January seems to be have been unusually overcast with only a few days offering any blue sky or noticeable sunshine, and it will be interesting to compare the final output of our solar panels with those of previous Januarys.
The sun may not have been gleaming but the Golfer has been on his knees again, sweeping and weeding the paved areas throughout the garden in preparation for our garden opening in a fortnight’s time, so they are now gleaming as much as a paved area can be. Rest assured, the recuperating Golfer has taken things as steadily as possible so as not to overtire himself, and I have considerately not been cracking the whip…
There have been more breaks in the clouds in the last few days, however, with temperatures getting into double figures, and the relative mildness has given a boost to some of the tardier winter flowering plants, especially noticeable with the native snowdrops. It also occurred to me that the relative lack of sun may be what has created a lopsided flowering effect in the snowdrop border, with the ‘specials’ towards the right hand end in bloom, and those towards the left barely emerging – it is certainly too early to assess any losses this year, something which was done much earlier in January last year. On clear days, the border will get the early morning sun, but those sunny periods that January provided have taken several hours to arrive, and quite possibly only reached the right hand end of the border – that’s my theory, anyway!
Here is this more floriferous end of the border, where Galanthus ‘Trumps’ (lower left) is proving to be a very reliable and vigorous resident, as is a more recent acquisition with its distinctively large segments, G ‘John Long’ (lower right):
In the same bed there are hellebores at similarly different stages of flowering, although Hellebore ‘Harvington Double White’ (below left) is at the far left of the border, whereas ‘Harvington Double Lime’ (centre) is towards the right end and buds are only just emerging. Sadly, H ‘Anna’s Red’ (right), in a different border, seems to be the victim of over-exuberant leaf trimming, where there is a lesson to be learned…
Meanwhile, I have today pulled out the healthy remnants of verbena and nemesia from the group of pots that support the blue & white border, and replaced them with winter and spring flowering pansies and primula; I was tempted to leave the summer residents in situ and see if they would reflower in due course, but decided their replacements would look better on their own (the Golfer’s knees haven’t yet reached this end of the garden…)
There are more inconsistencies in the Coop, and it is unlikely that anything will be in flower when we open in a fortnight, although there are buds emerging amongst the grass-like leaves of a pot of Narcissus bulbocodium, unlike the adjacent pots of crocus and Iris reticulata:
Performing better than previous years, however, are the early flowering Winter Sunshine sweet peas in the working greenhouse, now over 12″ (30cm), and which I would expect to be in flower by mid-April. I think this is the first time they have been planted out in the greenhouse border before Christmas, although they were sown in October as usual.
I am linking my inconsistencies to Jon the Propagator’s Saturday meme, and if you check out his blog you will find links to many other Saturday Sixes, so why not check them out too?