Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Bringing in the New Year

First of all, let me wish you all a Happy New Year.  I hope you all had a wonderful time.  It has been just over one month since I blogged about any sort of goings on from my garden.  Work commitments, the festivities and a lousy cold are too blame, it's as simple as that.  I will do my best to catch up with the many posts from you all that I have missed.

It goes without saying that we have seen some unprecedented weather here in the UK and the devastation it has caused can, I imagine, only be heartbreaking.  Yet more rain is forecast here in the east of Scotland over the next few days and then we are to see a return to more average winter weather.

I missed posting in time for all the memes I take part during December.  If you bear with me, I'll do a quick summary in this post today.

Starting with the Tree Following meme on the 7th of the month, storm Desmond left the part of the garden where my wee Rowan tree grows in under a couple of inches of water, this was repeated in the wake of Eva and Frank too.  In case you are interested Gertrude and Henry are next!  I've never really bothered much about whether a storm has a name or not but surely if we are to name them at all then the names should sound a bit more reflective of their fierce nature.  All the plants here have coped with flooding before so I am confident losses will be minimal.      


Tree following December 2015

The front garden, subject of my End of Month View posts, is reasonably tidy right now.  The roses still have most of their foliage.  Looking around, I can see the Crocus and Iris reticulata are poking their noses from beneath the surface, like elsewhere in the garden.  The Dayliles, although cut back hard, are putting out fresh new growth already.  The privet has dropped a fair bit of foliage, as is the norm, yet the Tropaeolum speciosum scrambling through it has not yet gone dormant, it keeps the hedge looking quite green for now.  Rudbeckia summerina Orange continues blooming, as does the winter flowering Jasmine against the fence.
  
End of Month View December 2015
Since I took up gardening 5 years ago this is the first winter I've had no major projects on the go.  In years past, my gardening New Year's Resolution has generally revolved around getting those completed and putting a bit more thought into plant choices and planting schemes.  This year I thought I'd do something just a bit different, different for me that is!  Regular readers will know I can at time have a bit of an obsession with moving plants around, I have the annoying habit of second guessing the choices I make when it comes to plants and planting positions.  Then of course comes patience, a virtue I seem to lack when it comes to gardening.  Therefore I intend 2016 to be the year I make very few changes around the garden.  I want plants to mature, fill out their spaces and do just what they want to do instead of me constantly interfering with them.  I think my gardening insecurities lie in the fact that I am very conscience of the fact that my garden in still very immature. It has finally dawned on me, yes I admit it has taken me quite a while, that no matter how many plants I move around or how many new plants I buy I just can't compete with nature.  So there you have it, you heard it hear first, Angie is leaving the plants to do what they are supposed to do.......grow!

I started this blog as a way of recording what I was up to in the garden.  How and when I do things, growing notes, you know the kind every day gardening things.  Lessons I learn.  Tips and advice I pick up along the way.  I should add at this point I am particularly grateful for all the advice and tips you've all given me along the way.  I now want to put some of this into practice, I hope to include more posts that fall into these categories and feel the only way I can do this is to concentrate on learning about what I have growing already.  I need to stop adding to the confusion.  Right now there is an embargo on buying any new plants.  Especially the many impulsive buys that make their way home with me.  One exception will be my annual visit to the Early Bulb Show in Dunblane next month where I intend to add a few more special snowdrops to my collection.

Take, for example, my Hellebores - I am almost certain that they have never looked quite like this in December/January before.  I usually remove last year's foliage before they reach this stage but that is usually some time nearer the beginning of March certainly not right now.    

  
In the past I've never noticed that as the new foliage and with it the new blooms grow taller, the old foliage appears to naturally collapses away from the centre.  I am assuming this is nature's way of letting in the light.  I've always been under the assumption that the old foliage protects from the frost but perhaps not.  These are the kind of basics I need to pay attention too.  

Corydalis solida Beth Evans beneath one of the roses in the back garden took me by surprise for two reasons. The first being that I forgot I moved some here last year, yet despite being under a couple of inches of mulch it has surfaced early.  Secondly I would not expect to see any growth until early February with the view to blooming in the second half of the month.


