I had one last family gathering last weekend before the Christmas and New Year jollities were over and so it is only now that I come to thinking about the New Year in the garden. There are more signs that things are waking up. the first tips of bulbs are pushing through and the roses are shooting. There must be a cold snap to come but so far it continues to be gloomy and mild. A brief spell of sunshine enticed me out to finish planting the very last of the cowslips and I generously potted on some ammi seedlings that were destined for the compost heap. My six for the week includes jobs to done and the first of the late winter/early spring flowers. It may still be winter but my thinking time is spent on plans for the summer.
This is the first snowdrop to appear under the apple trees. A very cheering sight but also a reminder that I didn’t plant enough here. I was beaten back by the roots of the apple tree. I have learnt my lesson on the need for quantity though and have ordered 300 snowdrops to add to the north border to give some early interest. I hope that does it.
The grape vine over the pergola needs the old grapes removed and its winter prune, something that mustn’t be left too late. This is a well established vine but it never quite makes it to producing edible grapes. There are a reasonable number of bunches but just as they ripen they shrivel up. Even the birds turned their beaks up at them. I am going to love bomb it this year with regular watering and seaweed extract feeds.
This is the straggle of passion flower stems that clothes the arch. I may have mentioned this before but as yet it still on the list: my job is to cut these down and try to dig out the roots. The arch doesn’t have much going for it at the height of summer and I am hoping that a move to the traditional combination of roses and clematis will provide a more attractive view.
The hellebores are coming through now. This is a hybrid bought from the Finchley Horticultural Society plant sale last year. I have just order some more hellebores, taking advantage of seasonal reductions – it is so hard to resist.
This double hellebore, tucked away in a far corner of the garden, is a favourite. It is always a treat to find it in flower again.
Celandines, yes but more importantly an empty space. The celandines are making a land grab but, having cleared out a small self seeded hornbeam, they will be moved on again as the space is designated as the new home for a sarcococca hookeriana ‘Winter Gem’. A smaller growing version that I hope will fit into the narrow border. The celandines will be dug out but never eradicated. I have come to accept them and they are a sure sign that the season is moving on.
Almost mid January, almost mid winter, we are on the trajectory to spring. The seed tin has been opened and the dreams of summer are beginning. I’ve started thinking about seed potatoes and whether or not this is the year to add some grasses to the borders. Enjoy your garden daydreams and follow those of other sixers at The Propagator a great blog to read and where the links to other sixes are listed.