Wednesday, December 31, 2014

End of month view - December 2014

This is the first time I've taken part in Patient Gardener's End of Month View meme. I suppose I should have started in the summer, when the lush growth hides a myriad of mistakes, but it's nearly a new year, and so a time to look back with brutal honesty about where the garden is at the moment. The general dreariness of the garden was nicely complemented by the dull weather this afternoon, after several days of picturesque frost and blue skies.

The photo below shows the one bit of colour in the back garden at the moment, and one of the few plants we kept when we moved in -  Choisya (probably 'Sundance'). It's not a subtle shrub, but it just keeps on doing its thing. You can see that I have cleared a lot of dead herbaceous material, which I know is not the done thing nowadays, as the minibeasts need somewhere to overwinter. However, since Thomas came along I just can't keep up with the seasons, so need to get ahead of myself with a bit of autumnal and winter clearing and tidying. If the minibeasts can't make do with the extensive evergreen trees, shrubs and huge amount of ivy cladding the fences in which to make their homes, then I'm not going to lose too much sleep about it at the moment.

This shows the new pergola, which went up in July. It's looking bare at the moment, but there is a well-established Clematis 'Black Prince' at the back which will hopefully scramble over much of it in the Spring.

The optimistically named 'Spring border' (below). It contains an Amelanchier 'Robin Hill' which has been in for nearly three years now; the herbaceous plants in there have been in there for just over two years. I tried to put Pachysandra in as ground cover (yes, it's boring, but I thought it would be an indestructible evergreen carpet), but it appears to be slug and snail caviar. It looks better in spring. Honest. Prior to the Amelanchier, there were two large cherry trees that had been regularly 'lollipopped' into round heads by the previous owners. They did hide the houses behind, but were ugly.

The greenhouse is pretty empty, apart from endless empty pots, some over-wintering dahlias and a ravening horde of spiders.

The 'twigloo' is looking a little worse for wear after a few strong winds, but it won't take long to weave and tie back together in early spring.
Another border which looks best in Spring. The Acer 'Sango Kaku' looks good all year round, but this photo doesn't do justice to its beautiful red stems. The new fence panels are yet to be covered by a climber - I need to do a bit of planting in this area.

The tree ferns are doing well so far, as it has been such a mild winter.

The Stipa tenuissima planted along the bottom of the patio don't look their best after rain, then snow, then frost. Thomas is rather keen on jumping and rolling on top of them, which doesn't help either.
A view from one corner across to the greenhouse. We took the island bed out this autumn and put it down to grass seed. It divided the garden up nicely, hiding the far end of the garden from view, but it made the garden less useable for Thomas.

From the other side of the conservatory, looking down to the pergola. Adorned with a distant cat.
Perhaps the most ephemeral item in the garden at the moment - the remains of Thomas' first snowman.

So, not very exciting, no 'must see' plants. Just a whole lot of potential, waiting for spring.
Thanks to Helen at Patient Gardener for hosting End of Month View.

Monday, December 29, 2014


I'm not so good at this blogging thing any more, am I?

Perhaps the golden age of garden blogging has passed, or perhaps it is going on now, and it has passed me by. Perhaps it is still to come. So many questions, all of them a bit reflective and, therefore, somewhat pointless.

So, back to the title of this blog post. Promises. Besides encouraging me to listen to this, I thought I'd get in early with the New Year's Resolutions. I don't normally do them (see New Year posts passim) but had so much fun just reading through some of my past posts that I promise to myself to post at least once a fortnight on this blog in 2015. Hardly in the league of veteran bloggers such as VP and Patient Gardener, but maybe I can get back on track a little and find both my blogging and my gardening vibes again.

A pre-emptive happy new year to you all. Here's to a writerly and floriferous 2015.