December. What a month. Lulled into complacency, I had only just begun to tidy up the garden for its winter snooze. My last post hinted at cold weather and I had to decided it was not the weekend to do much in the garden. By the Sunday evening I had succumbed to the lurgy from hell and the garden was covered in six inches of snow that was to last the whole week. Temperatures were around minus four to five all week and my smugness at never lifting the dahlias may well be misplaced. I coughed my way through another week in the run up to Christmas and although an amazing turn around in temperatures had once again revealed the garden I was still not inclined to venture out. So far December was dastardly. Today, still with the remnants of a cough, I finally took a turn round the garden. I was inspired. Yes there is much soggy browness to be dealt with but bulbs are nosing through, new shoots are braving it and the birds were signing as if it were Spring. Delightful is the final verdict. Here’s my six.
The first of the hellebores are opening up. This one is ‘Pretty Ellen’ white. The snowdrops will not be far behind
Tucked away in a corner by the shed and a water storage tank another ‘Pretty Ellen’ is getting ready to shine. Of course this is PE red.
The melica altisssima ‘Alba’ really took a bashing in the snow but it’s not giving up and new shoots are pushing through. This means I have to get out there and cut back the old growth. I just need a dry day now.
This clematis was cloaked in snow for seven days. It’s an armandii with a rating of H4 which suggests it is hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5). I thought it would be a gonna but these fat buds suggest all is well. Flowers for February I hope.
Viburnums are reliable at this time of year. I wasn’t at all worried about this one surviving so I was surprised to see that it also has a hardiness rating of H4. This one is just beginning to open up and will look lovely in a week or two. I inherited this one so can only say that it is likely to be a tinus variety.
This viburnum is a pink variety with lovely shiny black berries after flowering. Also inherited, I have no idea what variety it might be. It could be another tinus.
I am also delighted to wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year. Let’s hope our gardens, pots, balconies, houseplants, whatever it is that we grow will work their magic next year and keep us all sane. Many, many thanks to Jim for taking on the SOS meme. Jim is posting sunny photos from Brisbane this week and hints at something interesting to come for the New Year. Many thanks, also, to all the SOSers who share their news every week. Roll on 2023, I think I am ready for you.