Christmas Cheer



The last time I was up at 6am on Christmas morning I was ten. With a three-year-old in the house it was inevitable that we’d be roused before dawn to see if Father Christmas had paid us a visit: quite a shock to the system, especially for Him Indoors. The lack of snow outside was a fleeting disappointment, but there was soon wrapping paper strewn across the bed and a very happy little girl playing with her new toys.



Getting the house in order after the last tradesmen left on Friday consumed so much time that I never got around to planting my festive containers in the garden. Instead I’ve arranged Christmas roses (Helleborus niger), heathers and variegated ivies in empty pots and window boxes outside the windows, where we can enjoy them from the comfort of the library. Correa ‘Marian’s Marvel’ has already been flowering for two months and is looking very pretty with its red and lime-green flowers nodding in the chilly wind. In the greenhouse Salvia involucrata ‘Bethellii’ and copper-coloured chrysanthemums bring more seasonal cheer, and Canna iridiflora is about to start blooming again. Outside, Cobaea scandens is still covered in tens of cup-and-saucer flowers thanks to the mild start to winter here in the UK.



Whatever you are up to today – and I will mostly be chasing around after little Martha, drinking sherry and enjoying all our new space – I hope Christmas Day brings you much cheer and happiness. TFG.