Six Sights on Saturday, Not All of Them Pretty

I haven’t joined in with Jon the Propagator’s Six on Saturday since before Christmas, probably due to a combination of inadequate material to post about, short days, inclement weather and the amount of time I have to sit in front of a laptop and write a post, but I have made it today, with a real mixed bag, which these posts often are.

The presence of naturalised snowdrops in the woodland edge border is becoming increasingly evident as they push their way above the ground (above), albeit a number of weeks away from flowering. I would hazard a guess that this is more typical timing, as is the case with the species where there are still only a handful in bloom, Faringdon Double being only the second of them to open fully. I noticed today how many of the emerging clumps here have got a definite list to the left, presumably straining towards any available sunshine which has been in fairly short supply of late:

One of my recent tasks has been to collect up all the stray stakes and plant supports that litter the borders and put them back in the Bothy, a task now delayed because I have decided to tidy the bothy up first, putting up more hooks to ensure all the supports are accessible when needed:

We have had some very chilly days recently with temperatures staying barely above freezing, accompanied yesterday and this morning by fog. Some tasks, particularly those that don’t involve soil, are more easily than others when it’s very cold, and rose pruning seems to come into this category. The climbing roses were all pruned towards the end of last year, but I managed to get stuck in and prune all the shrub roses on a bitterly cold day at the start of the year. I think my pruning has improved in recent years, although some bushes still end up looking more shapely than others – Rosa ‘Olivia Rose Austin’ is one of my better examples:

In the absence of inspiration for something arty to do with the silver birch stems, I was pleased to come across these wooden wind chimes in the loft (which had been undergoing a massive clearout recently), and which I thought had been disposed of. As a perhaps temporary measure, they look acceptable strung up from hooks screwed into the top of the stumps, but once I hear their insistent clack clack again on a windy day I might change my mind!

Finally, and definitely not a pretty sight, here are the soggy and browning flowers of Hellebore β€˜Anja Oudolf’, still the only hellebore with open blooms, but suffering badly from the cold and frost in a way I have not witnessed before:

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34 Responses to Six Sights on Saturday, Not All of Them Pretty

  1. bcparkison says:

    We all have to start somewhere but here we trim roses in Febuary. If I can remember not to get off on something.else. The dafs are coming on but not blooming yet.Could be a small snow tomorrow…maybe.

    • Cathy says:

      It could be Jan-March here for roses, but it was a good day for doing it (probably 1st Jan!) so I did! Is it not early to see your daffs coming through? I found a stray crocus in bloom here yesterday!

  2. I learned a new word from you today – bothy! And I am of Scottish descent..long ago, though. I like the wind chimes.

  3. Listing snowdrops here too especially those growing outside in pots Cathy 😒 What a shame that your hellebore is suffering so. Hopefully the latter flowers will not be affected. I wonder whether that very mild start to January followed by plummeting temperatures could be responsible.

    • Cathy says:

      Are your snowdrops slow this year Anna, or are you expecting some casualties? πŸ™„ I trimmed off the browned hellebore blooms and the newer ones might prove to be OK, depending on how the weather proceeds , I suppose

  4. tonytomeo says:

    With so many roses and such brief winters, pruning roses is on a tight schedule for us. We somehow finished already. Almost all of our roses are just two cultivars of carpet roses, which are not at all interesting, although they do work for the landscapes that they inhabit. There are a few hybrid tea roses as well. I enjoy them, but they are not in great condition.

    • Cathy says:

      How wintry are your ‘winters’, Tony?

      • tonytomeo says:

        Not very wintry at all. I certainly enjoy the climates here because these are the climates that I am familiar with, and are ideal for growing what I enjoy growing. However, such climates might be boring to those who are more familiar with more interesting weather. It has not snowed in the Santa Clara Valley since 1976, and even then, it was only half an inch deep. Frost is very mild and inadequate for many plants that require a good chill. Almost all the rain here happens during winter, but even that is relatively boring. My former neighborhood in town got only about a foot of rain annually, although we get twice as much here, just a few miles away. Summers are no more interesting. I am certainly not complaining. I do enjoy the climates here very much, and do not want to live anywhere else.

  5. My shows drops had just started to poke their heads out before it got cold again – minus teens and 20’s cold with 20-30 cm of snow due tomorrow into Monday; I’m looking forward to seeing more of yours soon!

  6. Wow, you have an impressive number and variety of stakes. I had to laugh about the wind chimes, ‘cos I notice our neighbours chimes most days I go out the back door. I actually like the clacking. Meanwhile, the same neighbours have commented on our splashing water feature. lol.

    • Cathy says:

      We had a lot made by a local metalworker, stakes with a ring at the top, in different lengths, and some obelisks. Sadly they are no longer there and I am guessing the company is now defunct. I must admit once I had collected the, all in I was surprised hw many there were, so I must have normally left them outside 😊

  7. Pauline says:

    Hope your hellebore recovers, it doesn’t look too happy at the moment does it? We too have been having frosty nights, more in keeping with usual January weather, thank goodness! My wind chimes also ended up being put away, like you I got fed up with the noise after a while!

    • Cathy says:

      I know when I bought a different set of windchimes once I spent ages deciding which of the sounds I could live with! The worst was one made out of glass…! Definitely a more normal January here and things really do seem to be following a more normal timetable

  8. Noelle says:

    I suppose that anything that we have chosen to flower early in the season a little way ahead of their species, will be prone to poor weather or slugs. Your Hellebore will recover, I wonder whether removing the worst of the damaged blooms will help alleviate the spread of any moulds? At least the plant will look pretty, and I am sure you have already done this.

    • Cathy says:

      Quite probably Noelle, and these were in bloom before Christmas, so very early – and yes, I plucked the offending blooms off today and I think the newer blooms might be OK

  9. I am enjoying your posts so much, thinking – oo I know where the Bothy is, and the silver birch stumps. I have the 360 degree image still in my mind. Must go out and have a look at my hellebores, we have had some hard frosts recently.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, it makes such a difference when you have visited a garden – although I have been to Chloris’ twice and still can’t visualise the layout when I am not there! Most of the other hellebores have buds that are only just pushing above ground, but a warmer spell would bring rapid growth, I think

  10. Chloris says:

    Lovely to see all your snowdrops popping up. I haven’t seen hellebores do this before, usually they can take anything the weather throws at them. I hope it will recover. We have had some lovely sunny days here, everything seems to be blooming very early.

    • Cathy says:

      This is the only hellebore in bloom, Chloris, and it was out before Christmas which I think it may now be regretting after the frosts and grey we have had – some sunshine here too, but usually on days when I haven’t been able to get out in the garden 😊

  11. Going Batty in Wales says:

    I haven’t spotted any snowdrops here yet but they may be lurking under the fallen leaves. They were here when we arrived and are probably whatever the native variety is called, ‘blow ins’ from the field banks along the road. The best clumps are under trees in the corner between the driveway and the road – too far in on the bank to be easily visible and I don’t want to go hunting for them in case i tread on them. Theyt reliably flower for candlemas / Imbolc on Feb 2nd but this year who knows?

    • Cathy says:

      I think they may be bang on time for Imbolc here! I am going to move all my named specials to my ‘woodland’ after this season…so I will be seeking them under leaves too from next year!

  12. It is all about potential this time of year. And tidying up! One job always leads to another. Which keeps us out of mischief. πŸ™‚

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