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The New Year, Pinks and the Winter Gardener.


By ange2


Well, here we go again, another year begins. In my old age I have acknowledged that I am not (and neither do I want to be) a Winter Gardener! Lost on me are all these gardening programmes extolling the virtues of freezing your bits off to go out and peer at some indeterminate, grubby little flower in the pouring rain, snow and ice, or searing wind. I am a flower that wilts without central heating.
Instead I have been putting my time to more useful pursuits. I have taken up decluttering with a vengeance and find it easier to concentrate on the matter in hand when it is pitch black outside. No diversions to push me off course! Yesterday saw me sweep through our filing cabinet and discard all the old bills, ancient brochures etc.etc. (What happened to the paperless society?) So much shredding! Even spring cleaning is more enjoyable when it’s filthy outside. Nothing is safe from my new-found enthusiasm.
However, this afternoon I went out to do my daily bird feeding session and noticed that a few pink, not so grubby, flowers caught my eye.
The camellia sas. ‘Yuletide’ is still in full flower, 5 weeks after it first started:

and the camellia Sas. ‘Yumi’ is also full of buds:

Some of the hellebores ae beginning to flower so I must get out and cut off their leaves. The jury is out with me about hellebores. Their leaves are often a horrible black-spotty mess which I could well do without. And a lot of the flowers can be murky colours. I have found that the more expensive prized varieties are the biggest culprits and wish I hadn’t wasted money on a lot of them. I should like to know what others think about them. I suspect I might be in a minority of one!

Finally, a few cyclamen coum:

I hope you have all had a good start to the New Year and wish all you Winter Gardeners an enjoyable season! I’ll come and join you in a couple of months..

More blog posts by ange2

Previous post: When is too many houseplants, too many houseplants?

Next post: Finally venturing out.



Well at least you got out there Ange, and kindly showed us some winter colour. I cannot face the damp untidy mess that is my garden at the moment, so just had a walk round and then covered the cuttings in the greenhouse with fleece.

I suspect I’ll be hibernating for a while yet …

6 Jan, 2024


looking great Ange... needing some inspiration - Winter months are too long

7 Jan, 2024


I am not a winter gardener either, I like warmth. 'Crisp' weather is not for me. Icy cold sunshine I can do without.

However I do like to see the early flowers like the ones you've shown. They're a sign of lighter days on the way. Your

7 Jan, 2024


Beautiful colour there, Ange. Both Camellias are a joy to see, I do like the vividness of the 'Yuletide'.
I've only one hellebore in bloom. The others are still in colourful bud.
I'm not a winter gardener, I dislike dark, dull days and damp sludgy gardens.
Also, I don't really have anything to do out there in December or January..
Late autumn, it's tidying up and planting bulbs. Leaf blower is out and we late prune if needed too.
Then it's other tasks indoors for a couple or 3 months, including Christmas and New Year stuff..
I'm currently enjoying good books in the cold afternoons or evenings with the log burner and decluttering, charity bag filling etc.
Next job before the garden gets fully going is redecorating one of the spare bedrooms, painting, new carpet etc...
Then, I'll be gardening. I don't even really bother too much out there with activities til end of March really. It's only a small garden. So not much to do out back or front...
See you in the Spring 🌷

7 Jan, 2024


Sheila, I feel like we're coming out of the gloom, gradually. I notice it is still light at 4.30pm tonight. Yes, the mud and mess outside is a turn off.

Light at the end of the tunnel, Paul. Brighter this evening, and 'my' robins have paired up already so spring is in the air!

Hywel, it could be worse: pity the poor souls who are flooded out. Glad you like the 'pinks'.

Kate, we have still got quite a lot of fallen leaf-gathering to do in our side front border. It always catches the drop off from the 2 horse cheatnuts. Sadly, one of these lovely old trees has lost a major branch in the high winds - such a shame.
I'm happy the chaos of Christmas is over. I hate taking down and sorting decorations back into boxes, such a chore. We have decided to pass on at least half of them this year, so that has cleared a good spot in the garage. (I dread starting on THAT space as most of the 'stuff' isn't mine). Enjoy decorating!

7 Jan, 2024


Your Camelias are very early Ange! Not even a sign of buds yet!
I am off to a garden centre with my friend to look for Peoenies, but not expecting to find any.
I have a £25 voucher which I can't wait to spend! Not patient at all!
I did have a walk round my main garden but not much happening apart from some dwarf daffs that have just surfaced.
You are right! It's too cold for gardening!
I do like hellebores though and just snip the bad leaves off!

7 Jan, 2024


I'm not a winter gardener either Ange, mine looks a mishmash of the remains of last years perenialls, left that way on purpose for the little creatures protection, that is the way I garden, its not all about colourful flowers and neatly tidied beds and borders, don't even have any jobs to do in the g'house apart from checking my succulents to remove any brown leaves, all is well with them, no signs of any mildew yet...... I did get ouside to do my autumn pruning of the roses last November, one of the very rare dry days, never did get the leaves collected from around the apple tree but the worms worked their magic and obviously pulled them down, there are hardly any left showing on the top, natures own food for my bottom lawn, got to be good...
.My hellebores are just beginning to bloom, like you I cut off the larger leaves when they flop and start to turn black...
Don't want to pass my life away Ange so I'm not in a rush for the springtime, like you I need to do some decorating, I've started to clear things away, hallway, stairs and landing is first, I can only do it bit by bit at as my joints, especially hands and knees are badly affected by arthritis,( Its a right pain in the butt as I like to get on with jobs once I start, GRRR!!!!)
Lovely photographs Ange.x

8 Jan, 2024


Yes Ange, you’re right … still light at 4.30 now … definitely raises my spirits! And the tete-a-tete leaves are poking through, just hope they won’t be affected by the forecast frosts this week 🤞.
Ooh, just seen that light snow is forecast for the next two hours, so I’m going to light the fire.
Keep warm!

