Winter Green

Last weekend was officially my final gardening weekend before Christmas. From now on it will be a roller coaster ride of shopping, wrapping, cleaning, writing cards and decorating before the festivities commence. Him Indoors has embarked on a social schedule that would make The Queen look lazy, offering me peace and quiet to complete my seed orders and plan for next year.

My über-healthy gingers weren’t exactly cut off in their prime, but got a slightly premature chop to put them out of their misery. A handful of fuchsias, including beautiful Fuchsia splendens (below), still too lovely to maim, were transferred to the greenhouse where they will carry on flowering until Christmas. All that remains outside has been tied up or down and will have to fend for itself until February, when I’ll emerge from my sugar coma.

Fuchsia splendens, Polegate Cottage, November 2015

Just six months after acquiring a dilapidated greenhouse I’m already unsure how I managed without it. The 8’x6′ space is already jam-packed with tender echiums, begonias, aeoniums and geraniums, as well as pots of early spring bulbs. I’m constantly amazed at the temperature differential between inside and out, which illustrates just how long it’s been since I last gardened under glass. Ironically the greenfly have set up camp inside our house, leaving the greenhouse virtually pest free.

The greenhouse, Polegate Cottage, November 2015

Without the golden leaves of the hedychiums and the coral flowers of the fuchsias the garden has reverted back to its base-state of emerald green. It’s all very restful and not in the least wintry. In a good year we’ll enjoy this luxuriant look until spring arrives, when the first daffodils start to peep over the rims of their terracotta pots. After the luxuriance of summer it’s good to appreciate the garden in its foundation garments, thinking how I can dress it up again for next year.

I’d love to hear what’s looking good in your gardens right now and when you start to wind down for Christmas.

The Watch House Garden, November 2015