Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Happy New Year

After the excesses of a celebratory yule and precious time spent with the family feasting, talking and generally not doing very much at all, together, kickstarting the new year from a standing start can be a befuddling, difficult wrench. 

And so it was when I arrived back at the office last week bleary eyed, back to a job that I adore, but wondering where and how to start.

Thankfully, the garden here at the office was taking no prisoners and in my absence had been carrying on regardless. It has become my shining example. 

With most of us experiencing the mildest winter that we can remember, for many it will be no surprise to hear that Rodgersia, Echinops, Nepeta and so on are moving on at full tilt, budding up and taking full advantage of the unseasonable warmth. Here, the daffodils and snowdrops are up and at 'em. 

With this in mind, just today, an article in the Guardian caught my eye. In it National Trust conservation advisor Matthew Oates said: "After two cold winters, we've reverted back to the modern trend of mild, wet winters. If you look closely in woods, valleys, stream-sides and south facing slopes in particular, there are features of late January and early February everywhere." According to the central England temperature series, the longest-running instrumental record of temperatures, there were just four air frosts in the last three months of 2011, compared to 35 in 2010 and an average of 15 between 1878 and 2010, the Woodland Trust said. Oates urged people who wanted to visit gardens to see snowdrop and aconite displays not to leave their trips until February as they may miss the flowers. 

You can read the full article here http://bit.ly/yt0Fmk

And whilst the weather reports assure us that from next week the temperatures will revert to more expected lows of January (to what end for our enthusiastic plants and our gardens wildlife too?), I shall take a leaf out of my garden's book.

Hang the consequences, get out there and get moving. With gardens to move from paper to reality and new projects to begin, time waits for no man. 

So the office fire is on, emails are being sent and after a blissful Christmas lull the office is once again a busy place to be. I have even written my first blog in months!

Good luck to one and all, and I wish you a prosperous 2012; may yours be filled with overly enthusiastic flowers....


  1. Lovely. Happy New Year to you too. Ain't gardening lovely? I'm sitting at my desk watching a heron fish in my non-frozen pond (hope he doesn't pierce the liner!)

  2. having been caught out by very dry weather last spring and unable to finish a new border for months my attitude is to make the most of it while you can.

    Happy new year

  3. It is quite a relief to have had a milder winter so far, I have got far more done in the garden then I did this time last year. I hope you have a prosperous new year too.

  4. Well AMP, thank you *very* much for being so up and at em...don't you know there are the 8 days of Inertia and Lethargy that follow the 12 days of Christmas? Frankly, without even a yard of snow and ice as an excuse I'm having a hard enough time remaining lazy and incapable without you pitching in all jolly. Now I'll have to venture outside with a cup of tea, at east for a few minutes. Happy New Year and lots of fun and dollars to you xx

  5. Couldn't agree more luv, time to dust down your moochiest collection of gardening tools and get out there! I was up in one of my 'Kazan' cherry trees at the weekend, cutting a Vitis out of its network of branches that had decided to bolt for the neighbours' gardens and take over the world.

    Mind you, in those bloody winds nearly got blown off my aluminium steps, so was rather more bracing than I'd hoped!

    Moochy, moochy mooo new year to you Jules and the kids xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  6. Lou -Herons! Amazing, yet hungry creatures - I hope you have some fish left after his feeding frenzy!

    Helen and Papaver - I know, managed to get the last few of my bulbs in over the christmas break, and we've cut back plenty and managed to rematch most of the borders too. The snow and ice of the last two years would have made my late panic planting impossible! Bonus.

    Mark - Finally your climate change idea for a farm reigns supreme! Bet you're patting yourself on the back and waltzing about feeling all smug (hope it snows soon!!! Ha haaaa!).

    Andy - Feels good though doesn't it - I love a bit of bluster!!! And as for chopping things back, there's a reason why they used to call me 'The Butcher' at college. Good to hear from you.

    Love to all, and thanks for leaving your comments xxx