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Before we leap further into Norway’s snow and ice, post sauna obviously, a brief update on our own Precipitous Bank for Helen’s End of Month View. And what a difference a month does make. We returned home to find that winter, courtesy of Storm Barney and then a temperature drop to -3, has arrived here too.

The Bank looks so monochrome now after the fiery hues of autumn.

What with the weather and being away I haven’t done a lot more work on it this month, just a recent quick tidy up of the worst of the storm detritus. The floppy crocosmias (above right of shot), having assumed a position close to horizontal, succumbed to the secateurs. The worst offenders, at the front of the clump, suffered the fate of so many of their predecessors: the black bin liner and a trip down to the dump. I marvelled at how easy it is to pull away the spent flower stems from the Anemanthele lessoniana (above centre), leaving a much tidier clump to wait out the winter until it is relocated in March.


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A diminutive (variety unknown) rose


Blooms are at a premium now and take persistence to spot. It is obvious that I still have work to do to provide late season interest on the bank. Apart from the really soggy and untidy stuff, I’m leaving cutting back until Spring. There are still the black buttons of rudbeckia. I planted a phlomis and home grown echinops a few weeks ago so hopefully by next year they’ll be more seed heads on show.


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Hydrangea petiolaris

Attractive even in decay. Note in the background the plump new shoots which stand ready to take over come Spring.


And then, with only a handful of photographs in the bag, the heavens darkened and rain began to fall as the next storm rode in. Fighting a losing battle in the wind attempting to keep an umbrella above both our heads and the camera, in the end I had to admit defeat. Which turned out to be just as well really….



Bear in mind that some of those conifers must be 50-60 feet tall.


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Primula vulgaris (old photo)


Everywhere in the garden wild primroses are already popping up, pulmonaria too. Evergreen ferns and grasses will provide ground cover and texture for months to come. There is a hellebore in bloom and grape hyacinths filling out. And next month maybe even snowdrops pushing up? It won’t be much longer.


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The new view from the top of the Precipitous Bank


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April 2015


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When I looked back at this shot, from June, I felt a touch nostalgic..


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But really, it is so much better to have a view.


You can find out more about the End Of Month View (here) at The Patient Gardener’s Weblog. Click through to see what other gardeners are up to this month.