End of Month Review - January 2014

January started off with some rain, in the middle it was still raining and as it ends it had continued raining a lot.  I have rarely seen as much rain as we have had this month.  The sky has been quite grey most of the time.
The front garden however has continued to look quite green.
What I find particularly pleasing this time of year is the Winter honeysuckle that is planted by the front gate, it is fairly innocuous looking all year and even now it is mainly looking like a few white blobs on a twiggy shrub; but the scent is probably the best winter scent there is in my view.
The box partitions in the Knot Garden are knitting together really well now.  I am very hopeful they will finally look very hedgy when they start this year's growth.
The quince hedge by the front door is getting a bit more quincy and hedgy every day.  This is good.
and the Sarcococca hookeriana in a pot by the front door is flowering and smelling wonderful.
The winter flowering clematis on the fency thing that divides the side lawn from the Gravel Garden is flowering very well this year.  It is quite a joy.
In the Courtyard the olive tree has moved forward a bit, this is because I was concerned it was too shady where it was.  It has grown well last year but I think it needs more real sun.  I am trying to convince it that it might be still in Italy, not suburban Leicester.
Just in the corner of the Conservatory Border, the fushcia Lady Boothby is being fashionably late.  You might think she is being early thinking it is Spring, but no, m'lady sulked most of last year and finally produced a leaf or too just before Autumn ended.  Now I just hope that when the cold arrives she will not just give up and not return.
This Geranium palmatum is also still growing strongly.  It has been through some fairly hard frosts, but can it survive through snow when it arrives?  Time will tell.
ThEschscholzia californica seedlings are growing well too, they are hardy, but they seem well advanced and if it snows will they get through ok?
The contorted willow by the pond is looking very fine.
All of which hides the truth that the lawns and borders are completely saturated.
The Hamamelis is having its best year so far.  Plants are now settling in enough to start to really thrive.  It reminds me how much time is needed to create a garden as every year most plants get a little bit better.  Apart from annuals obviously.
The pleached hornbeams are still progressing.  I love that the leaves hang in drippy bronzeness at the moment.
There is more bronze (copper) to be found on the not very pillar-like beech pillars.
The Woodland Border and Bog Garden are boggy, very boggy.
The Winter flowering cherry is blooming well now, it was late this year but is making up for it.
The amalanchier buds are starting to swell and show movement like something might happen soon.
The new Virburnum bodnantense 'Dawn' is starting to flower too.  The Wild Garden has seen a bit of shrub planting in the past few weeks so I am expecting good things from it in the next twelve months.  I have had a bit of shift in idea about what I want from it this year, it will be interesting to see how it develops.
The first snowdrops are coming up in the Wild Garden as well, I planted a lot of spring bulbs in this part of the garden and I love it when they start to emerge.
The hellebores are still not quite in flower, and still looking a bit like an egg flower.  Soon, soon.
New growth on the peonies is starting to show.  Spring will be here.
and the Edgeworthia is still alive (well, I think it is).
The veg beds are basically soggy.  The cabbages look ok but the rest is just marshland.
In the greenhouse the sweetpeas and the over-wintering cuttings are still doing ok.  I hope when the real freeze hits (as I am sure it will) they survive.
and the pond?   Its full of course, very full.  It has not really dipped significantly in level in the last twelve months which is good, but also shows how much rain we have had.

I have not spent enough time in the garden in January, I rarely do as the weather is against the garden at the start of the year in my opinion.  I am hoping that February will be a gateway into Spring and allow more garden time.

Thanks as ever to Helen for hosting this meme.