The winter garden often looks drab, unloved and uncared for – the blaze of summer and autumn plants has dried and withered leaving a sorry tale of what came before. Most of us abandon the garden in the winter months in favour of the warmth of the fire inside reading books and endless reality TV programmes!
This year perhaps more than most and certainly a massive change from last year, things are stirring in the wilderness. Snowdrops made an early start and the RHS garden in Rosemoor, Devon was awash with a sea of white - not snow this year but the delicate blooms of the snowdrop.
So too have many other plants put in an early appearance. Hellebores too are showing strongly with their sometimes bright
sometimes classy blooms
These are well worth taking a closer look at. Normally all we see is the hanging bell shape of the flower but take time to upturn these flowers to study the intricate patterns and colours within.
A couple of real surprises hit me this week though – in a garden not known for its warm micro-climate I found a couple of crocus putting in an appearance
and a periwinkle Vinca major ‘Variegata’ actually in flower!
The continuing warm weather will no doubt see other plants eager to show that they can match the others – any late cold snaps though could potentially be quite damaging as plants put on fresh new growth that isn’t sufficiently hardened off.
Take a look around you – I think you will find that there is plenty going on in the garden, so don’t just sit and wait for the daffodils to appear take a look at what is already brightening up your garden this winter.
All photos Tim Matcham