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Camellia (inherited)


What a difference a day makes. Wednesday, when the majority of these shots were taken, it was wet and breezy with the occasional weak ray of sunshine. Twenty or so hours later we woke up to a dusting of snow with temperatures due to fall below zero over the next few nights. It’s our first real taste of winter. Brrrr.

There has been much rummaging about for fleeces. Plant covers pulled free of the cobwebs in the shed.. a few extra layers from the darker recesses of the wardrobe for the gardener too. It’s a shame I can’t extend the treatment to every opportunistic green shoot that has recently popped up out of the waterlogged soil. They will get a shock now when it all freezes.


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The camellia has been in bloom for almost a month already and there are still plenty of buds to come. The frost should spare those that have yet to open. Last year, for the first time ever, I had success with cuttings. There are a dozen of them currently living it up in the greenhouse, rooted by means of the new propagator. Standing at all of two inches tall apiece it’ll be a while before I can use them to screen the outhouse, but what a welcome sight a few years down the line.


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Erica (inherited)

Underneath the camellia, an expanding clump of winter heather. The flowers start off white and then fade through lilac to pink.


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Narcissus bulbocodium var. citrinus

Just caught this one in time.. the wind and rain have taken their toll. It can be a hard life for bulbs chez rusty duck and not only on account of the weather.


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When it comes to ‘special’ snowdrops, no effort can be spared

Especially when there’s just the one bloom. The bulb is encased entirely in wire, above and below ground. There are the mice. There is He Who Pecks. And would you believe it…


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Galanthus ‘Jacquenetta’

…some little blighter has still managed a nibble!  I’m blaming the slugs. No fleeces for them.


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Skimmia japonica

Buds rather than blooms, but I prefer it at this stage. The deep maroon of the developing flower heads provide a welcome splash of colour for January. Bright red berries too. More on the ground than on the bush. He Who Pecks or He Of The Bushy Tail?


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We’ve been here long enough now to have one or two established clumps of hellebores.

This one was a refugee from my previous garden and it’s been moved at least twice since then, as is the way. I do think perennials benefit from an opportunity to stretch their legs, don’t you? A bit like us all needing more exercise, right? And maybe they welcome an occasional change to their view. As long as it’s not seen as indecisiveness on the part of the gardener because that would never do.


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Another hellebore repatriation, the moniker long since lost to the mists of time.


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Helleborus ‘Penny’s Pink’


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Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Robert’

But in January it’s the witch hazels that really steal my heart. I’ve never been able to pick up the scent, but the sight of those hot colours is more than enough.


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Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Primavera’


This year there’s a new addition. It has petals of purest lemon zest and was acquired for me by fellow blogger Gill at Off The Edge Gardening – for a mere fiver. You won’t regret checking out her blog, she has a wicked way with words. Not to mention an uncanny ability to sniff out a bargain at several miles distant. Thank you Gill.


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


Bloomin' January

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