7th February, 2015

We have just had about ten days of freezing cold, but have been let off lightly as far as snow is concerned. Just one day of a light covering, and that was all. In a way I feel that spring has almost started as we made our first trip to Bob Browns nursery at Cotswold Garden Flowers which is about forty minutes from here. We bought four euphorbia characias ‘glacier blue’. It was very attractive when you saw it in the flesh, and snowdrops exactly picked up its colours. We also bought Mahonia eurybracteata ‘soft caress’ which sounds, and is, exciting. I am always ready to get excited about any new evergreen plant that emerges, and there are plenty of places where this will look good. I have been to two winter gardening lectures in the last week, both excellent in their different ways. One was Kim Wilkie at the Oxford Botanic series of winter lectures, and the other was Tony Kirkham at the Linnaeus Society, Burlington House, next to the Royal Academy. This was filled with a lot of quite alarming, old, dendrinologists. However it was not too bad as we had a couple of friends there, who made sure we met people. They were not so alarming after all, and were really quite friendly. I feel James and I ought to join this society.
My Melianthus Major is looking terrible, and should probably by chopped down. Polly is half way cutting back on the Autumn Border, which is at least in the sun if you work on it. The peonies are beginning to show their red buds which is always promising, and a few of the crocuses are starting to emerge. Aconites seem to have spread everywhere. Anemone ingramii has started flowering. It is a deeper colour and earlier than the ordinary anemone blanda. I love them as they do not look bad when they are going over as a lot of bulbs do. In my winter circle in the paddock, my snowdrop Wendys Gold, has turned from three into thirty which is almost worthy of a glass of champagne!

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