Christmas has been and gone, the new year is now here, there is doom and gloom everywhere on the news and many of us are feeling the post Christmas blues. To top it off, since the Christmas festivities we have seen very little of the sun.

So I thought I would do a post about the year ahead and have a look at some of the different things that each month I will be looking forward too. Many of us have different things that we look forward to and some of the things mentioned will not be every bodies cup of tea … but wouldn’t it be boring if we where all the same.


Eranthis hyemalis (Winter Aconite), a great early show that is always guaranteed  Out in early January, it is a low growing bulb with a yellow flower that will always put a smile on your face.

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Snow, some love it, many hate it. For most parts of our country, we will all see some snow every year, but it very rarely amounts too very much. Some years it will only last for a few days, the one thing that is guaranteed though …. just two flakes of snow and we will see, gridlock on our roads, airports closed, schools closed, snowploughs stuck in snow, gritters broken down and councils closed. The only thing that is open and doing very well for business, are companies that make and sell ‘We are Closed’ signs.


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More snow. In fact, February can be one of the coldest months of the year but also one of the most picturesque.

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That’s enough snow, if we are going to get any this year, we certainly do not want it to go into March.

Galanthus nivalis (Fair maids of February). Snowdrops are one of many flowers we can look forward to in February. The others include, Pansies, Hamamelis x intermedia, Cornus mas, some Daphnes and many more.


Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’. One of my all time favourites, it has beautiful scented flowers, wonderful foliage but it is a bugger to propagate; this shrub does have sentimental value for me.

March is an exciting month and it can go either way with the weather. It is the month when things start to get a little more exciting in the garden.

Spring bulbs. From March until late spring we have all the usual favourites in the garden, often giving everyone a lift as the days get longer and hopefully … a little warmer.


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Anemones, always look good at this time of year and our best display always looks good on our Open Day.

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Exochorda x macrantha ‘The Bride’ (The pearl bush). A spectacular April/May flowering shrub. This shrub has won the ‘Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society’ and I can see why. A must have for any garden.

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Lawns. This time of year them lawns will always keep you busy, some days there is not enough hours in the the day to get everything done.


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Ceanothus ‘Cynthia Postan’. A wonderful, fast growing Ceanothus. We have ours on a south facing wall and they never fail to disappoint.

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Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariessi’. Has to be my favourite of all the Viburnums.

May and June for me as a Head Gardener at a place like Trinity, can be a bit of a blur. With the college calender, which includes ‘The May Ball’ (in June) and it being one of the busiest times in the garden, these two months can very quickly pass me by. They are very challenging; but I certainly wouldn’t change a thing and there is also plenty to enjoy in the garden.


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Spirea arguta. A fully hardy shrub that likes a sunny position and flowers in May/June.


Rosa’ The Garland’. One of the best scented rambling roses you can get. If you have an a area in your garden big enough, then this is a must have rose.


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When we hit July/August, things do slow down in the garden, still busy but not so hectic. For me, the college is a little quieter as well and it is the start of the summer holidays for many.


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As with July it is a reasonable and quiet month, with some of the hottest weather of the year expected. Admittedly that didn’t happen last year but fingers crossed for this year.


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It still can be a very warm month and at this time we are usually in full swing with our hedges and topiary, which often we will have started in July. At this point parts of the garden are still looking good even though autumn is not too far away, this makes it an interesting time of the year.


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The leaves are beginning to fall but there are many plants coming into there own like Chrysanthemum ‘Emperor of China’. It is probably one of the most beautiful out of all the Chrysanthemums.


Even some of the Salvia’s  are still looking good, but it is the autumnal colour from the trees and shrubs that really come into there own at this time of year.

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December, time to hide in the greenhouse, to check out the plants for the following year and if it is really cold outside … it can take longer than usual.

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With the leafing nearing an end and with one eye on Christmas, we start looking and planning for the next year ahead.

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