan nog allemaal voor fraais tevoorschijn komt!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Spring-y Bliss!

* Ewa: it is a lovely garden where I love to walk. Yes, some snowdrops are very rare and they cost a fortune but not all of them of course. The ordinary snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) is very afordable.

* Rosemarie: I suspect you're not the only one so that was one of the reasons why I showed this garden on my blog.

* Marian: ik vind deze tuin het hele jaar door mooi en zal inderdaad nog wel wat foto's knippen daar in de loop van het jaar.

Thanks for visiting and commenting!

Ruth Welter said...

Hey Yolanda, love your spring blooms, just beautiful. Kitty also, looks gorgeous outside , she goes so well with your pretty flowers. : )

Lori said...

Wow, what a gorgeous garden, and what an excellent idea, really-- why fight nature when nature knows what it's doing? I keep telling myself that. (And so does my garden.)

I also like how this garden has the aspect of a secret garden-- most of the year it'll just look like a woodland, but in the spring, magic! :D

Kylee said...

You do know that a witch hazel or two are tops on my list of wants this year, don't you? They're not easily found right in my area, so I'll have to cast the nets wider to find some.

Mom said the native ones are in bloom now, because she saw one. I've not seen any of those yet, either.

Beautiful shade garden!