I reckon it’s quite hard to do SoS in the winter. There just doesn’t seem to much going on that’s of interest. Especially in our little Matchbox garden in the city which is resting, as any little hard worker should, until the busy blooming time of spring.
So not a very exciting lot from me, except for the first one. I bought an Agave Attenuata (Silver Trim) a day or so ago, for this tub which is directly across the path from the heat pump and has glaringly hot hours in the summer sun. I loved the fine white edges to this plant and because I love finding variegated or black leafed plants as foils in the white garden, this fitted the bill. Hopefully for its hardiness in an awkward position too.
Next is one of the clematis vines which will be pruned 12 inches above the soil in a week or so. It looks ghastly as a clump of dried and desiccated leaves. Reminds me of myself!
This is the lighter side of the back path and you can just see pops of some of the white hellebores beginning. There are a number of types, along with grey (slate) and black.
This is the other side of the path and from spring till autumn is filled with a jungle-like swathe of Solomon’s Seal. When the SS is cut back, it reveals some miniature cyclamen and common hellebores, all of which never flower in this strip that the garden gods forgot. The back wall of the house is so boring, and the fact that there is no diggable soil thanks to the thick roots of SS means that I’m trawling Pinterest trying to find inspiration for suitably rustic wall decorations – thus far, all I have thought up are a collection of wall-mounted birdhouses (if I can talk husband into making them) or a collection of grapevine wreaths (which I love making). This is a work in progress…
The only tree in the back garden and which separates the top and bottom ‘rooms’ is a weeping silver pear which shed the last of its leaves this week. When we took over this townhouse five years ago, the tree was a tightly clipped topiary ball which horrified me. In our previous home, we had weeping silver pears all along the edge of the front terrace and we allowed them to become weeping silver archways to the front door. We’re letting this one resume its natural growth and to ease away from the tight topiary.
And finally, the first of the winter annuals to flower – I plant a selection of the same ones every year – Primula Gilhams’ White.
That’s it from me. With thanks to The Propagator, where if you follow the links, you will find a wonderful collection of global gardeners who also take part in this wonderful SoS.
Very beautiful Agave Attenuata ! Leaves look healthy and with the droplets , the photo is a success.
Thank you, Fred. It’s very striking and just spoke to me at the nursery.
I’ve been trying to share my link on Jon’s post but WordPress won’t let me, so you may be the only view my post gets. Thank you so much.
I’ll bet you’re excited by the bits of white the hellebores display, Prue! Enjoy your change of seasons.
Yes, I have a thing for hellebores and try to buy a couple of the more distinct ones from a specialist grower ever year. Trouble is, because I have an essentially white garden, I’m missing out on the superb colours they’re now breeding.
I feel I am in your garden – lovely post.
Thank you, that’s lovely. Mind you – the Matchbox city garden is so small that once outside the back door, you’re there!
I wonder if the Agave is frost hardy as well as drought hardy? I’m looking for something to fill a tricky spot and it needs to be very tough. Your agave looks beautiful. I’m glad your silver pear is being allowed to resume its natural shape.
I gather Agaves don’t suit frost areas too well, Jane. Our little city garden is very well sheltered from frost. But could you not just wrap it in frost-cloth for the bad days? By the way, your garden is looking wonderful!
Lovely garden Prue, That Agave looks lovely.
Thank Libby. It’s very structural and imposing, which is nice in winter.
Chin up, Prue… The shortest day is just around the corner and the joys of starting all over agaí are not far away.
Grapevine wreaths is a lovely idea. Have fun.
I perhaps should have phrased my blog a little better as I’m not maudlin about the winter gardens. I’m quite easy with them – there’s masses of pruning to do and where I live, the spring bulbs and early veg are beginning to emerge from the soil and that is exciting! The seasons’ cycle is reassuring, I’ve always believed, and reaffirming. That’s the beauty of gardening.
I’ve always been a lover of all seasons and yes, shortest day soon – we have a winter solstice swim of our winter swimming group this Sunday as a charity drive. The air temps aren’t at all low this year (I think we’ve had maybe one day of 10 or 11, and I’m guessing the water temp is about 12 Celsius. Bring it on!
Thanks, a chara. Indeed I do sometimes like the slow pace of winter that is necessary.
Enjoy the solstice swim!