Slowly, slowly


January is over and perhaps the worst of the winter is finished.  So many plants in the garden seem poised, waiting for the signal to flourish.


The daffodils have shown their colour but have remained tight closed.  Some snowdrops have appeared and the crocus are just starting to open.  So different from last January when the apricot tree was flowering on the 10 January 2014.


The Skimmia wisely keeps its buds tight closed.


The Hellebores are only starting to produce flowers but I am much happier to this slower awakening.  February can bring cold weather and frost.

End of garden

The two cotoneasters that were bright with red berries at the beginning of January, have been stripped bare by the birds.

Rudbeckia seedhead

Likewise, the seed heads of the Echinacea are all but bare of seeds.

Hard standing

Despite the heavy rain we have been having which leaves the ground sodden and encourages the weeds to grow, there has been work to do in the garden.  Work to clear the end part of the garden and remove some weedy trees continued.  We have inherited a fair selection of stones and flatter ones have been chosen to produce a handy hard standing area and some odd shaped ones will provide my husband’s next challenge of building a dry stone wall.  This will be for decorative purposes (cough, cough).  What else do you do with a lot of attractive limestone boulders?  (Hint, we already have two rockeries.)

Pussy willow

Nevertheless, the willow has decided it is time to start opening its buds.  If it does not open too quickly it should be O.K. for the bees.



bee on winter honeysuckle

Last week the bees on the winter honeysuckle were gathering pollen.

Bee and pollen

She was getting covered in pollen, obviously enjoying herself after being kept cooped up in a hive because of the rain.

v. tinus and bee

The Viburnum tinus was receiving attention, too.  Its pollen is much paler, almost white.  It’s not as popular with the bees when there are more flowers around but needs must in January.

Blue Tits

The fat balls are disappearing at an incredible rate and there is an increased chattering of birds in the garden.  The colours of male chaffinches are looking brighter.  The male turtle dove courts the female in the morning as she pecks the seed on the patio but she is not interested and he finally turns his interest to the seeds.

It’s all a bit too early in the garden at the moment.