New Year’s Day in the Blooming Garden.

I have always prided myself on being an all year round gardener but the last few days have found me lurking inside. Freezing fog and icy ground is a bit of a challenge to the keenest gardeners. I made a quick sortie to see if anything was looking good in the greenhouse and then came back in to sit by the wood burner. I am going to paint the kitchen sometime soon, but I have to steal myself to it. I’m not one of those people who treat the pandemic like a competitive sport. All that bread baking and making things, I feel tired at the thought of it. I can work six hours in the garden without turning a hair but I can’t get involved with this crafty or earth -mother stuff. Of course we walk and cycle, but I don’t keep a record of it. I met a couple of neighbours recently who told me gleefully that they had walked over a thousand miles during the pandemic, he’d painted the house throughout and she’s done loads of sewing, including making all her Christmas presents. I had to come in and sit down with a cup of tea at the very thought of it all. And why have they counted all those miles? Is it just so they could tell people like me and make me feel lazy and inadequate? Maybe I shall invent a few skills to boast about. I’ll tell them I’ve been very busy with my macramé wall hangings and crocheting covers for all my lavatory seats and all my friends’ lavatory seats. Actually what I have been doing lately is the biggest time waster of all. But when I’ve finished my jigsaw, I’ll write a novel and yes, I’ll paint the kitchen. But not yet.

On the way, to the greenhouse, I snapped a little primrose, Galanthus ‘Three Ships’ and Clematis cirrhosa ‘Wisley Cream’ but that is as far as I got. It is just too cold for flower spotting. If you put your nose right into ‘Wisley Cream’ it is fragrant, I’d never noticed that before.

Primula veris
Galanthus ‘Three Ships’
Clematis cirrhosa ‘Wisley Cream’

In the greenhouse Camellia ‘Yuletide’ is glowing bright.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

And I love the little hoops of this Narcisssus bulbodicum.

Narcisssus bulbodicum subsp. obesus ‘Diamond Ring’

The house is usually full of flowering plants for the festive season, pots full of hyacinths, hippeastrums, little daffodils, cyclamen and colourful primroses. But this year as I don’t go into shops for fear of catching the dreaded lurgy, I rely on my trusty orchids which never let me down, they bloom year after year.

Orchid paphiopedalum

This is at least the fourth consecutive year that this beautiful slipper orchid has bloomed for me.

Next to it I have this pretty Cambria orchid.

Cambria orchid

And this is a gorgeous dark-flowered Odontoglossum orchid.

Cymbidium orchids take up a lot of room and they don’t always reward you with blooms. They live outside in a shady spot in summer and have a root trim and a new pot . The flowers are worth waiting for.

Cymbidium orchid

Another reliable plant which blooms every year is the lovely Veltheimia bracteata. It has glossy leaves and flowers like pink red hot pokers. It is a bulbous plant which produces offsets so you get free plants. It lives in the greenhouse but I bring it inside whilst it is in bloom.

Velttheimia bracteata

So no festive poinsettias for me this year but that is no loss, I dislike them anyway. I much prefer my lovely orchids which bloom for ages.

So that’s all for now, I have to get back to my macramé. I wish you all the best my friends, with good health and what we all long for – our lives back with all the richness of family, friends, travel and adventure. And lots of gardening fun. A big thank you to all my blogging friends for joining me here at the blooming garden and for sharing your gardens. Our shared interest, your blogs and all your comments have been a big help in getting through this annus horribilis.

Happy New Year!

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45 Responses to New Year’s Day in the Blooming Garden.

  1. Heyjude says:

    I have totally turned my back on the garden. What happens, happens. It’s just too soggy out there for me to care much. My Christmas cactus is flowering its heart out in the cold conservatory and has been doing so since Thanksgiving! I daren’t bring it into the warmer house as the flowers will just drop, but I can see it from the lounge. Happy New Year to you too and I look forward to the pleasure of visiting your garden again when the time comes.

    • Chloris says:

      My gardening recently has been cutting back all my lovely climbers as the fence has finally given in to gravity and has to be replaced next week. The scene from my window is very depressing.
      I made the mistake of bringing a Christmas cactus in from the greenhouse and all the buds dropped off. I should have known better.
      Happy new year Jude.

  2. I’m not one to keep track of miles, pounds, accomplishments, etc., either, but I think some folks find it a way to stay motivated…to reach a goal. I feel the same way you do about gardening in the cold, too. Our winters are cold here in the Midwest U.S. It’s a kind of forced break from gardening–when we can plan for the next year. Your orchids are beautiful! Happy New Year!

    • Chloris says:

      I know we all like to count things and set ourselves targets but as a way of self-improvement. I have never been keen on competitive sports. Happy new year Beth.

