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Come in to the warmth


Happy Christmas everybody. I have not been a very good correspondent this year as we have been beset by problems which we hope are now buried in the past. My computer has not been too good either but I think it is now fixed. Here is a warming glimpse of the bright colour in my garden.
The geese fleeing from the artic weather do not seem to be quite sure where to go next. Large flocks have passed east to west in the past two weeks. This am their loud honking drew me outside to watch hundreds of them all tracking west to east. I hope they have a safe journey

This bird is not going anywhere. I was aiming to carve a peacock but maybe he is just a pigeon.

The frost on his cotoneaster nest is not bothering him. There is still plenty of interesting colour around. The hydrangea and cyclamen give months of colour

I am not sure which Corydalis this is but I see it in next doors garden and it has unfortunately settled on top of my Colchicum agrippum. I will move it once the leaves of the colchicum appear.

The heather rockery is starting to show colour

the holly berries are superb on this Ilex ‘Golden King’

The first snowdrop of this winter. G. ‘Three Ships’. The label says it all. I tried to remove the self seeded Digitalis but it was firmly glued there by the frost. A speaker at our SRGC meeting in Dunblane this week gave us a tip on getting a good photo of a bloom waiting on the sun before it opens. Cut the bottom off a plastic bottle big enough to cover the plant. It will respond by opening its petals to show what you want to see.

I think this has to be among my number one choices of small trees for domestic gardens. If the birds don’t eat the apples they will still be on the tree when it comes in to flower in the Spring.
I love this lithodora (lithospernum) ‘Heavenly Blue’. It has flowered for months

Primulas are another must have. Is that why I keep digging up bits of lawn????.

A Welsh poppy growing in the gravel next to the south side of the house.

Some candles for Christmas.

It has been a very odd year and the plants are very confused. This begonia sempervirens is still flowering like mad as are the allysum plants I sowed early in the year. The lobelia too is still thriving

The squirrels are growing

I have lots to catch up with in the garden but it will be there when I am not so enjoy a peaceful Christmas and a fruitful New Year.

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Do like the Cyclamen and the Welsh poppy. Hope you don't have any snow to clobber them.

Good tip re the plastic bottle.

I always seem to be too late finding my camera when any geese or swans fly by. I do love to see the latter when they take off from a nearby "Swannery".

Some nasty bugs doing the rounds this year arriving all the way from Australia. I don't usually have an anti-flu jab but I have this year. Not sure how effective it will be.

Keep well and have A Very Happy Christmas.

10 Dec, 2017


Like Eirlys I love the cyclamen and primulas are a great favourite and like you I tend to take a bit of extra from the lawn just to give them room.
Your pigeon/peacock could be either we will just have to wait and see how he grows, or if it's on a nest perhaps I should say she!
There always seems to be the odd flower or two if you look hard enough and having to look for them I think perhaps we appreciate the delicate nature of some of them.

10 Dec, 2017


An interesting blog with lots of nice photos from your garden :) Welsh poppies won't grow in my garden, although they seed themselves about in the hedgerows out the back.
Good luck with your bird and squirrel next year, I hope you'll be able to shape them nicely.
I hope 2018 will not bring you any more problems :)

10 Dec, 2017


I only got the tail end of the geese Eirlys because like you my camera is not normally to hand. My cyclamen are all from Lidl or Aldi bought six to a pack at give away prices. I have had them for two or three years now and they are still thriving. I do have some in pots, gifts from fellow Goyers and I also have some seedlings which I grew from SRGC seed. Likewise the primulas. The orange one I got from a trader at an SRGC show and it has not expanded but it is in a pot and probably needs to be split. I have not had time or space to do that yet. The jury is out on the type of bird I have but I like it anyway Honeysuckle. Maybe I should show it on our sister Bird site and ask for an ID lol. I had to smile to hear you say you cannot grow welsh poppies in Wales Hywel when you grow wonderful cactus and succulents from all over the world. They grow like weeds in my garden self seeding everywhere but they are easily pulled out if they land in the wrong place. Most of mine are yellow with just the odd one being orange Steragram.Thank you all for your comments.

10 Dec, 2017


Hello Scotsgran! Lovely to see some photos of your garden. I think your topiary bird will be great once it gets a beak! The tail reminds me of a free-range mother hen clucking around her babies. :) your winter heathers will be spectacular soon. My heathers are all summer and autumn flowering, so all finished already. Its rainy here today and a lot milder, so I may go out soon and do some tidying up. The first snowdrops are appearing above ground...such a thrill to see the bulbs appearing, reminding me that Spring follows Winter!

13 Dec, 2017


We have planted lots of heather both in the garden and outside the gate. Have lost most, which is odd as our garden backs on to heathland and there used to be masses of heather there. After the 1976 fire the heather and the gorse suffered.

Milder here also, Karen. We have had no snow but heavy frosts several nights.

No sign of bulbs sprouting here.

13 Dec, 2017


The bulbs are very tough up here Eirlys! ;)

13 Dec, 2017


Lovely blog, Scotsgran ...
all best wishes for Christmas.

17 Dec, 2017


Thank you all. Cottagekaren, now you say it looks like a mother hen it does look like a bantam. We have been shivering in the icy cold winds. I think most of our crocus bulbs have been pinched by the squirrels but our snowdrops are braving the elements and we might have a very good show this year. I have some dwarf narcissus pushing up lots of green leaves. I hope there will be some flowers too in time for the Spring bulb show in Dunblane. Eirlys up here the estate owners traditionally burn heather to encourage new growth. I do not remember the fire you mention but hopefully there will be a recovery eventually. I think you can buy heathers and heaths which prefer an acid soil but there are others which prefer a neutral soil. I wonder if you were sold the wrong type for your situation. We used to go to a Radio Ham Rally at Longleat and I was told by a stallholder that there is a stretch of acid soil around the area down towards Wimbourne. Happy Christmas to team TT Terratoonie. I look forward to seeing the antics of the younger members of the team in the new year.

18 Dec, 2017

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