The dead of Winter

January already. I have been thinking there seems to be no such thing as “the dead of Winter”. Not these days, at least. Of course, the previous years have taught us that the coldest part of Winter might very well be hugging Spring rather than Autumn, and there are plenty of weeks left for the Great Jack to come and choke plants still in his glistening hands. However, if “the dead of Winter”, that silent, darkest heart of Winter, exists, it must be have been very discreetly hiding between two sighs in a night when I slept soundly.

I have laid down manure sometime in November, on two thirds of the flower beds. I intended to wait for some vegetation to die back, which would facilitate the mulching of the rest of the garden. But death took its time, and Advent and Christmas preparations filled the days (how many school shows ?). To be honest, the thought of clay squelching under my shoes wasn’t too enticing either : we don’t have a garden path and the “lawn” is basically worm-cast with a bit of green in between. So here I am, nearing mid-January, with a half-mulched not-yet-asleep garden. Some plants haven’t even had time to die back that others are awakening already : if snowdrops and winter aconites are sadly missing from my garden, a few hellebores are getting ready to show off. Unfortunately, I noticed the other day that something has been boring into the flower buds. Whether snails and slugs are to blame, I decided last year to forfeit the use of slug pellets (and have heard they might become illegal anyway), so I’ll have to bite the bullet, hoping the culprits leave me enough flowers to enjoy. On this topic, the cover of this book amused me greatly when I found it in the local bookshop :

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I wonder if anybody has read it ? I suspect the answer to the title is a simple NO. And where would the fun be otherwise ?

These pictures are out of season (and of bad quality) but I would like to share them anyway. This is what the maples looked like last November (where you can see the new fence replacing the rotten one where the old ivy lived. I am hoping it will weather down quickly).

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Confused primroses.

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My camellia sasanqua Rainbow – the flower of my wedding (in October).

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How I am looking forward to this Spring, which will be the first in which I will enjoy the fruit of my gardening efforts since coming back from France !

 

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