Monday, 29 December 2014
Snowdrops and Roses
Well here it seems that Christmas disappeared almost faster than you could say it. We have had a stay at home quiet but thoroughly relaxing few days. All in all the batteries which were running down are now thoroughly restored. There has been good food and wine and pursuit of gentle pleasures including reading, jigsaw puzzling, crossword solving, scrabbling as well as watching the odd film. There were some gardening related presents including a couple of books (more of them a later date), pruners, secateurs, gardening gloves, a packet of peas and some muscari bulbs to plant in a most pretty jug. Best of was a trowel which made me positively purr.
The first jigsaw entitled 'Garden Party' pictured above was a challenge to the old grey matter - only 250 pieces but the pieces were not conventional. It did not follow that a straight side necessarily equated with an edge piece - they could be in the middle of the jigsaw. If the kind donor of this gift
(a birthday present from earlier in the year) reads this you chose well my friend. We have now moved on to a thousand piecer which should keep occupied for some considerable time.
Although it was not a white Christmas we had snow on the Feast of Stephen. It arrived in darkness and was quite magical. My nose had detected that snowfall was imminent earlier in the day so I was on the look out for it. I've had discussions about being able to smell snowfall with several family members and friends and there seems to be a divided camp on the topic. What about you - can you smell snow before it arrives?
The bitterly cold temperatures since have prevented it from melting completely so scattered but substantial white patches remain. No chance to use the new trowel yet as the earth is indeed still hard as iron but I've made it to the greenhouse each day to study the state of snowdrop play. There have been one or two casualties, some will not flower this year whilst some have multiplied most considerately. In flower for Christmas Day were 'Mrs Macnamara', 'Faringdon Double',' Peter Gatehouse', 'Fieldgate Prelude', and an unlabelled bulb which did not flower at this time last year or during the remainder of the winter. I obtained 'Peter Gatehouse' in the green earlier this year so this was its first flowering. It was also a debut for 'Fieldgate Prelude' bought in 2013 and which has multiplied well. You can see a photo above. The seasonally named 'Three Ships' and 'Ding Dong' did not live up their reputation with the former going over well before Christmas whilst the latter is only just showing white. Now I know that I do not really need any more snowdrops but I'm already debating which I might add to my little collection over the next few weeks. Elsewhere in the garden I had two varieties of rose still in flower for Christmas Day - snowdrops and roses, now that's a first!