It’s hard to keep the mind on a positive track in this chaotic world and the garden that provides much enjoyment through the year can feel, well, rather uninspiring in winter. But the Prop does not offer winter breaks and SOS continues. After a few mornings of looking at the frosty garden from a distance I went out on a recce. Here’s what I found.
First a surprise. The vinca is in flower again. One brave soul sheltering among the leaves. It lifted the spirits.
The viburnum in the front garden that flowers only on one side is true to form this year. But there is promise for the future as there are definitely more flowers than last year.
More encouraging signs. Primroses have been spotted over the last few weeks, just one or two small ones here and there.
Winter berries on a cotoneaster. This has always been a mystery plant in the garden. Variously thought to be villosus or possibly moupinensis, I really have no idea but the black berries look rather bewitching.
While much of the garden is showing off various shades of brown the variegated leaves of euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ fill a dark corner of the garden. Sometimes known as winter creeper, which seems to be an entirely appropriate name.
Snowberries. Not mine, because my snowberry does not seem to keep its berries. I hope this is because the birds eat them, but it is possibly because every year, several times a year, I go at it with the loppers trying to make some sense of the thicket of stems. I would have dug the snowberry out by but I doubt you can ever dig out a well established snowberry.
Positive vibes restored, it is a Happy New Year. I wish you all happiness and health in the year to come. I’m going to top up the good feelings with a dose of Nina Simone – it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me and I’m feeling good! There is also some blue sky showing through the window so perhaps a spot of rose pruning would be a sensible job to get on with. Happy gardening.
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?