My first posting from my garden journal 2021 covers the month of January. I began by writing, “January, a new month and a new year, 2021, began cold with periods of rain, sleet and snow. But as always there is plenty going on in the garden and we are getting out enjoying the garden and the tasks we set ourselves.”
The first set of photo this month show some of these tasks, “The re-surfacing of our old concrete paths and terraces is now complete, so we have added fresh gravel to the ‘Aeonium Bed’ and re-fixed my vintage tool collection to the garage wall.”
“We have had to cut down lots of perennial flower stems due to rain and wind damage, a job we usually leave until late February or early March. These prunings we have used to make insect shelters. As we brushed up leaves we made wildlife shelters from them too.”
I feature a Derwent ink pencil drawing over the page where I wrote, “Often we find plants damaged by wind and rain in January, so we cannot enjoy seeing their delicate seedheads and dried flowerheads. This drawing above is of a dried plant that we cannot identify in its current state – possibly a small flowered aster?”
On the opposite more berries appear carrying on from my December journal pages. “In last month’s pages I looked at the red berries of a new holly we had bought, Ilex verticillata and also the many different red cotoneaster berries. I wandered the garden today seeing what other berries were to be found. Crab apples, rose hips, rowan berries, honeysuckles, libertia and holly.”
Turning over to the next double page spread I share photos of a frosted garden on the left hand side and opposite them my painting of rose hips.
Concerning the frosty photos I noted, “The cold start to January gave us one day of heavy frost, when we awoke to a monochrome front garden. The gravel garden, our ‘Beth Chatto Garden’, has plenty of seedheads of grasses and tall perennials and these catch the frost and get gentle white coats and hats.”
On the opposite page I wrote, “Many of our roses continue to flower into December, but then we half-prune them to prevent windrock. Some of our climbers and ramblers flower on into January when we enjoy blooms alongside hips.”
Below is my water colour of hips of Rosa ‘Summer Wine’.
A double page spread follows on, featuring photos of our flowers showing colour this month clothed in snow, “Every flower that opens in January is very special – they seem so brave to be out and about now. I found this selection on a snowy day on a quick, cold wander with camera in hand.”
My sketch of terminal buds on tree stems which I created in water-based pencil crayons finishes off my journal entries for January 2021. I wrote, “Having lost their leaves in the autumn, our garden trees are now attracting our attraction for different reasons. Their silhouettes show beautifully against the sky , their bark texture displays well on bright days and their twigs are in need of close study.”
So there we have my entries for the start of 2021. I shall share again soon at the end of February.