    
Even Camassia seem early to me.  These bulbs were new last year so I am not quite so sure just when to expect them but this early in the year, surely not?


Not everything is taking me by surprise.  The early blooming snowdrop, Galanthus elwesii Mrs MacNamara, is flowering exactly at the same time as it has done in the previous two years since coming to my garden.
Galanthus elwesii Mrs MacNamara
Blooming sporadically since November but now in full bloom Hamamelis x intermedia Jelena in the small woodland border provides a nice bit of winter bling.  The flooding extended into this part of the garden for a few days, something that hasn't happened before.  Obviously I won't know which, if any, plants have suffered yet.  The bulbs in the woodland consisting mainly of Snowdrops and Fritillaria cope with flooding elsewhere therefore I don't expect the ones planted here to be any different.  Time will tell with the other plants.  Winter wet being detrimental to the health of many a fine plant!

Hamamelis x intermedia Jelena
There are one or two jobs in the garden I could be getting on with right now.  There are still many fallen leaves and mushy mounds of decaying perennials that need dealing with but in some parts the ground is so sodden it is just not practical to it.  I am usually on top of the winter clear up but I seem to be playing catch up this year.  The climbing rose (R. The Wedgewood Rose) on the pergola and trellis divider has continued growing at a rapid rate of knots.  The stems I meticulously tied in have just not stopped growing and really do need to be tied to their support before they entangle everything else growing round about.  There there are the weeds!  They certainly are benefiting from the warmer temperatures.

Wayward stems on R. The Wedgewood Rose
     
Are you getting much done in your garden?  Is weather hampering your plans?  Perhaps you are busying yourself with some forward planning.  I've a new camera that needs some playing around with.  So far I know the zoom works well, a far longer zoom than my previous camera.  Now all I need do is get to grips with all the other functions.  So watch this space.  Although to be honest, will a better camera improve much on the photography skills.  I doubt it!  Enjoy your week what ever you have planned.  I look forward to catching up with what's been happening with you all.

31 comments:

  1. Happy New Year, Angie! I can see it has been quite wet for you, but I know you have planted for fairly wet conditions, so I hope all will be well :) It's wonderful to see all those green noses poking up for the spring bloomers; mine are not so far along as we have had a colder winter so far, and I think the plants were unsure about growing much. I have been in a 'move the plants around' phase lately, but then my garden is at a much earlier stage than yours... I like your idea of letting things take their own way for a bit; just give me a year or two and I will probably be doing the same... ;-)

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    1. Thanks Amy. I was speaking to my brother on the phone earlier and he informed me that we are to get snow at the weekend. It will give your plants time to play catch up!

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  2. Dear Angie, Happy New Year to you! Glad to have you back in the blog world! I really hope that all the flooding doesn't do any or at least minimal damage to your beautiful garden and its plants.
    Hard to believe that you can change your habit of moving plants around ;-). I don't even know if that is necessary if you stick to moving only the smaller ones. I actually think that it is a good trait in you, because by fiddling with the garden when something doesn't seem right to you you achieved some absolutely perfect plant and color combinations. And besides that moving plants seems to be fun for you!
    Here in my neck of the woods it is actually raining as I am writing this comment, which is really wonderful, since we need the water so badly. Maybe El Nino is finally here... I am in the middle of de-leaving and pruning my roses and the rain has brought that to a crashing hold, but I am not complaining. I was really on schedule with that and if I have to stop for a few days I have a good chance that I still will be done by the end of this month.
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Glad to be back Christina and thank you. I am pretty confident the plants should do ok. I am going to try my best to break this habit, so just watch this space.
      Glad to read you are getting some rain, your plants will be thoroughly grateful for it. Good luck getting on with your roses, I've no doubt you'll keep on top of it.

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  3. Happy New year Angie, this rain is getting tiresome, but better than the ice and snow, unless you're flooded! Hopefully the plants in your wet corner will be ok, it's amazing what they cope with. This unseasonal warmth is definitely bringing plant growth forward, lets hoep we don't get a sudden cold snap. Back to work and the nursery for me tomorrow, but armed with lots of plans, lots done on the website and back ground planning :)

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    1. Great to read you've been working on the website Rona - will only benefit the business I'm sure. Just because I plan to sit back and enjoy the garden won't stop me from popping out to the nursery when the weather turns, I expect I'll see a big difference.

