My Little Garden 2nd Jan 2021


I confess to being a little bit giddy when I looked out of the window last Tuesday morning to find that we had a sprinkling of snow. The last time it snowed properly in our little sheltered corner of Greater Manchester I was on holiday in Tenerife and I’m pretty sure the time before that was ten years ago. I remember having to negotiate the roads home from the office in Wilmslow (the days when I had a real job) in my little two seater convertible which was most definitely not built for bad weather. Fortunately the sensible car that I have these days for granny and gardening duties has no such problems, even if it isn’t as much fun.

Apart from the snow, the news of the week has been vaccines and tiers and not surprisingly Greater Manchester is now in Tier 4. Up to now, many local residents don’t seem to be over keen in following the rules, so at least the closure of non essential shops will prevent some of the issues with social distancing and virus transmission. The photos that I’ve seen on Social Media of the Boxing Day sales at the Trafford Centre look horrendous and not somewhere I’d like to be.

And I can’t honestly say that I am getting over excited about the vaccine at this stage. Obviously it is a very good thing in itself, but I’m struggling to comprehend the logic of this sudden change in the rules around when the first few recipients will get their second dose. It makes sense to partially protect as many ‘vulnerable’ people as possible, rather than fully protecting the few, but if the first vaccine is effective beyond three weeks, then why wasn’t this the original strategy. As a working grandparent over 60 who does the school run twice a week I suspect I won’t be hearing anything any time soon anyway, so it’s all a bit academic on a personal level.

Anyway, on to more important matters and with apologies to those of you didn’t have any snow, there will be one or two photos of the white stuff in my six choices for this Saturday.

1. Snow.

By the time it was light on Tuesday morning, the lawn was covered with little footprints. Various birds and a neighbours cat had left their little marks.

The snow decorated everything so prettily, from the asters that I didn’t get round to cutting down

to my smoke tree which turned into a snow tree overnight.

2. Hellebores.

These are ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of a little double hellebore in a pot.

This flower managed to recover after the first snowfall but is looking a little worse for wear now.

3. Birdbath.

We don’t really ‘do’ Christmas presents but I thought I’d treat myself to this lovely little birdbath I found on the RSPB site. I can’t quite decide where in the garden it’s permanent home will be and I’m waiting until spring to make a final decision. The birdbath sits on a low stand at ground level and there are bulbs in both locations at present, so I have time to ponder.

Around the edge are the opening lines of a W H Davies poem which I rather like, and I’m sure all discerning birds will equally appreciate!

To save googling activities, here’s the full poem for anyone who doesn’t know it.

Leisure (1911) WH Davies

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?-

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

4. Bulbs.

The crocus are coming along nicely as are the snowdrops, iris and the early narcissi.

5. Wallflower.

I like wallflowers when they give me good value for money. There is no doubt that the most famous perennial wallflower Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ does just that, but it has become very common, so I’m trying out different varieties. This one has been disappointing after it’s first flush of flowers last year but has deigned to produce one December bloom so it’s worthy of a second chance next year (or rather this year!)

Erysimum ‘Red Jep’

6. Foliage.

This is a very tough plant that has been in my front garden for a few years. The leaves colour up beautifully in the colder weather and it seems to require no maintenance whatsoever. Apparently it’s not fully hardy but so far so good.


And that’s my first Six on Saturday for 2021 and a perfect opportunity to wish my friends and followers all the best for the coming year. I am looking forward to sharing our gardening and wildlife adventures and hopefully there’ll be some new gardens to visit in the coming months (in a socially distanced way of course).

If you want read the rest of the New Year ‘sixes’ take a look at the blog of The Propagator who is the creator of this weekly collection. There are also many more excellent photos and blogs on twitter under the hashtag #SixonSaturday

Garden designer, photographer and blogger

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