January Gems. GBBD 2019

Any plant that flowers in January is a gem as far as I’m concerned, they are so precious, flowering at a time of year when most plants are still sleeping through the cold spell. A walk round half the garden is always worth it, there are little treasures to be found hiding in the dappled shade in the woodland or in the sunshine by the house.

I’ll start my walk as usual, by the back door where the chaenomeles is going from strength to strength in spite of our frosty nights.

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Chaenomeles speciosa- star of my winter garden.

I felt as though I had to write a post about this wonderful plant. Every year it starts flowering before Christmas and continues to flower for months until Spring is well and truly with us. Usually chaenomeles flowers in the spring, so why does mine start before Christmas, I thought the time had come to do a bit of research.

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The start of a whole new year.

Wandering round the garden to see what is flowering on New Year’s Day could become a nice habit for me. We have been having a warm spell for the last couple of weeks and I think this has brought on some early flowers as well as the ones that should be flowering at this time of year. Each morning lately I’ve been turning the heating off it is so unseasonably warm.

Starting in the front garden, snowdrop Mrs. McNamara is standing up proud in spite of some rain.

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Snowdrops for Christmas Day

Having a wander round the garden on Christmas Eve, I found a few more snowdrops flowering. The first one I found was by the front door almost hidden under the winter jasmine, either the jasmine must get cut back  or I must move the snowdrops to somewhere where I can see them.

Galanthus Mrs. McNamarra. She hasn’t increased as well as the others, I think a move to better soil is in order.

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December Flowers, inside and out.

To photograph the flowers in the garden I have been nipping in and out, trying to avoid the torrential rain, so I’m afraid this is a day late.

Starting by the back door, winter pansies are surviving all the rain in their pots.

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Must remember, just one “R”.

Lately, I’ve been clearing in the woodland, getting ready for the snowdrop season, in between sweeping up all the autumn leaves, still a few more of those to do. Cutting back any dead bits, weeding any weeds out, generally just tidying up a bit so that the snowdrops aren’t having to compete with the winter’s detritus. When I have finished all this, then a mulch of lovely crumbly leaf mould will be spread round the snowdrops and hellebores as they seem to like it so much.

While it was still November I could see that the snowdrops were well on their way, poking their noses above ground, then suddenly I found a clump in the far left of the woodland that were actually flowering!

Faringdon Double

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Our first frost.

When I woke up this morning it was still dark outside. While making my breakfast I happened to look out of the kitchen window and thought the grass was looking rather white. Sure enough, half an hour later showed the garden had had its first frost overnight, enough to make me explore with my camera, to find any frosted leaves.

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Not a lot left now. GBBD November 2018.

When walking round the garden to take November’s photos for Bloom Day, I found that most of the flowers were over and done with, not many left at all. I’ve been concentrating so much on foliage for the past few weeks, that I hadn’t noticed the decline in the flowers in the garden, I really had to search some of them out.

The winter jasmine by the front door opens more flowers every day and is just getting into its stride.

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All colours blazing on my return.

When I got back from my whirlwind trip to Canada, I found that my own garden was in full party mode, with all colours blazing on three of my trees. The two Acers had reached their full potential and my seedling silver birch by the back door is now a golden fountain.

This is the acer that was already here when we moved in nearly 30 yrs ago, so I don’t know which one it is unfortunately.

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RBG Rock Garden in all its glory.

This is my last Canadian post and I finish with the last garden we visited at the Royal Botanic Garden in Hamilton, Ontario. The lady on the desk at the information centre (disguised as a witch!) told us that the colours there were fantastic and she was certainly correct, I think we had unknowingly saved the best till last.

As I was walking round, it was wonderful to see so much colour, shape and texture everywhere, definitely my sort of garden.

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