End of Month Review December 2020

The year ends on a cold note; very apt for the year it has been.  Yet whilst it is cold the garden remains resilient and continues: I could extrapolate the metaphor further but you get the idea I'm sure.

I look out in the early light across the frosty garden and I smile.  
In the driveway the Mahonia I bought after visiting the Coronation Street studios five years ago.  This means this mahonia is about five years old and it is now settled and growing well.  It is about three foot tall now and I have hopes it will continue to grow, I want big.  I think it is Mahonia 'Charity' which can get to be very tall.
By the gate is the now quite tall Winter Honeysuckle, this one is usually a little later to flower but is flowering well already.  As I often say, it has the best winter scent, the best.
Similarly early to flower is the Quince Hedge, which is covered in flowers.  I love this hedge as it has turned out pretty much as I wanted it to...... except...... I really want it to be the same height as the windowsill.  It is just falling short..... sigh.
In the front side lawn there are signs of the hooped narcissus starting to emerge.  
and the first new growth is appearing on the tree peony under the Magnolia tree.

I walk around to the back garden where it is frosty, sunny and still apart from the sound of thawing drips creating gentle rain.  I love how the sun cuts through with shafts light.  Light matters so much more this time of year as it feels in short supply.  I know the days are now gradually getting longer, but it takes a while before I really notice this.
The hamamelis mollis that always flowers early is lighting up this part of the garden.  The others I have are not at this stage yet.
As usual I will spend the Winter anxiously keeping an eye on the Edgeworthia, hoping it will get through another year.
and this year I have the added anxiety of watching over the tree ferns as well.  I lifted their hats the other day and checked that the straw was ok and that they were snug.  All seemed well.
The first snowdrops are up and flowering,
and in the Wild Garden the cyclamen are self-seeding around and also starting to flower.  This feels earlier than usual.
This is the time of year where signs of Spring are so important to me.  The buds are showing on the Prunus beni-chidori,
and on the Daphne Jaqueline Postill, planted last year and already a much loved shrub.
I rather liked this low-light view, with the sun backlighting the teaseals and shining through the thawing frost on the Aldi acer.
The sun was lighting up the Beech Pillars well and if you look beyond them you can see His Gingerness sunning himself on the Portmeirion bench.
The Spring Border looks uninspiring at the moment, but that is why it is the Spring Border, not the Winter Border (doh!), however, on closer inspection....
this pulmonaria has decided to start flowering already so it is not without total charm.
I always nod hello to Natasha and Elsie who watch over the Spring Border.  The concrete planter in front of them has some brightly coloured primulas starting to flower and the signs of bulbs pushing up through the earth.
In the Veg Garden there is some frozen broccoli, that you can see has burst through its (now useless) netting.
and the greenhouse is currently in its Miss Havisham phase.  She has clearly visited, stopped the clocks and put everything to sleep until the Spring returns.
I end as usual on the pond, that has a sheen of ice across its surface.  I have given a larger view than is my habit as the twisted willow by the side of the pond is shining rather prettily as the frost drips from it.   I think the willow is Salix 'Erythroflexuosa' and I bought it many years ago now from a trip to Devon.  It has grown into rather a fine tree and whilst I have had to prune it a little as it was getting a tad large, it has proved itself to be a very good buy.

Thanks as ever to Helen for hosting this meme.

Happy new year to all, lets hope that 2021 is kinder to us.  Staysafe, stay well and always be kind.