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My garden in pictures January

Hello Hellebores, January 31
Hello Hellebores, January 31

Starting 2020 with great personal loss…

I don’t ever remember a January when there wasn’t even a hint of sleet, let alone snow, yet there’s not been a flake (in fact, nothing this winter).

It’s been quite dry here but windy and ridiculously mild with only the odd day of frost.

The last third of the month has been a difficult one for me, as I finally lost my mam after a long illness. Work on my new border – indeed everything I normally do at this time of year – has ground to a halt. Sometimes, there are more important things to deal with.

However, one thing is for sure, a memorial plant will take pride of place in the bed and it will be treasured.

VERY early bloomers

Daffodil Tete a Tete is getting earlier every year but this is the first time it’s opened in January! The hellebores are out in force too, as is the Japanese quince (Chaenomeles japonica) and Euphorbia wulfenii and its self-seeded spawn is throwing up flowering stems.

There are also fresh new leaves on the Photina Pink Crispy and Sorbaria sem.

Preparing the new border

New year new beginnings… I decided to redo the garden’s biggest border… for more about this click here.

Plants for free

Part of the joy of gardening is getting plants for free, by cuttings, root cuttings, division or growing from seed. Here, I have a host of orange daylilies and primrose Moonstone.

In the conservatory

Not only my personal circumstances have stopped me in my tracks – our ‘could catch fire’ washing machine has been replaced meaning the kitchen floor had to be lifted (don’t ask) – and it’s living in the conservatory! Aaagh!

It’s in a big roll and can’t be stood on in case it cracks, so there will be no seed sowing until that’s back where it belongs.

At least the epiphytic orchid cactus brightened this up by throwing out and unexpected flower, which is my favourite of the month.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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