January 20th 2016 – What I’m enjoying in the garden this week

Continuing my plan of writing about what I’m enjoying in the garden each week.

This week it has been the bare branches silhouetted against the cold blue sky that have given me most pleasure, along with the bright yellow berries of the Melia azedarach.

Mulberry - lovely trunk and branches with Acanthus forming a billowing skirt around the base

Mulberry – lovely trunk and branches with Acanthus forming a billowing skirt around the base

A newly visible nest in the walnut tree

A newly visible nest in the walnut tree

I often complain that trees here in Italy often have very sparse leaves in comparison to in the UK, but the walnut harboured  a magpie nest that I knew nothing about until the tree lost its leaves.

Melia berries against the sky

Melia berries against the sky

Melia against a backdrop of Quercus ilex

Melia against a backdrop of Quercus ilex

Late flowers on the new Arbutus in the new planting

Late flowers on the new Arbutus in the new planting

Rose Sophie's perpetual living up to her name

Rose Sophie’s perpetual living up to her name

Lavender - full of flower

Lavender – full of flower

Euphorbia rigida with lots of buds just about to open

Euphorbia rigida with lots of buds just about to open

Euphorbia rigida

Euphorbia rigida

All the above images were taken on Sunday, since then we have had some severe frosts with even the daytime temperatures not climbing above 5°C and the lows have been minus 3 or 4; walking around the garden on Tuesday afternoon I could see that some plants have been very shocked by the frost, the Arbutilon which has been in flower since autumn has dead frosted flowers all over it.

The Nandina berries look wonderful with just a little sun on them.

The Nandina berries look wonderful with just a little sun on them.

Low afternoon light catches the red stems of Euphorbia on the slope

Low afternoon light catches the red stems of Euphorbia on the slope

It is good to have some cold weather, I believe that it helps reduce the pests and diseases in the garden but with the very mild weather we were experiencing up until a week ago many plants may be experiencing some shock.

I’m glad I picked the bearded Iris when I did as it certainly wouldn’t have survived outside.

What are you enjoying in your garden this week?  I know many of you have had snow and that has its own beauty.

I’ll be posting about the foliage in my garden on Friday 22nd; I do hope you’ll join in with whatever foliage is pleasing you this month.  Keep warm!

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36 thoughts on “January 20th 2016 – What I’m enjoying in the garden this week

  1. Those blue skies on a chilly winters day are really uplifting to see in your photos and to experience first hand Christina. We’ve had a few days of sub zero temperatures here and a little snow but the forecasters have just predicted back up to plus 11 on Sunday, I’d prefer a “normal” winter as plants and early buds will be damaged and as you say helps with pests and diseases, we were even visited in our kitchen by a sprightly wasp last night.

    • I’m one of the people who suffer from SAD so having these blue sky sunny days is more than just a lift to the spirits. It is predicted that it will remain cold here for at least the next week. We often have early buds followed by cold weather in late February, it doesn’t seem to do too much harm.

  2. Those Nandina berries are stunning in the sunlight. I too am enjoying looking at the silhouettes of trees, especially a couple of silver birches. We have no snow, but like you very heavy frost. It is concerning when it lasts like this as that does finish off more delicate plants without sufficient protection. However, what is even more surprising, is how many will survive, even if they are knocked back a bit.

  3. There’s a lot to enjoy in your garden, it seems. In particular, I love that first shot of the bare tree with its lush evergreen accompaniment and the last shot of soft, feather grasses. Well done!

  4. Hi Christina. It is heartening to see some greenery and lavender flowers! It’s a different world here – my garden is completely dormant and even some remaining grasses and seedheads have been flattened by snow and cold, so thanks for sharing your lovely photos to cheer me up!

    • Winter is the time our gardens are very different aren’t they Cathy; when spring arrives yours catches up very fast. If the garden is dormant, you can rest or do other things like baking! Keep very warm.

  5. We had a hoar frost this morning which made a fairyland of the garden. Your garden has lots of interest even in the depths of winter. I love those Melia berries and the Nandina is lovely.

    • I hope you will post some images of the hoar frost Liz; it is a wonderful sight when everything is turned magically white and sparkling. It is nearly one here today, the ground is completely white and the solar panel was thickly white, but it is melting quite quickly with the sun shining on in.

    • I don’t think of Seattle being particularly mild Charlie; is it warmer than its latitude would suggest because it is close to the ocean? Perhaps I need to look at a map.

  6. It’s easy to forget to get out there and appreciate at this time of year. We’re having a rare ray of sunshine right now and you have inspired me to go exploring.

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