Thursday, 9 January 2014

A new year in the garden...

For a few days there is a window in the weather, between the departure of the torrential  rainstorms and high winds over Christmas and the arrival of the Arctic cold from America. So, it's on with the old coat and gloves and out into the garden to try and repair any damage and wrap up the more tender plants before the cold arrives.

willow and blue sky

In comparison to the dreadful flooding suffered by many this year, we have got away lightly this winter (so far). Just a broken bird bath and garden table, a few pots overturned, piles of soggy leaves and bits of branches ripped from trees.
I've cleared out one of the flower beds of its rotting mat of last year's growth, no lovely stems for frost to etch into winter interest this year! The rain has turned most things into mush. Underneath Spring bulbs are emerging, far too early due to the mild temperatures and I am interested to see what else is confused by the weather too.
I have lavender, calendula and bellflower all trying to flower at the moment. Which is good news for any insects and bees that start emerging now but probably not so good for the plants if we have a sudden cold snap. A period of winter dormancy seems to be a thing of the past in the garden now.

calendula and bulbs acting unseasonably 

One thing this winter has brought is lots of birds into the garden. Robins are busy singing and protecting their territories and jays are busy digging up every flower pot and garden container to try and find buried food. 

Winter garden birds ~ robin and jay

I have wrapped up the fig tree and moved plant pots into the shelter of warm walls. One thing I can guarantee is that by March the neatly wrapped, tied and pegged fig tree will be doing a good impression of Miss Haversham's wedding dress after the winter storms have worked the fleece loose.

For now though, it's a pleasure to be outside with a blue sky day, finding hidden gems like this rose flowering in January.