a french garden


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After the break all is quiet in the garden

hellebore

We have just returned from U.K. after spending Christmas with the family.  On arriving, the first thing I do is check out the garden.  I like to see what the plants have been up to while we have been away.  The period between mid December and mid January must be the least active of the year.  So the short version of my inspection is – not a lot to report. I had hopes for my Hellebores but only one of the plants is pushing through buds.

crocus

Some crocus are appearing but it is still too early for much activity on my bulb front.

sarcoccoca

The old stalwarts like the Sarcococca confusa and the…

primrose

primroses are doing their best.

hives

Of course, it is not only the plants that we check on because the bee hives receive the first visit.

sunflower

It was only nine degrees but the sunshine had tempted all the bees to stretch their legs and some even some to stretch their wings.

violette

The light varnish on the “au vent” or sunshade of Violette’s hive is peeling.  I will have to think of a way to clean it up soon.

bee-on

The temperature was only ten degrees when I noticed the bees on the Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica).  It is not far away from the hives but I was surprised they would venture out for the nectar and this bee has also taken the time to gather some pollen.  It is a wonderful tree because even at such a low temperature I could smell the perfume when I was close to the flowers.

winter-honeysuckle

The winter honeysuckle is about the same distance for the hives but was receiving less visits.

heather-and-bee

The heather is further away but these girls are hardy and it is nice to see them taking advantage of the winter flowers.

v-tinus

The Viburnum tinus is holding onto its buds to open up when the weather is warmer.  According to our weather forecast that will not be anytime soon as a cold front is coming in from the north of Europe.  I hope 2017 will be a good year for everyone and, of course, for the bees too.