Foliage for January.

Foliage Day has come round very quickly this month, or so it seems. There is lots of foliage that is looking decidedly tatty, I really must get round to cutting it down, and there are a few plants that shine out because their foliage is still looking fresh and new, even though they have been with us for some time.

Variegated ivy

Just outside the back door is a pot with some variegated ivy in it, it always seems to look nice even though it must lose some old leaves sometime.

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January treasures for GBBD.

At the moment, the sun is shining, the sky is a brilliant blue, the wind is blowing and everywhere is very wet from torrential rain overnight. We have escaped the awful weather of the last few days, when other places are covered in snow still. We had a bit of sleet and a few hailstones yesterday but that was as bad as it got.

The sun tempted me out to see what is flowering for GBBD in January. Starting in the front garden I found –

Wingter Jasmine

Winter Jasmine, that has been flowering since the beginning of December.

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Away from home.

Having just returned home from a few days near London with our son and dil, which followed a few days in Bristol over Christmas with our daughter and family, I need to catch up with the garden, the house and all your posts!

On our last trip away we went for a walk in a public walled garden in Sunbury-on-Thames. First glance round showed a very neat, tidy garden, very  formal, looking as if it was waiting for something to happen.

Sunbury-on-Thames walled garden

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New Year’s Day flowers.

I just thought I would have a quick whizz around the garden and see if anything was flowering on the first day of the year. In the front, by the door, is where my first snowdrop should be.  G. Mrs Macnamara is being a bit slow this time, she is there but doesn’t want to open. I think maybe it is far too shady for her and I really ought to move her so that she has more light.

G. Mrs Macnamara

Just a couple of degrees warmer and I think she would open.

G. Little John

In the woodland is G. Little John, almost opening, I can’t remember if this one is supposed to be early or not.

G. Faringdon Double

Of course you have already see the state G. Farringdon Double is in, from my last post, I really can’t think what could have chewed the label?!

Meconopsis cambrica

A lonely Meconopsis cambrica is flowering near to the bog garden, it survived the frost the other night, although one of the buds doesn’t seem too good.


Primroses are starting to flower, this one has seeded itself where the nearest ones are about 20 ft away, I like the way they are seeding around the garden all by themselves.


This is the Camellia which got an unexpected short back and sides from someone who was trimming the Laurel hedge behind! It doesn’t seem to have done it any harm and the shrub is covered with flower buds!


The Camellia, which I showed you earlier in December, hasn’t suffered any frost damage, thank goodness and is looking as good as ever.


The Chaenomeles by the back door also didn’t suffer any frost damage the other night, it is still flowering merrily away and is absolutely covered in buds.


Quite a few of the Polyanthus are flowering, but are also showing a bit of frost damage. I must remove the rotten flowers, there are plenty of buds to take over,

Iris unguicularis Mary Barnard

Under the dining room window, where I can keep an eye on it without going out into the cold,  is Iris unguicularis Mary Barnard.

Honesty seedlings

Some seedling Honesty that had got overlooked in the woodland, have decided to flower. Poor things, I really must get them planted!

Campanula poscharskyana

The ubiquitous Campanula porscharskyana never seems to stop flowering, it is everywhere!

Garrya eliptica

Garrya eliptica is covered in buds which will elongate into silver grey tassels. I’m so glad to see the tassels this year,  last year it didn’t have any flowers at all, I think I pruned it too hard!

Forget me not

One tiny little forget me not is braving the cold temperatures. I wonder what makes one flower open and others nearby stay tightly closed?

Rosa Graham Thomas

Quite a few roses are still flowering, some looking decidedly worse for wear, R. Graham Thomas can represent them all as I think he is in the best condition.

Winter Jasmine

Winter Jasmine is still flowering by the front door, I think it should be in more sun, but it was here before we were and I never got round to moving it, maybe I ought to try some cuttings.


I can remember saying last year that I must find out which this snowdrop is, flowering opposite the back door, I still haven’t done it! At least I know it is one of my early ones!


I thought this little group in the woodland look like baby birds in their nest, waiting for a parent to bring them some food.

G. Atkinsii

It won’t be long before G. Atkinsii opens up properly, then the snowdrop season will have started!


But what is this in the back garden?! I have some early narcissus in the woodland,  but this one has never flowered so early before. It is in a clump that I must have planted 20 yrs or more ago and they always flower in March, it is a bit battered with the wind that we had yesterday.

The weather today, January 2nd, is so much better than yesterday, it is bright sunshine and hardly any wind, I might be tempted out to do some much needed work in the garden. Is your weather tempting you out today?


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Looking back over 2014.

Looking back over the photos for all of 2014 has shown me that the garden continues to flower even though there are times when I haven’t felt like looking after it. I have had such a lot of help from the under gardener, I couldn’t have done any of it without him.

January is the month when the  snowdrops start flowering, one or two have opened before New Year, but most of the others start in January. The year started with gales which brought lots of branches down in the woodland and one night the top of one of our oaks was snapped off. There is always a silver lining though, this opened up an area in the woodland so that the sunlight could get to an area that had never seen sunlight before, an excuse for more planting!.

January flowers

Once the snowdrops start flowering, the other woodland plants soon join in. If we have plenty of sunshine Crocus Tommasinianus open up their lovely flowers and make the first bees very happy.

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Christmas Foliage.

I’m late with my post for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day, sorry Christina, but at this time of year, other things intrude!

I’ve been cutting foliage and preparing it over a couple of days and today saw the end result.

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In the Pink.

When I drew the bedroom curtains back this morning, I was surprised to see that the Camellia in the corner of the garden was covered in buds and flowers.


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Sheltering indoors. GBBD.

First of all a little bug got to me, not the computer this time, then I had to catch up with writing all my cards and Christmas preparations, at last I’m free to get back to you all!

It’s a couple of weeks since I was in the garden, so I thought for this months GBBD I would stay inside and show the few flowering plants that are in the conservatory at the moment. We also use the conservatory for overwintering pots of plants that are out in the garden for the summer, but get brought in as they wouldn’t survive a frost, so there isn’t much room in there in the winter among the Echeverias and the big Aloe.

Winter flowers

On the table are three Cyclamen, two Christmas Cactus, one African Violet and a rusty pheasant in the background. The pheasant was part of a birthday present earlier in the year, he will go into the woodland in March to try and protect the Snakeshead Fritillaries from the real pheasant!

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Back in business.

At last, we are back in touch with the outside world! More gremlins unfortunately, more visits from Talk Talk engineers, BT engineer is supposed to be coming but suddenly everything has started working again so I’m making the most of it before we are in limbo again!

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Wonderfully colourful November.

The twenty second of the month is Garden Bloggers Foliage Day. Lots of the leaves have fallen already and the trees and other plants are just the bare skeleton which will last until March when they start sprouting again. Some plants though are hanging on to their leaves and giving a wonderful finale to the year before they finally fall.

Beech hedge

The beech hedge at the side by the field is now assuming lovely colours before it eventually goes brown, these leaves will stay all winter and only drop when the new leaves come through in spring. I had to plant a hedge here because the easterly winter winds coming across the field was bitter and burnt the leaves of the evergreens at the other side of the garden, now the wind is filtered it does far less damage.

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