January Is Bloomin’ Lovely

OK, let’s get the show on the road.

Enough of this post-New Year decadence. Mine, not yours. Not that there’s been much of it to be honest. Such evidence as there was has long since been spirited away via the Bottle Bank and my objective (as distinct from resolution) to be more productive with my time this year is so far paying off. We’ll see how long it lasts.

 
 

Leycesteria formosa aurea 'Goldleaf'

 

Leycesteria formosa aurea ‘Goldleaf’

I grew this from seed and it’s now a respectable shrub some 5 feet high. The flowers remain from autumn, the petals (bracts?) thinning and fading as the weeks have passed until now it is all but transparent. The only practical way to take the photo was from a distance, on full zoom, pointing straight into the sun. Stopping down the exposure seems to have worked.

 
 
 
Chrysosplenium macrophyllum
 

Chrysosplenium macrophyllum

The blooms of this ground covering beauty caught me by surprise, poking up through a weak ray of sunlight on the woodland floor. Such a lovely thing to be flowering in mid winter, albeit just a little ruffled by this season’s abundant wind and rain. It was given to me by Helen Brown from Little Ash Garden, East Devon.

 

It’s been a relatively mild winter here so far. (Let’s whisper it.) But if it isn’t cold it’s usually storms and we’ve certainly had our share of those. Not that I’m complaining. The greyest months of November and December are behind us and the days are getting longer. On a sunny day such as we had yesterday it’s almost possible to believe Spring is just around the corner. Everywhere I look buds are starting to swell. Green shoots are appearing at the bases of perennials and the garden seems poised, just awaiting its moment.

 
 
Galanthus nivalis
 

Galanthus nivalis

Not quite a carpet of snowdrops yet. But it won’t be long. A bee was buzzing around me as I took this shot and who can blame it.

 
 

Primula vulgaris

 

Primula vulgaris

Even the primroses have ventured out.

 
 

Hamamelis mollis 'Jermyns Gold'

 

Hamamelis mollis ‘Jermyns Gold’

But this is the moment I wait for in January.. when the witch hazels burst forth.

 
 

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Robert'

 

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Robert’

I only wish I could smell them, as others seem able to do. I don’t have the nose for it, sadly.

 
 

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Primavera'

 

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Primavera’

All the freshness of lemon zest.

 
 

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane'

 

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’

Hamamelis is a slow growing small tree or shrub. It may be a while before these get large enough to command a real presence in the garden but it will be worth the wait. A mature witch hazel is something to behold.

 
 

Pulmonaria

 

Pulmonaria

 
 
 
Camellia
 

Camellia

My usually prolific camellia is having a less than good year. The sum total of its blooms can be fully appreciated in the shot above. All two of them. The fact that I decided it had outgrown its space, and chopped it down to half its previous size, may have had something to do with it..

It’ll be back.

 
 

Skimmia japonica

 

Skimmia japonica

 

So not a bad haul for January, all in all. I went out with the camera expecting to be back in again by morning coffee. In fact I was out for most of the day, buoyed up by the unaccustomed sunshine and deep blue skies. Today we are back to business as usual. I do wish I could export rain..

 
 

Cyclamen coum

 

Cyclamen coum

 
 

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