End of Month View – December 2017

The end of the month and the end of the year!  Happy New Year and good gardening in 2018.

I have not been able to get into the garden much during the last few weeks. Much of “putting the garden to bed” for the winter was done in November so I will use this opportunity to look back over the year.

Click on the small images to see them full size.

January

17_01_30_4716Many of the beds look exactly as they were following the winter clean up. However, there are signs of spring to be seen.

February

17_02_24_4992February brought a storm which removed a branch from an old apple tree. I was undecided as to whether to keep the reduced tree or to start again.  So far we have keep it.

Elsewhere snowdrops are filling many of the beds

March

17_03_01_5017The arrival of lambs in the field beyond our garden is always one of those events to make you smile.

Spring flowers are everywhere now.

April

17_04_07_5243The garden is beginning to glow with tulips, blossom and the first roses.

May

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Roses really start to come out now. And everywhere flowers of every kind are looking great.

June

17_06_14_6204All the borders are filling out. The pond that was finally repaired is also looking as it should and the water lilies that spent almost a year out of the water have survived!

July

17_07_12_6694Herbaceous plants are taking control of the borders now. The alliums are still there but the herbaceous plants are the stars now.

August

17_08_25_6891In January these beds looked empty. Now the flowers are up to six feet high in just a few months.

September

17_09_27_7307Borders are now “more” than full. Staking the plants is the biggest issue to prevent them falling on each other.

October

17_09_29_7312Autumn is on its way but around the garden there are still plenty of flowers.

November

17_10_30_7446The first frost of the year. the dahlias do not like it but some of the roses continue to flower. Now is the time to take the climbing roses off the wall for pruning and tying in their new growth for next year.

December

The borders have all been cleared ready for another spring in November. We have escaped to the sun. The garden has been told to look after itself!

2017 Gardening Hours
Week beginning December 23rd Total 2017 to-date Average per week
0 1004 19

An average of 19 hours a week and by week we have:2017-hours

I hope these pictures have wet your appetite for the new gardening year. Looking forward to 2018 and a Happy New Year to you all.

If you would like to join in with this meme you are very welcome – add a link to your post in the comments box and please link to this post from your blog so readers can find other EoMV posts. There are no rules about what you post. Maybe you want to focus on one area through the year or give a general tour, whatever suits you is fine with me.

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Berberis koreana (Korean Barberry) ‘Red Tears’ an excellent plant with four seasons.

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September 27th

Ever so often a chance purchase of a shrub gives a pleasant surprise.  Berberis koreana  ‘Red Tears’ was one such purchase and it is certainly worth considering for any garden.

Berberis, commonly known as barberry, is a large genus of deciduous and evergreen shrubs from 1–5 m tall found throughout the temperate and subtropical regions of the world. Extremely hardy, Berberis koreana (Korean Barberry) is certainly one to consider for almost any garden. Berberis koreana grows with a dense, oval to rounded habit, at a moderate rate, up to 4-6 ft/120-180 cm tall and wide. It performs best in full sun to part shade, in dry to moist, well-drained soils and is not fussy about soils provided they are not soggy or wet. The main Berberis koreana cultivar is ‘Red Tears’

Berberis koreana  ‘Red Tears’ will give four seasons of interest:-

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April 17th

This semi-evergreen shrub is native to the Korean peninsula and Japan. Its bark is reddish brown and the twigs are densely armed with short spines in groups of one to five. At this stage the main interest are the very crisp green leaves.

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April 25th

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April 25th

In mid-spring, this small, multi-stemmed. semi-evergreen shrub produces striking pendulous clusters of golden-yellow flowers. At this stage the flowers are beginning to hang in clusters but are not fully open. The leaves are also getting a red tint to their edges

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May 10th

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May 10th

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May 13th

By now the flowers are fully open and have quite a “honey” scent which fills the still evening air.

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August 19th

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August 19th

The flowers are followed by an abundance of tiny oval fruits which at this stage are yellow tinged with red.

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August 25th

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August 28th

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August 28th

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August 28th

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August 28th

The fruits ripen to bright red by the fall and are attractive to birds.

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September 27th

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September 27th

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October 9th

and then persist across the winter. Therefore extending the season of interest of this ornamental shrub.

Overall Berberis koreana  ‘Red Tears’ is an excellent shrub giving year round interest with virtually no maintenance.

Other points to consider:

Pro:

Fairly pest-free, easy to grow and to care for. Light pruning may be required to maintain a lovely shape. Drought tolerant and  deer resistant, what more could you wish for!

Perfect choice as a single specimen plant or massed in borders, for foundation plantings or as an informal barrier, screen or hedge.

Against:

The shrub can sucker from the roots and form colonies