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    Your first paragraph made me laugh out loud, it rings so true. Neighbors like that can be so annoying, eh? (In truth, their walking amounts to about 4 miles a day, no big deal, but to say ‘over a thousand miles’ sounds much more impressive!)
    I’m a big fan of ‘time wasters’ like solitaire on the computer and jigsaws. Research has shown that they are actually very healthy for the brain, keeping it young. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😉
    You are hardly a slouch with all the plants and gardens you attend. A little downtime in the winter is well deserved. Recharge your batteries, right?
    Happy New Year, Liz. Hope it’s a whole lot better than the previous.

    • Chloris says:

      Well you make me feel better Eliza. I like to do a jigsaw around the festive period although I know it is a waste of time. Yes, let’s hope for better things this year. Happy new year to you too.

  4. Kris P says:

    Gardening here is truly year-round but our weather is considerably more tolerable, although that wouldn’t necessarily be apparent if you heard me and most of my friends complaining about temperatures below 60F (15C). I imagine the work you do in your garden exceeds most of the efforts advertised by many of your neighbors. Your orchids are lovely and I’m envious. My own small collection has suffered from years of neglect. I think I’ll invest in some new ones this year, although given the current situation in Southern California any purchases I make will probably have to be managed by mail for awhile yet.

    Best wishes for the new year! I’m hopeful that things will get better, although unfortunately not overnight even when we finally get the current oaf out of the White House.

    • Chloris says:

      How wonderful to garden all year round with no snow or ice. Actually our big problem right now is rain and soggy, boggy ground. I keep orchids most of the time on my kitchen window sill, they love it there. But as I have about 18 they take it in turns for he best position.
      Good luck in getting rid of your criminal oaf, not long now. Happy new year Kris.

  5. croftgarden says:

    I’m quite convinced that the genes for green fingers are dominant to those for macramé, so stick to the jigsaw. I had a quick walk round the garden yesterday and after 10 minutes had to retreat with incipient hypothermia! Enjoy your winter retreat and look forward to the return of gardenuing weather.

    • Chloris says:

      Macramé was a funny craze wasn’t it? No one seems to do it now. It’s certainly not my thing, I don’t do crafts or even worse – sewing. January is thee only month that I fall a little out of love with the garden. Everything is so soggy and brown.

  6. Lindylou says:

    Hallo Liz, I am a new follower, I live in The Netherlands. I wanted to complement the encouraging things that other blog followers have written for you. Really friendly and caring, that’s good to read in these sometimes harrowing times I am very impressed with your orchid photos. Is your greenhouse heated in some way to keep them so happy.? For the last 20 months we have been living in a caravan while we build a house here ‘in the garden’ I had quite a lot of phaelenopsis orchids in our previous home but not all of them survived last winter here in the caravan with night temperatures often around 8⁰C. That is 46.4⁰F so cold indoors too. Except near the gas heater. I have two with very large pure white flowers the plants flower after each other. The one flowering now has 10 flowers. Fortunately for me I spotted them one evening whilst out with my dogs. Someone in our old neighbourhood had thrown them away into the leaf mould bin placed by the council for people who blow leaves off their gardens. That was 5 years ago and they have never missed flowering in any year yet. The roof blew off my ramshackle greenhouse in a storm so I cannot ‘garden’ there anymore. But we have 1ha. where I can play in which I do daily. Keep safe and happy, thank you for taking time to keep a blog going. That is an accomplishment in itself I think. Mine has been asleep for a few years now.

    • Chloris says:

      Hello Lindylou, welcome to my blog, thank you very much for becoming a follower. Yes, the gardening blog community is a very friendly supportive one.
      My greenhouse has a fan heater which keeps it above 5c but my orchids live in the house. I have quite a few phalaenopsis, they are good value and bloom for weeks on end.
      Happy new year.

  7. Alicia says:

    Your orchids are gorgeous!

  8. I agree that your orchids are gorgeous. I just watched a very interesting documentary on orchids and how a British school is helping to save endangered ones.

  9. Thank your for your posts. I’m always excited when I see Then Blooming Garden in my inbox. Even though I’m not blogging now, I enjoy following. Just before moving to DC in July (for a two-year stint with a nonprofit) we experienced a disastrous storm that put three trees on the front of the house and six down in the back garden, which destroyed the stone retaining wall between ornamental garden and the native garden that extends down to the river. The house repairs and new wall were finally completed just before Christmas. Sadly, the native garden is 80% lost. Your hearty enthusiasm and steady dedication to the garden are a great encouragement. I hope to take some time away from work in the early spring so I can be home to sort out and start again.

    The orchids are stunning. Your lady slipper is particularly fine; I wouldn’t be able to take my eyes off it! At a quick glance, the nodding flowers of the clematis look surprisingly like a hellebore. I’ve never noticed that before.

