End of Month Review - December 2013

December is ending cold and stormy, it has been a stormy month.  We are lucky here living in the mainly sheltered midlands so whilst it has been a bit scary at times, the worst of the storms have so far passed us by.  I have taken these photographs a couple of days early as more storms are due.  Today it is frosty.
The front garden is doing ok, the Knot Garden is looking suitably knotty.  The box balls need a trim really but I think they might be in transition, they might not be balls at all but might turn out to be cubes, I think their shape is emerging.
The variegated Rhamnus that lives in the dark corner between the magnolia and the hedge and spends most of the year being overlooked, always shines this time of year.
The Rosa Ballerina that lives in the other corner of the side lawn is still flowering.  It has flowered for months this year, it is a great do-er
and possibly most exciting of all, the quince hedge is about to flower.  This seems very early but it also makes me happy as it is getting to be a bit more of a hedge and less of a collection of weedy stick-looking things.
Wandering down the path to the side of the house, there is the Gravel Garden, which is currently looking a bit gravelly with some welcome green from the rosemary, there is also the rarely if even shown ivy-covered Rowan tree.  This is work in progress, I am on a mission to remove the ivy and I am currently just waiting for a new bigger ladder to arrive and I then think I can finish it off.  The Sherlocks amongst you could probably work out how tall I was if I told you how high the first ladder was.  As that is not hugely interesting as I am neither that tall or that small I won't bother to pursue this.
On the table there is currently a collection of apples being held in place by the remains of last year;s christmas wreath, they are there for the birds to eat and in the frost I though they looked quite pretty.
Behind the table the vegetables beds are looking a pretty sorry soggy mess, but the cabbages are doing well.
The garden itself is looking cold.
There are not huge amounts of colour this time of year.  I quite like the bare bones of it all though.
The plants look like they are shivering,
Some, like this cardoon, are shooting up new growth already.
The Courtyard is showing some colour from the primulas and whilst you cannot really tell, I did de-moss it yesterday.
The Four Sisters are sitting there looking wintery and the Edgeworthia appears to be still alive.  This is good.
I really like the shadows this time of the day.  I thought they were quite dramatic.
The medlar tree is looking gangley.  I think you can see behind it I have been putting chicken-wire up to reinforce the side fencing.  It is looking a bit raw and silver at the moment but the hedge will soon grow through it and hide it and it should stop dogs from getting into the garden.
I quite like this view from the Tree Lupin Border across to the Grassy Knoll.  The pond is sort of in between them but cannot really be seen from this angle.
The Prairie Borders are still blonde.  I still am not, but I'm thinking about it.
The Bog Garden does look boggy, but not hugely gardeny, next year I have hopes it will fill out better.
and there is the first sign of some snowdrops coming up, this made me smile.
The teasel patch is gleaming in the sun, the birds love these so much they are such a good source of food.
Natasha and Elsie are emerging from the foliage that have half-hidden them through the growing season.
and the Camellia is showing signs of buds for the Spring.  This makes me very happy, there are benefits from not having a too dry summer.
The Burtonesque Curl really does need some planting up, but that is a job for the new growing season.  It will be done.
Meanwhile the nigella has made an early start of getting a foothold into the new borders.
The pond is full and frozen at the time of writing.  It needs clearing out of dead plants/leaves and parrot weed and that will happen in the next couple of weeks, well, frost and snow allowing that is.

Thanks as ever to Helen for hosting this meme.

and Happy New Year everyone, here's to a great 2014 of gardening, may your seeds germinate, your weeds wither and your slugs slug-off.


  1. Will we be lucky enough to get two great summers in a row? Wouldn't that be nice. Happy New Year!

  2. Happy New Year ! Thank you as ever for letting us see your garden at all points of the year.

  3. Lovely to see your garden through the seasons, your teasel seed heads look super, do you get flocks of goldfinches feeding on them?

    1. Yes I get lots of goldfinches, they are just brilliant for feeding the birds.


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