End of Month Review January 2024

January has been an odd month.  It is traditionally the longest month of the year, refusing to end and just keeping on keeping on.  We have had sunny crisp days, rainy rainy days and mild grey drippy days. 

It is the time of year when in particular I need hope.  This year I need hope more than usual, but that is whole other story as they say (don't panic, nothing health wise).  The Cornus officianalis in the front drive is starting to flower.  This shrub was an impulse buy and has always rewarded me for the impulse.  It flowers just a little earlier than the Cornus mas in the back garden and is a sprinkle of bright.
The Sarcococca that lives in a pot is now in its winter place on the front door step.  It brings a waft of scent.
The wave of winter aconites in the side lawn is a bit feeble this year, not as good as in previous years, I hope it is just a blip.  When I say 'in the front lawn' obviously I mean 'growing in the moss'.
The Winter Honeysuckle by the front gate is flowering well and the scent, as ever, is wonderful.
By the other side of the gate the small hamamelis has started to flower quite reliably now. 
and the tree peony is gearing up for its best ever year (well, that's what she tells me anyway).
In the back garden the ornamental cardoon is sprouting well.  You can see it really needs dividing as it is only really growing around the edges now.  I shall wait for a frost free weekend and do this.
The snowdrops are now coming up fast.  This is Wasp, whom I have grown for a few years now and has made a goodly clump.
Madelaine is also forming a nice clump, from the original two flowers in 2017 there are slowly new ones appearing each year.  I am working up the urge to divide her, but I am not sure I am that brave yet.
The first signs of peonies are starting to push their way upwards through the soil.  This is a very exciting moment.  Peonies are fleeting beauty but I prize their moment highly.
and there is fluff in the garden: the grey salix
and the pink Mount Aso.
Magnolia Leonard Messel is also taking part in this fluffy moment.  He is covered in buds this year so I expect a good display from him - not that he ever lets me down in any year.
I pause from my focussing on the detail to look up at the garden itself, very much in its winter cloth of green and brown masking the delightful colours and fragrances it contains.
The Wild Garden is increasingly besnowdropped and I need to do some division once the flowers have gone over.
and the first (of many) dandelions signals real signs of Spring.  
The roses are telling me they think it will be Spring soon too, but we are no where near through the frost zone yet so I hope they don't go too soon.

I have sown my first seeds of the year in the greenhouse: Persicaria orientalis.  These seeds like a bit of cold to wake them up so I always sow them early.  This set up is hopefully mouse proof!

The pond is quite full, not overflowing full as it was a couple of weeks ago, but still quite full.  I worry at times that it might have a leak, the liner is past its lifetime guarantee now so I sort of expect it to decay any time soon.  I also wonder if it is not a leak but just the plants drinking the water?  Maybe both??

Anyhoo, until next time....

Take care and be kind.

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