Yes, amazingly I have made a dent in the ‘to do’ list. All the shrub roses have been pruned, the autumn fruiting raspberries have been cut back and, just in time, the vine has been also been pruned. There is much to be said for pruning the roses in December. At this time of year I find myself tiptoeing around the newly emerging Spring bulbs. It can be very challenging. I have made a start on the ‘Blush Noisette’ climbing rose, several times in fact. There are two of them growing against a wall and much ruthlessness is needed. I find I need several goes before I achieve the optimum level of devil may care attitude! There is another cold spell due next week with the possibility of an overnight frost, but there is no denying the garden is on the move. This is very positive but it also means the losses over winter are becoming clearer. Here’s my six for this week.
Skimmia ‘Lime Green’ suffered from die-back of several of the branches and I have no idea why. I cut all the dead back before winter and although it looks rather thin at the moment, it is showing signs of life. I hope it manages to grow back from the base.
The cordyline, liberated from a pot in the summer, really does look like a gonna. As with all the dead looking plants, I will leave this in the ground until I am really sure it is beyond hope.
Dead but appropriately so. These are the seed heads of rudbeckia. They are a source of food for the goldfinches and so are always left standing over winter. Phlox is another plant that doesn’t get cut back, no seeds but good for winter cover for the foraging birds.
More and more hellebores are coming through, this is another ‘Pretty Ellen’. I have my eye on the space where two others were newly planted out in September but there are no signs of them yet.
More signs of life in the greenhouse. I bought some gaura in September and wisely decided not to plant them out but to keep them in the greenhouse over winter. It wasn’t looking too good a week or so ago but as the temperature creeps up so the new growth has come through.
A definite sign of Spring, the very first crocus has appeared. I think I bought these bulbs in an end of season sale at the garden centre so they were planted quite late. Miscellaneous white is all I can say about them. Oh, and very lovely to see.
This weekend I am off to buy my seed potatoes from a local allotment shop. It may be a limited range but I am hoping they will have that reliable doer ‘Charlotte’. Jim, our charming Six On Saturday host, has a colourful post this week. The first daffodil and more of his wonderful collection of camellias. Happy gardening.