Early Risers

The early risers were caught out this year with the abnormal weather that we had in November and December. They gaily rushed headlong into flower, as they usually do, just to be frozen solid and covered with about 10 inches of snow. We usually have quite a lot of flowers out for Christmas, but this year – nothing. The snowdrops are now up but even the ones that should be out before Christmas are thinking twice about flowering.



Maybe a few more days of mild weather will bring them on.


The quince by the back door started flowering in November, but obviously all those flowers were burnt by the severe frost that we had, along with the snow. It is covered with hundreds of buds, so, hopefully will soon be flowering once more.

Winter Jasmine

The winter jasmine by the front door is another that started flowering in November but was cut short by the weather. There are still plenty of buds to come though, so it is not all doom and gloom.

Viburnum New Dawn

Viburnum bodnantense New Dawn is in the same situation as the others, plenty of flowers in November, then stopped by the weather. Once again there are plenty of flowers to come in the next few months.

Iris unguicularis

Iris unguicularis started flowering, just one flower, before it was blasted by the frost and snow – hopefully there will be more flowers later.

Hypericum prolificum

One of the casualties of the weather is our Hypericum prolificum which had a beautiful rounded shape.  Obviously the snow was too heavy for it and quite a few branches have broken off. It is now looking rather a mess and will need cutting back to make a decent shape once more – I hope it will sprout again.


The Phormium which only just survived last winter, by sprouting from the base, got covered with 2 large net curtains and had a large piece of cardboard propped against it to try and keep the frost at bay. I will just have to wait and see if I have been successful. The fuchsias look just like they did last January – everything above ground seems to be dead so I am assuming that they will sprout from the base again just as they did last spring.


A shrub that is almost flowering is the Witch Hazel – the buds are just starting to open and we can see a tiny bit of yellow, so it won’t be long now. Once this gets going I will feel that maybe spring is just around the corner, but have to remind myself that usually January and February are the worst months for weather!!


My pink Hellebore which was flowering before Christmas has recovered from being buried under all our snow and is flowering once more……..


and has plenty of buds to follow.


Other hellebores wait for about another month usually, but there are plenty of buds promising lots of flowers later.

Cyclamen coum

I spotted one lonely Cyclamen coum in the woodland on New Year’s Day. Soon there should be a lot more to join it, they look really lovely planted among the snowdrops.


Primulas are keen to be flowering again



but this one was bought as a cowslip at a church fair !!!


No wonder we had so many fieldfares and redwings in the garden. All these apples were still on the tree when the snow came, probably the weight of the snow made them fall off, but the birds have certainly enjoyed eating them. We have plenty too, stored in the freezer, so they didn’t get them all !!

For those who have been reading previous posts on this blog – yes , we did manage to escape from our village and spend Christmas with our son and daughter- in- law in London. The worst part of the journey was driving up the hill out of the village, 1 mile of packed snow and ice, no gritting had been done, the rest of the journey was easy !

Happy New Year – I hope that 2011 is a good year for all our gardens.

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