Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Close Look at the January Garden

I was really rather amazed to discover that there is quite a lot of life and beauty out there in the garden this month. You just have to look closely and ignore the dead stuff.

Three Sarcococca in the back garden are starting to size up and smell delicious!

If you grow it, you know, but if you don't, I wish I could send you some of this lovely scent

They're covered in new flowers and last year's berries, both at the same time.

My 'Jelena' witch hazel is also covered in blooms

They remind me of spiders

Honeysuckle is already starting to leaf out

Flowers on my 'Red Majestic' Corylus

The wild filbert to which it is related has similar flowers

Cyclamen coum has started flowering

Not everything is brown and dead, this little corner is still green, although soon I am going to have to cut back the Hellebore and Epimedium foliage

Spiny Epimedium and maidenhair fern make great companions

Mahonia x media 'Charity'

Edible rhubarb is popping up

One somewhat chewed Hellebore, past its prime

Looks like I'll have plenty of garlic to cook with next year

Old Monarda seedheads are starting to fall apart -- or maybe have been torn apart by birds

A funky fungus popped up in this bed in the fall and is starting to look a bit like petrified wood

The neighbor's demented cat Lucy has found a warm spot beside the greenhouse in the brief afternoon sun

She looks like such a sweetie, doesn't she?

Don't you believe that "I'm adorable" act for a second -- Lucy is short for Lucifer

She'll let you pat her for a bit, but when she's had enough, she'll turn on you in a nanosecond and try to rip your hand off. In fact, the whole time I was taking her picture, she was growling like a stray who thinks you're going to steal her food. She's probably also left me a few stinky treasures buried in the soil somewhere. You may have noticed the bamboo skewers mixed with the garlic in the photo above, that's to deter the neighborhood cats.

We've been getting just a touch of frost the last few nights, as the temp goes down to just freezing, 32 degrees F., and then barely reaching into the high 40s by mid afternoon, which is just a little too cold for me to be out there working for long. I'm making slow progress cutting back the dead,  brown foliage and seedheads, but then, some of them -- like the Monarda above -- are actually rather pretty.

Are you getting out in your garden?