Well here we are in the New Year, and with Christmas behind us. James’s, 95 year old mother, Judy, has died aged 95, and on Tuesday is her cremation in Banbury. I have not gardened at all for weeks, and yesterday I have been out there working hard, and this morning. I think I am pretty unfit, but have loved what I have been doing the last two days. Suddenly the garden is transformed, snowdrops everywhere, and the aconites seem to have spread quite a lot. They are so beautiful at this time of year. Other people have trouble with them, but they seem to love us. Some of the hellebores are flowering quite well, depending where they are. It was worth doing taking off all the leaves, though there are still a few to do, and it looks as if mice have been after them. My Salix Irrorata are beginning to gleam white and I am excited by them. They are underplanted with Galanthus Jacquinetta, originally given to me by Polly, and which have increased hugely. I have been cutting back the Chrysanthemum Chelsea Physic, but we are going to take cuttings of it when Polly gets back. Everything is cut back except the Klimt border which I have made a start on, and the Autumn border which takes a long time because it is so huge. James is preparing lunch while I am writing this. He has been to pick his brother Dave up from Heathrow, who has flown in from Melbourne, Australia. When you walk in to the kitchen past Sarcococca Confusa, you are nearly knocked sideways by the lovely scent that this shrub gives out. You know I don’t really like shrubs, but this is evergreen, glossy, and with a beautiful smell. You can hardly go wrong.
Am I not right, or has it been very mild. It seems very early to have all the snowdrops flowering. How I love the snowdrops, and the other thing I adore is the Peonies who are all pushing their way up. Bob Brown thought I did not need the two circles in the paddock, filled with winter flowering flowers. The pleasure I get from sitting down at my table looking at my early hellebores, snowdrops, Peonie Mairie, which was a gift from John Grimshaw. I did not realise how lucky I was at the time. It is the earliest Peony. and easy to increase. I will put on another blog filled with photographs of what I am talking about. .