Six on Saturday: hopeful signs (31 December 2022)

At this time of year the garden can sometimes seem a rather dreary place, especially after endless days of rain. Although we’ve made it past the shortest day spring seems a long way off. The borders are sodden and bare, the gravel path has become both muddy and puddly and let’s not mention the lawn. Actually, no. Let’s mention the lawn because, despite resembling something of a quagmire in places, there are hopeful signs of brighter and more colourful things to come.

1. Behold… some of the Crocus that were planted in the lawn a few winters ago have begun to emerge.

2. And while it’ll be a little while until the Crocus go all floral, the first of the flower buds on the Viburnum tinus ‘Eve Price’ have begun to open.

3. Over near the bird feeding station there are more signs of hopeful stirrings. After a slightly disappointing performance flower-wise last spring I’m hoping the Hellebores will put on a better show in 2023.

4. Talking of the bird feeder station, I purchased a new ‘squirrel proof’ feeder yesterday after growing weary of two grey squirrels polishing off the sunflower hearts. Alas, the sparrows aren’t impressed and have given it a wide berth so far. Hopefully they’ll brave it in time. And the squirrels? Annoyingly, they haven’t visited since it was put up, depriving me of any opportunity to (hopefully) gloat.

5. While squirrels can be a nuisance, they can also be irritatingly cute at times. However, they’re not as cute as a felted mouse tucked up in a walnut shell with a stocking. Yes, it’s another new Christmas tree decoration.

6. And finally… the Violas seem to be doing okay so far, with no sign of the black spot-like disease that a batch suffered from a few winters ago. I may have mentioned this before but Violas are my most favourite of plants, especially during gloomy winter days.

They were my Six on Saturday, a meme originally started by The Propagator. For more Sixes on Saturday, from all around the world, head over to the blog of the current Six on Saturday host, Jim.

I’m probably going to be taking a short break from Six on Saturday blogging to focus on studying and exam revision during January. However, I’ll still be stopping by and enjoying SoS posts and I’ll definitely be back in the second week of February. In the meantime, all the very best for the New Year.


32 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: hopeful signs (31 December 2022)

  1. I just love that felted little mouse in a walnut shell!! Your garden is definitely showing signs of stirring, and that is the thing I look forward to during winter. The viola is just a stunning colour! Good luck with your studies and I will look forward to reading more of your posts in February. Happy New Year!

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  2. The crocuses! I didn’t even go to see in the garden where they are, but I don’t think I saw them… Don’t you think squirrels can pass through the fence? Or they are chubby squirrels (it’s true that gray squirrels are bigger than the red squirrels here)
    All the best for your exams and of course a Happy New Year 2023

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  3. I’m sure your birds will soon get used to your new feeders, it took mine a while to work out what to do, but they did eventually! Love your little mouse, hope Fr. Christmas filled its stocking! Wishing you well with your exams and also for a very Happy New Year for 2023.

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    1. I used to think nothing went on in the garden at this time of year but since joining in with SoS a few years ago I’ve discovered there’s always something going on… well, almost always, sometimes you have to pad things out with the odd Christmas decoration or a new gardening book or the like! Happy New Year.

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  4. Those squirrels are canny, they won’t spend the effort climbing up unless the seed is easily accessible, they are all too fat at present anyway. That viola is so pretty, and perfect, and yellow too! Happy New Year to you and yours.

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  5. I haven’t tried Pansies or Violas since mine suffered from blackspot several years running, but I do miss their cheerful faces at this time of the year. I managed to get a couple of hours in the garden yesterday during a brief dry spell, to cut back the clematis, old hellebore leaves and epimedium. I didn’t notice any crocuses coming up, but there are signs of species tulips in the ground and hellebore buds. Lots to look forward to, though it’s awful weather today. Good luck with your studies Graeme and I will look forward to reading more of your posts in February. Happy New Year!

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  6. Hooray for violas and pansies in the winter. What sturdy plants they are. I haven’t ever seen any black spot on them here: it seems to reserve itself for the roses. Good luck with your exams, Graeme and Happy New Year to you and your family. I’ll look forward to seeing more of your garden in Feb.

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  7. I think next year we should have a Christmas Decoration Duel, you have some beauties, but then so do I …… Might be fun. Like you, I love violas and that yellow peril is just wonderful. Great to see so much hope in the garden. Happy studying (is there such a thing?) Does everyone else know what it is for and I haven’t been listening? Have a great 2023 Graeme, you and your family, I will miss your blogs.

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    1. Thank you and Happy New Year to you and yours too. I’m doing the 2nd year of the RHS Level 2 (an online evening class course). In my youth I used to be a last minute revision crammer. These days I need to start early to get anything to stick in the memory banks. A Christmas decorations duel sounds fun!

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