A Year in Our Garden
I am fully intending to create some pages of flower pictures in a kind of alphabetical fashion, including a page of the plants I don't know the name of in case anyone can help me out. In the meantime, here are some pictures of flowers/plants month by month in our garden for you to enjoy.

The camellia, skimmia japonica and loads of berries give us plenty of colour as the new year starts - even before the bulbs start showing off! The above pictures are from January 2005. The cyclamen is one from last year that's reflowered, the primulas are now mainly in tubs and seem to be fairing better this year and the snowdrops are just starting to show through but will be better in February.

February is the start of Spring this year (2005) with it being so mild to date. Colder weather is forecast with snow on the way (don't expect we'll get too much here in the South - famous last words). The flowers are making the most of the mild weather with plenty of colour around and even the trees at the front are starting to blossom.

The Spring bulbs give us plenty of colour in March as do the heathers. March 2005 was a strange month with a few of the tulips flowering early but most of the daffs waiting until April. The weather has varied from lovely and warm to sub zero so no wonder everything's getting confused. The crocuses have done well this year (those that the squirrels didn't eat!) and the hyacinths we "imported" following our Easter break in Amsterdam in 2004 are starting to show through.

The hyacinths have really come into their own this month (April 2005) and the daffs (my favourite flowers) are lovely. The tulips are starting to come out (10th) and the front garden ones are a long way in front of those in the back. In addition to the hyacinths, we also "imported" some fritallarias - the yellow and orange ones are giving us a lovely show - the red one has yet to flower.

The bulbs are starting to die back by May and I generally plant the bedding plants on the second bank holiday weekend (weather permitting). There is still plenty of interest, with loads of colour around and plenty of insects (and slugs/snails!).

The weather this year (2005) has been very unusual. We've had hardly any rain but it's not been particularly warm so nothing seems to be growing very well. The roses seem to do pretty well whatever we do with them but they do suffer from black spot problems.

I thought everything was slow last year but this year (2005) everything's later still. We opened our garden in July 2005 for the first time which was great fun (hard work though!) so everything was neat and tidy. Hopefully the rest of the plants will flower before the summer's over (it's very hot and dry here at the moment!).

August sees the nights drawing in but there's still plenty of opportunity to garden and admire the summer flowers ... and there's always fruit and veg to harvest and enjoy. The pictures below were taken in August 2005. This is one of the first dahlias I've ever grown. Not too many of them grew at all but those few that are wonderful. The chrysanthamum was described as red so it's in the front garden - if I'd known it would turn out pink I would have been more inclined to put it in the back where the colour would have matched in better but it seems quite happy.

2004 was a strange year weather-wise. August seemed to be very wet but September started in glorious fashion with warm, sunny days. The result of all that is that the garden looked pretty good and many of the plants enjoyed a long flowering season. The pictures above were taken early September 2004.

October starts to see a real change with leaves dropping (good for leaf mould a year later) but there's still plenty to look at (and to do!). The sedum flowers have gone from white to pink to this lovely dusky pink colour, there are plenty of berries around for the birds to eat and the pampas is strutting its stuff (and will continue to do so all through winter)

And finally we move into winter but there's still plenty of colour around. The acers are the star of the show at the moment (November 2004) but there's plenty of colour and texture to enjoy (even if I don't see it much through the winter!)

Last but not least - December. The pictures are from 2004. The cornus is always a bit of a star in winter (we've added a couple more in the front garden) and the hebe adds a lovely splash of colour that can be seen from the back door.

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