DIARY OF A PLANTAHOLIC

GARDEN DIARY JANUARY 2015
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JANUARY
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THE WEATHER -

The new year began with frosty nights and a fair amount of rain by day. Gale force winds from the 7th to the 10th, which knocked over water butts, pots and a pergola, but no serious damage done fortunately! Turning very cold on the 13th, with sleet on the 14th. The first snow was seen on the 21st, but didn't last long. The coldest night of the year occurred on the 22nd, with -7C overnight. Continuing very cold, with more snow overnight on the 30th/31st, again short-lived. Maximum temperature 11C, minimum -7C.

A Happy New Year to all! I've made a few New Year's Resolutions as I do every year, but I'm sure the majority of them won't last long!:

  • I will stake plants BEFORE the wind and rain knocks them down
  • I will not walk round the garden without pulling up at least a few weeds as I go
  • I will keep the greenhouse tidy
  • I will not keep buying plants even though I haven't anywhere to put them (this one doesn't stand a chance!)
  • I will dig up and give away or otherwise dispose of any plant which doesn't pull its weight and give good value for money
  • I will not leave seed sowing until it's too late
  • I will not keep buying decorative pots because "I can't resist them" (Some hope!)
  • I will pot up seedlings BEFORE they get too crowded
  • I will not buy plants to which I know I can't give the proper conditions.
  • I will protect tender plants BEFORE the first hard frost (oops!)

    I'm sure most of these resolutions will be broken pretty quickly (especially the ones about not buying decorative pots and plants I have no room for!), but who knows - this may be the year that I keep ALL of them!

  • Hydrangea quercifolia in winter

    Although the weather has been very cold and frosty, there are beautiful effects to be seen in the garden. One of these is the patterns the frost makes on leaves, and this is Hydrangea quercifolia.

    This chap looks jolly cold - he even has a snow moustache! This terracotta head is nestled amongst the foliage on the steep rockery slope which falls from level 2 to level 4 of the garden, and is on one side of the pond. He has weathered nicely over the past few years, and I think he is very attractive (in a terracotta-y sort of way!).

    A snow moustache for the King!
    This is not the plan!!!

    I love to watch the different variety of birds which visit my bird feeders, and I have a succession of visitors - not all of them welcome though, as you can see from this picture of one of the local squirrel population helping himself! Since this picture was taken, he has knawed a big hole in the orange plastic peanut feeder - so I shall have to replace that with a metal one! Since putting up my bird feeders, I have seen birds in the garden that I have never seen before, such as Long-tailed Tits, Coal Tits and Blackcaps. I think it's such a thrill when I see birds that I've never seen before!


    Still on the subject of the bird table - here's another couple of pictures of some visitors enjoying a feast! They are a Robin, a group of Long-Tailed Tits and a Blue Tit. All together now - Aaaaah!

    Our feathered friends tuck in to a feast! Our feathered friends tuck in to a feast!

    Hamamelis mollis

    My Hamamelis mollis is now quite big - around 2 metres tall. At the moment, it is a mass of beautiful bright yellow flowers which are strongly scented, and the smell wafts all over the garden. Heavenly when you're doing a spot of weeding!

    That's all for this month...... Happy Gardening!!

    BIRDS SEEN IN OR AROUND THE GARDEN THIS MONTH

    Blackbird, Black Cap, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Collared Dove, Crow, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Great Tit, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Jay, Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Nuthatch, Robin, Rook, Seagull, Sparrow Hawk, Starling, Thrush, Wood Pigeon, Wren.



    JANUARY
    PLANTS IN FLOWER IN THE GARDEN
    Corylus avellana 'Contorta'
    Corylus maxima purpurea
    Cyclamen coum
    Galanthus nivalis
    Garrya elliptica
    Hamamelis mollis
    Hamamelis x intermedia 'Pallida'
    Helleborus foetidus
    Helleborus orientalis
    Helleborus niger
    Mahonia japonica
    Pulmonaria rubra 'Bowles's Red'
    Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna
    Sarcococca humilis
    Skimmia japonica 'Rubella'
    Skimmia japonica 'Fragrant Cloud'
    Skimmia japonica 'Kew Green'
    Skimmia 'Magic Marlot'
    Viburnum bodnantense 'Dawn'
    Viburnum tinus 'Gwenllian'
    Viburnum tinus 'Variegatum'

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    POEM OF THE MONTH


    THE SNOWDROP

    Anna Laetitia Barbauld

    Already the Snowdrop dares appear,
    The first pale blossom of th' unripen'd year;
    As Flora's breath, by some transforming power,
    Had chang'd an icicle into a flower,
    Its name and hue the scentless plant retains,
    And winter lingers in its icy veins.



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    SEE WHAT'S BEEN GOING ON IN THE GARDEN IN:-

    JANUARY 2015 GO!     FEBRUARY 2015 GO!     MARCH 2015 GO!     APRIL 2015 GO!     MAY 2015 GO!     JUNE 2015 GO!

    JULY 2015 GO!     AUGUST 2015 GO!     SEPTEMBER 2015 GO!     OCTOBER 2015 GO!     NOVEMBER 2015 GO!     DECEMBER 2015 GO!    

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