A step back

When I returned home after our time in England I was surprised to discover just how hardy all the Anemone coronaria are; there had been sub zero temperatures almost every night were away (which has continued all the past week too with an incredible minus 8°C forecast for Saturday).  I took these images a week ago 28th December 2016 but didn’t feel up to writing a post, but I thought it would be nice to use them today.

Anemone coronaria 'The Bride'

Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’

Anemone coronaria 'The Bride'

Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’

Anemone coronaria Sylphide

Anemone coronaria Sylphide

Anemone coronaria

Anemone coronaria

Anemone coronaria 'Mr Fokker'

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr Fokker’

Arbutus unedo

Arbutus unedo

Miscanthus sin. 'Morning Light'

Miscanthus sin. ‘Morning Light’

We hear just before Christmas that the field you can see behind the Miscanthus has been sold and it is likely that it will be let to the same ‘farmers’ who have rented all the other fields around us and manage them in a horribly industrial way, I mention this as it means I will probably plant another tree or maybe Bay behind the Miscanthus to hide the view of yet more Broccoli! It is sad as I like the view of the olives beyond.

Crab apple

Crab apple

Melia Azedarach

Melia Azedarach

The pot of Cycalmen is a cheery sight when I leave the house

The pot of Cycalmen is a cheery sight when I leave the house


Iris unguicularis – so many flowers


Iris unguicularis

Apart from yesterday when there was rain during the night and early morning the days have been wonderfully bright and sunny with lovely blue skies and spectacular sunsets; such a difference to our time in England when I think I only saw the sky on Christmas morning with heavy fog being the norm for most days.

Is the sun shining where you are?

41 thoughts on “A step back

  1. What a beautiful series of images of your anemones, the soft quality of the cool winter light in your garden is lovely. Shame about the field though I’m sure you’ll find a good tree (or big shrub?) to screen the view and complement the gorgeous plumes of Morning Light. Mostly crisp sunny days here since the rather gloomy run up to Christmas and even a bit of snow on the high peaks of the Breacon Beacons.

    • Thank you Kate; the light is so lovely here in the winter, much brighter than in England and with some real warmth in it some days. I was pleased with the images of the Anemones, but I couldn’t manage a good photo of the few snowdrops that are flowering.

  2. Your iris unguicularis is stunning! I can’t catch their fragrance in the garden, but if I bring a few inside where it is warm, they have a sweet scent similar to violets. Lucky for us, we are getting some much needed rain! Then,its going to be very cold for the weekend.

  3. I acquired a small anemone sample last year, and it bloomed 4 times – is that usual for the anemone? I was very surprised! Yours are so lovely. I do like the cyclamen in a pot idea. Very cheery!

  4. Sorry to read about the field Christina, I have just written for the first time in 6 months after being stupidly floored by ‘progress’. Have you any thoughts of which tree you’d like to plant? How lovely though to have anemones and Iris in flower, nothing here yet and a minus 6 due tomorrow. Best wishes, Julie

    • Hi Julie, I’ll probably choose an evergreen, either a large shrub or medium tree; the space is in the middle of the Photinia hedge, but there are enough of those.

  5. I nave never seen this Iris so covered in blooms and your anemones are gorgeous. I love your garden in winter. I am sorry about the field, it is lovely to enjoy a borrowed view. Happy New Year, dear Christina.

  6. Gosh, those anemones are tough – and I don’t suppose it is coincidence that the blooms in the first photo are all facing the same way, which I guess is towards the sun…Good to see a whole clump of the iris as they really stand out in greater numbers, and that close up is of such a prefect flower. I am glad so you have got lots of winter blooms to help you throught these weeks Christina

    • Quite right, the faces of the Anemones are facing the sun! I am surprised they are flowering as well when it has been cold for a while (Friday’s forecast now say below zero temperatures for all 24 hours of Friday, which is a holiday here). The Iris is so rewarding and worth waiting for it to form a large clump; the individual flower actually came from a newer clump in the Woodland walk so in a couple of years I may have some all around the garden. I’m hoping the tulips in pots in the greenhouse will flower earlier than last year but as it is so cold I’m not sure they will.

