His eyesight not being as it was, if the Golfer was reading this post (which he won’t be) he might think I was writing about myself 🙂 but no, it happens to be the shortest day of the year today and what a beautiful day it is! More blue sky, sunshine and a temperatures again into double figures – hardly what we would expect a few days before Christmas in the UK. It is also one of those ‘extra’ days (well, the morning is), when things we normally do are not happening because of the aforesaid Christmas, thus making it a welcome gift of time and space and encouraging a more leisurely pace throughout the day.
Quality rambles round the garden have meant several forays to the species snowdrop border, checking lists and books, and an awareness that the annual snowdrop obsessiveness is creeping up on me, for which I apologise. The relative mildness of the last week or two has been relished by the winter and early spring stars, the snowdrops, hellebores and witch hazels, all of which are far more advanced than they were at this time last year. Checking the progress of the green spears of the former I was thrilled to find the first evidence of white flower, not after all on ‘Maidwell L’ but on one of the ‘unknowns’, established last season after consulting Gunter Waldorf’s book ‘Snowdrops’ that it had ‘applanate’ leaves and will therefore be one of my ‘nivalis’ ones (note the obsessive language…). Not only did my rambles provide this joy, but also the thrill of another emerging clump without a label, the result of rationalising the bed last year which must have left some bulbs in their old position. I think I can remember what was moved from there, but will have to compare clumps when both are in flower…..
Also in this border is Helleborus niger ‘Christmas Carol’, bursting with numerous white buds at ground level but hiding its light under a thick and extraordinarily bushy canopy of healthy green leaves….. I am sure that in previous years they have been equally shy and never braved the big wide world so….. do I cut the leaves…? Or leave them to grow the way they always have done, au naturel? I have never trimmed hellebore leaves other than odd damaged ones but know that many do, and it is really a rhetorical question, one I am posing to myself and which I will let you know the answer to later, maybe much later.