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Monday, 14 January 2013

Little signs of life in the garden

Up until a couple of days ago the weather has been unseasonally mild for weeks but it's turning colder now - no complaints from me as that's meant some much needed sunshine! It's supposed to get even colder with the possibility of snow later in the week which means more photo opportunities if my fingers can cope with the cold.

However the mildness has meant that the late winter flowers have started to show themselves, even if only in bud form, and some of the flowers from last year are still hanging on (although some of these are, of course, weeds - the toughest of plants!).

Japonica as some of us know it - actually Chaenomeles or Flowering Quince.
This does normally start to flower early although it won't be flowering properly for
a few months yet.

Buds galore on one of my ornamental
Cherry trees - this is the tree in my cover photo
at the top of the page

Snowdrops (Galanthus) have shot up really quickly in the last 10 days

Hellebore covered in flower buds.
I think this is one of the orientalis hybrids.
They do look better when the old foliage is cut off, but seeing the
likelihood of cold weather coming I'd rather keep those leaves
there for now for protection.

Bud covered in dew.
My other hellebores have buds that come out from ground level and
are just emerging.

Rhododendron. Now this may seem an oddity but occasionally they
have a few flowers in the late autumn, but this year there are
about a dozen blooms trying to open up!

Then there are the evergreen plants that look good all through the winter.

Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' with berries from last year.
I grow this in a pot and it's high time I divided it up. I think it looks
better grown in a pot with gravel on the top to highlight the black leaves.

Euphorbia myrsinitis - my favourite Euphorbia as it is evergreen
and provides year round interest. It will be flowering about March.

Here it is in the sunshine all self seeded by the steps leading up
to the garage. Can you see the little red blob in the centre top?
That's a Firebug (Pyrrhocoris apterus) commonly known
as Gendarmes in France and don't seem bothered by the weather
and are still out and about. You may need to click on the photo to see it.

The leaves have long gone from the Smokebushes but their fluffy seadheads
remain continuing to give interest. I've seen birds picking at these to use for
nesting material!

Finally, a rosebud looking a little faded by the wet weather -
it's never going to open up into a flower but still retains
a beauty all of its own.


  1. These are delicious - I must trace back through your google plus stuff and see if you have done a masterclass on photographing things up close. If not please do.

    1. You are too kind Sarah - I am only a beginner really, I just like to practice a lot!

  2. We have a couple of inches of daffodil shoots and that's about it - snow coming Friday?

    Nice Hellebore.

    1. Still says snow and my daffs vary wildly but I think it depends on variety as to whether they are leaf first then flower buds appear, or vice versa. Thanks, will enjoy those hellebores when they do open up properly!