I don’t believe it, look what I woke up to, fantastic blue sky and yes, sunshine!!! So far, the sunniest day of the year!
At last, we have a day that isn’t going to be as wet as it has been lately, so will squelch around and see what I can find that has decided to flower in spite of our weather. I know we have some snowdrops by the front door that were out for Christmas so will start there, the first one was Faringdon Double.
This was closely followed by Mrs Macnamara (mother in law to Dylan Thomas), which is increasing nicely from just one bulb 5 yrs ago.
Also flowering for Christmas is this one by the back door which has lost its label, where do they go to, is it the blackbirds that pull them out or do the magpies make off with them? Must try and find out which one it is.
Hellebores are starting to open up, loads of buds on lots of them, so there will soon be plenty of flowers in all the shady borders. This one greets me as soon as I enter the woodland garden, so pretty.
Looking a bit worse for wear in the front garden, this hellebore has been out for quite some time and it looks as though the wind and rain have taken their toll on the flower.
Just opening up, so nice and pristine. Such a lovely dark colour, deliciously spotted.
Also in the woodland, but in a sunny spot (when it shines that is!) is Helleborus argutifolius. This one grows far bigger than the oriental hybrids and is the only one I allow to seed around, as it is a species and will come true from seed.
The winter flowering jasmine is still flowering by the front door, it has a bit of a rest now and again, but carries on in spite of the weather.
Poor primroses are still looking absolutely sodden, hopefully they will soon dry out. Lots of buds on the primroses everywhere, so soon we should have spring time drifts.
This ornamental quince, Chaenomeles speciosa, flowers on and off all winter and next spring , by the back door. It is covered with tight buds at the moment with just a few flowers opening.
The pansies that I planted in the tin bath above my tulips have been flowering non stop.
In the corner of the back garden, by the woodland, is Garrya elliptica, its catkins are now just starting to open. Each day they will get longer and longer until they measure between 8 and 10 inches.
Sarcococca hides in the woodland. A very unassuming plant with tiny flowers but with a huge perfume. You wonder where the perfume is coming from, then eventually find it right down on the ground, coming from these tiny flowers.
Hamamellis mollis or witch hazel opened up a few days ago and also has a wonderfully delicate perfume. This variety is pallida with pale yellow petals.
A close up of Pallida’s petals, just like thin strips of the peel of a lemon.
A winter flowering heather or erica flowering away by the dead oak. Unlike the summer flowering heathers, the winter flowering ones don’t demand acid soil to be happy so most people can grow them.
Mahonia Charity is still flowering its socks off, has been for a few months now, making a splash of yellow just by the above heather.
A very soggy primula has never really stopped flowering, they have just carried on, no matter what has been thrown at them.
Always the first daffodil here in the woodland, Rijnveld’s Early Sensation. Lovely to see an early splash of yellow, just have to investigate when I catch a glimpse of it from the sitting room window.
Another witch hazel in the woodland, this time Arnold Promise. This one isn’t growing as fast as the other, it’s in more shade, maybe I ought to move it. The flowers are a slightly darker yellow than Pallida and also smell more of Seville oranges!
Colchicum are still putting out more new flowers, I’m sure they shouldn’t at this time of year, but I will enjoy anything that is on offer.
A lonely Hesperis matronalis is still flowering, we have lots of this plant in the garden, which gently seeds around, but this is the only one carrying on flowering in the area which is by the pond. The pond has overflowed again, very wet indeed up there, but all the bog plants next to it should be very happy!
A very wet garden indeed with just the odd little flower here and there. It is going to take a long time to dry the garden out enough to work on it but in the meantime I will enjoy the few flowers that I have and look forward to the drifts of snowdrops that will be flowering soon.
Thank you to everyone who has left messages in the last year, they do mean a lot and I look forward to reading all your posts this coming year, Happy New Year to you all.