Try as I might, I just could not establish any sort of theme for today’s Six on Saturday, the meme kindly hosted by ruminating garden blogger, Jim, so it’s a real itsy bitsy hotchpotch, starting with the first primroses blooming, just outside the back door. They often feature in my Boxing Day count, but not so in the last one. The ammonite is a further reduced bargain from UK supermarket ASDA, purchased thanks to a friend who shops there and alerted me; I was away visiting Elder Daughter at the time, but a phonecall to the Golfer sent him successfully off to Asda with specific instructions.
The relocated snowdrops continue to push their way through in the woodland, with a few now in bud and standing out nicely against the ivy and leaf litter. These are ‘Gabriel’ and ‘Lyn’:
You may not remember, but back in July I experimented with ‘chipping’ snowdrops and was thrilled to generate a number of tiny new bulbils from the original divided bulbs. I potted them up and now have some baby snowdrop shoots appearing, which is highly exciting, even though it will still be 2 or 3 years before I achieve bulbs of flowering size. It has certainly given me the confidence to try dividing more snowdrops later this year.
Sadly, however good the description, we can never truly convey fragrance in our blog posts. I would dearly love to share the fragrance of witch hazel Hamamelis ‘Rochester’ with you, having been bowled over in the mil January days we have enjoyed this week. Often, the fragrance of witch hazels is only experienced by burrowing one’s nose amongst the shreds, but not so ‘Rochester’. Although a relatively mature specimen, it is still my most recent purchase, bought at an eye-watering price that even the Golfer doesn’t know, and it has taken a little while to settle in, flowering only minimally until this year. Not only is it smothered in blooms but the fragrance is wonderful, wafting in the air as one approaches – glorious!
Continuing with winter tasks I have finished cutting back Group 3 clematis to an intermediate 2 or 3 feet, prior to pruning to ground level in spring, and pruned all the shrub roses. It’s probably the same every year, especially with a mild spell earlier in the year, but most clematis and roses are already sprouting new shoots, most of which will be cut off as part of the pruning process.
Regular rambles around the garden highlight the increasing number of hellebores in bud, with the first few beginning to open. They seem rather more seasonal this year, having been either earlier or later recently, not that Nature works to norms of course – but it means that there should be a good show for any visitors when we open in February, along with snowdrops, witch hazels and a clutch of other winter flowering goodies.