2020 has been a year like no other, and it’s inevitable that most people will be glad to see the back of it. The garden, however, has its own agenda and is little affected by the goings-on of the wider world, so 2020 on this blog ends with the usual look round the garden. We had a light falling of snow a couple of days ago, partially washed away by the gentle showers that followed it, but the rest has remained, courtesy of barely above freezing temperatures, giving a pleasing scrunch when walked on. Blackbirds have increasingly been enjoying the pretty crabs on Malus ‘Evereste’, but there are still plenty of fruits on the tree, shining nearly as brightly as the red berry Christmas lights that are still strung across the paved area above.
Below is the steamside and shrub border, with witch hazel Hamamelis ‘Jelena’ and a trio of Cornus glowing in the winter afternoon:
Scrunching our way through the woodland we can climb the steps at the back of the bothy and look out over the main borders and beyond to the clematis collonade, followed by a different view from ground level:
As we head through the woodland edge border, the hellebores and emerging snowdrops are not yet readily evident:
The three bold borders, sporting remains of their herbaceous content:
Through the gate, the nursery beds house overwintering perennials, building them up for planting out or selling next year, but the cuttings beds are virtually empty apart from a couple of overwintering scabious:
The blue & white border and rose garden are similarly at rest, the path through the latter having to be quickly rescued from a pile of prunings (a severe cutting back of enthusiatic climbet Rosa ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’) prior to photographs and video being taken:
We walk under the clematis colonnade and through the updated main borders before heading back toward the house, passing the special snowdrop border (with its sprinkling of both snow and snowdrops) on the way:
Walking towards the left side of the house we can pop into the Coop and take in the last droopy blooms on the fantasy chrysanthemums, a sprinkling of blooms on potted cyclamen and emerging spikes of early spring bulbs. Venturing down the side, we reach the Coop Corner, with several hellebores in generous bud and the floriferous Clematis armandii preparing for an abundant show of flowers.
This is just a pictorial record of the garden; tomorrow I hope to look back at the year as a whole and identify the highlights, the things that have brought me the greatest pleasure in a year where gardens have proved to be of greater value than many might ever have imagined. In the meantime, you can view the garden from a different perspective by watching the end of month video