Jo's December 2020 News and Views

Hello Everyone

Happy New Year, allbeit a belated one. I'm so sorry my newsletter is late but I've been unwell since Christmas. Pleased to say that I am on the road to recovery and here is my offering for December.

The first half of December was filled with some beautiful sunny days, just right for a stroll around the garden. There are several Prunus serrula, the Tibetan cherry, in the garden. This first one is in the car park, photo 1. The second is on the edge of the drive as you approach the house, photo 2. Here you can see why it is a favourite of many gardeners. When the sunshine catches the peeling bark you just have to stop and admire it for awhile. The Front Lawn itself was looking lovely too in the winter sunshine, photo 3.

In the Hollow Lawn area the Viburnum farreri is looking very robust this year, photo 4, covered in its beautiful fragrant flowers. The Asylum was still full of colour too and is just waiting for all those bulbs that I know are hiding just beneath the surface to burst through and bring this whole area alive, photo 5. In the Kitchen Garden in front of the west facing wall near the glasshouses were the last of the Lathyrus odoratus, photo 6. I was amazed to find these sweet peas still flowering in this very sheltered spot.

Walking along the path beside the Alpine Meadow I'm always taken with the colour of the bare branches of this Metasequoia glyptostroboides, common name Redwood, in winter, photo 7. Also, here in the Rock Garden, is this Pine tree, gradually losing its branches but none of its charm, photos 8 and 9. Two versions of the same photo so I'll let you decide which one you prefer. Walking back to the main garden I saw this narcissus, photo 10. Very early but as the weather has been so mild and the sunshine so warm it probably thought it was time to rise and shine!

The Liquidambar styraciflua, or Sweet gum tree, was still holding on to the last of its leaves, photo 11. There are 3 in the garden and this one is the last to change colour and the last one to drop its leaves. It's almost as though it knows it will be a star in its own right at the end of Autumn. On the other side of the Pond is the Winter Bed. This always comes alive in the winter sunshine, photo 12. The Betula pendula, or Silver Birch as we all know it, was standing out against the fabulous blue sky. At the back of the bed was this Mahonia, photo 13. The bright yellow fragrant flowers lifted my spirits.

Moving across the lawn to look at the Kitchen Garden I noticed all the new green tips on the Ilex crenata 'Dark Green'. A sure sign that it is happy and growing well, photo 14. The beds have been planted with tulips again so that is a display we can all look forward to in the Spring. Over the wall is the Kitchen Garden, photos 15 and 16. Beautifully prepared for the winter months by Steph who is now taking a well earned rest for a couple of weeks. The preparations for Spring and another busy year will start in earnest on her return.

Walking back along the New River Lawn I stopped to admire the Echiums, photo 17. They have put on a lot of growth through this mild autumn and I'm sure Richard has been keeping an eye on them through this very cold spell to add fleece protection if needed. In the Rose Garden the beds have been prepared for the new roses that Richard plans to plant here. The round beds will have standard roses under planted with Lavandula stoechas or French lavender and the triangular beds will have fragrant carpet roses planted in them, photo 18. As this is a view I've shared with you on countless occasions I thought I'd add a twist to it.

Next to the Rose Garden is the George III Memorial area. Here the bracken has turned a delightful shade of bronze and looks different every time you see it, photos 19 and 20. Then we have the pond, photo 21. No visit to the garden is complete without time spent enjoying the pond from every angle. Even in the dead of winter there is colour and interest here to enjoy.

Finally, my offerings for fauna this month. First we have a delightful robin, photo 22. They are always in the garden and quite often keep you company as you walk round. Then my treat for you this month is this lovely Redwing, photo 23. This is a member of the thrush family and a winter visitor. They are usually seen feeding in fields and hedgerows so to spot him at Myddelton was a find indeed. They feed on worms and berries so plenty of both in the garden.

I hope you have enjoyed this wander through the garden with me.

Happy New Year and Best Wishes

Jo



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