Monday 16 January 2012

January Blues.....and pinks and yellows!

This has been a very weird winter weatherwise so far - way too warm for starters, with temperatures into double figures.....not a thing I ever thought I'd hear myself wingeing about really, whereas at this time last year we were up to our knees in snow - literally!

These past 2 days have been the first cold, frosty days that we've had - and a bit of a shock to the system they've turned out to be too! But as a consequence of the warm, wet weather, an awful lot of flowers and blossom have gotten very confused and popped out early.

No snow (yet!) this year, but here are a few of the plants in bloom in my garden right now!

This azalea has been in flower since early November.

This ornamental cherry came into flower on Christmas Day - a whole 6 weeks early!

It's not quite as fullsome as usual, but still very pretty.

The Hellebores are about a fortnight early.

This little fellow shouldn't be out at all yet!

The heathers normally flower in mid-February.

This Hellebore doesn't usually put in an appearance until early February.

These usually pop out in March and last for months!

I don't know when this Willow 'Kilmarnoch' should go into bud as it was only planted in July (it was a Silver Wedding Anniversary present), but I wouldn't have thought it should be coming out now, should it?!

I've still got kale, spinach, chard, leeks, 2 sorts of cabbages, 2 types of broccolli and some sprouts going strong - and some self-set peas are about 2 inches high over by the greenhouse! The sharpe eyed amongst you may have spotted that I'm a mucky pup who failed to empty and clean the greenhouse in Autumn! :(

All our vegetables for Christmas dinner for 12 came out of our garden - and it made me ridiculously happy to do that!

The Garrya is glorious this year with the longest tasssles it's ever had but, again, somewhat earlier than usual.

And a new planting that hasn't yet bloomed (or shone) is my Christmas present from Himself, new lights for the drive! Ten years of complaining about how dark and scary our drive is at night have finally paid off. This pair of lights are about 50 yards from the road, about halfway up, and a single light is going in nearer the house....and Himself has promised to get them working before Easter! Naturally, being Himself, he's not doing it the easy way. He's got some complicated plan to tunnel under the drive rather than just dig a channel in the tarmac like everyone else would! :P
Frankly I don't mind HOW he gets the electrickery to the lights as long as he gets them working!!!

What's happening in your garden?


Liz said...


It was very pretty driving to work today- just a shame it's taking so long to de-ice the car!
I'm ready for it to go back to the temps we were having last week now, thanks.

My Garrya doesn't look like it's producing any of its tassles at all this year :( it's still only small but we had a fair bit of growth last year and I'd assumed it was finally getting its roots in and growing well.

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

I bet it was enormously satisfying growing all the veg for the xmas table!

It's been exceptionally mild this Winter over here too. We've had loads of 15 or 16 degree days until just recently, sharp frost, -6 last night.

Like the Garrya tassels.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

It looks like an early spring! We just got our first snow!

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Liz,
I'd be really nervous if we had things blooming (or even budding) right now. I'm afraid we'd lose things by Spring... but here, today, our snow is melting and we're supposed to receive rain(!) tonight. Very odd.

Phoenix C. said...

You have got lots coming up very early! We've had snowdrops since the solstice, cowslips throughout Autumn and still blooming and daffodils well on their way up. The last couple of days have been very cold, so I hope they will be OK! I enjoyed the mildness of the season and hope it goes back to being mild again.

Pondside said...

There you are! I was missing you.
My garden is under snow right now, but just for a day or two, most likely. The hellebores are out but that's about it for now.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Liz - better go check/de-ice my car in a minute!I know you like it warmer, but I'm still holding out for inner 8 year old is getting impatient now! :P

The tasssles on our Garrya have suprised me this year. It suffered some snow damage last year, so I wasn't expecting anything of it but it's put on its best ever showing!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Rob. You're dead right! I love feeding people at the best of times, so to be able to feed all my family (for 3 days!) with vegetables straight out of the garden gave me great satisfaction ...although I suspect that they were bored rigid by my constant commenting about it by the end! :)
We've been sitting at about 10-12* every day for weeks, so the -4 or so of the last few days has come as a bit of a shock really!

Yea, I'm dead impressed with the Garrya this year.
Happy New Year to you and Karen :)

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Tatyana - I'm still hoping for snow! It's unusual for it to have been so very mild and I'm now a bit worried about all the flowers since we've plunged into minus several degrees and daylong frosts for a few days! :(

Sue Garrett said...

Our poor hellebore flowers are being hammered at the moment bent down by frost with heads touching the ground.

The Idiot said...

I got so bored of the warm weather that I planted some salad leaves - just in time for the frosts!

Ho hum!

Kathryn said...

Hi, Liz, You are not alone, my dear! Some follower on Twitter in the Midwest just made same observation. I'd just gotten a link to a gardener in France surprised aout what's coming up in her garden. AND, look at this!

