Six On Saturday: Winter wonders

After the first frost of last week, two more came this week and the greenhouse thermometer recorded it’s first minus temperature -1 degree. That was more encouragement to get the last few jobs done. I’ve planted out most of the tulips now and some thalia bulbs found at the back of the shed. The pellies in the greenhouse have been cut back but I still have roses to prune. Here’s the six things that I spotted in the garden this week.

One 

The bright orange berries of iris foetidissima.  When I first moved to this house there was a small clump of them lurking at the side of the shed.  The birds have helped them self seed at various points around the garden and I have collected them up and moved them to a new clump under the rhododendron.  Three years on and they have become quite established.  The summer flowers are easily passed over but the winter berries are wonderful.

Two

I managed to track down some cyclamen hederifolium at the garden centre which were in flower then, a couple of weeks on and there’s not a flower in sight but the leaves look magnificent.  These are in the front garden, a space that is just beginning to get some attention from me.

Three

The front garden has, to my eyes, a very suburban look.  It’s a sequence of assorted shrubs which have  grown and grown over the years.  My least favourite was the cotoneaster horizontalis.  I say was, because after giving it some attention over the last few years, snipping off a branch here and there, it has now become quite an impressive feature which truly comes into its own at this time of the year.  It was on the ‘dig up’ list along with the forsythia but I’m going to be generous and let it stay.

Four 

Having put the pellies away for the winter I had dragged my heels on putting in some winter bedding.  In truth I am a little mean about spending money for the winter pots.  But the reliable mistreatment of plants at diy stores often throws up a bargain and this week I snapped up two trays of pansies for  £1.75 each.  I’ve put them in with  some pale purple primroses  primroses that had been dug up and were sitting around in pots waiting for their next move – which was likely to be the compost heap as I am a bit of purist on the primrose front.  Four containers full for under a fiver.  I’m happy.

Five

Almost all the leaves are down (yet strangely those on the apple trees still remain)  and now the full extent of the persimmon crop for this year is revealed.  It’s well up on last year which is good news for the birds as I don’t harvest them.  Once they are ripe the parakeets will descend which makes for a colourful sight on a December day.

Six

Lastly, the seed heads of the rudbeckia have blackened adding a striking note to the border.

Time for me to have a look at other SOS choices for the week.  Winter inspiration from the UK but summer gems from the other side of the world all at The Propagator’s site.

13 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: Winter wonders

  1. For persimmons, can’t you ripen them in the garage, for example, to avoid greedy birds? (with apples and/or bananas that would give ethylene?)
    I also read that put in an airtight box with a little glass of cognac( or another kind of alcohol ) , they ripen faster..(??)
    Never tried.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Parakeets on your persimmons, must be a blogger from some exotic foreign location, but no, just wet old Blighty. If your cyclamen had flowers when you bought it, with luck it will produce seed pods next summer and start to spread. Nice leaves.

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  3. Top notch foliage on the cyclamen. I think the cotoneaster is earning its stay of execution. Great colour. Mine is growing up the edge of the patio and by next year should actually be visible from the house. Hopefully, start getting some berries to bring the birds in.

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  4. I think the cotoneaster looks lovely and would prefer it on my front house wall instead of the Virginia creeper which insists on climbing onto the roof! Those old fashioned shrubs will make a come back just after you remove them! I had a laugh reading about your winter pots! Mistreated supermarket plants! I could do with some for a couple of small pots that have only just finished with the supermarket impatiens 🙂

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  5. While I generally love a cotoneaster in all seasons, like yourself, I’m a bit iffy on the horizontalis until this time of year. One of my neighbours has 2 at her front door, one w/dark foliage & one w/light, which I’ve never seen before. Quite a visual feature but not even half the berries yours is producing. It’s amazing! I remember your persimmon parakeets from last year or the year before. I hope you share photos again this year. Such a sight!

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  6. Those persimmons are too good for parakeets! I so miss persimmons. I grew the big squishy ‘Hachiya’. I really miss that tree now. There will be another. There is a seedling of American persimmon out there now. It is completely different, but I really like it too.

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