End of Month Review - January 2018

January, is a cold unforgiving month.  It has at least one week more than any other month as it drags itself slowly through the beginning moments of the year.  Yet through the greyness, rain and snow there is always signs of hope.  Life never leaves the garden and January is made bearable by the many reasons to be cheerful.
In the driveway the snowdrops I planted ten years ago multiply a little more year on year.  They always make me smile when they pop up again.  I muse to myself that they will one day spread, limbo under the fence and escape to freedom.  In many generations time, when I and the house are long gone I tell myself there will be swaithes of snowdrops originated from this first patch.
Also in the driveway the Cornus officinalis is starting to flower and so is the Mahonia planted a couple of years ago.
In the front garden, the hamamelis by the side lawn is also emerging into flower and the little dots of yellow in the background are the winter aconites starting to flower.
The sky through the magnolia is grey and cloudy, the light was starting to go but thanksfully the days are now getting definitely lighter and this is a good thing.
I pause for a moment to say hello to the Original snowdrops.  I call them this as they are the only snowdrops in the garden I did not plant and were here when I moved in.
The Quince Hedge is starting to flower.  I do not think I have seen so many flowers on it before.  Soon the early bees will find it, it is a great source of early pollen for them.
and the Sarcoccoca is now in its winter position by the front door wafting scent at me when I leave and return home.
The back garden is still saturated.  We have had rainy day after rainy day after rainy day.
Every year I plant more snowdrops, usually into the Wild Garden, but in the last couple of years I have also put some into the borders.  I plant them close to the roses or other shrubs so that I will not dig them up accidentally when I'm doing new planting.  This is now getting to be more noticeable and it has confirmed to me that it was a) a good decision and b) I need to continue to plant more.
The Erysimum Bowles Mauve is still flowering, it is always a favourite plant of mine as it flowers almost constantly.  It is fairly short lived so I take contingency cuttings fairly often.  This also means that it moves around the garden as a new plant goes in and an old one dies.
Natasha and Elsie are more visible this time of year as the planting around them dies back.  They too are kept company by snowdrops.
I also planted some winter aconites close by to them.  After struggling for years to get them to thrive, these seem happy and pop up cheerfully every year.
In the Dancing Lawn the signs of the first crocii are emerging and also some pre-daffodil leaves.
The clumps of snowdrops in the Wild Garden are really doing well now.  The more I plant the more there are (quel surprise) and now I divide the clumps too.
Overwhelmingly they are just the ordinary Nivalis, but I like this as they just grow and grow and I do not have to worry about them.
The Wild Garden always gives me joy and even more so this time of this year.
The Magnolia Leonard Messel is covered in its furry buds.
The Manx Gorse is in flower.
The Cornus mas is just starting to flower, at the moment it is out-yellowed by the Hamamelis behind it.
The Four Sisters are chilly but standing up to the cold well.
As ever I am on edgeworthia-watch, so far so good. The flowers are not quite ready to flower and release their scent just yet, but it will be soon.
I end as ever on the pond.  It is dark and full from all the rain.  I am hoping for a good tadpole and dragonfly year this year.

Thanks to Steve for hosting this meme.


  1. Lovely post Alison! I particularly like the Erysimum Bowles Mauv, such a lovely colour. Just wait a little longer and the garden will be lush. Loving Elsie and Natasha too haha, great addition. I think I should plant some snowdrops, will have a think about it x

    1. Thanks- definitely plant some snowdrops - they will bring years of happiness:)

  2. Lovely to see all the plants, I didn't realise the quince (Chaenomeles?) flowered so early! Lots of inspiration, thank you 🙂

    1. Thanks, this ornamental quince always flowers early, it makes it a ‘must have’ plant for me.

  3. A lovely summary of your garden Alison. Can’t believe it’s edgeworthia time again. Where has the last 12 months gone. See you soon. Karen x

    1. It feels like every year spins a little faster :) speak soon x


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