I thought I would have a bit of a garden review for this post - how last year went, what were the highlights? and what I need to do this year. Pictured above is Hydrangea AvantGarde, still in flower, and with the flowers looking as though they are made from icing - at least, that's the thought that came to me when I looked at them this morning. So, how did last year go? A mixture of highs and lows, as always. Highs were the gorgeous tulips, the magnolia, the clematis and roses. Lows were the unpredictable weather (not that any of us can do anything about that, of course) and the lowest low was the battle with the fungus in the soil (this fungus is normally present in all soil and helps to break down debris, but has decided to run amok through the border for some reason.) (Incidentally, I think I have lost that particular battle and am going to have to retire gracefully - or not so gracefully). I think I am going to dig up all my asters and the perennial sunflower and transfer them into large pots. It is not practical to keep replacing the soil and anyway, the fungus will go where it wants to. I think deep rooted plants will survive, but the more shallow rooted perennials will need saving.
On a more positive note, here are the first signs of snowdrops, which is always cheering. I applaud their tenacity to grow no matter whether covered by snow or ice, or blasted by freezing temperatures or Arctic winds. Spring isn't too far away, although I have the feeling the winter will still throw a few surprises at us yet.
Two brave little violas, adding a splash of colour to the rather bedraggled and sad looking garden.
So, I shall try to remain positive and save my asters. Then I shall have a long think and do some research about tough plants. I wonder what 2012 will bring for the gardeners amongst us?