Looking back over 2015 has made me realise that we haven’t been able to do much gardening! Unfortunately health problems got in the way with the Undergardener having to go for his Prostate Cancer treatment and all his other hospital appointments. I always went with him for moral support and also to drive him home if he didn’t feel up to it. Thank goodness, the result of his radiotherapy was very promising, although there is still more treatment to come. At the same time, my muscle pain seemed to be getting worse, in spite of medication, but felt that it would have to take a back seat until after Christmas. The result of all this means that we haven’t had the same amount of time to devote to the garden, it’s just as well that it has almost carried on regardless, all by itself!
The areas that I’m happiest with, and that seem to be able to carry on without me, are the areas where a lot of self seedling has taken place and drifts are now increasing beautifully without me having to do anything!
The first area in January, is of course the snowdrops and Crocus Tommasineanus. These have been planted the longest, I started the snowdrops off as soon as I moved here 25 yrs ago and the woodland is now looking as I first envisaged it. The crocus get better and better each year and look so pretty when the sun shines.
Hellebores come next, most of them are in the woodland and at this time of year there is now so much colour and a wander over there is a must each day to see what else has opened up overnight. If the temperatures rise, there are always some bees foraging, usually bumble bees, and there are plenty of flowers for them to find food.
First we have the yellow Narcissus, then later the white varieties take over. There are lots of different varieties of narcissus in the woodland, making a drift of yellow where earlier the drifts were of white from the snowdrops. While the Narcissus are flowering, they are soon joined by one of my favourite drifts, Fritillaria meleagris!
Just before the fritillaries were in flower, the rusty pheasant was put in place to try and deter the real one from coming and eating the flowers, it seemed to work!
No damage, thanks to Rusty! They flower for the month of April, along with loads of other woodland ephemerals, making the woodland a lovely place to be.
In the woodland and at the end of the bog garden are drifts of bluebells and cowslips. They look lovely together and have been increasing nicely over the years.
I am hoping to extend the number of the different varieties of meconopsis that I have, so in the next few years, with a bit of luck, I should have beautiful blue drifts to show you.
The bog garden is looking its best now with candelabra primulas, hostas, iris, ferns and rogersias. The candelabra primulas are now seeding about and I’m getting drifts of all sorts of coloured flowers that make a rainbow in the bog garden.
There is a bit of a gap during the summer where drifts are concerned. A change is in the air by the time we get to September. These little cyclamen flowers usually start flowering in August, but September is their main month. Lots more new plants are formed where the ants leave the seeds, so the drifts are growing quickly.
Another area where I don’t have to do anything is when all the berries appear and ripen on the shrubs. From October onwards the branches are all dripping with ripe juicy berries making the garden look beautiful for me, but more importantly, providing lots of food for all our resident mammals and birds.
Gradually, over the weeks of October and November, the garden has a final fling and goes out in a blaze of glory, all without any effort from me! The stars of the show are the Acers which we have, but there are lots more plants that put on their party finery for one last fling before winter.
This winter though, because it has stayed so warm, still in double figures at night time, we have Narcissus and Snowdrops flowering a lot earlier than they should be. Parts of the country are flooded with all the rain that has been falling over the last month, our ditch between the back garden and the woodland seems like a rushing stream today, hopefully it will have gone by tomorrow.
Our garden has just carried on doing it’s own thing over the last 12 months, with not much import from us. We have done what we can, but I ‘ve made sure that I haven’t photographed the untidy bits when doing my blog ! Where we have drifts of flowers, they form ground cover and therefore keep down the weeds, which means less work for me to do, so I can recommend this form of gardening. I’m just so glad that nature is helping me so much in the garden, keeping parts of it colourful and pretty through the year.
I’m joining with Helen at The Patient Gardener who hosts this meme at the end of each month, thanks Helen.