So Happy New Year to you all. January can be dull and dreary at times but here in the garden there are all sorts of delights to enjoy. First of all in the Arboretum along side the main drive is a bed full of Cornus, dogwood. These are often grown for their showy coloured stems that brighten the garden through winter. Here they are under planted with Eranthus hyemalis, winter aconites, so the whole arrangement is very pleasing and very colourful too, photo 1.
Walking from the car park I always stop to enjoy the view of the front lawn. The Prunus serrula amid the hellbores, snowdrops, the huge Cedar tree and further on the bamboo, grasses and of course the sundial all create a stunning welcome, photos 2 and 3.
In the beds to the side of the house there are a profusion of snowdrops and cyclamen, photo 4. When I looked back towards Bowling Green lawn I thought how striking the view looked so I retraced my steps, photo 5. The unwanted undergrowth and climbers have been removed from the beds to uncover the beauty of the shrubs and trees planted there. The first bed has a beautiful Corylus avellana 'Contorta', Corkscrew hazel, which now stands proud, photo 6, and is covered with catkins, photo 7. Also, here is a small Hamamelis, Witch hazel, photo 8. In January the bare branches are covered with small fragrant flowers in a rich shade of coppery orange, photo 9. Opposite this bed is the Parrotia persica, Persian ironwood, photo 10, which is closely related to the Hamamelis. This small tree is also covered with small flowers on bare branches through January but these are a dark shade of red, photo 11.
Walking between these two beds past the Headache Tree bed the view to the Pond is very welcoming and beckons you to walk along the path, photo 12. This takes you to the George III Memorial area which is undergoing a transformation at the moment. The sun came out from behind a cloud and lit up the area nearby, photo 13. This has also been cleared of the intrusive undergrowth.
Leaving this area I walked along the New River lawn to look across the pond and I loved the way the silhouettes of these trees stood out against the blue sky, photo 14. The one on the left is a Sweet chestnut, Castanea satura and the one on the right is a Weeping ash, Fraxinus excelsior 'Pendula'. Further along the lawn is the Winter Bed, photo 15. This bed really does come alive at this time of year. Moving on to the Orchard area I thought it was time to highlight the changes here. Over the years several of the trees have been removed for various reasons and now when you walk along the path you can see all the way down to the Rock Garden. Photo 16 was taken in March 2012, photo 17 was taken in May 2014 and photo 18 was taken last week. This vista has been opened up completely and changes with the seasons so I will enjoy bringing you photos of this throughout the year.
Leaving the lower garden area I went to see the Euphorbia bed at the far end of the Eremurus border. Eliza started work on this area last January and has created a very tranquil area. The addition of the Euphorbias, winter aconites and the tree stumps has transformed it into something very beautiful, photo 19.
So, what little nature gems do I have for you this month?? Well, what about a scurry of squirrels?? I had to look up the collective name for squirrels and it said that squirrels are relatively solitary animals making scurries, somewhat, but not entirely, uncommon. I do like to bring you the unexpected, photo 20.
I hope you've enjoyed this meander around the garden with me.