A cold wind for the last couple of days temperatures just above freezing by day.
The plants are still starting to show new growth despite the cold.
Our next big job is to split and pot up for sale, some of the plants in the garden. We also will be moving a few of the plants around, some we have found, need moving towards the back of a bed as they are taller than expected.
Then we have some new Lilies and other plants to find spaces for. And when the planting is finished we top dress the beds with a 50-50 mix of any general purpose compost and well rotted horse manure.
If it is not too cold this weekend, we will be out there making a start.
The bare fences after the clematis have been pruned. And the plant labels sticking out like a sore thumb before the new growth hides them.
Eranthis hyemalis (Winter Aconite)
Aquilegia vulgaris 'Mellow yellow'
Actaea simplex 'Pink spike'
Crocus chrysanthus 'Ard Shenk'
Snowdrops starting to show their flower buds
Miscanthus 'Arabesque' not long before we have to cut this down to let the new shoots come up.
Today we cut our side of the neighbor's Leylandii hedge, a job we do every year about this time, before the birds start to seek out places to nest. Several years ago the hedge was very vigorous, and took a lot of cutting. Since then we have had to cut it less, so it can be tamed by an annual cutting. We have a bean net secured along the top which drapes down and is fixed to the top of our fence, just the job for clematis to climb up.
The next job was pruning the pink flowered Prunus tree in the front garden, not sure of it's proper name. Again an annual job, just to keep it's shape.
I then started to repot the Dahlias. We store the pots with the Dahlias still in the soil, which we keep dry during the winter and store in a frost free place. We knock them out of their pots, about now, clean off the old soil and repot them with new soil. When new shoots start to appear we water lightly to encourage new growth, increasing the water as they grow larger.
Mild and wet conditions for the last two weeks. We have made an early start with seeds in the propagator, and today have finished pruning the Clematis, and also feeding them with a high potash fertilizer.
In the garden there are the first signs of the garden awakening again.
All the herbaceous plants have now been cut down to allow the new growth to come through and most of the clematis have new buds forming.
Snowdrops pushing through the soil
Fat buds on Clematis 'Mrs Cholmondley'
Just a report of how cold December was here in the garden.
December had 26 night frosts, which was the highest number of frosts in any month since I started recording the temperatures, in the winter of 2003/2004.
December also had the highest accumulative, negative night temperatures of any month, at minus 92.3c
Heating the Greenhouse, conservatory, bird aviary and two banana houses, will have cost us a small fortune.
So have we lost any plants?. Well it is a bit early to say yet, I can see one Echium looks a bit sick, but we will have to wait a while to see what else may have been weakened or died.
I can say, that Salvia microphylla has taken it all, and still has it's leaves on, having had no protection from the cold.