    • Chloris says:

      Hello Marian, how lovely to hear from you. I have missed your posts but it is good to hear you enjoy reading my blog. I was sad to hear about your devastating storm and the damage to your lovely garden. I think the only way to look at it is as a chance to create something new. I lose quite a few trees to honey fungus and I always try to see it as an opportunity. It is hard though.
      I suppose the pandemic has put a stop to your garden tours for the time being. Let’s hope for better things this year.

      • Fingers crossed for two tours scheduled for July. Our vaccination process is not going as well as hoped, so could go either way. Thanks for your encouragement re the garden. Hope you and yours are doing well…often think of our fun day!

  10. Annette says:

    We’re having the first real frost of the season so I’ve been rushing around last night bringing pots into the greenhouse. It’ll stay frosty for days, hope my Clematis cirrhosa will survive. What’s your experience with Wisley Cream? Don’t be depressed when others are boasting with their “success stories”, I guess we all have a different way of coping. I’m sorry to hear that you’re too scared to go out. I think turning off mainstream media may help to leave the fear behind, and don’t forget the flue has died out this year, one thing less to worry about 😉 . Wishing you and your family all the best for 2021, bon courage xx

    • Chloris says:

      We have had some hard frosts but now we have endless rain. Clematis ‘Wisley Cream’ is reliably hardy. Yes, too much news with the relentless increase in numbers is depressing, but so is talking to neighbours, there is an awful lot of Covid about round here. But we are looking forward to better things this year. The highlight will be visiting family in Najac in the summer. Happy new year Annette.x

  11. tonytomeo says:

    Cymbidiums live in the landscapes here, but are only beginning to produce floral stems. They bloom late in winter. There are only three cultivars here, but two are still potted so that they can come inside for bloom, or at least get displayed on a shelf outside a window,

    • Chloris says:

      My cymbidiums seem to thrive on living outside in summer and being inside for winter. I usually have at least one in bloom for Xmas.

      • tonytomeo says:

        They likely bloom sooner because they come into the home for winter. That is the preferred way to do it. I just do not bother because it does not get very cold here.

  12. janesmudgeegarden says:

    We are lucky to have weather that allows us to be in the garden all year, but I can completely understand your aversion to going outside in such bleak conditions. We are experiencing rather a damp ( for us) summer, so different from last summer and my garden is loving it.
    I’ve been surprised to see Galanthus making an appearance on several blogs, it seems so early. But a cheery and sweet flower to have popping up in the depths of winter. Like many others I’m admiring your wonderfully healthy orchids.

    • Chloris says:

      Snowdrop nerds always have the first snowdrops in bloom in October and November. We need something to obsess about through the coldest months. And inside orchids brighten up the dullest day.

  13. Frog says:

    Thank you for your beautiful orchids pictures and equally importantly for making me laugh ! I am getting slightly annoyed at all the home-baked sourdough stuff on my Facebook feed (I guess the home-bakers might be similarly tired of my plant-related pictures, but plants undoubtedly deserve a picture more than bread). I can’t manage to make my orchids bloom enough to justify their keeping. Yours are certainly deserving of their space !

    • Chloris says:

      My orchids do really well on a north facing kitchen window sill. I think they like the steam. Phalaenopsis orchids are the easiest house plants to grow and they bloom for months each year.

  14. bittster says:

    Funny. This is the first year we did not spend the Christmas break working through a jigsaw puzzle, but we did manage to finish off all the Christmas cookies before New Year’s. That I’m sure is an accomplishment we will brag to the neighbors about.
    Happy New Year and all the best!

    • Chloris says:

      I never think of doing a jigsaw at any other time of the year but my family has always done a Christmas one. Cookie- eating as a competitive sport has a certain appeal.
      Happy new year Frank. I’m looking forward to seeing your snowdrops.

  15. Cathy says:

    Oh dear, your friends/neighbours clearly do not spend as much time gardening as you do if they can cover all those miles. I know some people who have watch-like devices that measure how many steps you take a day and similarly boast about that! You should be boasting about your beautiful houseplants though. I don’t seem to be very good at indoor gardening, so will simply savour your photos instead. Wishing you and your garden a very good 2021!

    • Chloris says:

      Actually we gardeners probably clock up a few miles just walking round the garden.
      If you have a north facing kitchen or bathroom window I’m sure you could grow a few Phalaenopsis orchids they are very undemanding. Happy new year Cathy.

  16. Statistical people are bores! Bet they don’t have any fabulous orchids in their house either. I have been wasting time baking, eating, reading and hanging around with my dogs.. if there was freezing fog I would have to have an electric blanket at all times. Had to look up lurgy! Happy New Year, Liz and keep blogging

    • Chloris says:

      Oh dear, I hope my neighbours don’t read my blog. I am probably just jealous because I haven’t walked 1000 miles or painted every room in my house. Don’t you have lurgies in America? Actually a lurgy is usually quite mild or even imaginary, a chance for a bit of skiving. This plague is serious stuff, we are in yet another lockdown.
      Happy new year Amy, let’s hope for better things this year.

