End of the month view – January 2013

Now that the snow has melted and the temperatures have risen I have no excuse for not going into into garden to see how tatty everything looks. Apart from tidying up there are also some plant moving jobs that should be done sooner rather than later.

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.

The front garden

The front garden

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!

The top of the garden

The top of the garden

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.

The middle garden

The middle 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 bottom garden

The bottom garden

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.

The pond

The pond

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.

Eranthis hyemalis

Eranthis hyemalis

Cyclamen coum

Cyclamen coum

Crocus crysanthus 'E A Bowles'

Crocus crysanthus ‘E A Bowles’

Scilla mischtschenkoana 'Tubergiana'

Scilla mischtschenkoana ‘Tubergiana’

That completes the tour of the January garden.

Please visit the Patient Gardener  to see more end of the month views.


Gravatar 1 Janet/Plantaliscious { 02.01.13 at 6:27 pm }

Great that all your tender plants have survived the winter so far, lets hope there isn’t a late cold snap, I too have a mass shrub moving programme to get on with! Re eucalyptus, yes, beautiful tree, but the tree surgeon who removed ours when it got too large said that once they start to lean you have to get rid of them as they will never straighten up and will, in time, fall over…

Gravatar 2 Curbstone Valley Farm { 02.01.13 at 10:43 pm }

I’m procrastinating…I also need to do some winter cleanup. I’ve taken care of the vegetable garden, but now everything else needs to have frost damage pruned, or be fertilized. At least there are some signs of spring, despite all your recent snow. The yellow crocus are lovely!

Gravatar 3 Lea { 02.02.13 at 12:12 pm }

Wonderful to see Spring flowers!
Have a great week-end!
Lea’s Menagerie

Gravatar 4 wellywoman { 02.03.13 at 5:43 pm }

I’m planning a front garden re-jig too. I’ve gone for a cottage garden theme but at this time of year it suffers from lack of interest. My plan is to get a few more grasses and a bit of topiary in there. I’m looking forward to seeing your plans for both the front and back gardens.

Gravatar 5 Helen/patientgardener { 02.03.13 at 8:32 pm }

Oh your shrub moving scheme sounds as complicated as mine! Could you pollard the eyclaptus? I had one that I used to cut right back each year and it sent out new shoots very quickly, saying that it wasn’t as large as yours though.
Your Daphne is wonderful, I have only seen them as small shrubs which haven’t been very inspiring but I am now reconsidering.
Thanks for joining in again this month

Gravatar 6 Anna { 02.06.13 at 11:25 pm }

I’m glad that I’m not the only fair weather gardener about :) Went to the allotment on Saturday for a meeting – the site was packed with active plot holders. I could not wait to get home.

Gravatar 7 sweetbay { 02.14.13 at 8:10 pm }

Your garden has such a wonderful cottage character to it. I haven’t seen that sort of Daphne before, it looks extraordinary!

Gravatar 8 Jean at Jean's Garden { 02.19.13 at 1:32 am }

From the other side of the pond where it is still winter, I’m delighting in your early blooms. It’s just about time for me to look at all those notes I made to myself last year — you know, “divide hosta ‘Paul’s Glory’ and replant one division at other end of bed. Move the remaining plant forward and to the left about 9″, etc.” I do find it satisfying to do this kind of spring tweaking of the garden.

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