End Of Year 2014
As another year draws to a close, it’s time to become introspective and a little melancholy for the loss of summer and the end of another gardening season.
On the bright side, the solstice is passed, the days are already lengthening and we can begin to look forward to spotting the changes in the garden.
I’ve noticed daffodils pushing up already and need to hunt some snowdrops as December 13 I already almost had blooms. Hellebores are in bud too and I’m pleased to say they’re the ones I dug up and placed in pots… So they not only survived, but are happy enough to bloom for me too. Some so far have no bloom buds, but are growing something but I’m not sure if they will be leaves or flowers as they’re still too small.
With lying snow for almost a week now, not only am I becoming increasingly hacked off with it, but also worrying about the plants. It came down, fast, wet and very heavy. The willow in the back was bent double and frozen, I had to knock off the snow/ice as it’s probably damaged the acer beneath. It will need coppicing once the snow melts as it still hasn’t returned fully upright. I believe I will have also lost more erysimum; if not dead then they will be heavily damaged and probably need pulling out anyway.
Last year saw practically no winter, with a few hard frosts here and there, luckily we managed to avoid any snow. I had Snowdrops almost in bloom on Christmas last year, this year I’m unsure if they’ve even emerged yet.
Spring arrived early, crocus out in February. Although wonderful, it did mean the spring show didn’t pop as per later springs when everything comes at once. I don’t know which I prefer… Enjoying early blooms or seeing everything explode into life – even if it is later.
March was quite incredible, with plenty of Butterflies. This is unusual for my garden as generally I get them later in summer and not so much in spring.
The wonderful year continued into April, and saw my first Orange-tip butterflies actually stopping in the garden and allowing me to photograph them. After 8 years of trying to get photos of them, I finally managed it on a few separate occasions.
From the images, I’m thinking few jobs are required around the garden, most can be left as I do not plan to be here much longer. But sometimes it’s difficult to sit back and ignore problems that aren’t really that much of an issue. Such as my dwindling bulb numbers, that decrease each year and really need replacing to continue the lovely shows I’m accustomed to having.
The only bulbs not dwindling in number are the Alliums; they increase each year without me replacing any. It’s a shame they’re concentrated in a couple of areas, but I’m sure that if left to their own devices they’d soon be taking over completely.
Summer is almost in full swing, and it was a nice summer this year. I spent most of my evenings outside, enjoying myself. I think the addition of some sown Ox-eye Daisies almost allow me to believe I have a wildflower meadow… (the clump btw, has doubled in size, so I think this year will be a lovely show of Daisies… Which is handy actually as the Erysimum you can see in the photo is one which died so there will be quite a large ‘hole’ in the border.)
With the early spring, and plants romping ahead very early, by summer there seemed to be far too few blooms around. This time last year this border was fully of colour! Lots of Ragwort added yellow everywhere, but this year there seemed to be almost no Ragwort. I hope 2015 sees its return to the garden.
August saw lots of oranges in the garden, perhaps this is what made it feel like late summer??
There wasn’t a lot to show if I’m honest, but the weather was still behaving well.
By September most of the colour in the garden was gone, and the pots around the house were the only providers of blooms… I was grateful for these reduced Dahlias I picked up purely to ‘dress’ the house for sale as generally I don’t bother with them. They bloomed for months and actually were well worth buying! In fact they were still blooming and producing buds up until they were hit by snow on Boxing day.
Rain, rain and more rain hit at the end of September and into October. It seemed to never end. It was fine, then I went on holiday to Portugal and I didn’t see sun for seemingly weeks! At least the rain meant the weather remained somewhat mild… and many of the trees and plants kept their colour until November.
What can I say??? During November I’ve had to rely on blooms indoors. Although the Geum seemed to think it was time for more blooms… I don’t know whether it’s survived the snows at the end of December.
Signs of new growth and spring blooms are already appearing. I think it’s time to take stock of what’s happening around the garden and cut off any damaged/ugly Hellebore leaves.
The good news since I began to write this (before new year), the snow has melted and I’ve spotted a few good signs of spring, including Snowdrops almost in bloom and Cyclamen Coum flowering. Many of the Hellebores have buds, including some which produced nothing last year so I’m really pleased at the moment. I’m yet to survey all damage from the snow but things from afar look good.