Just being Miserable!

I’m good at it; very good at it, I’m told – at being miserable, that is! I put it down to practice and, as you have heard, practice makes perfect so, yes, I am perfectly miserable!

The flu came on the 20th of December and, though the dramatic misery has passed, it now lingers with a heavy head cold. Christmas was cancelled – the turkey was put into the freezer – and our son and family told to stay away for the good of their health. Our youngest son, unfortunately for him, had already arrived and was stuck with us and endured Christmas in our dismal company – I say “our” for Mary was also struck down and spent Christmas Day in bed.

Disappointment is in proportion to expectation but, while I always look forward to Christmas and really enjoy it, I was not disappointed by this turn of events except for the fact I was sorry our son had to suffer also. Fortunately, he didn’t contact the flu and was able to make a reasonably quick return to his own base, better company and the opportunity to celebrate with loved one and friends.

Galanthus 'Castlegar' (1)
Galanthus ‘Castlegar’ is a snowdrop of Irish origin – found by the late Dr. Keith Lamb in Co. Galway – and flowers reliably in early December
Galanthus 'Castlegar' (3)
Galanthus ‘Castlegar’

On the home front, the garden front, I have been outside on several days when the weather allowed. The weather has been very wet and such days are to be treasured and enjoyed. Before Christmas I had begun pruning trees around the garden, those with lower branches spreading out horizontally and encroaching on shrubs underneath. This lifting of the canopy – lifting the skirts, as I have heard it called – allows light into the ground beneath trees and makes it easier to garden there. Liquidamber, birch, lime, Paulownia, an apple tree and a few maples were the main targets and now look far better to my eye. The prunings have all been shredded and added to the compost bin – about a cubic metre of material! – so I have been very diligent and feel I am now on top of my job!

The Biking Gardener wrote today on winter plants – mainly shrubs and trees: witch hazels, winter-flowering cherries, a selection of holly cultivars, the beautifully fragrant Lonicera x purpusii and the beautifully colourful Alnus incana ‘Aurea’. The gardener does not lose interest in gardening in winter and wishes to have something of interest and beauty, as well as the necessary work, to draw him/her outdoors in these darker days. I liked all his suggestions, except the cherries which have never warmed my heart greatly, and suggested the addition of Garrya – there is Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’ and Garrya x issaquahensis ‘Glasnevin Wine’  both of which are attractive shrubs and flower at this time of the year.

Galanthus 'Three Ships' (2)
Seasonally named, Galanthus ‘Three Ships’ is one of the favourite pre-Christmas snowdrops.
Galanthus 'Three Ships' (3)
Galanthus ‘Three Ships’
Galanthus 'Lapwing' (3)
Galanthus ‘Lapwing’ – an especially beautiful snowdrop
Galanthus 'Lapwing' (1)
Galanthus ‘Lapwing’

In our garden, winter is snowdrop time. We have been growing them for about twenty five years and they have grown in number and in variety over that time so we now have snowdrops in flower from October to March. They brighten up the winter garden and when I look at them I am less miserable – and that’s quite an achievement for any plant!

Best wishes for the New Year! Happy Gardening etc.

Galanthus 'Godfrey Owen' (1)
Perhaps the most perfect double snowdrop – six outer and six inner segments – Galanthus ‘Godfrey Owen’
Galanthus 'Godfrey Owen' (3)
Galanthus ‘Godfrey Owen’


9 thoughts on “Just being Miserable!

    1. Ha ha ha. I had a hip replacement earlier this year but think it is still worth the effort to get down low to take photographs of snowdrops.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Save your knees and back with a camera that has an angling viewer – I find its great for ground level shots and no pain! Great shots as always Paddy, and don’t mind miserable, grumpiness is partly genetic, and only of course in the male of the species.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They are tough enough and manage perfectly well in our garden here. They are especially appreciated as they come into flower at a time when there is little else to see in the garden.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So sorry your Christmas had to be cancelled but I hope you are both feeling much better now! Like you, I also want to be outside whenever the weather allows and I find that in my garden it is the Helebores that cheer my heart – I only have one or two kinds of snowdrops and they are only coming into flower now – they are starting to bulk up but I’m impatient for winter colour! This year I removed all the leaves of the Heleborus Orientalis and the Heleborus Niger so the flowers are delighting me just now! I’m experimenting by putting the helebore leaves in a black bag to rot down as they don’t shred well and take an age to break down!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hellebores are just opening here also and I like them very much. I shred the hellebore leaves and add them to the compost bin.


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