Well, what a dismal start to the year we've had weather wise! But have no fear there was the occasional day of sunshine and I did my best to capture that blue sky for you so enjoy Myddelton in the sunshine with me.
You may have noticed that I've changed the title of my newsletter to 'News and Views'. It appears on the Society website under this title and I feel it's more appropriate as I bring you news of what's happening overall rather than at any precise moment. Another idea I had was to include the map of the garden so you can follow my progress around the garden. You can look at it or print it off, item 1.
First of all, I will share with you the secret of the seedlings in the teasels, photo 1. One of my regular readers saw a letter in 'Garden News' which mentioned the very same occurrence. The reply from Carol Klein suggested that instead of the seed heads becoming dormant and distributing their seeds, they held on to them and the seeds germinated in the seed head. This was probably encouraged by the warm, wet autumn we had.
So moving on to the main event, so to speak, the garden. Always welcoming and always beautiful especially in the sunshine. The Prunus serrula, the Tibetan cherry, is quite often grown for its striking coppery-red bark. You can see the feathery edges of the bark catching the sunlight here in photo 2, walking around the Cedar the front lawn looks completely different from this angle, photo 3. In the bed beside the cedar you can see the bright stems of the bamboo surrounded by the mounds of grasses that include the miscanthus, one of my favourites. I will bring you more photos of this bed in the summer.
Walking along the path towards the pond I stop to admire the silhouette of the Acer pseudoplatanus, more commonly known as the Sycamore, photo 5, and in front of the Old Conservatory the silhouette of the Phellondendron amurense, the Amur cork tree, photo 6. Both trees enhanced by the beautiful blue sky.
Everywhere you walk in the garden there are early signs of spring. Here are a few of the flowers I found. Crocus, photo 7. Aconites, photo 8. Hellebores, photo 9. Hamamelis intermedia, witch-hazel, photo 10. Then there is the Cortaderia selloana, Pampas Grass to you and me, photo 11, that has not allowed the heavy rain to ruin its stunning presence here beside the pond.
Next I headed for the Rock Garden and was again greeted by the most amazing tree in the Alpine meadow, Metasequoia glyptostroboides, the Dawn Redwood, photo 12. The acers in the Rock Garden provide more silhouettes to enjoy. The parasitic plant Lathraea clandestina that feeds on the roots of the acer is already showing signs of life but more of that little gem next month. I usually stand on Pinkadoo Bridge to take photos of the Rock Garden so thought it worth including it for you to see, photo 14. The bridge provides a link to Forty Hall which Mr Bowles and his brother, Henry, would have used regularly to visit one another. Last but not least is the main attraction of this area, the snowdrops, photo 15.
In the Kitchen Garden, Steph and her team have worked hard to keep on top of things despite the awful weather and as you can see it's looking good, photo 16. Some of the crops are almost ready for sale. Here are the Milan Purple Top turnips, photo 17 and the White Globe turnips, photo 18.
The pathway between the Bamboo area and the Wild Garden has now been repaired and tidied so you can walk through to Tom Tiddlers ground. This whole area is full of snowdrops, photo 19. The 'stick' in the middle of the bed is Fagus sylvatica 'Black Swan'. This is a purple cascading beech tree that will have dark purple, almost black, foliage. I look forward to including more photos of this area through the year.
Thought I'd include this view of the house, photo 20. Do you know what's missing?? Yes, the Juniperus communis, the Juniper tree, photo 21. This was damaged in one of the storms at the end of last year and had to be removed because of the danger it posed to the public. Still it's opened up the view and has allowed more light into this area.
So onto the fauna this month. That firm favourite, the Robin, photo 22, has crept in again joined by the Mistle Thrush, photo 23. Then we have the magnificent Tilia x europaea, the common Lime tree, photo 24, complete with mistletoe and this Crow, photo 25. It had been basking in the sunshine then started to shake himself so I was able to capture this moment.
Hope you have enjoyed this wander around the garden with me and I hope your New Year has got off to a splendid start.