December – the winter garden

MahoniaWinter clutched lazily at the garden this month with short dull days and long dark nights. Somehow, it seemed that the best plan, was no plan for this month and the garden got what our plumber describes as “A coat of looking at”. There have been a few joys though ……The Mahonia outside of the window burst into brilliant yellow blossom that has lasted for all of the month with still the fading flowers there at the time of writing. This was flanked, slightly incongruously, by an equally vivid Datora with languid orange bells – a survivor of many a winter it has died to the ground twice and then revived just as I’ve given up hope – even a brief frost one night this month doesn’t seem to have affected it and by Christmas day it was the star of the show. Perhaps it was its near death experience that inspired its out of season flowering!

I must say that my perchance for buying azaleas as pot plants from the supermarket has paid off and last years purchases, after repotting in an acidic compost and generously feeding, are again a mass of blooms. A top tip is to look in the bargain “out of date” bin for these, as generally the supermarkets forget to water them and a nice plant can be purchased cheaply and soon be revived – but shhhh don’t tell them – they may believe food poisoning will set in if they sold after a certain date!

The hinterland of mixed weather has led to the naturalised daffodils making an early appearance in early December In parts of the garden and I think they should flower quite soon if the mild days continue and i’ve noticed the hyacinths, tulips and crocuses pushing up in the borders. In short the winter days are treading softly into spring and not a moment too soon I think – don’t you?!

About Christine Taylor

Charles and Christine Taylor have hosted Luxury Bed and Breakfast at Ednovean Farm Nr Penzance in West Cornwall since 1991 and live there with three cats and eight horses including a Spanish Stallion called Danni. Christine writes a weekly blog about life on the farm and garden with an occasional series about places of interest in West Cornwall

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