End of the month view – January 2013
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The front garden is dominated by an eight foot tall, evergreen Daphne bhoula ‘Jacqueline Postill’ with its wonderfully fragrant flowers. This year I want to give it a light trimming as some branches are spoiling the generally tidy shape. In front of it is a Buddleia and between them they are crowding out a Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Pee Wee’ so I propose moving the Buddleia into the back garden and bringing the Hydrangea forward. The front of the border needs a rejig too as the plants there are too much of a mish mash.
Now for the back garden. There are a pair of obelisks by the garage wall with two shrubs between them. Planting two was a mistake as there is not enough room (we knew this at the time but took a head in the sand approach). Luckily a space has opened up at the bottom of the garden so I will move Pyracantha coccinea ‘Red Column’ which you can see on the far left of the picture. I like Pyracanthas to have plenty of growing room as pruning often reduces the number of winter berries which is the main reason for growing this shrub. On the right you will notice that I have still not cut back the foliage covering my Hellebores, many of which are now in flower…not a good start to the growing year!
Further down the garden the greenhouse door is open to allow ventilation. All the tender plants survived the winter. The hardy carnivorous Sarracenias in the brown pot on the left need a tidy up and the dead plants cut back before fresh growth appears. In fact there is lots of cutting back of dead stems required over the whole of the garden.
We are still undecided whether to have the Eucalyptus at the bottom of the garden removed (the pale grey trunk). It is a lovely tree but it is growing too big, is leaning into the garden and more worryingly has developed large splits in its trunk about two feet above ground level. We must decide soon.
The pond has defrosted and you can see the grass which has taken over and must be removed before it climbs out of the pond and takes over the garden. It is Carex riparia which stayed tidy for years in a water garden in a large pot but showed its true colours when it moved into the pond. A pity as it has attractive narrow leaves and black flower heads. This is not a job we are looking forward too as it will have infested some of the other plants and their pots.
So lots of jobs to do but it is good to see Snow drops and Hellebores already flowering as well as the spring bulbs pictured below. The sight of flowers makes working in the garden more of a pleasure – assuming we also have warmer weather as I am definitely a fair weather gardener.
That completes the tour of the January garden.
Please visit the Patient Gardener to see more end of the month views.