Let's hope 2008 is a great gardening year for us all, I know it is going to be busy!

Spot that cracked flowerpot. I have got many of these around the garden at the moment, I can see some repotting coming on in January!


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Also known as Bellflower, this really is the all round star of the garden. Look at how it has recovered from many bouts of frost! Although don't introduce it to you garden if you don't want a lot of it, as it does enjoy self seeding in all little nooks and crannies. Growing tips, well you don't need any, it just about grows anywhere!

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Air below 0°C is defined as Air frost, measured at a height of 2m (6ft). Ground Frost occurs when the air at ground level is chilled below freezing point. Ground frost is measured at 5cm (2in) above the ground. Hoar Frost the fluffy deposit of minute ice crystals on grass and brickwork, occurs on calm, clear nights when condensation takes place after freezing. Black frost, as the name suggests, is a thin sheet of frost without the white colour usually associated with frost.

Sedum covered in frost - this plant is as tough as old boots!

Frozen Bird Bath - don't forget to make sure you leave unfrozen water for the birds!



It is a special time for mistletoe and holly, it is an excellent time for laughter, a great time to be jolly!

Cheers everyone for taking time to read my blog, and for all the great comments left. I still can't believe how many great people I have met in such a short space of time!

Judith of Everything In The Garden's Rosy left the very first comment on my blog, which really set the wheels in motion, many thanks Judith.

Please keep in touch in 2008.

Louise x



Love is in the air for Crinkly the Swan, whos patch is at Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Gloucestershire. Apparently he appears to be 'loosely' associating with another Slimbridge Bewicks swan called Taciturn, which is great news. Up until now, with his crooked neck and ungraceful flying, no other female has showed any remote interest in him, aah. Despite his disability, which makes him less aerodynamic, Crinkly has managed to survive seven migrations from breeding grounds on the Russian Arctic tundra which means that he has flown over 21,000 kilometres which in my book makes him the superhero of the swan world.

Swans fly back to Britain at this time of year because conditions in the tundra make feeding impossible.

Let's hope we can hear the 'flipper flapper' of tiny cygnets in 2008, with proud parents Crinkly and Taciturn looking on!



Today I saw my very first Song Thrush of the winter in the garden. I only just saw it, as it had been startled, making it quickly scurry under a bush. The Song Thrush has such beautiful spotty markings and colouring, I always think their paleness blends so well with the winter scenery, athough perhaps their brightness makes them easy prey to larger birds, would they be attacked by magpies or sparrowhawks? Song thrushes are sensitive to hard winter weather and winter territories are often abandoned during periods of severe weather, when many birds move southwards, even as far as north-west France and northern Spain. At present the Song Thrush is in decline, and is red listed as a bird of serious conservation concern. The cause appears to be a combination of lack of food and lack of nesting sites, brought about by intensive farming methods?

Like as the thrush in winter, when the skies
Are drear and dark, and all the woods are bare
Sings undismayed, till from his melodies
Odours of spring float through the frozen air
So in my heart when sorrows icy breath
Is bleak and bitter and its frost is strong
Leaps up, defiant of despair and death
A sunlit fountain of triumphant song
Sing on sweet singer until the violets come
And south winds blow, sing on prophetic bird
O if my lips, which are for ever dumb
Could sing to men what my sad heart has heard
Lifes darkest hour with songs of joy would ring
Lifes blackest frost would blossom into Spring
Edmond Holmes



All I want for Christmas is this calendar! Did you know there is a website dedicated to this? Click on this link to take you to their somewhat politically incorrect allotment!

This could be J, he enjoys very few vegetables, me I could eat the lot!


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I love to have a few pine cones, they remind me of time spent with my family growing up on a farm in rural West Sussex. I remember on the cold wintry days going out with mum to collect these from the hundreds of pine trees that surrounded the land my dad farmed on. I regret to say that a great majority of these trees were felled a few years back, no not to make room for housing but for a golf course of all things! We had an open coal fire in our sitting room and these cones really spat when we threw them onto the burning coals, not too good for Mum's carpet, although the rug in front of it took the full extent of the scorching and of course when out of the room we would always put the fireguard up.

A pine cone is a seed that comes from a pine tree. Pine trees are tall and straight. Pine trees don't lose their leaves in autumn and winter. They belong to a group of trees called evergreens.

I always love the opportunity to mention squirrels, I know they can be pests, but who could hate these lovely cute 'n furry creatures? My 'Secret' grey squirrel is still reeking havoc around the garden, he has knocked down a bird feeder yet again, with his acrobatic antics!

Squirrels are seed eaters. They favour pine cones, but also eat larch and spruce. Their diet also includes fungi, shoots and fruits of shrubs and trees, and sometimes birds' eggs. They can choose between good and bad nuts by holding them in their paws. Reds do not hibernate and store fungi in trees to eat over the winter months. When food is plentiful, they put on weight in the autumn to help them through the winter. This is important for breeding females, so that they are in good condition for producing young.



For winter scent or colour which would you choose?

These are the entrants, place your vote on the poll aside.

top left Clematis cirrhosa
top right Daphne
bottom left Sarcococca
bottom right Winter Jasmine