Dreich, dreich, dreich

After the hottest summer we have experienced here our cotoneaster bushes yielded smaller and fewer berries. They are all gone now. I hope the birds will be able to find some other berries or rosehips to keep them going.

The autumn was long and deliciously warm. A dream for gardeners and walkers. Then came the cold – to be expected in the winter but it has been followed by the most prolonged period of rain and heavy cloud that we have ever experienced here.

Photography in the garden has been constrained by the low light conditions.

The Viburnum tinus is flowering but there is not much time for the bees to get onto the flowers between the showers even though we have been having temperatures as high as 17 degrees Centigrade.

I like the relaxed style that this bee is gathering pollen. Comfortably ensconced on an old leaf of the winter flowering honeysuckle, she can give her full attention to gathering the pollen.

The Mahonias buzz with the bees when the clouds part and we get some light. Usually the Mahonias are full of bumble bees. I usually see the bumble bees on the Mahonias even when the low air temperatures keep the honeybees in their hives at this time of year. This year I have seen fewer bumblebees during these warm, wet days. I do not know whether the very cold spell we had before Christmas has sent them into a deeper hibernation or if they prefer to avoid the wet weather.

I have an anemone blooming early in December.

These are the buds of my flowering cherry tree on the 26 December2022. It has obviously decided not to give up the idea of flowering.

Our sole patch of snowdrops flowered on the 26 December 2022. This is their second year, so it is a success story – however minor. At least the snowdrops are in tune with the season.

I had given up on trying snowdrops and planted Crocus sieberi “Firefly” to take their place as my first early bulb. This year the crocus flowered nearby the snowdrops on the 3 January 2023.

It is not possible that the snowdrops pushed up to maintain their position as the favourite in the winter garden.

But it does make you think.

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6 thoughts on “Dreich, dreich, dreich

    1. It is mild (15 degrees this afternoon) so I could have worked in the garden when the rain stopped today but it was a choice between walking and the garden and I needed the walk. It is always the sun that pulls me into the garden.

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  1. Interesting to see that you have honeybees on the flowers in your garden but no bumblebees. Here we have had almost continuous rain simce Christmas and on rare sunny days I have seen plenty of honeybees but just two bumble bee workers around Totnes. This is despite there being plenty of flowers with the mahonia and winter honeysuckle. Last year I saw bumblebees fairly regualarly in January and into February but the weather wasnt as poor. I am beginning to wonder if some non-hibernating bumblebees have died because they cant get out to forage??

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    1. It is hard to imagine that non-hibernating bumble bees could survive this long, dark spell of weather. We are seeing the same phenomena this year. We will just have to wait until the spring, I think. Amelia

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  2. I hope you’ve gotten some sun by now Amelia! It’s wonderful how much habitat you provide for the bees, bumblebees, birds and other creatures. It’s been soaking wet here too–today is finally sunny although very cold. Interesting about your cherry flowering. Other gardeners here have been saying their fruit trees are sometimes putting out flower buds in the winter. Strange. One of our did the same. That is a beautiful anemone flower. I wish I had more of those planted. I don’t think the gophers eat them. Hope you do another post soon so we can hear if your weather improved. -lisa

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