Thursday, 24 December 2015

Ding dong ...

Here's wishing you a very happy Christmas ! With some of this ...




And this ...



And this ...



And maybe even some of this ...




It doesn't really feel like Christmas, however, due to the weather being as warm as some of the days we experienced during the summer ! It is very odd and totally unseasonal! Things are flowering way out of their allocated season ...

Bergenia - today
Usually at this time of year I am happy if the weather is warmer than the fridge, and wouldn't dream of leaving the house without gloves and scarf but so far, this season, they have remained in the drawer.

Brunnera 'Jack Frost'- today
There have been many reports in the media, of things blooming when they certainly should not be blooming, and the daffodils, for example, seem to have taken a unilateral decision that it is officially now spring! Bergenia is flowering now, whereas it should start flowering in early spring, as should Brunnera.

Tetrapanax - today
Tetrapanax is usually battling with the frost at this time of year, not blithely pushing out new leaves, like there's no tomorrow ! Clematis Armandii usually blooms in late winter/ early spring in its present position, but there are several flowers now, and it has been producing them sporadically throughout the summer. Plain weird!

Clematis  'Armandii'- today
We have had a couple of frosts here, in Lincolnshire, so far - not very much, but enough to kill off the nasturtiums (Hurrah ! Don't know why I grew the horrible things in the first place!) and a few leggy geraniums I had left outside to their fate.

There are still lots of roses in bloom in the garden, and not just the odd raggedy bloom, but full , fresh blooms just like in June..

'Tess of the D'Urbervilles ' today
Tess is unsullied and dewily beautiful, and there are lots of buds to follow.

All the tree ferns still have their foliage untouched by frosts, and to be honest, they are usually wrapped up tight by this time, with fronds cut off, and straw protecting their crowns.

Tree Fern today

Agapanthus is a late summer flowerer, and ,yes, the one pictured below DID flower then. It has been in the greenhouse since mid autumn, and has clearly decided it is late summer, and time to bloom again! A weird but wonderful sight on a December day.

Agapanthus today
This year I grew Melianthus Major, and am testing the water to see how hardy they are. I have dug up all but two from beds in the garden, and put them in the greenhouse to overwinter, but the two remaining outside are untouched by the frost and still have foliage intact. They were ridiculously easy to germinate and grow on, and have put on a lot of growth in a season. I am looking forward to seeing how they all perform next year.

Melianthus Major back in June
Once the deliciousness of Christmas is behind us for another year, I have the 'job' of making my seed list . This is one of my favourite bits of the whole gardening year as it is so full of promise. In the depths of a dreary winter, there is the certainty of the return of flowers, fruit, veg and light. What a joy to invest in it.

Next season I will, of course, be growing old favourites, but also trying out lots of new annuals for our new sub tropical 'extension' garden. I have done some research already, getting suggestions from books written by those late, greats, Christopher Lloyd and Will Giles but need to do much, much more.

I have started to compile a list and so far it consists of stuff I have grown for years ...

Dahlias in August
Dahlias (loads and loads!)

Ricinus in August
Ricinus

Tithonia 'Torchlight' in August

Tithonia


I will have to begin the enjoyable job of choosing varieties and colours etc, so any suggestions are most welcome.

I doubt very much whether there will be time for any more blogging before Christmas, in between the mince pies and the turkey and the sherry, so I wish you a very Happy Christmas, and a peaceful and healthy New Year.





27 comments:

  1. Happy Christmas Jane. Enjoy your unfestive blooms!

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  2. A very Happy Christmas on this spring-like Christmas! we are having the same weather here in NY.

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    1. Happy Christmas to you Donna. Interesting to know you are experiencing this strange weather too!

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  3. Happy Christmas! Hope you've had a great one, Jane! It all looks lovely - no colder than ours! And even here I'm counting the days till I can order spring bulbs... ;-)

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    1. Happy christmas Amy - not long to bulb time now ! x

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  4. Oh my gosh, that tree fern is outstanding. This has been an amazing fall/winter so far. Merry Christmas.

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    1. Happy christmas to you too Lisa. It certainly has been a very unusual season!

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  5. Loved all the pictures Jane, particularly that fine specie Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape, hope you had a great Christmas and wishing you All you wish yourself for the New Year from the sub-tropical North West.

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    1. Yes, the Chateauneuf du Pape ia a very fine specimen !
      Happy New Year to you Rick!

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  6. Let us hope we don't have a very cold period of weather in the new year to damage the plants in growth.
    Happy new gardening year.

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    1. Happy new gardening year to you Brian ! Yes I hope all this new growth is not cut down in its prime !

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  7. What an amazing time it is in the garden this winter, full of surprises. Choosing seeds is such a fun job at this time of the year. A bit of arm chair gardening is just what we need. I hope you are having a wonderful festive season, Jane and all the best for 2016.

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    1. Happy New Year to you Chloris, and I hope 2016 is a great year for you and yours, both in and out of the garden!

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  8. Things are also out of sync on this side of the pond. Roses lasting forever, new leaves all over the place. Of concern is our fruit bushes which budded out just before two weeks of hard frosts. Sherry and mince pies are not commonplace here, although they reign in my house, and visitors love them. Warmest wishes for the season and happy planning!

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    1. Happy new year to you Susan!
      Hope your fruit crops are not affected by this strange weather !
      Glad to hear you are maintaining the sherry and mince pies tradition !

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  9. Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year to you! I'm amazed that you have so many things blooming. Plants are ahead of schedule here, too, but now we're about to get a "wintry mix" of precipitation, followed by snow. I hope the plants will be healthy and safe under the mulch and snow!

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    1. Happy new year to you! "Wintry mix" is beginning to sound preferable to all this strange mild weather which is confusing all our plants. We are just getting rain, but not as much as is falling further north where there is widespread flooding.

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  10. There's so many things blooming out of season this year, isn't there. Hope you've had a lovely Christmas and wishing you all the very best for 2016.

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    1. Same to you Jo, hope you have a happy and healthy 2016 ! x


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  11. I'm never failed to be amazed by what you can grow at this time or year, or any other, for that matter, Jane. Best Wishes for the New Year! -Beth

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    1. Best wishes to you too Beth! Hoping you have great year in, and out, of the garden!

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  12. Loved your tree fern, it is on my very long wish-list but with the price tag they normally come with I can’t see me getting one this year. Happy New Year, all the best for 2016!

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  13. Happy new year Helene !
    Tree ferns are a bit of an indulgence I think, but well worth it as they really create a tropical atmosphere.

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  14. It's been crazy warm here, too but we still don't have roses blooming! Tithonia can grow quite tall. Last year I grew 'Goldfinger' which was about 4-5 ft tall (3.5 m), which is still smaller than the regular variety. I loved it and will be growing it again. Thanks for your kind words on my post. :o)

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    1. A pleasure! I shall have to try 'Goldfinger' this year. We had a light frost the night before last , so hopefully the plants have realised that it IS winter!

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  15. Wonderfull photos and post xmas,Wonderfull photos,Happy New Year,
    Best regard from Belgium.
    http://louisette.eklablog.com " blog my city Mons in Belgium"

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