Beautiful things in the middle of winter

Date Posted: 12 January 2018

Its January and the weather is foul. I have not been able to get out so everything has been confined to the greenhouse where, to be fair, there is always something to be done.
Two days ago the weather cleared for the morning and I did a walk around the garden. Many things are looking very sad as a result of the bashing the weather has given them, However some beauties are raring to go in early January. Daphne bollua (pictured below) for example has already sprung into life and with just a little sunshine the superb perfume from this amazing shrub will be realised.

 The helibores are also one of those exciting plants that don’t look much for a good part of the year but when the winter comes the gorgeous buds emerge like magic from the ground. It is at this time that it is important to remove last year’s dying leaves from around the plant so that as the flower heads and stems continue to emerge their full glory can be exposed. To make sure that you don’t accidentally remove a flower stem use garden snips or scissors rather than the less precise secateurs.


Have a look around for the secretive sarcacocca hookeriana (known as sweet box pictured below) which may be nestled away perhaps under another plant or shrub. This delightful little wonder with its perfumed white flowers is going strongly at this time of the year and a quick trim around the overhanging shrubs with your garden shears will expose the full loveliness.

But let us not forget the harbinger of spring - the snowdrop (the one I have is Galanthus plicatus). Already starting to spring into life (sorry about the pun) here in the South it seems to come earlier and earlier. We have masses of these in great patches in our front garden but I have been rather remiss in not removing the brambles which overrun this wooded area. So the job now is to wiggle the bramble roots out as fast as possible so that the snowdrops can be seen in their full glory.