A lot of people are still struggling with the aftereffects of storm Desmond, especially those that were flooded. Here in the quiet corner of the South-East where I live, we didn’t notice the storm so much apart from very windy weather. Spare a thought though for those over 6000 people who got flooded and are now having to spend the next 6-9 months in temporary accommodation while their houses are cleaned out and renovated. Winter storms are a yearly occurrence here in Britain and flooding is quite common, some even get flooded over and over again only years apart. I am fortunate to live on the sheltered side of Britain – we are too dry in the summer but we are also spared the enormous rainfalls in the winter.
The garden has still got green features here and there, but I feel it is very much a garden waiting for me to get started again with some planting. But the days are so short now and I just don’t manage to get outside very often before it is dark. Give it another 4 weeks and the days will already feel longer.
We might not have got the 6 months’ worth of rain in 5 weeks as they have other places but it has rained a lot lately. The ground is nice and soft most places, except in the shade garden where the two large ceanothus’ shelter for the rain and drink up whatever rain that comes down with their widespread roots.
As the title of this post indicates, I have a lot of season confused plants due to the mild weather we have. Here in London we had 24 hours of around zero C and that’s the only cold weather we have had, the rest has been unusually mild often up to 15-16 C degrees during the day. The first snowdrops might not be so terribly out of season but these are about 4 weeks earlier than last year.
This is Galanthus elwesii 'Maidwell L' and I have only a few of this one because for what 3 of these costs you can get 100 of the common nivalis one. I have not thrown myself to the hype about snowdrops but I think it is interesting to have a few different one. I have mainly got plain old Galanthus nivalis and G. nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’ – the latter is quite cheap too over here. They are no doubt on their way up, but having been planted just recently here in my new garden they will probably be rather late this time. Only those still in pots will be likely to be on time, like 'Maidwell L' .
Here is another early arrival, Chaenomeles 'Crimson and Gold' hasn’t even dropped its leaves yet as it has not been cold enough – and yet, here are flowers and buds.
This is a newcomer to my garden, this is Schizostylis coccinea 'Pink Princess' and I got it earlier this autumn on a plant sale. It flowers from September to December and decided to put up flowers now, right at the end of its flowering season. I hope it means it will go on flowering for a while!
Here is another plant in bud, my cream patio rose has been flowering not stop since April and only the last few weeks has it slowed down a bit. There are lots of buds though so no break to come yet. I will have to cut it down soon though, come mid-January and all my roses will get pruned and whatever I find of buds will have to come off.
The inherited rose is still flowering and even all the rain doesn’t make it look too bad.
Sceptere’d Isle looks a bit sad though, not a rose that likes too much rain on its flowers.
The new camellias are ready to flower soon, this is Camellia japonica 'Amabel Lansdell' and it is an early bloomer so not so out of season really.
This one however is far too early – this is one of my lilies, Triumphator, a cross between an oriental and a longiflorum and they are absolutely gorgeous, but these shoots are 3 months early! If we get a day or two with frost I am afraid the shoots will die. They are not as hardy as emerging shots of things like daffodils and crocuses which are fine with a bit of frost.
Speaking of crocuses, look what the squirrels are doing to my crocuses! They have not eaten any of those I have planted in the ground yet as far as I can see so maybe I should just take this as a peace offering – they will leave the bulbs and corms in the ground alone as long as I serve some up for them?? The solution here in my new garden is going to be the same as in my old garden – to have so many crocuses that it won’t be notable that some are eaten – and then to keep adding a few hundred every year. They don’t cost much anyway and are easy to plant.
My front garden is almost empty now, many of the plants have died down and are moved to the back ready to be planted there, only the Garrya and the palm is looking like they always do.
On the inside of the front garden it is rather empty too, all the fuchsias have gone by now – all 86 of them. With Fuchsia Gall Mite on all plants more or less it was a hard but necessary decision to let them go. I tried to spray them earlier this year but it just came back. I have kept my miniature fuchsias as it doesn’t seem to affect them, hopefully they will be fine. The fuchsias had to go in my normal bin a few at the time over the last 2 months as I could not give them to the council for composting of fear of spreading the disease. The bags in this photo are the last of the leaves waiting to be collected.
Back in the garden I have more plants in flower. I dug up and took with me several of the cyclamens from my old garden, unfortunately the vine weevils have had a special taste for cyclamen corms and I have lost quite a few. This red one is still alive and hopefully it will be by the time I get around to plant it.
This pink cyclamen is also an old, mature one from my old garden, and as a sign of the mild weather we have, notice the mosquito on the flower to the second left. I am never really safe from mosquitos here in my garden, not even in the middle of winter!
More spring buds, the hellebores are popping up everwhere, this is Helleborus hybridus.
And this is Helleborus niger, the Christmas Rose with lots of buds.
And here a Helleborus niger already in flower.
And before I go for today I have some sad news. My cat Pus (means Puss in Norwegian, pronounced Puus) got ill last Thursday evening and died Saturday evening. I went to the vet with him on Saturday as he had breathing problems and it turned out he had cancer. Apparently it is quite common for cats to be quite well right up until the very end. My cat was showing no signs of being ill before Thursday and on my last video of him taken the last days of November he is running around in the garden looking as fit as a fiddle. This is the last photo I have of him, he looks rather dozy but this is taken earlier in the week before he started to having breathing problems. He is lying in my linen cupboard, his absolute favourite place to sleep :-)
I am glad I took him to the vet and got an explanation to what was wrong with him, even if the vet could not do anything to help him. If he had died at home I think I would always have wondered what he died of. My cat was put to sleep just before midnight Saturday evening. I got him as an 8 weeks old kitten and he had just turned 14 years old in November. Pus was heavily featured here on my blog and in my garden movies so I know there would have been questions from now on why he won’t appear no more, that’s why I decided to let you all know like this.
I am linking today’s post to Carol at May Dreams Gardens, please visit her for many more Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day posts.
There will be one more post before Christmas and an EOMV post on the 31st December.
Until next time, take care.