The winter garden in Suffolk

I have tidied up as much as I am going to before I need to start some serious reworking of the garden, and I am actually quite pleased. The garden is just starting its seventh year (where has the time gone?) and every year is more settled, although I am still changing, moving, and adjusting in some areas.

Clematis ‘Prince Charles’

I have a problem – my clematis ‘Prince Charles’ is putting out new growth with clear determination! It is only early December and not at all what I expected so I consulted the RHS.

Clematis 'Prince Charles'
Clematis ‘Prince Charles’
Clematis 'Prince Charles'
Clematis ‘Prince Charles’

It is a young plant, put in earlier this year and the RHS advises me to ‘…Prune in late winter or early spring when buds show signs of growth – typically in February (!). If young clematis plants are left unpruned they often produce very long single stems with the flowers produced only at the very top. Unless the plant already has three or four healthy stems growing from the base, all newly planted clematis should be pruned back hard the first spring after planting. Cut back to just above a strong pair of leaf buds about 30cm (1ft) above soil level. This will encourage multiple stems which can be trained in to supports to give a good coverage. During the spring and summer, tie in new growth, spacing stems evenly on the support…’.

So it seems as though I will have to cut back – what do you advise?

Counterpoint in Weather

There, is it definitely winter, with temperatures below freezing and the first snows.

The first snows
The first snows

Here, it is suddenly much colder, that wet cold that seeps into your bones, but the leaves are still resolutely clinging to the trees, and there is a last, mad, dash of colour.

Evening colour

IMG_2933

Counterpoint in weather

There the weather is changing and I just have time to squeeze in a match for the pesky pigeons!

Chilly pigeons
Chilly pigeons over there
Basking pigeons over here!
Basking pigeons over here!

 

 

Counterpoint in Weather

Here the garden is surging, leaping, galloping towards summer.

Scented Cheerfulness
Scented Cheerfulness

There the rabbit is still in his winter coat.

The winter rabbit
The winter rabbit

Counterpoint in weather

Here there are still days which are chilly, but the plants tell me winter is over and we can enjoy the colours, sounds, and scents of spring.

Pear blossom

There it is a different matter.

14.4.3 Valley, April 2014 004