      • My neighbors don’t know what a blog is…my husbands watch counts his miles, very annoying…I looked up British slang and lurgy was compared to the American term cooties which is the same thing! Be safe, hubs was exposed to Covid at the doctors office, Yikes. Fingers crossed here.

  17. snowbird says:

    I love visiting your blog, I often have a good laugh reading your brilliant witty humour! Blow your neighbours, you are a total inspiration and have created a paradise in and out of your garden! Your dining room is lovely! How I wish I could sit there with you and share a drink! Just lovely seeing all those blooms, especially the orchids. I have needed to paint my kitchen for over two years now and it’s beyond desperate now. But like you it will have to wait until spring when I can steel myself to start it. How I loathe decorating, the whole house needs doing….sighs….xxx

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Dina, I think we share the same sort of sense of humour. I wish you could come and share a drink with me here and I hope that one day you will.
      I have bought my paint and new brushes on Amazon so I almost feel as if my kitchen is painted . The Pianist bought some sandpaper and polyfilla, and stuff to clean brushes, now that is impressive, I wouldn’t have gone as far as that.

  18. Cathy says:

    I suppose my crocheted toilet (sorry, lavatory) seat cover will be in the post as soon as you are able to get to a post office again (several months hence)….? And you didn’t even tell us which jigsaw you were doing inbetween your slurps of a good red…! Sadly my once-a-year-jigsaw has been delayed due to Covid cancellation of a pre-Christmas visit, Anyway, enough of that, and on to the plants!

    It’s always a joy to see what is blooming in your garden, and you have given me more ideas for additions to go in the Coop. Your orchids are amazing, but sadly I regularly fail to give indoor plants enough attention, so I shan’t be going down that line.
    ps I had to smile at one of your comments in reply to Kris about a certain person, as I was reminded in a recent episode of I am Sorry I haven’t a Clue that any reference to him in the UK is always met with either laughter or derision (or horror, even), and it really makes you wonder about those who put him where he was – but sorry, that’s getting a bit political…wash my mouth out with soap 😁

    • Chloris says:

      Dear Cathy, you will be the first in line for a crocheted seat cover once I go into production. I am certainly avoiding the PO down the road in the next village though, they seem to have a lot of plague down there. The jigsaw is a wasgij, the scene on the picture is not the one on the jigsaw, it’s either what they are looking at or the same scene at a differerent time. We always used to do a family jigsaw over Xmas but as the Pianist isn’t interested I’m on my own. It’s a waste of time but utterly absorbing. And there’s nobody to get in the way and do ‘my’ bit. So I quite like having it to myself.
      I first saw Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ on Susie’s blog she often uses it in winter arrangements. It does very well in my unheated greenhouse.

      • Cathy says:

        I shall be watching for the postman… 😉 Wasjigs are the Golfer’s jigsaw of choice and he invariably has one on the go – I like the Colin Thompson Bizarre Bookshop type myself. I too bought a small Yuletide after seeing it on Susie’s blog but I suspect I let the pot dry out – a replacement is one of the new plants I have on order, and it is a bigger specimen which I was going to plant in the ground…but reading that you have yours in the inheated greenhouse makes me wonder if this is a mistake…

  19. rusty duck says:

    Wot no seed catalogues? They are my staple at this time of year.
    And the forays out to the greenhouse have kept me going. At times it has been warmer in there than inside the house, much to Mike’s disgust as he spends an unhealthy amount of time watching the red light flash on the electricity meter.
    Happy New Year Chloris. And roll on Spring.

    • Chloris says:

      Oh yes, I forgot to mention seed catalogues, they are always a winter pleasure. The Pianist always marvels how I can spend hours perusing the Chilterns seed catalogue which has no pictures. As usual I ordered far too many. Spring is just round the corner now, thank goodness.

  20. Anna says:

    We just finished the Christmas jigsaw earlier this evening Chloris, although it was put away for a couple of days to make way for a grocery delivery. A waste of time maybe or maybe not but it’s always a pleasant diversion especially with a glass of wine to hand 😀 I have a friend who is thinking about making macramé plant holders but only because she has some plants that she would like to suspend. I’m not worried about her ….. yet. Definitely time to stay in and hunker down. Gardening activities apart from catalogue perusal can wait until next week when there is a heatwave on the way. Wishing you all the best for 2021. I hope that it treats you and your loved ones gently and that all the plants in your garden sing long and loud.

    • Chloris says:

      I saw your jigsaw Anna and it is a lovely one. I was tempted to buy it but we have now put an extra leaf in the table and started playing ping pong. It’s a great way to get exercise and it beats macramé any day. Thank you so much for your beautifully expressed good wishes and I wish the same to you.

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