Over Christmas I enjoy early snowdrops and adorable Narcissus ‘Cedric Morris’ shining out in the bleakness of the December garden. But I try not to look at the little noses of bulbs appearing everywhere and I avoid my winter garden. Once we are into January then I can revel in the delights down here and if I haven’t cheated by peeping earlier I get to enjoy the full impact of the winter treasures. I knew the witch hazels were coming out but I wanted to wait until they were at their best before I saw them. So earlier this week when the sun was shining I went down for my January treat and worked in the winter garden which has come to life and is going to look at its best for the next four months. And the witch hazels are looking wonderful.
‘Jelena’ looks wonderful with a backdrop of Cornus ‘Winter Fire’
I think my favourite is the well-named ‘Marmalade’.
The scent of Witch Hazels is bewitching but is quite elusive, they really need to be brought indoors for the full impact. But never mind, I have two very fragrant shrubs at their best right now. The first is Daphne ‘Perfume Princess’ I say it is at its best, but this lovely daphne is rarely not blooming, although winter into spring is its prime time.
Chimonanthus praecox is rather a nondescript shrub and is boring in summer. But in winter it comes alive with yellow claw-like flowers with maroon centres. The scent is exquisite and I have a couple of bushes so I always have enough to pick for fragrant posies in the house.
Two winter flowering cherries are looking lovely right now. They have such dainty flowers that I like them much better than some of the blowsier spring ones. They are the white Prunus x subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’ and the pink form ‘Rosea’
I always thought that sasanqua camellias were supposed to bloom in late autumn and when I bought the lovely red ‘Yuletide’ I hoped it would bloom for Christmas. But I read that this camellia is a hybrid between Camellia japonica and Camellia sasanqua, it should be called Camellia x vernalis. I don’t mind what its called because this little camellia is a beauty and it brightens up a January day in my garden with its bright red flowers, yellow stamens and glossy leaves.
I have quite a few snowdrops out and I am sure some of them will make their way onto my blog this season but I have some early hellebores out and one which is looking particularly good is ‘Helleborus ‘Leona.’ So I will finish with this. This one has very large flowers and unlike so many of her sisters she faces you instead of looking down at the ground.
The winter garden has matured nicely since I established it a few years ago and there is so much else to enjoy out here; not just flowers but beautiful coloured stems as well. I shall be revisiting it very soon to show you more of my winter treasures. In the meantime I am joining The Propagator with his popular meme, Six on Saturday. In case you think I still haven’t mastered counting up to six (I know I usually slip in too many) but this week, I am counting the Witch Hazels as one and so that makes it six. I think.