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  4. Happy New Year Angie, I hope your part of the country soon dries out. You Hamamelis Jelena is fantastic, such a wonderful colour on a dull grey day!
    I've been busy mulching round my snowdrops and hellebores, in between all the rain, nearly all done now, but there is a lot more tidying to do as no autumn tidying was done!

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    1. Thanks Pauline. I do love the colour of H. Jelena and incredibly cheerful.
      Good to read you are getting some jobs done - today was very dry here and had it not been for the under foot squelching I might have done the same. I'll need to take the bull by the horns at some point!

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  5. Until I read you blog today I had no idea you have only being gardening for five years, that makes the garden even more impressive. We are all a bit guilty of moving plants around to much, but if even the great Christopher Lloyd can admit to it, then we mere gardening mortals can relax!

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    1. Thank you Brian. I totally agree that if it's good enough for Christopher Lloyd then it sure is good enough for us all!

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  6. Gosh, you've had a lot of rain! I know here in my climate the plant experts urge us to avoid walking around the plants too much when the soil is moist, so as not to damage the root systems and emerging parts. So, maybe a good excuse to wait and observe from a distance until the garden dries out a bit? My garden is still covered with a few inches of snow, so I usually have a forced rest from gardening this time of year. I actually appreciate it, but by mid-January I'm itching for the snow to melt. I hope your cold will go away soon! Happy New Year!

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    1. That's the exact reason I am not keen on doing much work when the ground is so sodden Beth. Observing from a distance is fine until I get itchy fingers!
      I hope your snow doesn't linger too long. According to my brother we are to get snow this weekend. I haven't looked at the forecast this week but as much as I love a bit of snow cover I could do without it really.

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  7. We are getting a break from rain and now have extreme cold, but it's nice to see the sun for a change. The front garden looks lovely, so well designed. Glad to hear the wet is not expected to effect the plants around back. Hope you are feeling better, too, it must have been miserable to feel poorly at the holidays.

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    1. Indeed Marian, the whole house was down with this particular bug at Christmas and New Year so we all pretty much felt rotten but all on the mend now, thankfully.
      I hope the cold doesn't linger with you too much.

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  8. You've done well in creating a wonderful structure for your garden, Angie, and I have no doubt that it'll exceed your expectations as the plants mature. I share your patience problem and I'm also hoping that, now that all my lawn is gone and that I've hopefully appeased my unpleasant neighbor up the street by taking out 2 trees and thinning the rest, the garden won't require any major new re-engineering requiring plant moves. I'd also like to see my plants grow up and mingle a bit! I still have a lot of planting to do to fill in the areas left bare by removal of lawn and a few giant half-dead shrubs so that's my main focus now; however, we've got rain at the moment (yay!!!) so plant shopping and planting are on hold for a bit.

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  9. Happy new year Angie, your garden has coped well with the weather, it is interesting seeing thebones of the garden, I like the shape of your front lawn, a bit like a keyhole, lots ofnew growth and promise, Frances

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  10. Good to see your garden holding out against the strong winds and rain. It's supposed to be getting colder & drier, well, back to normal, so hopefully the flooded bit will drain away quickly & none of your plants affected. My garden is pretty much like yours with bulbs etc coming up several weeks sooner than they should, and perennials putting on new growth a couple of months before they should. I even have my first daffidol and reticulata irises out. And for the first time ever, I had my first hellebore flowering before xmas.

    Good luck with not moving any plants around this year. That's quite a discipline! Possibly by allowing the plants to stay where they are, they will grow more quickly now, as for some I think it inhibits growth.

    I do love Jelena and am thinking of getting this one myself. Such warm colours for this time of year. Happy 2016 to you Angie, and good growing.

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  11. So sad to see your lovely garden under so much water but you are right, the plants will all bounce back if they have a chance to dry out a bit before the really cold weather hits. I am just as guilty as you when it comes to moving things around. If a plant is in the 'wrong' place it will bother me until I do something about it, most likely at the wrong time of year. Leaving things alone to establish is a good plan. It's one of the bonuses of having projects here.. the rest gets ignored if I focus all my effort in just one place!

