Happy New Year 2023

Let us hope that for us gardeners and nature lovers that 2023 will be a little easier and perhaps more positive. I decided that perhaps the best way to see in the new year would be to take a wander around our Avocet garden and look out for promises and clues for the future.

Winter flowering shrubs and climbers are always so special and we always look forward to them blooming, keeping an eye out for the first buds to show colour and the first to come out fully.

The earliest flowering shrub to show colour in its buds is always a witch hazel called ‘Jelena’, Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’. Early on in December the buds fatten and split to show a slither of orange and by the middle of the month the first flowers burst out. It is the longest flowering of our hamamelis sharing its bright orange flowers for weeks on end allowing us also to absorb its fruity scent.

The second shrub to show colour in its flower buds is the very early flowering Daphne bhuloa ‘Jacqueline Postill’ and its buds begin to show pink colouring around Christmas time. This is one of the most beautiful scents of winter and it can be enjoyed from far away. It will stay in flower for weeks on end.

The earliest flowering climbers of all are always clematis, with mostly white or cream coloured blooms. These two both climb up our Acer refinerve which grows in the centre of the Winter Border which is a good winter tree because it sports snake skin patterned bark. When these clematis buds open they will reveal waxy petals and emit delicate scents.

A further wander will discover other flower buds waiting to open. The two below are on the left Cornus mas and on the right Rhamnus alaternus ‘Argenteovariegata’.

Below are two more shrubs coming into leaf but we will have to wait until the summer to be able to appreciate their flowers, Hypericum inodorum ‘Magical Universe’ on the left and Buddleia lindleyana on the right.

Whenever we are gardening in December and January we will be on the lookout for the leaves of early flowering bulbs. So new year is a special time for looking forward in the garden and finding so much positivity and so many promises of delights to come.

By greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.

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