I had two incentives to get out in the garden today. Finding six gardening delights and collecting the greenery for decorating the house. I had a window of dryness this morning in what has otherwise been a very wet few days so armed with secateurs and the trusty phone camera out I went. The lawn is squelching and the borders are sodden. I hope the tulips can cope.
A wheelbarrow of wet ivy that has to dry out in a couple of hours so that I can start creating the annual stair banister decoration. This is a combination of fake berries, ivy, lights and what ever else comes to hand. Collecting the ivy involved pushing in around the blackcurrant canes which released their wonderful scent. That made my morning!
In a dark corner at the back of the garden I spotted that the ‘Pretty Ellen’ hellebores are in bud and looking full of promise.
The background to these hellebores is a covering of euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’. These are supposed to have pink tinged leaves in the winter but I’ve yet to spot them. I’m not complaining though as the white tinged leaves were singing out from the gloom today.
More signs of things to come as the viburnums are coming into bud. These are all very old shrubs, full of beetle holes but soldiering on nonetheless. I’ve been snipping away at them for three years now, removing the dead branches and cutting back the shrubs around them, and I think I detect signs of stronger new growth and more flower buds.
The first primrose has been out a few weeks now and really deserves a mention for reminding me that the cycle continues come rain or shine.
Winning a place this week for its longevity is this astrantia major, with new buds that are making into flower. Testament to the general mildness of the winter so far.
This will be my last SOS for a couple of weeks. I wish everyone a very peaceful and happy Christmas and I look forward to catching up with all the news in the New Year. Many thanks Mr P for hosting this meme, keeping all the links in order and generally being an all round good gardening friend! Did you have any idea of what you were creating?
Colder weather and a cold for me. I thought I should get on and find my six before the energy levels dropped off so I braved the rain and snapped away. Now the sun has come out and everything looks different, But too late, here are my brown offerings.
Not all is brown. Here is sunrise over the garden earlier in the week. The neighbouring trees silhouetted against the pink sky gave a dramatic start to the day. There have been one or two more light frosts but so far it has been a mild start to the winter here.
The temperatures have dropped though and the plants are changing their green colours for brown as the cold takes effect. I had plenty of this plant in the garden when we arrived three years ago and I have dug out several large clumps. Can any fern lovers identify it? Or is it bracken?
Some of the anemone leaves have fully turned brown which contrast well with those that are still green. I’ve been working round the garden removing the brown geraniums and soggy delphiniums and it is a delight to see that weeds are doing so well at this time of the year. They just cannot be defeated!
The north border that was planted this summer is still looking a little sparse. I’m hoping the melica grasses will bulk up next year and I have more astrantia seedlings to move in to the gaps. I have yet to order them but I plan to add in a vast quantity of snowdrops. I’m thinking a bulk buy of 300 might do it. That will be fun for February.
The second wave of hellebores have opened up. Common or garden white ones. Sadly I lost three of these over the summer. One end of this border is much sunnier than the other and those at the sunny end suffered from my negligent watering regime. I am regretting that now.
The choisya is having a go at its second flowering. It’s towards the western end of the north border so receives a little of the winter sunshine. Perhaps today’s sun will encourage a few more buds to open.
I’m hoping tomorrow will be a dry day. I am probably going to forgo the garden today for a day of sniffling and sneezing inside. But then that sunshine could be just the thing I need. More garden updates will be found at The Propagator’s site. More news from the Prop and from the garden family worldwide.
Not being one of the very early risers the gloomy mornings are only just starting to have an impact on me. Fortunately there are only two weeks to go until the shortest day and then we will be on the up again. Winter frosts have turned most of the herbaceous borders brown which is a reminder to me to get those soggy plants removed. I was looking forlornly out of the kitchen window this morning wondering what my six would be when I realised that the garden was full of birds. The persimmon tree was hosting several species and one in particular caught my eye. Out came the book of birds and I was able to identify a redwing. Once again Mr P’s Six On Saturday regime has come up trumps. Armed with optimism I sallied forth to see what else was going on in the December garden.
One step outside the back door and the first reward was spotted, The mint that had frazzled up and died in the summer is pushing through again. This was grown from seed this year so I’m very pleased to see it’s resurgence.
Two steps more and I was reminded of the annual moss cull that takes place at this time of year. The birds descend and pull up the moss from the cracks in the paving. They fling it around with gay abandon, they have no need for the moss now. I imagine they are searching for insects. What else could it be? I have some sweeping up to do.
Down the steps, the hydrangeas are in their last throes of pinky-brown. Some have advanced further into winter foliage and some have new buds forming.
The leaves are down from the trees. There seemed to be a never-ending supply of them but now they are piled up in the leaf cage it doesn’t look like much.
Round the back in the nursery corner the salvia ‘Amistad’ that overwintered from last year is still in flower. I am coming to view this plant as a late summer contributor. I have six cuttings in the greenhouse that are doing well, so far. There have been casualties though. The salvia nemorosa caradonna cuttings have gone from three to one and the lavender looks a bit wobbly.
It feels like a few years ago now but some time in the recent past I sowed a whole packet of euphorbia oblongata seeds. Forty five I seem to remember. I managed to get three plants which hovered between life and death for some months. I tipped them out into the garden to do or die and one of them looks quite healthy now. It will, of course, die over the winter. But maybe not. I’ll keep those fingers crossed.
Fingers crossed that your winter gardening throws up some joys. I am thinking about the spring bulbs that are doing their thing below the surface at this very moment. I have also thought about slugs that are lurking so tomorrow’s job will be to clear the sogginess.