• Clematis urophylla ‘Winter Bells',clematis

    Between the Downpours

    24th January 2018In The GardenStephanie Donaldson

    Oh the garden is so soggy! We have avoided the worst of the cold and barely seen a snowflake, but getting anything done has proved really difficult. Some of the borders are still covered by a thick layer of tulip tree leaves and I’ve long run out of anywhere to stack them.

    garden border

    Before Border – still covered with leaves

    After Border – leaves gone and a top-dressing of bark

    I had hoped to have excavated the friable leaf mould from the existing leaf heap by now and spread it on the garden, but we may just have to stack the new stuff on top of it and do lots of jumping up and down. The leaf heap is in danger of taking hill-like proportions. Meanwhile I am mulching with shredded bark.


    Mimosa will soon be in full flower

    Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postil’

    Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postil’

    Clematis urophylla ‘Winter Bells',clematis

    Clematis urophylla ‘Winter Bells’

    Iris reticulata ‘Katherine Hodgkinson’

    Iris reticulata ‘Katherine Hodgkinson’

    hydrangea pruning

    Hydrangea before pruning

    hydrangea pruning

    Hydrangea cut back to first pair of fat buds

    In a few hours of glorious sunshine, I did get out and prune most of the hydrangeas, cutting each stem to a pair of fat buds – in our sheltered garden they should be fine.
    There are reasons to be cheerful despite the rain – the mimosa is colouring up, the daphne ‘Jacqueline Postil’ is in full fragrant flower, reticulata iris have started to flower and the clematis urophylla ‘Winter Beauty’ that I planted last year has romped through the quince tree and is festooning it with its wonderful white waxy bells.
    salad seeds

    Update: the greenhouse remains rodent-free and the first salad seeds have germinated. Hooray!