Mild: Due to the late arrival of winter there have been some unseasonal spring flowers appearing during December. Pulmonaria rubra is always early, but I’ve never seen it before Christmas, exchorda, primroses and iris recticulata have been joining in the show. The hamamelis has been scenting the air for weeks. The red pulmonaria reminds me that a touch of red from flowers can be rather special in the garden in winter: Chaenomeles japonica , Camelia ‘Adolphe Audusson’. are tough and reliable. They compliment the remaining rosehips, berries from Iris foetidissima and of course the ever present bright stems of Cornus siberica.
Wet: Dormant plants can survive saturated ground for a while. Surprisingly worms too can survive and will swing back into action as water recedes. The greatest damage can come from the compaction caused from working or walking on wet soil or lawn. Avoid doing anything in the garden that causes you to leave the path, until it has thoroughly dried out. When this occurs there is the winter pruning of fruit trees and cutting native and deciduous hedging to be done. Also the planting of bare root shrubs and trees.
Cold: There are some plants that actually need a cold spell to get them going. Garlic, blackcurrants, apples and the prunus family all need a sharp drop in temperature to kick start them into production. The weather forecasts tell that the coming month is lining up to provide the require chill. If it does freeze check that precious pots are draining properly, it not frost can crack the ceramic and kill the plant. So bye bye rain hello frost and snow? Hey ho.