End of the Month View

Taking photos for the end of the month view was  bit of a struggle. We garden on a windswept ridge. A  wonderful viewing point  for the surrounding countryside. Disasterous for tender plants- and for taking photos. Everything was a blur as Storm Doris  hit the garden.

The snowdrops opened today, about a week earlier than last year. Temperatures for January varied between -6 degrees and 14 degrees. It’s caused many winter flowering plants to open early. I  just hope we don’t get a cold spell now to damage the flowers.


This is my “Hodsock Priory ” corner. I always buy a little pot of snowdrops at the open gardens we visit. It’s a nice reminder of a lovely day out. Mum and I are going to the famous snowdrop press day next week. We call it the Chelsea of the snowdrop season. For us it marks the end of our winter hibernation, and the start of lots of lovely snowdrop garden trips out.  Hodsock opens from 4th Feb to 5th March, 10am to 4pm. Click on the link for more information. The gardens are full of wonderful scented plants. A real treat for the senses. –

The Easton Walled Garden snowdrops are cheering up the pottingshed window. Easton, just off the A1 near Grantham, opens 11th to 19th Feb, 11am to 4pm. A wonderful place for a winter walk. I can highly  recomend the little cafe where there’s home made cake and tea. Mum and I have spent many happy hours there. And I was lucky enough to work for Easton  last winter, writing newspaper and magazine articles.  I had no trouble finding nice things to say about this historic garden and the renovation work that has saved it for future generations of visitors to enjoy. It’s such an inspiring place. 


These Elwesii snowdrops have been in flower since the beginning of January. They have long stems  and last well in water. I’ve been picking them for jam jar posies for the house.


Mum and I bought these cyclamen from Hodsock plant sales a few years ago. They seem really happy in the leafmould in the wild garden. We just buy one pot every time we visit. They soon build up into lovely display. So cheerful at this time of the year.


Finally, the yellow aconites have got going. I’ve been trying for years to get these to grow. They love a good mulch of leaf mould. 


I bought some hellebores from Ashwood Nurseries years ago. This one is a seedling from the original plants. It flowers from  mid January in a shady spot.


I’ve been picking  Phlomis fruiticosa foliage all winter for flower arrangements. The leaves look sugar frosted all year round. 


The star of the front garden in winter is this dogwood, Cornus Westonbirt. Brightens even the gloomiest day. 

Thanks to Helen for hosting this meme. Why not go over and see what’s looking good in Helen’s end of the month view. 

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40 thoughts on “End of the Month View

  1. What a fantastic show to really get that spring fever started. I’m sure even with the early date they will be fine, even if it does go back to chilly over the next few weeks.
    I love that you have all these plant memories of garden visits, it’s great to be able to take a bit with you, and even better when they settle in so nicely. Love it.

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    • thank you Andrew. It’s amazing how quickly those little pots bulk up once they are planted out. I think they are such good value, and it’s nice to have a little reminder of a happy day out with Mum and friends. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. See you this summer- when hopefully I’m coming to visit Common Farm. Was meant to see Georgie last summer, but as you know I was ill all last year. Much better now. Yay! Love Karen xxx

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  2. Really enjoyed this Karen…Such a nice idea to bring a botanical memento back from one’s garden forays…As you say, over time they clump up and remind us of these special places…Hope you’ll share a little about your trip to the snowdrop event…It sounds intriguing…You are so lucky in the UK to have such a wealth of gardens there to visit, and particularly those with Galanthus at this time of year.. Such lovely harbingers of the seasons turning…. x

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    • Thank you Jo. Now, you MUST come to visit next snowdrop time! There are such a lot of gorgeous snowdrop gardens in the Midlands. Hodsock is the star of course. But Coton Manor in Northants is also not to be missed. And Mum and I will also be visiting Little Ponton Hall. Can I persuade you….. Then again. I want you to come and see a walled rose garden I’ve designed and built at an old farmhouse. Pink and white roses against elegant grey granite walls. So maybe you will just have to move back to the uk. Love Karen xxx

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      • So many great gardens to visit…In the meantime, hope you’ll post about your Galanthophile adventures…I’d love to see a garden you designed.. Shall be there for sure this year…will be in touch…You may never get rid of me ; ) xx

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  3. So nice to see your winter flowers, snowdrops make me feel that winter is on its way out and spring not far away. I too usually buy plants from each garden we visit, a lovely way to remember a beautiful garden. Love the red stemmed Cornus, so warming on a cold winter’s day!

