After the break all is quiet in the garden


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.


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


The old stalwarts like the Sarcococca confusa and the…


primroses are doing their best.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


26 thoughts on “After the break all is quiet in the garden

    1. We get similar winter temperatures to parts of the south coast of the U.K. My sister has a Viburnum bodnantense, which I covet, and which is in flower at the moment in the U.K. I wonder if could it be that? I have never had one and I did not know that the bees liked them. Amelia


    1. Our original plant is in a very shady spot. They are worthwhile plants and ours self-seeds profusely and I pot-up and keep the babies for putting here and there but I find they grow quite slowly whether in a pot or in the ground. Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m glad to see your bees have flourished over the cold time. More to come, but I’m sure you are encouraged. Interesting that I can take photos of my garden and see the same part of the cycle for hellebores and many bulbs.
    Have a grand 2017.


    1. Our winter temperatures are not too different from the milder parts of the U.K. and the plants do follow a similar cycle. This is the time of year when gardeners do start to become impatient for no good reason. For instance, I’ve already bought and collected more seeds than I had intended. Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, let’s hope 2017 is a good year for the bees!

    I’ve just seen on the weather that the continent is due for some frosty weather over the next few days. I hope that won’t affect the bees adversely.


    1. The bees will be fine inside their hive. We feel sorry for them but, as long as there are enough of them, they are perfectly capable of keeping themselves and the larvae warm. We just miss seeing them in the garden. Amelia


    1. They had a pretty good year with the one exception of the invasive Asian hornet. We have already decided this year to muzzle the fronts of their hives once the attacks begin and not to “wait see” as we did last year. The muzzles obstruct the bees but we think they are a necessary evil. Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Since mid-January the temperatures have turned colder and we have had overnight temperatures going down as low as minus eight. The garden and the bees are surviving well but it has been a bit of a shock for me! We have had milder winters recently and I am so surprised at how quickly I got used to them. Amelia


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