Six on Saturday: Glowing in the Arctic

It has been pretty chilly here for over a week, with temperatures barely rising above 2ºC; we had a little snow on Tuesday but it is snowing again now, with heavy snow showers forecast for much of the evening. Not Arctic weather, by any stretch of the imagination but, in the circumstances, the prolonged flowering of Echinops ‘Arctic Glow’ (above) seems to suggest a resilience to the cold rather than the whiteness of the bloom. In truth, the plant had been cut back in late summer but had produced new shoots and about three blooms a couple of months later, which seems pretty remarkable – and needs to be added to my Boxing Day total. Their only response to the cold was a certain drooping of the stems, unlike the preserved-in-ice appearance of  this stray Japanese anemone:

More applicable to the season is the appearance of blooms on more of my witch hazels – after the coppery cloured varieties, the reds are my next favourite, and this is Hamamelis ‘Diane’:

A seasonal surprise on my rambles today was the hint of colour on this Cyclamen coum

…and a seasonal task is the planting out of the Winter Sunshine sweet peas in the greenhouse:

To finish my Six on Saturday contribution, which I will link to our host Jon the Propagator’s blog, I would like to share these optimistic autumn fruiting raspberries, one of a number of stems of very slowly ripening fruits…whether they will ripen before they rot is anyone’s guess!

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26 Responses to Six on Saturday: Glowing in the Arctic

  1. Paddy Tobin says:

    The colour of Hamamelis ‘Diane’ is absolutely beautiful. Adorable.

  2. Your garden looks very artic. The frozen flowers look surreal. You have just reminded me I need to buy some sweetpea seeds!

    • Cathy says:

      Did it look cold? Surprisingly, even though temperatures were barely above freezing, it didn’t feel uncomfortable cold

    • Cathy says:

      And I have to apologise for the complete failure to collect you any hellebore seeds – I had a net bag over several seedheads but they just never seemed to ripen…sorry. 🙄 I will try again

  3. tonytomeo says:

    Hamamelis was one of several crops that we grew but should not have. They were too unpopular here because so few here know what they are. I do miss them though. The foliage colored so exquisitely in autumn.

  4. Roguegarden says:

    I love the little twisted claws of the witch hazel and agree with your color preferences wholeheartedly. The frozen anemone looks like some sort of delicate, sugary concoction that is so pretty one almost can’t bring oneself to eat it.

  5. I ate the last of the raspberries direct from the bush just before cutting the stems down yesterday! They had v little taste, too cold I think. Hope yours are better!

    • Cathy says:

      I did try one but, like you found, it was pretty tasteless – and I don’t expect them to improve, don’t be honest. I double crop my raspberries, so won’t cut them down yet as they will fruit again in the summer.

  6. croftgarden says:

    Definitely looks chilly. You are so adventurous, I’ve not even decided which variety of sweet peas to grow this year. Perhaps I should get a move on and try an early sowing. I might even think about growing some under cover, as so often mine get trashed by the wind just as they are about to flower.

    • Cathy says:

      The ones in the greenhouse are a special early flowering variety, bred to flower in low light levels – Winter Sunshine from Owls Acre Seeds. Admittedly I haven’t thought about my summer flowering ones yet either, but there are a couple of varieties I grew last year and will be growing again

      • croftgarden says:

        I always learn somthing new from you. I’d not come across these early varieties! Not much use this far north!

        • Cathy says:

          Perhaps not, but I would certainly recommend trying ordinary varieties under cover. These ones would start flowering at the end of March or early April and would continue until it was too hot for them – by the end of June perhaps, by which time the outdoor ones would be flowering (and I can plant the tomatoes inside). You could adjust the times accordingly

  7. Cathy says:

    Winter raspberries would be something… although probably a bit tart with lack of sunshine! Love that red witchhazel. I still haven’t planted one… I simply can’t choose! Maybe by this autumn…. If you could have only one, which would it be? I would only plant one as I am not sure how they would fare in my garden.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, that’s what I thought about the raspberries. If you were only to have one witch hazel , I would probably suggest ‘Jelena’ as it is likely to be readily available and has such a good density of large flowers

  8. Noelle says:

    Certainly cold and wintery at present, however your Witchhazel is quite magnificent.

  9. The frozen Japanese anemone is pure beauty – I love it. I love the red flowers of the Witch Hazel “Diane” for their color and abundance. Cathy, I’m glad you already planted your Sweet Peas in the Greenhouse and I hope your fall raspberries are just ripe and taste good. Here in Madrid it is also very cold during the day 5ºC and at night frost of -2ºC, and that in a big city. Nearby, 40 km away, in the villages in the foothills of the Madrid Mountains, it has been snowed for a week and it continues to snow, and the Skí de Navacerrada Station at 70 km is open and it continues to snow. Take good care of the golfer and you. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      So, similar temperatures to those we have had – but colder in the mountains. Are people allowed to ski at the moment during Covid?

      • No, the ski station is closed. People go up with their cars and when the parking lot is full the police won’t let more cars get in and they divert them. People play around in the snow, but last week there were too many people and the police forced people to leave. Now they have closed the parking to a quarter so that there are not too many people. And they have also reduced the capacity of public transport that goes up to the ski station. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

  10. Anna says:

    ‘Diane’ is certainly a stunner Cathy and such a warming colour in this cold weather. Will you be treating yourself to any new witch hazels this year? My autumn fruiting raspberries at the allotment have usually petered out by late November. Yours have done well to hang on until now.

    • Cathy says:

      I don’t think the raspberries are going to do a lot more, Anna, and they have certainly never carried on producing as late as these – but it was indeed a real bumper season for them. Unless I came across a bargain witch hazel I think a new purchase is unlikely – as is the likelihood of me visiting anywhere that would sell them anyway! I also have Ruby Glow which I saw referred to recently as syn. Diane (or the other way round), which is a bit of a disappointment if they are essentially the same – although I have never come across that before and I have had them both a long time

  11. rusty duck says:

    I have lost my Hamamelis ‘Diane’, a disaster which I blame on a deluge of lime plaster run off as a result of rebuilding a wall. Obviously it will have to be replaced but not before I’ve, somehow, neutralised the soil.
    Happy New Year Cathy.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh that is a shame, Jessica – and hard to know how much of your soil has been affected and to what extent, but a soil testing kit would help I suppose.

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