Sheffield Botanical Gardens, spring proper

Last weekend we visited Sheffield Botanical Gardens again, last visited in mid-March. All of the spring bulbs were still as jolly as before, but we got a real feeling of the summer perennials stretching their muscles a bit more, and more late-spring flowers kicking off.

Up by the cafe, this impressive, stout Fritillaria imperialis echoed the tulips beneath it impressively:


This myrtle-like false baeckea (Astartea astarteoides) was beginning to flower last time, but is now putting out more and more of its outrageous blooms:


This unlabelled tree had lovely acer-like leaves that had an aesculus-like droop to them, as if protecting their blossom from the odd weather we’ve been having (maybe they do!)

Acer-like, with chestnut-style drooping leaves

Back in spring, I counted a single open flower on this monstrous Rhododendron:


And hidden in a border near the north-west corner of the gardens was Muscari “Valerie Finnis”, which both Alison Levey and (somewhat tangentially) Roy Strong mentioned separately a few weeks ago:


That minty pale blue was really exciting to see, and overcame the fact that I don’t always like seeing Muscari close up. They’re a better plant in little low drifts, seen at a distance.

There was a lot more to see, but the light was a bit too poor for further photographs. Hopefully we’ll be back there again in a few months, to see what has changed (especially in the rose garden!)

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