This winter, snow occurred in December leaving the new year bleak but January has always been a month for ignoring the overall picture and concentrating on easily overlooked details, miniature pink cyclamen that survive the snow, fragrant Christmas box(Sarococca Confusa) and viburnum Bodnantense(Bodnant viburnum)var. "Dawn" ; pale yellow primulas that emulate native primroses, two hellebores the sturdy corsican, large enough to be mistaken for a shrub, and Niger that belies its name by producing white flowers.
12th January - I haven't spent time in the dank back garden since Christmas, but this morning I took my first leisurely stroll of the new year and discoverd snowdrops curving from beneath fallen leaves in the 'mini-wood' . I also found a clump of snowdrops, already upright and in flower, in a central bed towards the rear.
More of a surprise was blossom on the mirabelle in the mini-orchard. No other plum trees show signs of flowering, not even the tall purple leaved ornamental, usually way ahead of the rest. I do hope this early effort on the mirabelle's part won't mean a dearth of fruit in summer.
Daffodil leaves are poking through the soil and, in the David Austin rose bed, I even saw two inch tall tulip foliage. I can't remember planting an early tulip variety there.
20th January - All changes dramatically after a snowfallfollowed by fog and hard frost. The scene transforms overnight from dreary wasteland of leafless branches, dull conifers and large areas of naked soil to glittering foliage decorating a white wonderland.