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Mid-December Garden


Its still very mild here on the East Coast of Scotland. Where I live is about 35miles north of Edinburgh as the Crow Flies, and about 2 miles from the Coast at Monifieth.

There are some very seasonal delights for this time of year….

Mahonia media ‘Charity’, Viburnum Bodnantense ‘Dawn’, Ilex altaclerensis ‘Golden King’

Viburnum tinus, Crab Apple (Malus) ‘Evereste’, Arbutus unedo ‘Rubra’,

Jasminum nudiflorum, Coronilla valentina ssp. glauca ‘Citrina’, Helleborus niger

The Bird Table, which hasn’t been used in the three years since we moved here, has now been re-commissioned! I didn’t use it because I was sure that it was the reason we had so many field mice coming in to the loft. But a few days ago I had about 10 blue tits around there looking for insects in the hedge and I just couldn’t stand it any more, so the bird seed went out. So far, no mice. Of course it only took four days or so before the pesky house Sparrows found the feast, so now there aren’t so many blue tits, and the Robin has disappeared. Hey-ho.

One of my Euonymus is showing some interesting foliage variation. I’ve no idea why its doing this, perhaps someone will know. I rather like it though. It looks like cold damage, but surely the whole plant would be orange if that were the answer……

The fluffy foliage of a poppy bearing up well in the damp air…

Carex are great in the winter. This one is C. oshimensis ‘Evereste’ which I brought here from my old garden for it’s icy winter colouring.

One of my Patio Roses ‘Designer Sunset’ which in summer has a deep peach and red hue. Now bleached by the cold, but still looking perfect with Salvia tricolor beneath it.

So many things are flowering that really would usually have gone to ground by now. I cut my Globe Artichokes weeks ago to dry for indoor arrangement. But today I strode up to one that is still growing beautifully and lo…in the centre of the wonderful architectural foliage, another flower, tinged purple by the cold snap.

The succulents on the pallet shelving are doing beautifully well so far….

And look….a Euphorbia that I threw under the other side of the hedge, never even planted it, is going strong and the flowers have insisted on being in my garden! Isn’t that great? A lovely surprise for me today!

Happy shopping/decorating/cooking/wrapping and all the rest of it! Have a nice glass of something when you’re done. Mine’s a Rusty Nail…Cheers!

More blog posts by cottagekaren

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You certainly still have a lot to look at.the Bird table is very nice but as with you mine bring problems squirrel devourers everything,happily swap you some sparrows for

14 Dec, 2016


Swap 6 sparrows for 1 fat wood pigeon that insists on wedging itself on the bird table?
The Euphorbia is meant to be. Like your Coronilla.

14 Dec, 2016


So much color and interest in you garden Karen.

14 Dec, 2016


You're reaping the rewards of brilliant planning! I had no idea that Coronilla would grow so far north.
Starlings found our bird table today so our blue tits like yours are suffering some serious competition. What a lovely cheering blog.

14 Dec, 2016


Seasonal delights in abundance K, all doing well.
We moved the Coronilla no flowers as yet, but I understand they won't flower in too rich a soil!!
We altered the height of our bird tables, so the pigeons are unable to use them......but the magpies are able to bend so they took over instead!! can't win sometimes!!

14 Dec, 2016


Still such a lot to see in your garden,K......We have also strategically positioned feeding saucers to stop the Pigeon dominance! Last year it was the badgers who loved the fat balls.

15 Dec, 2016


Your garden is so colourful, Karen.

I'm sure you won't regret re-using your bird table. Ousr is much used. I bought bird seed minus wheat on line as we found the birds left the latter and it was wasteful. We now have lots of blue tits, blackbirds, hedge sparrows, a pair of nuthatches, two male Robins, and a bullfinch and his missus.

The nuthatches* are bullies and scare away the others, even the blackbirds. However they are so pretty we forgive them anything.

We do have pigeons but our Younger Son is a crack shot and they tend to leave the area when they see his car!

* Had to check what the plural form was!

15 Dec, 2016


Thanks everyone! Loads of bluetits today and a pair of very handsome great tits too.

15 Dec, 2016


Sue...when you say the Euonymus is meant to be like this...will it all turn orangey? I've had a smaller leaved one that went very orangey in the past, but it died after that.

15 Dec, 2016


My goodness what an amazing amount of things still going strong Karen. The unseasonably mild weather we all seem to be enjoying is certainly paying dividends. Good to know your tits are coming back to the bird table. They are such delightful little birds aren't they?

17 Dec, 2016


They are, I have missed seeing the birds. Thanks Waddy.

18 Dec, 2016


Karen, I meant the Euphorbia was meant to be (grow) despite your having discarded it. My Euonymus always has some branches with leaves in pink and white in winter too. I think it is the cold. A Trachelospermum with variegated leaves always turns this colour in winter, most attractive. Both still going after many years.

23 Dec, 2016


oh Wow! Don't you love nature's gifts... that little euphorbia was not to be denied. I love artichokes too
...have you tried cardoon? I planted them in my old garden and they grew the most gorgeous foliage. With a name like Cardoon, they have to be Scottish! LOL...

24 Dec, 2016


Thanks Sue!

No Lori, I haven't ever grown a Cardoon....I've always thought they were far too big for my gardens. :) Maybe I'll try it one day.

24 Dec, 2016


I can't believe it... It had to be 12 years ago that I grew it! as I can remember it was luxuriant...lots of spikey foliage and tall! least 5 ft. I may try artichokes... ;-) Happy New Year, Karen!

31 Dec, 2016


Thanks Lori! Same to you!

31 Dec, 2016

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