The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

January and February 2016


By dorjac


Frosty today. 1 degree earlier and 3 now at around 11am. Slight frost on the roofs near us. Not much in the garden, but the oldest Camellia is nearly in full bloom. a severer frost will spoil it and turn the pretty flowers brown. I saw the cat who I think is Kitty’s sister she was on top of the wall bird watching. I did not see her back in the garden after she lost the punch up with Kitty, until the last few days. Very wary of me, slowly picked her way across the ivy on the top of the wall, and over the garden shed roof, then sat and looked at me. Yesterday a big dog fox strolled down the garden at 4 pm, still light. This is the time of the year for courting. Put up the new sale price fat ball feeder alongside the 3 ball one. The new one takes five balls. THE RSPB BIRD COUNT IS AT THE END OF THIS MONTH. OH has just down loaded Windows 10 and retired back to bed quite pleased with himself! I am Vista, he was Windows 7.

The Hellebores are out in force in the shady garden end.

One of 2 bowls of pansies given to me by next door neighbour.

These are the only plants seeming to like winter getting at its near worst in bloom at the moment.

Good oldest Camellia braving the winter chill as long as the frost not too low or persistent. I fear she will be turned brown if the weather forecast is correct.

Braving the winter chills my hairy Echevaria that bloom so long in the early summer. they are sheltered from above under the canopy. The big blue bowl was donated by the same neighbour to try and resuscitate a moribund bonzai tree. I did not succeed, and he said keep the bowl. So I planted it out with tiny Echevaria that have thrived really well so far.

This cat is Kitty’s sister I think. They are so alike, but I surmise they didn’t get on. They fought seriously one day when this cat jumped on Kitty’s back from behind and lost the fight that followed. Has not been in the garden since until now. May have been why Kitty left home to find more congenial resting places.

Close to I can see dry brown blooms, but from the house, absolutely lovely on a very chilly overcast day like today.

Such a lovely flowering at this time of the year, my avatar plant, much prettier than me. As I type the sun has come out briefly.

These are the tulips planted late. One pot instantly disturbed by a squirrel. So i put the cardboard labels on the top of 4 pots and put the small pebbles on top.THE TULIPS FORCED THEIR WAY THROUGH THE LABELS, which I will remove soon.

More blog posts by dorjac

Previous post: Catch up from August 2015

Next post: Catch up March/April into May. 2016.



All you need now is some Crocs!
Love your camellias - Frost keep off them please! The hellebores are doing really well so far - th epink ones are gorgeous. My white double is nearly out but the others are too young to be spectacular yet.

15 Jan, 2016


Well my garden is still asleep.....wonderful to see yours spring into life Dorjac.

15 Jan, 2016


Thanks for your interest Linda and steragram

16 Jan, 2016


Interesting photos, Dorjac .. those blue pots look super. :o)

16 Jan, 2016


Your Camellia is gorgeous and so full of blooms, I hope it doesn't get hit with the frost, its turned colder here and we are getting overnight frosts but the past couple of days have been dry and sunny, after all the rain its a relief to walk on a dry pathway and the cold might get rid of a few garden pests for us..
I placed all my succulents in the g'house for the winter, some of them immediately went into flower mode because of our mild weather but all seem to be doing ok, yours seem to be doing well in your sheltered spot, Hellebores are so longlasting aren't they, one of my double ones is in flower but no signs of any buds on the ones in a different part of the garden, I really need to take off some of the old leaves but the garden is sodden so cannot get at them ..Lovely photo's Dorjac....

16 Jan, 2016


I have always had these echevaria outside but with top cover always Linclass.There used to be a cold greenhouse at Hyde Hall that fascinated me. In that there was side protection but a wide walk through and no doors. I was disappointed when it went during improvements. It was something almost anyone could copy and have a lovely display through the year, especially in winter.

16 Jan, 2016


Yes, we are lucky here in Essex aren't we....have such mild winters some years although, the frost is biting now.hope your camellia is ok and doesn't lose all its blooms.
There were a couple of flowers on a huge magnolia Stellata, just around the corner from me a couple weeks ago but, he cold will now stop the other buds opening till their normal to,e, I reckon.

17 Jan, 2016's happened to me for the first time....I've turned into Iciar as has happened to many other members in the past.
Paul (paulspatch )

17 Jan, 2016


It is amazing how such small areas of the country can be so varied in their climate. Essex can be very dry for weeks on end any time of the year that it happens. Hyde Hall is one of the dryest places to garden in England. I surmise it was why the RHS have tried to meet that challenge head on. They made a small lake to store water. It was 4 degrees in the garden around 1pm today but I got some things sorted. 3 small bags of tulips bulbs slung in. I searched a pot for vine weevils, fed them to the robin and popped 8 bulbs in the pot....fingers crossed. By then my fingers and toes were twittering about the cold and I came indoors.

17 Jan, 2016


Yes, the grass is always green at Hyde Hall, regardless of the dry weather.

17 Jan, 2016


I've got to break up several of our pots as they have huge cracks in and the outside is breaking up into bits.
Hope the Camellia flowers are o.k. Is it worth draping fleece over the top to protect the bush?

18 Jan, 2016


I'm playing catch up again, Dorjac! Your camellia looks fantastic and I hope the weather has been kind to it. My camellia Debbie is in flower but fortunately is still smallish and in a sheltered spot. Your blue pots, Echevaria and the coloured wall look very mediterranean, beautiful.

1 Feb, 2016


The old Pink Camellia did go brown after several days and nights of frost Gee, but she has now recovered. There were enough buds left for her to make another good display. I have added the present blossom show to the January blog. Camellias are very rewarding. They grow slowly but when they start to bloom, and it may take a while, they do the garden proud and brighten up the winter garden wonderfully. Real brass monkey day today too!

3 Feb, 2016


Right at the end of this month we decided to have a bit of a blitz on the ivies foisting themselves into the garden, sideways growths on the back fence trees, boundary trees and shrubs too tall in some places. Two end none productive apple trees removed. An ugly old concrete compost bunker dismantled and taken away and intrusive laurels cut back to the boundary near the sideway and patio. Sunday 28th Feb very sunny. I got out and filled the green wheely bin with more stuff too. cleared a lot of dead stems.Two nice young guys did the work. The house at the back is between tenants so the tree surgeon was able to slip over the back fence and clear some ivy in that garden. It was all poking through our back fence. It all took 4 or 5 hours. A surprising amount of rubbish and a lot of effort. I may get them to grass over the border if I can't cope with it anymore. I got a lot done today

28 Feb, 2016


Just found yesterday that a huge old Ribes that we planted as a donated cutting has died at the top. I went over and peered at it more closely. If I had realised this was happening I would have included it in the clearup we just had done a short while ago. The bottom of it is in bloom. Bit early for it, but this year and last have been oddball years. Now the bout of cold weather has put things on hold. The long grass, cut about 2 or 3 weeks ago, is resting due to the frosts. I think it looks shorter than when it was cut. The huge magnolia next door has the buds in colour but resting as well. Never before has it been in bloom so long as this year.

16 Mar, 2016

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