Ditto, in Nicer Version :)

My husband is a better photographer than me. So I allow the field photographing completely to him. He makes nice pictures like this also at home if he has time:

Androsace carnea brigantiaca

Last year I sowed also Anrosace carnea 'Rosea' seeds, but they did not germinate. They are germinating just now!

Primula marginata again

Saxifraga x elisabethae cv.

Other joys:
There are buds on the Primula elatior. I collected the seeds on the Raxalpe a few years ago. It is flowering now the first time.  Androsace pubescens (last year's seedling) has also buds. And the Dodecatheon has two leaf rosettes now. 

The sunshine pulls everything out from the earth. If I could sit and look, I could have seen the shoots growing and the buds opening. That's why I adore spring.

And for farewell, a little tit "working" in the garden:


Unexpected Guest and Other Nice Surprises

In one of the troughs appeared a Chionodoxa. It has two buds as yet. I have no idea how it got there, but such surprises are always gladsome, particularly after a winter like this, when many bulbs have died (frosted, rotted and so on). I have in another pot some Chionodoxa but they have had no flowers for many years already.

Chionodoxa sp.

The Androsace carnea brigantiaca flowers have opened. Seeds from the SRGC seed exchange.

Androsace carnea brigantiaca


the first two flowers of Primula marginata

Some Tulipa dasystemon bulbs had also rotted, but the remaining three are flowering heroically:

Tulipa dasystemon


Repotting Bulbs

On this weekend I repotted the two bulbous plants which are not hardy here (at least in pot). They usually overwinter in their pot in the cellar, in dry conditions. In early spring I repot them, water and wait for the new shoots to water again. After the repotting they are placed in the more luminous but cool staircase until May when they take up their places on the balcony.

The truth is that I make every year another potting mix, because I don't like to tear about for ingredients so I mix it from what I have at home. Important is to contain some nutrients and to have good drainage. This year's potting compost: 
  • 1 part humus bought from nursery
  • 1 part ready made, peat based, "general" potting compost also from nursery + some old compost
  • 2 parts perlite

Habranthus robustus

Two years ago I've got 5 bulbs from a kind old lady also living in this house. Alas, she is so kind that she waters sometimes the bulb pot in the cellar during the winter. So the bulbs cannot really go dormant, they have some green shoots all the winter. I am not happy with this, because the repotting is more difficult and I think this is the reason why the bulbs do not flower as abundantly as they should.  
She's bulbs are in a more shallow window box and the compost not covered with grit as mine, so she gives them water for the compost not to dry out completely. I told her already two times to leave alone my pot but it was to no effect :)

From the 5 flowering sized bulbs I have already 10 and also many little new bulbs (on the left picture).

Nerine bowdenii

This plant comes from our Vera Csapody Hardy Plant Society. I've got two not flowering sized (min 12 cm circumference) bulbs last spring. Now I have 2 flowering sized and 3 little bulbs with healty roots.

There is an interesting point with the Nerine. In Hungary it is not really hardy, Hungarian books say that it must be planted deep to overwinter safely. BUT, I've read some English opinions that it will not flower when planted deep in the soil, and that the upper 1/3 part of the bulb must be out of compost just like Amaryllis, because it needs much air. As I grow it in pot and put it inside for winter, I follow this latter method and we will see. The upper 1/3 part is covered only with grit.

I always cover the compost in every pot with grit or pine bark. It depends on what passes more for the plant in question. It looks nicer than bold compost and is drying out more slowly. And it is also easier to water. The weeds come out anyway, covered or not. Mosses we don't quite have at our balcony, it is too hot and dry for them.


The First Real Spring Day

We have every year the First Real Spring Day (though it may be followed by winter days again).
I think that from now on we will have every day some news in the "garden".

The Androsace is still sleeping wrapped up in hairy leaves. Besides can be seen the ugly brown foliage of a Potentilla nitida. It will never be as on its habitat in the Dolomites but I hope for green leaves soon. This plant was bought in a nursery and until now it has give us three flowers only once.

Androsace sarmentosa, Potentilla nitida

This last year's Aquilegia seedling (seeds came from the SRGC as Aquilegia scopulorum but I think it is not), gets dressed for the Spring Feast.

Aquilegia sp.

Draba imbricata

This is also a seedling from last year, I think:

Draba lasiocarpa

The Eranthis is already fading, the Hepaticas just in bloom:

Hepatica nobilis, Eranthis hyemalis

Its pollen is already ripe:

Also the first flower of the Saxifraga x elisabethae cv. has opened, 10 days later than last year:

Saxifraga x elisabethae cv.

Sedum sieboldii shoots with Tulipa dasystemon in the background:

The color of the houseleeks is most beautiful now, at the end of winter. In summer they become dull green.

Sedum calcareum 'Griggs's Surprise' (maybe)


Spring Developments

Spring is working now very very slow, but at least is working. Last days we had much sunshine with extremely cold winds. And tonight snowed again before the last snow could have gone.
Some buds from the balcony:

Androsace carnea brigantiaca

Primula marginata – will flower the first time for us

Hepatica nobilis

And finally some pictures from the Hárs mountain near Budapest. We went back on Sunday and found the Eranthis flowers with a snow blanket:


March Mood

Beautiful winter indeed, the only problem is that it's March. It has been snowing since midnight.
Two pictures from our window at lunchtime:

And on the balcony:


Cyclamen coum

Yesterday I bought in our Vera Csapody Hardy Plant Society three nice Cyclamen coum plants. It's true that I have a lot of seedlings but who can wait until they will bloom?
I made a bad picture in very bad light conditions.



The first day of March. Before noon it was nice and sunny, with the smell of spring in the air. In the afternoon we had a hail here, on Buda hills. Suddenly I heard a clattering on the window and the grass in the garden was covered with white peas. The balcony was not affected, yet I covered the budding Saxifraga with a plastic box. I wouldn't like its only 3 buds to be broken down.

On Sunday we went Snowdrop-hunting to the Hárs hill. On the northern slopes there are many, but only buds at the moment. Instead we found fine clumps of Eranthis hyemalis in full bloom. There are only on a single place, but they make large yellow carpets. Shame on me! I did not know before that there were Eranthis on Hárs hill, though we walk many times around there.