It might be winter but my garden's glowing with colour and scent. Flaming red fuchsias radiate alongside glistening hypericum berries, seemingly resistant to the ferocious wind and rain. Heucheras are providing velvety-textured foliage in tints of cranberry and cinnamon; dainty violas and delicate cyclamen continue to dazzle, thriving in our first frosts, while tiny, crimson berries twinkle on sarcococca, which wafts its sweet scent over my front garden.
Foxes and squirrels are digging everything in sight, and I'm constantly replanting disturbed bulbs. Wood pigeons, blackbirds
Christmas is in the air here at Driftwood. I've made my wreath with material from the garden, and outside the kitchen window I've decorated a small potted tree with fairy lights and parcels of fat for the birds, tied with green and red string. All we need is a touch of snow to set everything off!
Holly (standards and bushes) and Berberis thunbergii in the front garden are giving a perfectly timed berry fest. And I've never seen so
many flower heads on the prolific ivy on the fence, which has created a real festive glow. A few Helleborus niger (Christmas roses) are shining brightly in the back garden too.
I usually trytocreate adifferentlookin the garden for next season, but this winter I'm fundingaloft conversion to give me an office overlooking the garden. I've also had to relocate some large pots to make way for the scaffolding that will beup until the end of February.
The garden's been battered by strong gales in recent weeks, but I've finished the winter tidy-up during milder weather in between, cutting back Lavatera clementii Rosea', salvia Amistad and euonymus on the cottage garden fence.
My more delicate plants: have been fleeced to protect
them from the wind more than the cold.
Meanwhile, indoors my Christmas cactus, Schlumbergera truncata, which my grandparents bought in the 1950s, is flowering profusely for Christmas week.
I'm pleased that Driftwood is the featured garden for August in the Perennials 2016 Calendar and we'll be pictured in the 2016 Yellow Book too.
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