New decade, new day

There are odds and ends of things flowering in the garden. Some are in their normal flowering season, most are aberrations, an odd very late or very early bloom, usually very tatty. I’d hoped for Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’ but it wasn’t to be. There are buds still but they’re not opening. Makes you wonder what they’d do in pots in a glasshouse, even unheated; one for next year.

Fuchsias microphylla, excorticate and arborescens. F. microphylla only stops flowering if we get below about -3°C, so it can have runs of 2-3 years flowering continuously. F. excorticata flowers in winter, starting around Christmas and lasting until March unless we get sharp frosts. F. arborescens hasn’t behaved like this before this year, but I’m not complaining. It’s in a pot but still outside. I’ll move it in if it gets very cold.

PrimrosesThe wild primroses round about can start their main flowering any time from Christmas until March but odd early blooms are normal. These are one of my doubles, a julianae hybrid which may be ‘Wanda’, or not, and the remains of a wild primrose.

Montage-3This quartet are Omphalodes nitida, Erysimum ‘Bowle’s Mauve’, Cyclamen coum and Hesperantha coccinea. The cyclamen is on cue, the rest came to the party much earlier but won’t go home.

Montage-4Helleborus foetidus and Viburnum tinus, not exactly lighting up the winter landscape but at this time of year you take what’s on offer, even if it’s dull fare.


Nothing dull here, pots of dwarf Narcissus in the unheated glasshouse, N. bulbocodium conspicuous just starting to open, N. bulbocodium ‘Julia Jane’ has been going for a while.

Camellias-4Camellias, clockwise there’s ‘Paradise Belinda’, just at its peak, ‘Navajo’ starting to wind down, ‘Minato no akebono’ just beginning and ‘Paradise Little Liane’, almost over.


I couldn’t help noticing that the weeds never sleep, hairy bittercress here managing to both flower and set seed in the depths of winter. Where are the slugs I say, native plants for native fauna, isn’t that how it’s supposed to work. Pah! They’d far rather munch an exotic Mexican dahlia.

Happy new year, fellow gardeners. May it be flowerful and fruitful.

7 thoughts on “New decade, new day

  1. You always throw down some of your extensive knowledge. New to me are the minimum temperatures for some Fuchsias. It can’t have reached -3C here, and I know understand more the sheltered places in the garden are good for certain plants. I’ll be sure to include some wanda when I send you cyclamen plantlets/cormlets. Happy New Year and thanks for all your posts.


    1. There is no more treacherous ground in gardening than hardiness. My experience is in my conditions and things can play out differently in different climates, different soils and many other variables. We grow two slightly different clones of P. julianae both of which are supposed to be ‘Wanda’ but they can’t both be. There’s a long list of julianae forms in a book I have so one or both may be different forms or one or both may be seedlings from the original that haven’t come absolutely true. My parents had masses in their Surrey garden 60 odd years ago but I couldn’t claim to have an exact memory of the flower colour and I imagine they just called it ‘Wanda’ because that’s what everyone called that type of primula. I’d love a bit of yours, it’ll be fascinating to see if it’s the same as either of mine.


    1. We fall between climates in winter here, not cold enough to give up and forget gardening until spring arrives, not warm enough to have a great deal happening or really to enjoy it much if it does. Put a few winter performers where you can see them from indoors seems the best strategy.

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