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?

6 thoughts on “On Coming Home

  1. wellywoman

    I think we’re still waiting for winter proper. 😉 What a lovely place to spend the festive period. I have the weird combination of some scabious still flowering next to some hellebores just pushing through. No snowdrops yet though. Happy New Year!

    1. thelonggardenpath Post author

      Yes, Bath is especially lovely at this time of year – so festive!
      The weather is most definitely throwing some strange sights at us. I noticed some (I think!) wild chamomile flowering the other day – alongside some municipally planted winter pansies! Don’t they normally flower at the height of summer?

  2. Angie

    How nice to get away for a break at this time of the year. It’s always nice to come home to some surprises in the garden, it lifts the spirits.
    I’d love to be able to get out and check on the snowdrops but the garden is a complete quagmire AGAIN! Personally I am not fussy what Spring brings except some respite from the rain. Happy New Year and a Happy Belated Birthday too!

  3. thelonggardenpath Post author

    Thank you Angie! We had the most wonderful break in Bath – so beautiful!
    We definitely came home to some horticultural surprises – the weather is doing strange things!
    I do feel for you and your soggy conditions. I hope you haven’t had to bear the flooding. Looks like Scotland is getting its turn now. My hometown is now close to some of the affected flood areas. Let’s hope we see an end to all this rain soon!


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