green shoots

In the end, I decided to put our sweet peas in the porch to germinate. Mainly to avoid them being eaten by mice. They are doing OK.

gardening blog sweet pea seedlings

Lord Nelson, one month after sowing

Lord Nelson was the first to sprout and is already a bit leggy – I pinched out the tops on Christmas Eve in an attempt to slow him down a bit.

Dorothy Eckford and Miss Wilmott were a bit slower to get going, and fewer of them have germinated so far.

gardening blog sweet pea seedlings

Dorothy Eckford (left) is a couple of weeks behind Lord Nelson, despite growing in exactly the same conditions

I have another packet of each of these varieties that I was planning to plant in the spring. But I suspect I will end up sowing them all with M on new year’s day, and I may have to order some more as well.

I’ve no idea where I’ll put them though, the greenhouse is bursting at the seams already. We are overwintering a few young and tender plants in there. Plus I got a bit carried away trying winter sowings of some hardy and half-hardy annuals I’m growing for the first time, like cleome, ammi majus and didiscus blue lace.

gardening blog didiscus  seedling

didiscus seedling – I got a bit carried away with winter sowings

Maybe I should add one of these to my Christmas list next year… if only.

In my dreams... from the Victorian Greenhouse Co

In my dreams… from the Victorian Greenhouse Co

outside-in: December (7/12)

Other than a few acorn cups and maple seeds that our daughter painted gold for Christmas, I didn’t expect to bring the garden into the house much this month.

But early last week I took a wander over the squelchy grass and came back with this…

gardening blog winter flowers

Most of these flowers are from shrubs we inherited with the garden.

I have no idea what variety the pink rose is. The plant is a bit scraggly, its leaves never look very healthy and it only ever produces one or two flowers at a time. But it keeps going well into the winter and that seems a good enough reason to let it be.

The delicate pink-white viburnum has become a firm favourite of mine. We are lucky to have several mature ones dotted around the place. Last spring we gave a couple of them a pretty hard pruning, and they have come back better than ever. They are smothered in buds and should keep us in-flower until the early spring bulbs make an appearance.

gardening blog mahonia in vase

But the mahonia is the star of the moment. It has been flowering for a good six weeks now and still looks wonderful. Looking at it across the garden on a dull day is cheering enough. But bringing a few sprigs inside, you can really appreciate the bright, fragrant blossoms. In the depths of winter, it feels like a promise that spring will return.

Outside-in charts my attempts to bring the garden into the house with haphazard English Freestyle flower arranging.