Those of us who have tried to introduce plants of winter interest to our gardens will be reaping the benefits now – who would not be uplifted by the glorious colour of these witch hazels? From top to bottom and right to left we have: Hamamelis ‘Pallida’, ‘Jelena’, ‘Zuccariniana’, ‘Orange Peel. ‘Amethyst’, ‘Magic Fire’, ‘Diane’, ‘Harry’ and ‘Ruby Glow’. Most of these are planted where I can see them from the house, so they ae constant joy at this time of year.
A little behind them are the ‘special’ named varieties of snowdrops, most of them poking their green noses through the soil but not many opening up to display their subtle differences. A little bit of warmth and sunshine would help in that respect but I don’t think that is on the cards just now so here is a small sample of their progress, clockwise from top left tall Galanthus ‘Washfield Colesbourne’, all white ‘Godfrey Owen’ (sadly there is no sign of my other white poculiform – where inner and outer segments are the same length – variety, ‘Anglesey Abbey’), ‘Trumps’ and ‘Lady Beatrix Stanley’:
I am especially interested in observing flowering times this year, thinking ahead to our February garden opening next year. Hellebores, I think, are earlier this year than some although they are not yet fully in their stride. Clockwise from top left is shy ‘Anna’a Red, ‘Penny’s Pink’, two unnamed varieties. ‘Ellen Picotee’ and ‘Harvington Spotted White’
I can never remember when crocus first emerge and although I was aware of foliage in the streamside grass this pot of Crocus sieberi ‘Tricolor’ in the Coop took me by surprise yesterday it was less of a surprise then to find Crocus tommasinianus emerging in the shrub border – more joys.
The native snowdrops are bright and early with white buds on many of the clumps already; I split and divide these clumps throughout their growing season, as I need to do on the clumps of primroses which seem to flower as and when they choose.
Sweet smelling winter flowering honeysuckle is another regular at this time of year, but neither Lonicera standishii ‘Budapest nor L purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’ are particularly photogenic; the other dependable fragrance is from Sarcococca humilis but here mine is no hurry to open fully. No doubt Chloris of The Blooming Garden will be sharing her own January Joys soon, encouraging the rest of us to do the same, so do pop over and have a look. Thanks Chloris, for allowing us to link with your blog. She has a large greenhouse full of winter specials, certainly more special than Hippeastrum (Amaryllis) Red Lion (below), and it will a joy to see which of those are blooming yet.