Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The Brrrrr Goes On

Monday was another cold day with a severe overnight frost. There were some sunny spells through the day so it did warm up just a little bit more than Sunday.

Much of our garden remains in the shade all day during the winter months giving it a frosty look all day when temperatures remain around freezing. However down our side border under the magnolia tree a hint of afternoon sunshine gives little parts of the garden a total different perspective. 

These hellebores change from an early morning frost into afternoon sunshine and look much better for the change. Unfortunately it’s not long before the frost returns


  1. It feels colder today than yesterday, and there's more frost around too. Rain's forcast for the rest of the week, and dare I say it, snow at the weekend.

  2. I haven't seen the forecast for snow - only rain.

  3. My son decided to tend our allotment today and had me out their with him trying to dig up frozen soil and weeds!! was good fun though!

    Can i ask what you would choose to plant in rather clay soil, that would attract wildlife please. butterflies, ladybirds and the like, and also sensory for little people to touch and smell? thanks!!

  4. Hi Pip

    Some planting ideas follow:

    Some plants will double as sensory and good for butterflies and bees etc - as for ladybirds you need to provide aphids for them as they aren’t really interested in flowers. You could provide a ladybird shelter though). Ivy is great for insects and birds.
    Starting with scent - lavender (also good for touch and even taste) buddleia shrub, sweet peas - look for scented varieties as they aren’t all, honeysuckle again not all are scented so check and French marigold - the leaves are very scented, they also have colourful flowers for sight and insects.
    Good for insects, scent, taste and many for touch as well are the herbs, borage (rough leaves ), rosemary, thyme, curled parsley and chives. Bees love the flowers and the children can feel, smell and taste the leaves.
    For touch sempervivums and sedum (the flowering ones attract butterflies too), feathery ferns and grasses add other textures. Grasses (especially quaking grass) can provide sound too when the blades of grass are caught by the wind. Not sure whether you want anything prickly but there is berberis and holly or try edibles gooseberry and blackberry - the flowers will also attract bees in spring. Lambs ears has furry leaves but likes good drainage so to grow on clay soil add compost and grit to the area where you plant it.
    More insect plants which also have bright colours are calendula and poached egg plants (these will spread so bear this in mind). It’s worth considering other bright coloured annual flowers too for sight. Then there are sunflowers - bees love them but only go for single varieties and avoid ones that are described as pollen free. You can get low growing varieties so that small children can see the flowers easier.
    Native wildflowers are always good for wildlife too.
    You may find our website The School Vegetable Patch has ideas for gardening with children too. There’s a link on the sidebar of this blog.

  5. thank you so much for that wonderful list!!
    I can feel a good shopping trip coming on once the weather warms up a tad! We did invest in a Buddleia last year and it was lovely to watch the bees and butterflies! I love the sound of quacking grass!! that sounds like something fun! Will pop over to the site and have a look through. Thanks again for the help! You have a great blog! xx


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