6 January 2019

Dorset Garden Diary - Happy New Year 2019

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year. Our Christmas was quiet then we travelled about visiting friends and family. We managed to get in some walking between the eating and drinking and went to a couple of pantomimes...we're still big kids!! The weather over Christmas was mild, murky and damp and not at all in the Christmas spirit and for a couple of weeks before that it was non-stop rain. But for the last few days it's been cold and sunny with frost at nights.

The fish have been enjoying a full pond and many of them have been near the surface but they are not really interested in eating, whereas the birds are voracious in their appetites and we are constantly topping up the feeders. A few days ago I was excited to see a blue tit going into the nesting box. It looked quite small so I don't know if it's one of the original tenants or a new one but I'm glad it's going to be occupied. We've also had big fat squirrels rummaging through the beds and pots so no doubt I will be finding more buried walnuts.

There have been carrot tops sprouting up so I pulled at a couple to see if there were any actual carrots and...yes there are, and they are edible.

I'm going to pull up the beetroot and fennel to see if they are edible as well. The garlic I planted in the autumn is growing well (next to the fennel)
as are the onions

We have a bit of colour in the garden, the primulas are starting to flower

winter flowering clematis on the left and viburnum bodnantense on the right

The winter jasmine is in flower but it's only patchy, not as prolific as last year.

In the greenhouse the citronella cutting is happy

and...to my surprise...we have a yellow lemon on the tree! I bought the plant cheap a few years ago as it was small and straggly and each year it's been gradually filling out. In the last couple of years we've had small green fruits on it so when they appeared this year I wasn't expecting this

Whatever I'm doing, it's obviously right. This is probably my success of 2018!

Overall, the garden has survived last year's wet winter, the continual below freezing temperatures from the 'beast from the east' cold snap in March, the summer drought and rain for most of December. I think it's amazing how resilient plants are. I wonder what 2019 has I store for it.

Well that's it for now, catch up soon.



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