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Jo's News and Views No12 December 2022

Hello Everyone

Well, December has been another strange month weather-wise, hasn't it? We have had nearly everything thrown at us. Torrential rain, hard frosts then heavy snow. A case of survival of the fittest, I think. Unfortunately, the garden was closed for a while after the snow as the trees had to be assessed for damage and whether or not they were a danger to the public. I don't know the extent of the damage but I will find out and let you know.

In early December I visited the gardens on a beautiful but very chilly day. One of those hard frosts had turned everything white until the sunshine thawed it away. On arrival this lovely Yucca greeted me, photo 1, very pretty. In the car park the Quercus, or Oak tree to you and me, looked magnificent in the sunshine with the azure blue sky behind it, photo 2. If only the temperature had been as warm as it looks in the photo. One of those days when the temperature didn't rise above freezing, I think. On the edge of the drive the sunshine was catching the peeling bark of the Prunus serrula, photo 3. On the Front lawn the sun was beginning to melt the frost, photo 4.

Further along the path was the Parrotia persica, or Persian Ironwood tree, photo 5. It had lost its top layer of leaves and had a touch of frost all over those that remained. On the side of the pond the Taxodium distichum, known as the Swamp cypress tree, had finally lost all of its leaves but I still found the skeleton shape of the branches very appealing, photo 6. Along the New River Lawn I was amazed to see the Salvia still flowering and untouched by the frost, photo 7.

Walking along the path by Bowling Green lawn was this clump of Cortaderia selloana, or Pampas Grass, photo 8. Although completely covered by frost the flower heads were not bowed but still standing tall and nodding as the breeze caught them.

Then in the middle of December the snow arrived and stayed with us for a week. As I could not visit the gardens I asked Paige Harmes, the apprentice in the garden, if she would take some photos for me. So, thank you very much Paige for doing just that and allowing me to share them with you all. I won't go into detail as I think it will be fun for you to identify the areas for yourselves. Please enjoy these lovely snow scenes, photos 9 to 17.

That just leaves my fauna section. Thank you again to Paige for these spiders' webs covered in frost, photo 18. Then as I was leaving the garden after my visit I noticed this handsome fox sneaking around the car park, photo 19. He probably thought no one would see him as he blended in with the beech hedge so well.

I hope you have enjoyed this wander around the garden and the splendid snow photos from Paige.

I would like to wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

Best wishes



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