- As I wound up my professional gardening for the year this week, to perfect crisp, cold, dry weather, I was put in the Christmas spirit by the sight of this beauty. It had been a rather sprawling, badly pruned holly until I gave it a hard chop earlier this year. Now, the berries sing out and the leaves are lovely and glossy. The holly wears the crown, eh?
2. It was my first time growing Nicotiana mutabilis from seed this year. I had high hopes for them. Perhaps they are a little slow to get going, but my word, when they do, the flower power is extraordinary. They are still flowering mindlessly away in my front garden to the extent that I am now thoroughly bored by them and will whip them out next week. Probably six months of blooms from them though.
3. Miscanthus (unknown cultivar, as I dug them up from somewhere). I really like them at this time of year for their wind and light catching properties. There is no light to catch today, but they are impressively tall and elegant plants for a sunny spot. Easy to split and divide in Spring, which is exactly what I will do with these.
4. I am pretty poor at looking after my tools. I will admit it. However, I gave this old fork a clean last week and was reminded how much I love it and enjoy using it. From the worm eaten handle to the sharpness of the tines and the lightness of its balance, it is a joy to use. New forks are often made from heavy steel and are really clunky. This is light and strong and great for digging out roots or turning compost. It may not be long for this world as cracks are starting to appear, so I will miss it when it’s gone. What tool would you grieve for, if it went?
5. Euphorbia characias. Touched with morning frost, which only accentuates its grace. You may have heard me extol the virtues of this plant before. I love it. It just does not have a bad day.
6. Winter projects. I have come by a motley collection of containers which look weird and shabby right now. I have a vision though. I want to make a linked series of ponds, pools and bog containers so I can grow plants which thrive in those conditions. I have very little experience of these conditions, so am eager to experiment. I am also trying to create a situation whereby frogs and toads can access the lowest and shallowest container (by half burying it), hop into the next one and so on until they reach the deeper ones (and get back again!). I patched up the old water tank with floor tile, but have to see whether it holds water. That will be the sixth container. Anyone got recommendations for must have water and bog plants?
I am also gathering together all the broken gravestones and slabs which clutter a 900 year old site in order to make a new path to the compost heaps. It’s going to be a busy Winter.