Monday, January 25, 2016

January Floral Report

Yesterday I took the camera out into the back garden to show you what's going on there. You're welcome!

Despite the fact that it's January we have a surprising amount of activity. For example, blooming daffodils -- which I was photographing here when I got distracted by Olga, who was waiting for me to throw her Kong toy.

(I took her later to Fortune Green, and we threw it there. The grass in our back garden is more sparse in winter than it looks, and she really tears it up chasing the Kong.)

Remember how I wrote that we were going to let some of our potted plants expire in winter's freezing temperatures?  Well, never mind. Soon after I wrote that I moved them all back inside again. They've been treated for their pest problems and I'm hoping to pull them through the dark winter for another round of growth this summer.

Our hibiscus rewarded us with a mid-January blossom, despite the fact that it has almost no leaves.

This is winter aconite, or Eranthis hyemalis, which Dave planted.

And this is our first grape hyacinth of the season. These things spread like wildfire and they're everywhere in our garden. Soon our borders will be masses of purple.


...some plants are looking very wintry. The cardoon, which not long ago was blooming like the big thistly artichoke that it is, has been reduced to a dead brown husk.

And the purple asters are like rattling stars in a dark sky. Dave's planning to get out next month to trim away all this dead material and get the plants ready for spring.

There's not much going on in our animal kingdom. We haven't seen our foxes lately and the garden cam has clicked off photos only of pigeons and squirrels. (And us, walking past.)

We had lunch yesterday with former neighbors Chris and Linda in a pub in Notting Hill. Chris loves to talk about World War II and Dave found an online quiz with which to test his knowledge. Problem is, Chris turned each multiple choice question into an essay. Apparently there are no simple answers when it comes to World War II! He and Linda gave us some nice gifts -- Dave a book on beekeeping (yes, that might be our next adventure) and me a DVD about National Geographic photographers.


  1. Love the asters though to me it looks like a mono firework display.

  2. I should go and have a look in our garden perhaps... But it's so warm in here.

  3. I've been looking around the yard thinking it's time to get out there and cut and clear the dead stuff away.
    I will. My life is just so busy these days!

  4. I loved the picture of Princess Olga with the blurry botany in the foreground. Nice one Steve! By the way, I looked out for you in London. You must have been hiding... or immersed in a sea of World War II knowledge!

  5. so nice to see some color after the last couple of days of white around here, and I love the description of the asters.

  6. You've got quite a lot of blooming activity in your yard. That is amazing when it's so cold outside.

  7. what nice gifts and so spot on. I can't believe you already have daffodils blooming up there when mine are just now breaking the surface.

  8. The orange of the hibiscus is beautiful.

    And as always, I love to see Olga! She sure knows how to focus when she's waiting for something :)

  9. I love how it looks like Olga's ear is cocked in that first picture - like an eyebrow. She's saying, "Come on Man - it's time to get to work entertaining me!"

  10. We usually have the same weather as you , over there, but daffodils? and Hyacinth? WOW, This is still January, clearly they are confused! Olga has Kong brain! Erik;s last GF was/is a bee keeper, loves to get stung! Very interesting , keeping bees, and most importantly a good thing to do for everyone on the planet! I hope you do this thing!

  11. Olga sure is cute! And what great winter color.


  12. These are beautiful pictures.

    I have a friend who is a beekeeper and loves it. How strange to possibly have two friends who are beekeepers!

  13. What gorgeous photos that nearly lend new meaning to flowers! I just love your photography, and that dog is an amazing subject as well.

    OK. Beekeeping? I can see it now and will look forward to the outfits.