It's been such a dull and wet day today, 25th January - St. Paul's Day as well as St. Patrick's - that I thought we all needed cheering up (In the 17th century a dull St. Paul's Day was considered an omen of war and disaster).
A walk in Pablo's garden during a lull in the rain soon convinced me that all is not lost. I was amazed and heartened by the growing promise in the borders and the variety and kaleidoscope of colour to be seen.
The hellebores are beginning to come into bud and I really need to cut back last year's leaves to allow the flowers to be seen in all their glory. They are such worthwhile plants and I intend to extend my collection this coming year.
|dying ferns give winter colour|
I didn't tidy the borders at the end of last year - deliberately leaving the dying foliage as shelter for wildlife. There is still beauty to be seen in these perennials which have retained some of their autumn colour even in the depths of winter.
I have been trying over the years to include plants that give not only winter colour but that are scented. Christmas box, winter flowering honeysuckle and witch hazel respond well to winter sunshine and I've finally managed to track down a plant of wintersweet which produces yellow flowers along its stem but is best known for its delicious perfume. Obviously my shrub is only tiny so I'll have to wait some while before I can relish its delights. Can't wait.