The Bloomers: January


Hamamelis mollis ‘Jermyn’s Gold’

Every year in January, when they are in bloom, I buy a new witch hazel. Coppery coloured ‘Robert’ and deep red ‘Diane’ already have their places in the garden; this year’s addition is a beautiful golden yellow. It’s supposed to be one of the more highly scented cultivars but, nope, I still can’t smell it.

At least with its vibrant colour it will stand out well. Something to cheer me up on these cold dreary winter days. When I started this post a thunderstorm was crashing around the cottage. Do we have thunderstorms in January? Apparently we do. With abundant hail. It was followed by sleet, snow and a wonderful (if brief) spell of glorious sunshine.

And now we are in the grips of a gale.


Camellia 006 Wm[2]


Camellia japonica

Stealing most of the limelight at the moment is an inherited camellia, flowering a good month earlier than last year.


Camellia 007 Wm[1]


It hasn’t entirely escaped weather related damage, but there are plenty more buds still to come.


Eranthis cilicica 001 Wm[1]


Eranthis cilicica

As winter aconites start to emerge I’m wondering if I should try to establish a drift of them under the camellia. How well they would pick up the golden stamens of those blooms. The current array is an experimental and somewhat restricted planting, to see how they resist the attentions of the mice and the pheasant’s beak. They stand out like glittering jewels after the rain, just glorious, but hard for my feathered friend to miss methinks.


Saxifraga 'Touran Lime Green' 005 Wm[1]


Saxifraga ‘Touran Lime Green’ and Sedum spurium

‘Touran Lime Green’ has produced at least one flower every month since last Spring. Even now there are blooms on show.


Skimmia japonica 004 Wm[1]


Skimmia japonica

Getting ready to open close by, the skimmia buds provide good contrast to the saxifrage and echo the russet leaves of that sedum too. How lucky a fluke was that?


Galanthus nivalis 009 Wm[1]


Galanthus nivalis

Snowdrops. How can we resist them. There are thousands naturalised across the woodland, still tightly in bud, but in full sun on the terraces these have been open for a few days now. And they have already attracted the beady avian eye.


Galanthus 'Jacquenetta' 002 Wm[1]


Galanthus ‘Jacquenetta’

I’m taking no such chances with this one. My first ever ‘special’. A new purchase last year, it got almost to the point of opening and then mysteriously gave up the ghost. It now lives in a pot in the cold frame and has been cosseted ever since. This is the reward. The trouble is, it’s a slippery slope. A single bloom of such beauty can leave a person wanting more. And by this year’s standards the tenner I paid for it seems extraordinarily cheap!


Erica carnea 'Nathalie' 001 Wm[1]


Erica carnea ‘Nathalie’

With the benefit of acid soil, the winter flowering heathers are coming into their own. There are more spectacular plants in the garden but their spreading habit provides excellent ground cover and much needed colour at this time of the year. It’s a replacement for the one that ‘accidentally’ fell victim to Mike’s spade last autumn.


Erica 005 Wm[1]


Erica (inherited, variety unknown)


What with one thing and another, somehow I’ve managed to miss the last three Bloom Day posts.

But it’s a new year and a new season beckons. Whilst the weather may be miserable for a little while yet we can take comfort in the fact that Spring really is just around the corner.


What do you say we get this show on the road?


Helleborus 'Penny's Pink' 001 Wm[1]


Helleborus ‘Penny’s Pink’


Linking to Carol and Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens (here), where you will find many other January bloomers from around the world.