It was quite cold all throughout the month of January here in the West of Ireland. The daffodils poked their heads up and a couple of them even started to turn yellow by the end of the month. The Hellebores flowered beautifully and we fed the birds a lot of nuts and seeds to keep them healthy and content.
We did a few things in the garden, but most of our time was spent gardening in our newly built conservatory. It is turning out to be all that we planned for and more. We wanted it to be an extension of the house where we can be in a space full of plants and light even on a rainy day. Now that it is built we realize that it connects the house and garden in a way we had not imagined possible.
The back and side wall are built up against an earth bank and the plants grow all the way up to windows on the outside and continue in the same fashion on the inside. The spaces have merged into one and the lines between outside and inside have become blurred. This will become even more prominent when spring is here and the bluebells start flowering.
Below the big sash windows along the front wall we created planting spaces right into the floor. We put down big flag stones to form a path from the door and around the platform and the planting spaces have low stone walls built around them. We took out some of the mineral rich subsoil to give the plants a deeper space for their roots. We scratched up the bottom with a small fork so that the soil, compost and well rotted manure could be mixed in well.
We had many Pelargoniums in pots from last year and we cut them back and planted them right into the spaces along with a Calamondin lime tree, and a few Ferns and Fuchsias. We also planted a climbing rose against the stone wall and a Passion flower in the corner, that hopefully will trail and climb along the front wall over the door and windows.
Our succulent garden that we planted in November is coming on beautifully with many plants showing buds already. We planted a curios spiky tree in the citrus family for a bit of contrast with the different round and plump shapes of the succulents.
The outside space still looks like a building site but we have great plans for it. We have many more big flag stones that will continue the path outside the door and create another path over to the steps leading up onto the bank. In this garden we plan to add many Japanese Acers that we have kept in pots for years along with creeping thyme and creeping Corsican mint to fill in the cracks between the paving stones. We will build up some rockeries as well, with ground cover plants, mosses and ferns.
Here are a few photos from our main circle on a cold day in January. If you are a regular reader of our blog you will know that we post photos like these every month of every year for comparison.
We are looking forward to many more garden projects in the remainder of February and beyond. We are also looking forward to many quiet moments with a cup of tea in our conservatory, surrounded by plants and silence.