Mildness abounds except a local bout of fuming that took place yesterday afternoon. The Christmas tree proved reluctant to take its proper place in the tree stand and it was only after some hard work with the loppers and a saw that we were able to reach a satisfactory conclusion. The tree is about a foot shorter now but it is standing upright. Mildness restored, although the week ahead looks chillier. This is the last six from me for two weeks as Christmas and the New Year roll in.
The tree is bought from a local nursery and I couldn’t leave without a quick look round at their stock. I have not been imaginative with the winter planting for the containers so these bellis found their way to the cash desk in some attempt to liven up the pots.
Hellebore and snowdrop season approaches and I was also tempted by, thanks to a SOS from Hortus Bailey, a small pot of ‘Christmas Carol’. Little by little the collection grows.
I have seen so many tweets of cotoneaster this year. It seems to have been a great year for the leaf colour and the berries have stayed around for longer. This is a horizontalis, and over the years I have come to appreciate its contribution to the winter front garden.
Pruning the roses continues and sometimes includes the cutting back of flowering stems. This is a miniature version of ‘Darcey Bussell’.
As I now have several branches of Christmas tree going spare, I will be foraging in the garden again. This time I will be putting together some kind of garland for the bannisters. I have some kitsch fir cone lights and a slightly tatty length of fake berries. I’m hoping wonders can be created with the addition of ivy from the fences. If in doubt add more!
I hope this rather unappealing collection of leaves holds much promise. The last veg standing on the veg plot is always the parsnips. Next week I shall be digging them up in the hope that there is enough for our Christmas lunch. If I’m lucky there may even be some left for a curried parsnip soup.
Wishing you all Happy Christmas, Happy Holidays and above all a Healthy New Year. Thanks to The Propagator for creating this meme and thanks to everyone who takes part and shares their love of gardening. See you all again in 2022.
The bulbs are popping up all over the place. A ring of tete a tete around the persimmon tree, thalia in the front garden, and signs that the tulips planted a few years ago are still willing to have a go. Today the sun is shining and once again that promise of spring is in the air. Here’s my six for the first week of February.
Something borrowed and something blue in the same photo. The blue is the wonderfully uplifting sky. The borrowed is the winter flowering honeysuckle from my neighbour’s garden. The scent from it wafted over last weekend as I relocated a blackcurrant bush. Yes, I have finally done my first bit of real gardening for the year. The heady perfume was an unexpected and very welcome treat.
Something new are these alliums. This year I am trying out allium nigrum. After a few years of growing Mount Everest I decided to add these into the mix. The Mount Everest have a habit of disappearing for me. Possibly due to the heavy clay soil. I’ll see if these fare any better.
Something old. The north border has a wall that runs along its length. At the bottom end it is about 30cms high climbing upwards to the top end where it is about a metre high. It’s a higgledy-piggledy mixture of all sorts and not very attractive. At the bottom end I am persuading the ivy to entwine around itself along the wall rather than out into the very tempting lawn. Or back into the borders. Ivy twining patrol is a regular task but I am gradually achieving my aim.
Further along the wall the moss is doing a grand job of covering the stones.
I’ve not starting sowing seeds this year but the autumn sowing of ammi visnaga is coming along nicely. I have a plan to under-plant the wild black berries with these. Isn’t it wonderful how brilliant these ideas look in the imagination. We’ll see.
For February I have to include snowdrops. Many gardens will be holding snowdrop days this month. The NGS offers a list of gardens open for snowdrops and I hope to find one near me that I can visit.
Yes, gradually the gardening sap is rising, a gentle limbering up is called for and new inspiration propels me onward. More inspiration will be found at Mr P’s site. Links, comments and general good gardening cheer for all.
I had two incentives to get out in the garden today. Finding six gardening delights and collecting the greenery for decorating the house. I had a window of dryness this morning in what has otherwise been a very wet few days so armed with secateurs and the trusty phone camera out I went. The lawn is squelching and the borders are sodden. I hope the tulips can cope.
A wheelbarrow of wet ivy that has to dry out in a couple of hours so that I can start creating the annual stair banister decoration. This is a combination of fake berries, ivy, lights and what ever else comes to hand. Collecting the ivy involved pushing in around the blackcurrant canes which released their wonderful scent. That made my morning!
In a dark corner at the back of the garden I spotted that the ‘Pretty Ellen’ hellebores are in bud and looking full of promise.
The background to these hellebores is a covering of euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’. These are supposed to have pink tinged leaves in the winter but I’ve yet to spot them. I’m not complaining though as the white tinged leaves were singing out from the gloom today.
More signs of things to come as the viburnums are coming into bud. These are all very old shrubs, full of beetle holes but soldiering on nonetheless. I’ve been snipping away at them for three years now, removing the dead branches and cutting back the shrubs around them, and I think I detect signs of stronger new growth and more flower buds.
The first primrose has been out a few weeks now and really deserves a mention for reminding me that the cycle continues come rain or shine.
Winning a place this week for its longevity is this astrantia major, with new buds that are making into flower. Testament to the general mildness of the winter so far.
This will be my last SOS for a couple of weeks. I wish everyone a very peaceful and happy Christmas and I look forward to catching up with all the news in the New Year. Many thanks Mr P for hosting this meme, keeping all the links in order and generally being an all round good gardening friend! Did you have any idea of what you were creating?