Six on Saturday: The January Blues (4 January 2020)

I always find it difficult at this time of year remembering how lush and colourful the garden once was or will become. At the moment it’s all looking rather bare and brown. The box balls and Daphnes add some evergreen structure and there are the odd splashes of colour thanks to the Winter Honeysuckle, Coronilla, Violas and Viburnum. Yet the heady days of summer are but a distant memory and spring still seems some way off.

In an attempt to banish my January blues, I’ve been looking at a few photos of the garden taken during the Summer of 2019 to remind/reassure myself that it won’t always look quite so gloomy. And that leads me to my first Six on Saturday…

1. It’s been rather damp and murky of late. The lawn is a muddy mess and I’m missing the Prunus that I chopped down last October. The new Eucalyptus gunnii France Bleu is strangely invisible at the moment and the garden feels a little exposed.

January 2020

I’m also going to miss the blossom of the old tree come February/March. However, I need to remember that it was growing at a daft rate and required pruning several times a year. The lawn will also recover; it always does. And I’m sure the new dwarf Eucalyptus will start putting on some new growth next year (hopefully not too much though).

August 2019

2. Another now and then shot next. Last January I started taking up some of the patio to create more planting space. At this time of year you can see the stepping stone path I laid across the extended bed to avoid standing on the soil.

January 2020

Last summer the path proved slightly less practical as it became swamped by plants. Still, the view from the garden bench was rather pleasing.

August 2019

3. Some of last year’s plants are still looking good in their winter guise. The Sedum out in the front garden (possibly Autumn Joy) is just as beautiful now as it was in the summer.

4. And look, a potted Sedum seedling in the back garden is showing signs of new growth. Although there appears to be plenty of space in the borders for another Sedum, by the time the perennials have come up and the annuals have gone in I’ll struggle to find a spot for it, particularly once it gets bigger. I may have to give it away to a good home.

5. There are unseasonably early signs of spring if you go looking for them. This Primrose has been flowering for a while now.

In fact, the garden is slowly being taken over by Primula of various varieties, thanks to division and self seeding.

6. And finally… Do you remember the New Dawn climbing rose? No? Well, here’s a reminder…

I gave it a bit of a prune and tied back some of the branches a few weeks ago. This rose seems to have thrived when others have not and it got me thinking that another one would be a welcome addition to the garden. So, on a whim, I shoved some of the cut stems into the ground just on the off-chance that they might take. And I think this one may have done. I’m sure that bud is new. It’s early days yet but fingers are crossed.

And they were my Six on Saturday. For more Sixes on Saturday, from all around the world, take a look at the site of the chap who started it all over at


24 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: The January Blues (4 January 2020)

      1. In this part of Somerset on the lower edges of the Mendips its as if the cold has taken a leave of absence, but the low light is having an effect on the plants and me too…oh for a crisp cold blue day!

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  1. Like you I have been looking at older posts of the garden, just to remind myself that I really do not have any space to plant anything else this year. I need to allow what is there room to expand. In fact I am already making a (short) list of plants to buy mainly annuals for patio pots and some heucheras for the front shady courtyard also in pots. I swore when I got a garden after 10 years without that I would not have pots!! That was a daft thing to say. I seem to have more than ever! Getting back to your post, we really do have to take what we can find at this time of year and it is always exciting seeing new growth and the expectation of what is coming.

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    1. I’m not good at planning for potential plant expansion – my Sour Grapes penstemon has grown huge, although it’ll get a good chopping in the spring. Pots are fine until you go away. I must get planning for my annuals. The African Foxgloves got zapped by frost before they had a chance to flower this year so I’m determined to start them off earlier tnis time.

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  2. IT does look a little bleak. When I was in the UK at the end of November I could not believe how quickly it got dark… 3.30 some days when the sky was a murky grey. At least your shed is nice and bright! what happened to your swing seat?

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  3. That first photo shows how nicely the rejigged path looks. I do believe your rose cutting has taken, giving me such envy. Monty Don says just stick them in the ground but mine never take. That’s one beautiful rose, so hopefully you now have another. Like the look of that eucalyptus when in leaf. When it’s bare, a little harder to see, as you mentioned, but both the bark & structure promise a really lovely winter tree.

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