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Winter Magic

What's so magical about this time of year? In my garden it's the appearance of a stream! Most of the time it hides underground but the large amount of rain recently has brought parts of it to the surface and it's easy to trace its path:

We also have some surprises in terms of flowering shrubs, none of these are what you'd expect to see in midwinter:

Left to right, top to bottom: 1 and 2 - rosemary, 3 - Hydrangea "The Bride", 4 - Choisya Ternata, 5 - Buddleia Weyeriana "Sungold", 6 - Hypericum (variety unknown)

To find salvias and fuchsias flowering in December is slightly less of a surprise, they're known to flower well into late Autumn and here on the mild South Coast they often last a little longer:

Left to right, top to bottom: 1 - Salvia "Wendy's Wish", 2 - Salvia x jamensis "Pluenn", 3 - Salvia "Hot Lips", 4 - Savlia, possibly "amistad", 5 - Salvia "love and wishes", 6 - Salvia, unknown variety, 7 - Salvia, possibly"black and blue", 8 - Fuchsia "lady boothby", 9 - Fuchsia "hawkshead"

We do have some more traditional winter sights, of course. Some of my faded perennials have rather lovely seedheads, my winter heather is looking stunning and my fatsia japonica is showing its tiny white flowers:

Left to right, top to bottom: 1 - unknown , 2 - Verbena lollipop, 3&4 - unknown, 5 - Hypericum, 6-8 - various winter heathers, 9 - Fatsia japonica

Of course, evergreen plants come into their own in winter, especially those with colourful foliage, while some deciduous plants show off pretty stems:

Left to right, top to bottom: 1 - Nandina domestica "firepower", 2 - ivy, variety unknown, 3 - Hebe "silver anniversary", 4 - Arundo donax, 5 - Cornus, variety unknown, 6 - Blueberry, variety unknown

Most of my time this month has been taken up with clearing leaves, and I also have some maintenance work to do (why do the birds always peck at Eddie the Eagle's bottom???):

There are buds everywhere and I'm looking forward to lots of new growth over the next 2 months!


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