8 Jan, 2024


Didn't mind going out doing something if it wasn't raining, but won't be doing nothing this year for at least another few weeks while new hip settles in, got two camelia shrubs and normally start seeing them flower around end of this month, bit like you with the hellebores, but they fill a hole for now.
Favourite time of the start of the year is when the skimmia japonica shrub flowers, nice scent, bees love it and that is when you know spring is on the way

8 Jan, 2024


Rose, the camellias that are flowering at the moment are sasanquas, so I think they come out a bit earlier than the others. My japonicas are all buds but no sign of flowers yet. I've seen lots of peonies online recently from the specialists but I suppose GC's wait till they are in full flow growth-wise.

Klahanie, I'm in no rush to go out this year. I bought no daffodil or crocus bulbs last Autumn and no snowdrops either, which is very unlike me. The extra daylight is noticeable here, too, but no, no enthusiasm at this end at all!

Meadow, I was going to tidy up my hellebores, but it's been bitterly cold the last couple of days. Having much more fun discarding old paperwork(!) - helps to fill up the compost heap, anyway..

Lincs, we've left our perennials uncut for the insects, too. It looks a filthy mess but I avert my gaze when I go out there. I am keeping an eye on the g'house: I have sweet peas coming up. I have had so little luck keeping snails off them in the past that I refused to put them in the cold frames this season. They are living the life of luxury instead!
Sorry to hear about the arthritis. I always get itchy at this time of year to get jobs done. Doesn't mean I achieve much, though!

Sheila, it's perishing here at the moment..

Davey, take the time you need for your hip. The garden is like dusting: there's always some waiting to be done! I ignore the dust, too!

9 Jan, 2024


Golly, how wonderful to have so much colour in the garden at this time of the year! Mine is looking very drab by comparison, one or two primulas are still in flower, there's a sliver or two of white between the sepals on the snowdrops and a handful of buds are showing pink on the viburnum. I was encouraged to notice loads of buds on the flowering currant this morning but guess this will all be put on hold by the cold spell forecast for the rest of this week and next. We stowed away the last of the Christmas decoration boxes today so the house looks a bit less cluttered but I guess there's room for improvement on that front too. Like you, Davey, I'm hampered a bit by arthritis at the moment and recovery following a hip replacement op, but can't wait to make a start on restoring my garden which has seen quite a bit of unintentional neglect over the last few years... but for the next week or so I guess more decluttering indoors is the most beneficial option ;-)

9 Jan, 2024


The camellias are in pots, Xela, so the colour is beside the house. The garden itself is a sludgy mess. Sorry to hear about your arthritis and hip and hope it improves for you. I have decluttered quite a lot, so I'm feeling quite smug! But there is always room for improvement and there's a long way to go!

10 Jan, 2024


Well, goodness me Ange, you're doing something right! Yuletide is just beautiful and the best colour for the Winter garden, I love it.
Yumi is so pretty too and both open faced, giving the Winter pollinators easy access.
Your hellebores are much further on than mine, lovely colours, you've a fab winter garden.
I used to like gardening in winter, but not really able to these days but I do enjoy being in the greenhouse on a sunny winters day, even if it's with a chair and the radio..:))

10 Jan, 2024


Growing camellias in pots sounds a good idea, Ange, I've done the same with an olive, a lemon tree and a bougainvillea so that I can give them shelter in the porch if need be, although I am worried the temperature in there will still drop too low overnight for the bougainvillea despite it being on the south side of the house.
You deserve to feel smug about decluttering too, it isn't an easy task especially when things are associated with significant memories. My youngsters are always telling me I am too sentimental but as one gets older and more of the folk we have known depart this World, those items and the memories they evoke become more precious. Sunny weather helps me to be more ruthless, so some progress was made on the decluttering front here today, lol.

10 Jan, 2024


Janey, Thanks for liking the camellias. They have been stars this season and I'm not quite sure why! Better watering, I think.

Xela, Good luck with your decluttering efforts and I hope the plants in pots pull through for you..

12 Jan, 2024


Ange! That Yuletide Camellia is a triumph! I had it in Scotland but it refused to flower for me. Too cold for this type up there I think. I must admit I really miss my winter garden. You’re so right about the Hellebores. The worst leaves were on my most precious ones too. I just chopped them all off at Christmas time, if not before. But I couldn’t be without their blooms. I’ll definitely be growing them in my new garden. I found that the newest ones, the ones with the mottled, thick, shiny leaves seem to get a lot less blackspot.

12 Jan, 2024


Karen, last year 'Yuletide' did nothing for me. This year we tucked it beside the back of the g'house and virtually forgot about it (with the others we have in pots). Fed and watered from August on. All of them are full of buds this year, the japonicas still to flower.
if it were left to me, I would get rid of most of our hellebores, but OH loves them. It's interesting that you, too, have noticed the poorer health on the precious ones.

12 Jan, 2024

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