It gets tricky finding six things happening in the garden when nothing is happening. Other than a few things collapsing after a couple of frosty nights that is. Even going round looking for things is a bit fraught, the decking outside the back door is like a skating rink. Six things happening that are visible from the house is my ideal at this time of year. I found four but still had to go outside for the other two.
Fuchsia excorticata (allegedly). The New Zealand Fuchsias are of greater botanical interest than horticultural merit, if I’m being brutally honest. In the wild and in a handful of gardens in west Cornwall, I have seen them with substantial trunks which are very ornamental with exfoliating orange or light brown bark. I don’t think the form we have would ever make a tree, it is probably a hybrid with F. perscandens, so a form of F. x colensoi. This poor plant had been languishing in a narrow necked pot for years and I eventually chopped it out and planted it in the ground last year. It eventually recovered, at which point I dug it up and shoved it temporarily in another pot because it was in the way of my new wall. Unlike quite a few other fuchsias around the garden which are still hanging on to a late bloom or two, this is just starting to flower, right in the depths of winter. Stunning it isn’t and I sometimes wonder if it’s interesting enough to find room for.
Herman the head has made the odd appearance in these annals. Fascinated as I am by the passage of time, I started to take pictures centred on Herman, thinking I’d get a sequence of identical shots that would make clear the passage of the seasons. I kept it up to the tune of about one shot every two weeks, roughly, on average. Here are four.
Birds. They’re always happening in the garden. At least up until the moment when they are set to become global superstars off the back of six on saturday, when they vanish. Maybe I didn’t offer to pay them enough or perhaps they’re stuffing their faces on someone else’s Christmas leftovers. It was freezing, I thought there’d be flocks of them on our feeders. Here then, in the main, are some pictures I took earlier. You’re excused not recognising what they are only if you are non-native to British shores.
Another Hippeastrum, ‘Papilio’. I have nothing to say on its behalf, it is eloquent enough not to need my help.
Back outside for this one. I’ve been passing these for weeks without my glasses on, assuming they were weedy violas. Turns out that almost all are seedlings of the Cyclamen hederifolium under my Taxus ‘Standishii’. There are four or five viola leaves in the picture, towards the top left.
Back into the warm for the last picture. We have a Coprosma in a pot just outside the front window and with the morning sun shining through its leaves and sparkling off the overnight raindrops I felt moved to take its picture.
It looks like we’re going to get a cold but dry week which might mean I get a chance to tidy up my allotment which is an embarrassing mess. I need to get the foundations in for the greenhouse extension but it’s maybe a bit cold for that.
At least in theory, we’re now on an upward trajectory on both the gardening front and the pandemic front. In practice January and February are usually the lowest point of the winter for the garden and so it may prove with Covid. What a pleasure it’s going to be to go back to talking about the weather as Covid and Brexit and Trump get smaller in the rear view mirror.
You won’t need me to tell you, but the rest of the SoS links are at The Propagator.