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    • Thank you Pauline. A friend has just been to visit and she laughed when I showed her my little Hodsock Corner. She’s got a little Coton Manor corner- so it’s obviously a popular thing. Spring’s on the way. Thank goodness :)) x

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    • Thank you Mike. It was so windy yesterday some of the photos were just a white blur instead of a snowdrop! Today the wind has dropped off and it’s a blue sky with sunshine. Hurray! I’m out raking leaf drifts off the wild garden where I know there are some aconites ensconced. Have a great weekend. Thanks for commenting. Love Karen x

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  4. Lovely snowdrops and great that they bring back memories for you of previous gardens visited too, mine are still not properly out but this slight lull in cold might bring them on a bit. I love the winter aconites I really would like to get them established in my garden too, must give it a go. Great photos

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    • Thank you Annie. I think it takes a few years for those aconites to get established. In the end I just kept mulching the area under the trees with leaf mould, and they seem to like the extra moisture this gives. They don’t like to dry out too much in the summer, I think. All the best with your garden. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. It’s much appreciated. Karen

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    • Thank you Christina. It’s light till 5pm now, which makes such a difference. Can run round the garden when I get home from work. So lovely to find something in flower. And the snowdrops smell of honey today in the sunshine. Thank for your kind comments. All the best. Karen x

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  5. Quite a lot bursting forth in your garden irrespective of the windy ridge. I am surprised to see how far on your blooms are. Perhaps I shouldn’t be, as where we are, everything is usually 6 weeks later than the softer south. Two years ago was a recent exception, when southern UK conditions were delayed by weather, which, meant our growth was about twelve weeks later than the usual north/south horticultural divide.

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    • The spring flowers are worth waiting for though aren’t they. I must admit, they have never been as early as this before. But we have had record breaking temperatures in December and January. Christmas Day was 15 degrees. Even the bumble bees have come out of hibernation. I expect they will slope off back when it turns cold again. Thanks for reading and commenting. It’s much appreciated x

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  6. Your collection of late winter flowering plants are looking good. Both the snowdrop gardens look very impressive, unfortunately they are a little to far for us to travel to, I will have to be content with viewing via your blog. Thank you for sharing.

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    • Oh that’s a shame Brian. But that’s the beauty of blogs isn’t it. We can all share. I’d love to travel to Scotland or Devon, but I can’t because I’ve got family commitments. Elderly parents and two daughters living at home and studying at uni. Both need support of different kinds. But I can read about someone’s visit to far flung places and enjoy it vicariously. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, and for commenting. It’s much appreciated. All the best. Karen

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  7. Hodstock were kind enough to invite me to press day this year. I’m gutted I can’t go. It would have been lovely to meet you all too. Next year..
    It’s great to see all the snowdrops coming up. This year I’m determined to divide some of the larger clumps and spread them about a bit.

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    • What a shame, Jessica. I was hoping to see you at Hodsock. I’ve started dividing mine already. Quite a few have come up blind. I should have done it last year, but you know what it’s like. Are you coming to the garden press event in London? karen x

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  8. So it was a press invitation for Hodsock was it? I did wonder – but no, I wan’t invited this year. When we went 2 years ago the snowdrops were barely opening as it had been so cold, although we had been the year before for a public visit and seen it at its best. The family were lovely when we met them and so friendly. I was interested to read that you had worked for Easton for a while – no wonder you are so enthusiastic about the garden. I have wondered about bees on the few really mild days we have had but haven’t seen any yet – wasn’t it lovely yesterday (Sat)?

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    • Just glorious yesterday. 8 degrees here. Hoping for sunny weather at Hodsock. The snowdrops are full out in my garden. But they are the double ones,which come before the singles. Have a good week. xxx

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      • My doubles are out too, as you will read in today’s post. Really bright here, although mist had been forecast – but cold! So hope you and your Mum have wrapped up warm 😉 Have a good day, and tomorrow too

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      • Thank you Cathy. I’m looking forward to reading all your posts when we get to Hodsock. We are going to settle down by the fire this evening and catch up on our reading :)) xxx

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  9. Thanks for all your lovely comments. So cheerful to switch on the computer and find you there! Well, I’ve just run round the garden this morning, and all those cyclamen clumps have a halo of tiny seedlings all around them. So they must be happy in just that spot under the trees. Each year I mulch them with leafmould and they seem to love that. It’s just nice to have some bright colour in February. All the best- and thanks again for taking the time to read and comment. x

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