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  12. Angie girl Happy New Year ! .. I hope the weather improves a great deal more for you .. I had no idea you guys had so much rain and so many "named" storms ? LOL ... they are all beasts !
    But wow ... you have plants green and growing ... it will be months for for my garden to wake up and with what weird weather we have had I am wondering how many have gone to plant heaven.
    Yes the lichen is amazing to look at ... I am happy it is happy in my garden .. that and the little bits of moss ... worlds unto themselves.
    Take care girl : )
    Joy

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  13. I see you have many early bloomings in your garden, Angie. Nice to see! Yes, the weather hampered my plans, I had no time to cover my plants and now we have extremely cold -22 C. Hope they will survive.
    I also am glad that there were no flood in your place!

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  14. Happy New Year Angie. Your plants will be so pleased that they don' t have to duck when you walk round the garden now you have decided not to keep moving them about. An embargo on plant buying? How on earth will you find the will power for that? I went shopping for potatoes at the farm shop today and an Edgeworthia fell into my basket. No will power at all you see.
    I hope all that wet will go away quickly. Your ' Jelena' is beautiful.

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  15. Happy New Year to you, think I have had more water at the bottom of the garden than in my little pond for weeks now, luckily an area were there are no plants, my raised beds have been a blessing at this time. Have been deciding what new plants I want, more for bees and moths this year, especial food for Bumblebees in case the mild weather brings them out. Having said that it's dew to get cold next week.
    It's great fun getting a new camera but they do take time to master, to many new buttons!
    Amanda xx

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  16. Happy New Year Angie. Five years since you started gardening, how time flies. I have pretty much been following you since you started, and have enjoyed watching your skills and garden progress. I guess I don't follow all the meme stuff but enjoy keeping up to date with you all in my own way. We have also missed the flooding which has been a total misery for people not so far from here.
    Have a great gardening season ahead. Alistair

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  17. Although we are not as waterlogged as you, the garden is too wet to work on, Our hellebores have beaten me and are flowering before I have cut back the foliage. Like yours they seem to be doing fine without my interference.
    Crocuses are starting to show signs of buds and some iris reticulata are flowering. We even have buds on one day lily that has produced buds continually through autumn and winter - must admit I have missed whether the buds actually managed to open - must be more observantl

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  18. Sorry that you are getting all that rain. I hope it soon stops. We are not at home now and I hope there is a good layer of snow on our own garden. When we left the garden was just like yours, soaking wet.

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  19. Angie, hello again and wishing you a healthy (you and plants), happy 2016 gardening year. I’ve been an absent blogger too and I’ve enjoyed catching up with your garden tonight :-)

    Ok, so I’m smiling here at you having “a bit of an obsession with moving plants around” and wondering if you’ll be able to stop yourself… I might doubt it. Don’t be hard on yourself if you regress. This is coming from someone well experienced in this activity having begun doing so at age 10! I’ve lost count of the times I’ve told myself to let a plant just grow. Let it grow, let it grow… I feel a song coming on :-) Good luck!!

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  20. Looks like you have had the same weather as us - that is really VERY wet.
    Still, we have managed a couple of fine days now, before the promised "cold snap".
    I do love that Hamamelis picture - bling's the word!
    Happy New Year :)

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  21. Happy New Year to you Angie, I am looking forward to whatever you have for us this year. My big primulas are loving this weather, standing water everywhere each time it rains, but some of the Meconopsis aren't looking as if they are enjoying it too much.

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  22. Oh a happy new year to you too Angie! I hope that you are well and truly over that cold. Has that standing water abated? I will keep my fingers crossed that it doesn't do any long lasting damage. My hellebores are certainly well ahead of themselves with some of them even flowering in December!

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  23. Happy New Year Angie....I am just catching up! Seems we had similar weather in December and our gardens had similar growth, blooms and flooding. Now we have cold and snow as our typical winter has hit so no gardening.

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  24. Hi Angie. Happy New Year to you! I had to refollow you as Wordpress had lost you! Looking forward to reading your posts this year. Good luck with the no purchase and no moving stragegy. I am not quite ready for that yet - maybe next year! AnnetteM

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