For most of 2010 and 2011 I took part in the end of month view in the garden, hosted by Helen at Patientgardener It has been fascinating to have a record of the passing months although I must admit I slipped a bit at the end of last year. My garden sadly does not have fabulous bones, even though it is in a fabulous place, and particularly when autumn and winter are windy and wet it all looks rather soggy and sad. So I have decided to cheer myself up by posting pictures of what is in flower in the different areas as well and to my surprise a lot was in flower when I went out with my camera on the 2nd January 2012.
Here is the side garden. How I wish for a crisp gravel path running up towards the gate and out into the field to the workshop. At this time of year the grass is muddy and worn. Truly uninspiring.
But there are things in flower if you take the time to look.
In the foreground of the picture, behind the sweet box, the first of the hellebores has started to flower and just beyond it a single solitary cyclamen shines in the sun.
Out in the field the new orchard is just bare trees and rough grass. There is no sign yet of the little daffodils around the trees.
But in the bare and scruffy cutting garden, two sunflower heads still twist against the sky.
There is a rose in flower in the little garden behind the holiday cottage
and a wallflower coming into flower too.
In the corner of the field the hamamelis mollis came into flower quite suddenly. One day I went to see if it was flowering as it is not on any of my daily paths and is easy to miss. The greybrown twigs were thin and bare. And then I caught a whiff of its scent on my way to the compost heaps and found the fizzing, spidery explosions dancing against the bare branches.
There is nothing happening on the sunny bank from a distance. The little quince tree which has been shedding a branch or two a year for the last three years lost another big branch in the winds. We might have to accept that it is turning up its toes. The wood is brittle and thin. We are thinking about biting the bullet and taking out what is left and planting a new crab apple a little further away from the bench. I fancy a Malus John Downie but would love to know what you would recommend.
The kitchen garden isn't doing much either. Down at the far end where the hens live there is so much mud it is like a battlefield.
But the pineapple sage is still blooming against the wall. I have taken some of my salvias into the greenhouse but this one survived in the most sheltered spot in the garden through last winter's snow and severe frosts so I hope it will be fine this year. This bed is due for a rethink this year. The far end is grown through with snowberry but I am intending to dig it out and to give the bed over to more salvias, flowering herbs such as rosemary and annual poppies and marigolds.
And back in front of the house, the campanula is still in flower even though there are snowdrop snouts pushing up a few feet away.
Today Ian trimmed the new native hedges in the field for the first time. I am not keen on January and February but at least we are half way through winter now. Soon there will be snowdrops and crocuses and daffodils. I must try not to wish my life away!