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My Midwinter Garden

We're almost at the end of December, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to look at in the garden.

At this time of year plants with attractive foliage really come into their own. Below (clockwise from top left): Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald Gaiety'; Hebe silver anniversary; Leucothoe scarletta; Santolina chamaecyparissus 'Lemon Fizz'.

Larger plants can stand out as architectural features. Below (clockwise from top left): holly tree - sadly a male so it does not bear berries; yellow branches on my Golden weeping willow (Salix x sepulcralis var. chrysocoma); lighter new growth makes even a common privet look amazing; bamboo fargesia; Salix integra 'Hakuro-nishiki' has attractive reddish branches; I'm not sure what this last one is, we've always referred to it as "bamboo" but I know it isn't, possibly Saccharum officinarum L.

The long hot summer and mild autumn and winter have confused some of my plants. I really wouldn't expect to see these at the end of December (left to right and top to bottom): alyssum (Lobularia maritima); white fuchsia; Vinca Maculata (periwinkle); Lamium purpureum ("dead nettle", a weed but not unattractive, no sting and edible so I'm leaving it for now); dianthus; white container flower (sorry, don't know details); yellow container flower (sorry, don't know details); climbing fuchsia; ripe gooseberries.

These lovely spring heathers are flowering earlier than I'd expect:

I've got well-developed buds on my laurel tree, crab apple and camellia japonica:

While other parts of my garden are ready for wildlife: Viburnum bodnantense dawn is covered in flowers for early beas, english ivy is developing berries for birds and nandina has already got a lovely set of berries

Finally, I was lucky enough to receive some lovely gifts for my garden: a dragonfly now flits around my bamboo and a ladybird hotel is ready for its first guests:


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