Monthly Archives: January 2016

On Coming Home


Happy New Year to you all!

You may or may not know, that we have enjoyed a wonderful ten days in Bath, celebrating Christmas and New Year – not to mention my birthday!

And look what we came back to! A few surprises!

I’m not talking about collapsed fences or garden devastation, which would have been expected, considering the awful conditions that so many people, unfortunately, have had to endure over Christmas. Yes, we did have one panel that had decided it couldn’t stand up to it anymore.

No, I’m talking about the very springlike changes that had happened in our absence. I had left behind our Coronilla blooming in perfumed splendour, and expected (or at least hoped) to come back to our scented, winter-flowering shrubs coming into bloom, which they either have, or are about to.

I was expecting to come back to seeing our newest hellebore, Hellebore “Anna’s Red” in full flower, as the buds had just started poking through the soil in the middle of December. To me that seemed early for hellebores, which normally don’t flower here till January at the earliest. I bought this beauty in full flower, last February. These gorgeous red blooms have been joined by our first snowdrops, Galanthus “S. Arnott”, all enhanced by the coloured stems of our dogwoods. A pretty picture!

I wasn’t expecting to come back to see our Clematis armandii flowering. Although the buds had been developing well before we left, I still didn’t expect them to flower until March or April – certainly not 5 days into the the New Year, in what should be the depths of winter.

Clematis armandii

Clematis armandii

Granted, not the best photo. Quite by surprise, I noticed the flowers from the kitchen window, when the light was fading. I’ve lightened it as best as I can. At the same time, one of the new shoots I’d photographed before we left, was now halfway across the path! Must tie that in asap!

And that wasn’t all!


I couldn’t believe all the fresh new growth on a Pittosporum tobira, sitting by the back door, waiting to be planted.

Which just begs the question, what does Spring “proper” have to offer?