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A North Wales Alpine Gardener's Diary

This entry: January 2018: Entry 68

If winter comes can spring be far behind?

It feels as if the winter has been especially long, and we are only at the end of january, but maybe that has something to do with advancing years... Anyway, it has certainly been pretty sunless here with few days when it has been a pleasure to be in the garden and many when even to venture out has required fortitude. Not that it has ever been very cold  (min -1C this month), but always chilly becuase of the persistent wind, often from the north or north west. 

The snowdrops this year have flowered more or less on schedule, or perhaps a little late - P. nivalis 'Sandersii' only just above ground and will not be in full fower for another 10 days at least. The best of the early singles here are undoubtedly 'Brenda Troyle', 'Diggory', 'John Long', 'Magnet', 'Melanie Boughton', Mrs Thompson', and one of my absolute favourites, 'Trymposter', and among the doubles, 'Dionysus', 'Lady Beatrix Stanley', and 'Hippolyta',. Most of these I have shown you before but just a couple of pictures now to get the season off to a start. 

Galanthus 'John Long'

Galanthus 'John Long'

G. 'Trymposter'

Galanthus 'Trymposter'

G. 'Dionysus'

G. 'Dionysus'

G. 'Lady Beatrix Stanley'

Galanthus 'Lady Beatric

Rhododendron dauricum and Hamamelis 'Arnold's Prom

These two always flower together here at about this time and a fine couple they make, the Witch hazel distilling a delightful but not overpowering perfume on to the cold breeze. I have to prune it mercilessly to keep it within bounds, yet another case of planting things too close together in the early days of the garden when there seemed to be so much space between the plants. I think I have finally learnt that lesson, ironically at a time when worrying about the future growth of shrubs is not really a priority as the years remorselessly roll on.

Rhododendron dauricum and Hamamelis 'Arnold's Prom Rhododendron dauricum close-up Hamamelis 'Arnold's Promise'

Helleborus niger selection

All the hellebores are beginning to flower now but only H. niger is fully blown. I can't remember which selection this is but it does quite well in the full shade of a magnolia bush.

Helleborus niger
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