The Garden from December to February
This is the time for planning and preparing for the year ahead. Activities are focused on maintenance of structures and machinery, cutting back on overgrown areas, labelling plants, and netting smaller specimens to keep the wildlife away. Camellia Sasanquas are in flower from October to around Christmas time, braving the frost. In January the cyclamen are beginning to show as is Rh Christmas Cheer. By early February Camellia Japonicas are just beginning to flower. The snowdrops are peeping through the fallen leaves.
In February we begin to see glimpses of hope that Spring is on its way. Winter flowering crocuses provide a sea of mauve around the lime trees near the house.
The Witch Hazel walk in the wood becomes the focus of attention with its haze of yellow, interspersed with winter Honeysuckles (Lonicera Fragrantissima) and under-planted with winter flowering Crocus Tommasinianus - an idea gained from writings of renowned horticulturist, G.S. Thomas. By mid February we see that spring is on its way. Three different mauve varieties - Siberi 'Tricolor', Tommasinianus and Tommasinianus Ruby Giant, succeed one after the other making a glorious sight over a long period. Camellia Sasanquas are over but the Japonicas and Hybrids are beginning to flower.