Welcome to 2012!

And congrats on the spiffy lights!
Hugs! Kathryn xoxo

Casa Mariposa said...

It's been too warm here in Virginia, too, but nothing is blooming, just pushing out a bit of foliage. We just got some unexpected snow/ice that will just further confuse the garden. LOVE your lights!!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Shady - I thought I'd left you a comment before, but it looks like my computer is still playing up and it didn't work! :(
Anyway - Happy New Year my friend :)
We still haven't had any snow here and it's back to being warm and wet again so the plants are shooting up. I can't decide whether I want snow now because so many of my plants will be affected if we do, but I still love the old white stuff!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Phoenix C. It's gone back to being warm and wet again here too, so I'm guessing I'm not going to get to play in any snow this winter! :( It does feel kind of odd it being so mild though!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Honora - a combination of being very busy (as usual!) and my computer playing up has kept me away for a while. I'm hoping it's all fixed now and I can trawl Blogland with my usual enthusiasm again!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Sue. We had 3 days of heavy frosts, then it was back to the now normal warm and wet...apart from making it harder to get anything done outside I also have to contend with seriously frizzy hair with all this damp weather!!! Not impressed!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi IG - at least the frost didn't last so you'll still get your salad leaves!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Kathryn - aaaagh! Just when I thought it was finally fixed my computer has sprouted a problem with playing youtube so I can't see your trailer!!! :(

The lights are lovely - and they were all Himself's own work in finding and choosing them too :) He spent yesterday tunneling the wires under the drive (successfully) and has promised that he'll have the lights working by next Sunday night. He's got a single light to plant a bit nearer the house too, but he assures me that's in his plan as well. I can't wait....well, actually, after ten years of waiting for the lights I guess I can!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Casa Mariposa - I'm glad you like the lights too. An excellent choice by Himself I reckon!

Tony Van Helsing said...

Your garden looks as big as my town. Thanks for dropping by my blog, I'll see you around.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Tony. Thanks for dropping in and for following me. Haha - don't think the garden is as big as your town,but it is an acre....which feels immense some days and quite cosy other days!

BilboWaggins said...

All looking very impressive Liz, love the Garrya.

How is The Pond?

Andrea said...

I thought they said, in this climate change, the warmer climes will get hotter and the temperate climates colder! It can be better if it turns out otherwise, as i have been afraid that we might get hotter which is really scary. So if we become colder and you get warmer, we will be both happy.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Bilbo - yes, I'm dead chuffed with the garrya this year, especially as it suffered last winter!

The pond is looking good - apart from an as yet undiscsovered leak that is only apparent when the level in the top pond rises to allow the waterfall and stream to run :( Can't do anything about it until spring proper as we take the stream pump and pond filter out over winter.

I'll be doing a post soon about the work I did to the pond extension and the planting etc....hope you'll like what I've done! :)

BilboWaggins said...

Thanks Liz, look forward to a Pond Progress Post (sorry, all this sleet and cold has got to my brain and it's going to be a bad alliteration day!)

Our own excavations are still just muddy holes in the ground surrounded by more mud.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Andrea. I imagine that Manilla does get jolly hot at times? We have been promised snow over this weekend - I LOVE snow!, but there's no sign of it yet, only sun and clouds. I think I'm a bit fussy - what I really want is cold, dry snowy winters and warm, sunny summers! :P

Nutty Gnome said...

There's no such thing as bad alliteration Bilbo!:D

Also, sleet happens! It's happening here right now - although I'm holding out for the promised snow!It's jolly cold here even though I'm at my desk with an electric heater at my furry booted feet and a furry gillet thing to keep my back warm...what a wuss I am!

Ponds are meant to spend time as muddy holes first, it's the law!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

It does look like spring is already starting there! I thought we might have an early spring, but since the snow a couple of weeks ago it's been below average and pretty rainy and windy. Maybe winter will skip you like it seems to be doing so many other places.
I love those new lights!

BilboWaggins said...

Ponds are meant to spend time as muddy holes first, it's the law

Thank you for that Liz, ours are definitely taking their duties as muddy holes seriously.

joey said...

I'm stunned at all you have in bloom! And your garden supplying veggies for Christmas dinner ... incredible, Liz! Your early visiting dark Hellebore is stunning and I can't believe you have an azalea in bloom. Our winter here too has been very mild ... in the 50ºs yesterday ... most unusual for January! Happy February :)

Gordon Mason said...

Pleased to see you have a David Douglas introduction in your garden - Garrya elliptica, from the Pacific Northwest in the 1820s.

Nutty Gnome said...

I have to confess that it was a present from Himself's parents Woody! I do love it though. It sits on the bottom of the island, so you get a lovely view of it as you come up the drive - makes me smile on a regular basis!