First flowers in bloom this year

11 February 2022

We’re just beginning to see a few flowers coming out at the gardens – we post photos of them every year, as although it’s the same two or three things that flower early, we’re still very happy to see them as they herald the beginning of the end of winter.


The Sarcoccus confusa – Sweet box – in the bed nearest the memorial, is just full of flower, and has a lovely strong perfume when the sun or wind catches it..


The winter aconites have been showing a little yellow for a couple of weeks now, but they’re really beginning to open up whenever there’s enough light and/or sunshine. And they’re spreading! The great gardener Christopher Lloyd often regretted that he couldn’t establish them in his wonderful garden at Great Dixter. It’s nice to know that even the best gardeners rely on a bit of luck – I spend enough time worrying about the plants that haven’t thrived in these gardens as well as I’d hoped, but I’ll draw comfort from the way these come back cheerfully early every year.

This one looks particularly good next to the copper-leaved bugle, which will come into its own in a couple of months. And the large clump of cultivated poppy next to it came from a passer-by last year, who was sad that someone had pulled a mature poppy out and left it lying on the ground; she said she had some seed from a similar plant at home, so she went off immediately to fetch it. This is the first of several clumps that’ll delight us in the summer.

And of course there are snowdops!

There are several clumps around the garden, including some under the flowering cherry tree in the corner, by the Bowls Club and the car park. These are growing ruond the buddleia in the middle of the bed the preschool children look after.