Dec.budsRambling yesterday morning and seeking inspiration for Wordless Wednesday I was almost at the back door again when I spotted that hint of colour on Hamamelis ‘Harry’ – and there was plenty more hints elsewhere on the small tree. Needless to say I was thrilled, as regular visitors to this blog will know how much I enjoyed Harry’s company last year; he grows just outside the back door, only a path width away from one of the kitchen windows, and I gaze out at him frequently. Surprisingly, he still has all his leaves, although they are now just beginning to change colour and fall. Inspection of my other witch hazels proved fruitless, or at least hint-of-flowerless.

However, it is not only Harry who is murmuring to himself, as I noticed buds on the shrubby honeysuckle Lonicera fragrantissima (above left), promising sweet scents to follow me on my rambles in a few weeks time; the sarcoccca (above right) has been parading its buds for a number of weeks, but I don’t think I have ever seen as many berries on the plant before and it is clearly happy with its move from the species snowdrop border to the ex-D****’s plant border. Its scent, when the flowers open, will be even more pervasive than the honeysuckle’s.

Regular inspection of the snowdrop border, now regularised with a map of its occupants, shows a hive of subtle activity just below the surface, and the ‘Maidwell L’ spearΒ  which I featured a few weeks ago is now definitely sporting a flower amidst its neighbouring spikes (below left). Tempting as it is to gently scrape through the leaf mould and compost on the surface I am (fairly) patiently waiting to see what else pops through and when, although searching for all the varieties on my list was in itself a heartwarming activity. There are a few labelled as ‘unknown’, found when revamping the border in the last couple of years, but I know what is missing from my original list – ‘Lady Elphinstone’ and ‘Sam Arnott’, both since replaced, and elwesii hiemalis which hasn’t. I was therefore quite excited when scrabbling around to finalise locations on the map to unearth a clump of green spears, not in a planting basket (so pre 2012) and with no label – they may turn out not to be snowdrops, of course, but I am fairly confident that they are and puzzled that what is definitely a tiny clump and not just a single bulb went unnoticed last year and probably also the year before. The main suspect is, I think, ‘Sam Arnott’ of which I am sure I had a reasonable clump at one time.

Bring on more murmurings!


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13 Responses to Murmurings

  1. pbmgarden says:

    Enjoyed reading your post. Someone gave me a sarcoccca last spring and I was unfamiliar with it. Will have to check it out to see if it has berries now also.

    • Cathy says:

      I hadn’t come across it until a few years ago when I realised it was the originator of the amazing smell in a local park πŸ˜‰

  2. Julie says:

    You have Henry near the back door – I have Diane. I can see her from the kitchen window and she was so beautiful last year. I love reading about your winter plants and anticipating with you how our gardens will look in a few weeks time. The slower pace of winter makes it possible to appreciate each individual plant – so unlike the summer when things can come and go almost without me noticing.

  3. Anna says:

    Oh you must be excited to see Harry colouring up. Bulbs sometimes behave erratically so it will be intriguing to see what those those green spears emerge as Cathy.

  4. Christina says:

    I love these simple pleasures! Finding plants that I had thought were dead making a new appearance. I’m looking forward to sharing your joy in the snowdrops as I don’t have any of my own.

    • Cathy says:

      Is your weather not conducive to snowdrops, Christina, or is it the soil? I am trying not to be too over-optimistic yet as it was a disappointing year last year.

  5. Annette says:

    Isn’t it exciting to notice all these murmurings?! Me too, I hear them all over the place: Sarcococca is about to flower, Chimonanthus has a couple of fat buds… happiness πŸ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      I have no chimonanthus, but I am sure yours will be beautiful. What variety is it? I look forward to seeing your buds opening πŸ™‚

      • Annette says:

        Just the “ordinary” botanical form. I tried to get Grandiflorus or Luteus as they flower when young but no chance around here. Seeing the buds on my very young shrub is great though!

  6. Nothing quite beats wandering around the garden at this time of year and spotting delights-to-come, w all need a little encouragement in these shorter, darker days. I planted my fist ever sarcocca this year, but I think it will be a while before it is flooding the garden with scent!

    • Cathy says:

      I remember seeing yours when we were there – can’t remember how long it was before ours before flowered, but it’s still not a very big plant although looks as if it is bushing out more since it has been moved πŸ™‚

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