      • Our ‘cold all day’ is due tomorrow (Thursday) with a slightly milder day and rain on Friday. I have just moved my not yet established Iris unguicularis to the shrub border which should be a better situation for it and means I can see it more easily but with the disturbance it may not flower this year anyway. I was wondering when your tulips might flower

  7. Christina, I’m sorry about the country. Plant a beautiful tree and grow fast. Her unguicularis Irises are wonderful. The coronary anemones are beautiful in all colors. The photos are beautiful and have a “sweet” light. I am glad that you have good weather and can take advantage of your magnificent garden. Here in Madrid today it has been sunny. I have told Gillian before seeing her post how to grow lettuce. Greetings from Margarita.

    • Do you manage to grow lettuces even in mid summer Margarita? I have salad crops for most of the year but not when it is very hot, and that’s when I would enjoy them most.

      • Christina I’m not an expert but I have some tricks. When it is very hot to grow lettuces in the shade and if you do not have shade use a mesh of shade. Putting a few water filled basins and expanded clay balls sold in the plant nurseries will lower the temperature a few degrees and remove the dryness of the environment. Water the lettuces abundantly but without soaking them because it would rot them. Go to a nearby plant nursery and ask what varieties of lettuce are grown in your area: they will withstand the heat and may have fresh lettuces to eat when they are most appetizing. I planted warm lettuce of the variety “Romana” that immediately rises to flower and I picked it up a bit ahead of time on purpose so that the flower did not rise. And it was very good in flavor. But do not plant this variety or the “Iceberg”. Plant those in your area. I’m sorry I can not help any more. In everything you need, ask me if I can help you, I am at your disposal. Greetings from Margarita.

  8. Your pictures with blue sky and flowers are a lovely sight to me as my garden has vanished beneath a thick layer of snow! The Anemones are all so pretty, as are the iris. I hope your garden won’t suffer severe damage in the unusual cold spell forecast – stay warm!

    • Mostly I choose plants knowing that it can be cold some winters but as its been a while since we’ve experienced one a few more delicate plants may have crept in, Cathy. This year I had decided not to put the citrus plants in the greenhouse but I may have to try and fit them in as the temperatures forecast are dipping ever lower.

  9. Despite the cold, your garden is looking wonderful in its winter wear, Christina! There are no signs whatsoever that my anemones will be coming back but, with more rain expected this week, maybe they’ll surprise me. Is that Arbutus the same one you planted not all that long ago? If so, it’s growing fast!

    It’s partially sunny here, which has been the status quo for a few days now but, on the chance that the clouds will bring more rain, we’re not complaining. However, I do wish it was a bit warmer during the day – we’re not used to temperatures under 60F day after day!

    • No, this isn’t the Arbutus I planted recently; this one was one of the first plants in the garden, it was already a small tree in April 2008. We are already experiencing one of the coldest winters since we’ve been here and a real shock after last winter when we didn’t have one frost! Fingers crossed for your rain; we may even have snow next week.

    • I hope the sun shines for you tomorrow too! It must be very hard to live in a place where the winters are so long and hard. You are great at seeing the beauty that surrounds you, even if that is mostly outside your garden.

      • It is a glorious day of bright sunshine and that piercingly blue the sky gets when it is dry (and cold!). I actually love it. Once you are properly dressed, it is lovely to be out in all that crisp beauty.

  10. Your anemones are beautiful and must be very tough to flower at this time of year. I never have so many flowers on my 2 Iris unguicularis, how wonderful yours is!
    What a shame you are going to lose your view of the countryside, I’m sure you will plant something beautiful to hide the veggies!

    • My Iris usually begin with a few flowers in November Pauline and then continue through the winter. The clump is quite large now and it seems that it is a plant that doesn’t like being divided to much as it took about 3 years before it started to give a reasonable show, this is the first time its looked like this! I wouldn’t mind looking at vegetables but these are grown in such an industrial way using lots of pesticides, herbicides and by doing dreadful damage to the soil – I can’t to anything to stop them but I don’t want to think about it every time I sit on the terrace.

    • I think the birds just aren’t familiar with crab apples here; when I first planted them, no fruit at all was taken; the red crab apple keeps its fruits even to the following spring when the new blossom appears, I’ve been known to cut the old fruits off as they spoil the look of the pretty new blossom. Some birds do now eat the fruit but I suspect that up until now there have been other things they preferred to eat.

  11. I’m always happy to see your anemones doing well. They have such a simple form with such saturated colors that they just make me smile.
    Perhaps there will be good news with the field.

    • Fields on three sides have already been rented by this industrial ‘farmer’ so I’m just trying to ignore it all. But I may not grow so many vegetables this year.

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