In common with much of the rest of the country, we’ve had a burst of proper wintry weather for the past few days: snow, sleet, hail, high winds and rain, usually all within the space of an hour.
Despite the inclement conditions, our back garden is showing signs of precious life. Spurred into action by a mild December, most likely, and probably regretting it just a little now, but clinging on regardless.
Here are a few snaps I took yesterday afternoon, in-between the worst of the showers:
That’s our brand new Witch Hazel. We opted for the ‘Diane’ cultivar because we’re planning on planting a Cornus mas in the same area, which has similar-looking flowers in yellow rather than Diane’s deeper reds. Hopefully they’ll coincide at some point and provide a nice contrast to one another.
We’re not sure whether this is one of the hellebore hybrids that we bought from Ashwood Nurseries a couple of years back, or one of our own hybridised seedlings. Jo has been collecting the latter from beneath their parent plants and carefully potting them up and nurturing them along. Either way, it’s particularly lovely, with that delicate purple rim on the white flowers.
One newly-planted section of our back garden is liberally scattered with primroses. This one tentatively flowered during the mild December and seems to be weathering the worst that January can throw at it since.
A fair fer bulbs and other plants started putting on fresh growth a few weeks ago. Let’s hope they’re not too badly frosted and knocked-back by the recent drop in temperatures.
We do have a few early flowers in the pots that we brought with us from our old house. A few very pale primroses (Primula vulgaris), some bright white cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium), a few deep red wallflowers (Erysimum sp., too many to narrow it down) that have lingered through the winter, some white hellebores (Helleborus orientalis, I think) and another hellebore species with very small, dainty green-tinged flowers (Helleborus viridis, most likely).
Just a very small pot-display at the moment, but with many more to come in due course.
Projects / Maintenance
The big news this month is that we’ve taken a major step forward on the Cottage Garden Project planning front: a consultation with local garden designer and Tatton Park RHS Gold Medal winner Joan Mulvenna of Garden Design Manchester.
Joan has a fantastic eye for making the best use of a small space like ours, and within a couple of hours she was able to give us a completely fresh perspective on how we can adapt the space to make it as attractive as possible. It was a great session, well worth Joan’s very reasonable consultation fee.
I’ll be revealing our future plans in more detail in a fresh blog post once Jo and I have had a chance to incorporate our own ideas into Joan’s outline and get them down on paper.
That’s it for January. Hopefully we’ll have a bit more to report at the end of February.