January garden wanders

Cold temps, snow and hard frost are on a brief vacation for the moment. I’m whispering as I tell you… I’m a tad nervous about announcing this for fear they will return. Oh… I know they will, we haven’t seen the last of Winter yet but it has been wonderful to have our gardens back again here in the UK. Yay… my daughter and have been wandering on a brief garden visit too!

Last week I wandered around my own garden – just before the hard frosts came. There were the faithful evergreens, cold/frost damaged evergreens, odd climbers, perennials and bulbs showing new signs of life. However a gold star has to go to the newbie for this winter showing it’s as hardy as its label suggests – I’ll be honest, I doubted this.

~ Sulphur heart Ivy covering pergola looking healthy ~

~ Griselinia not looking so healthy after cold temps and snow ~

~ Clematis ‘Miss Bateman’ showing new life in winter dry stems ~

~ Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ showing new life in winter wet stems ~

~ Snowflake bulbs showing first nose breaking through the soil ~

~ Drumstick alliums a tad on the early side ~

~ Pitcher plant living up to its label of hardy to -20 deg C ~

Visiting gardens in winter can be just as magical as in Spring, Summer and Autumn don’t you think? Yes, they look pretty with frost and a gentle snow covering but I can’t be alone in saying that the duller colours, dry & damp foliage and stems with a sprinkling of new buds and odd flowers has a such an atmosphere about it.

If you enjoy this too, then I’m guessing you’ll enjoy the short video below captured this afternoon on a garden visit to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. If you are new to my blog and this garden then you might enjoy my wanders back in February 2008, Febuary 2009 and March 2010 also.

Please note there is background music with this video

Holding a video camera steady without a tripod I do find a bit tricky. My new one is smaller and lighter so that doesn’t help my cause either. However, as this video is intended to give the raw feel of the garden I’m hoping I can get away with the odd bit of camera shake 😉

Yes… I hear you ask… why didn’t I take my tripod? Well, I need to look into that one a bit further as a permit is required and I don’t know if I would qualify. On a previous visit back in June 2008 I used my monopod which worked okay but still not as good as my tripod. On the RBGE website they say:

“You can take photographs and videos in the Garden for personal use. All filming and photography for commercial use or the use of tripods is by permit only. Details of any requests for filming or photography should be discussed with the Press & Marketing Office. I’ll get in touch with them before my next visit.

Finally, if you are living in the UK then you might enjoy helping the RSPB with a survey this weekend. All you need to do is count the number of birds that visit your garden over a period of one hour sometime over this weekend then submit your stats to them. Yep… it’s time for the annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch once again 🙂

12 thoughts on “January garden wanders

  1. I am impressed that you have pitcher plants growing in your garden. I would love a little patch of those. I don't have the right conditions. Your garden seems to have a little more green going than mine. Our snow might be gone tomorrow, at least in the sunnier places in the garden. I will have a look about.

  2. There are quite a lot of little gems to find in your garden. I am amazed at how many gardens have new growth popping like spring is around the corner. Gives the snow covered gardens a little hope of spring.

  3. Hi Shirl, good to see your plants survived the weather. presumably you had so much snow then it acted as good insulation against the severe frosts. Lovely to see the snowflakes, this year I've decided to grow them, and have some on order from a specialist nursery, they're being delivered in a few weeks, can't wait.

  4. Nice to see that your plants have survived the winter so far. amazed about the Pitcher Plant I didn't know they were so hardy I must try one this year. The picture quality looks good from your new HD video camera

  5. Carrying a tripod can be a bind though can't it? I've ordered a Brunnera – Dawsons white which I hope will like a shady bit of my garden – is your Brunnera in shade?

  6. Not at all bad. Your editing is very, very clean and good – IMO. A little more practice you will probably be able to hold that camera perfectly steady. Not sure if you can, but adding a pistol grip might help. ATB!

  7. You must have stopped whispering Shirl- the frosts are returning here tonight. I enjoyed your video of the Royal Botanic Garden ~ was that a squirrel flying through at one point? Good to see new growth again – my brunnera looks frightful but underneath the sog are one or two new leaves:) You may well already know but just in case -this weekend the Telegraph will have a free birdsong CD and a little bird ID book.

  8. Oh Shirl, you did post the video..it is lovely and with music!! A taste of spring to come for us here across the pond, from you! Surely you are having snowdrop walks in your neck of the woods…blooms a long way off for us. Wonder how the hard winter has affected mighty trees in Britain, like long lived magnolias…seems I remember quite a famous one but forget where…

  9. @Lisa : i was wondering the same growing pitcher plants in the garden is not am easy task at all 😛 I am planning to plant those again in my garden. lets see how it goes

  10. Hi everyone, hope you’ve all had a good week. I agree about the pitcher plants, they have both impressed and surprised me too 🙂

    Lisa, hope you’re seeing a little more green now.

    GWGT, I agree I have been enjoying this too.

    Andrew, ah… I’m new to snowflakes too. Enjoy yours, they really are quite special.

    David, worried about my Griselinia. It suffered last winter and is half the plant it was before. It may be quarter this year. It’s a fav taken from my first garden. Thanks, really looking forward to bright sunshine to test the colour of this new camera.

    Green Lane, it can. Not so bad when I’ve someone to carry it for me like OH 😉 Enjoy your Brunnera (don’t know that one). Yes, my Brunnera is in partial shade.

    Rusty, thanks for your comment. Never heard of a pistol grip, maybe a grip of some sort would help.

    Malay-Kadazan, I didn’t know myself until I read the label at a garden show sales table. I just had to try it out 🙂

    Iiona, it has hasn’t it. February will probably see a snow covered garden so we’ll enjoy the colour while we have it.

    Anna, oops sorry about that. Thanks, I was hoping that people would watch my video. LOL… yes it was a squirrel flying past… editing took some time to cut out the worst of my camera shake but I deliberately put in blur for the squirrel. Thanks for mentioning the Telegraph freebie. I’ll take a look and hope others do too 😀

    Brenda, delighted you enjoyed the video. I was trying to capture mood with it and it’s great to share the tastes of what’s to come with you all the way across in Nova Scotia. Nope, further South in England snowdrops may be thinking of coming out but we’re a bit away from it here yet. Not sure on the trees yet. I’m sure their plight will appear in news at some point this winter.

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