Happy New Year

I've blogged about Birmingham Botanical Gardens before, its close and we really should visit more often. 

New Years Day is an odd one, i'm usually in mental limbo between Christmas and an impending return to work.  My head is mushy and I just need to get out and be active to aid a return to the normal 8-4 working day.  Foregoing the usual new-years-day run (Doctors orders), we opted instead for a less demanding jaunt around the gardens.

I've been spending most of the Christmas break being really poorly, planning a green and white border at home.  I have pretty much planned it all out.  I have chosen some of the plants by picking those that thrive in semi-shade.  Rodgersia podophylla will provide the main structure.  I was happy to find a little black marker next to a a mound of growth indicating the existence of this dramatic plant on this visit.  

The Melianthus major will be an addition to our own space in 2019, the flower spikes are an interesting characteristic.  I'm pretty sure my green fingers can coax the very best from it in the sheltered space I have planned. The Chinese Lantern Festival was coming to an end when we visited,  a surreal sight by daylight against the grey/green spiky foliage.

The Fern Garden and surrounding area remains firm favourites. Later, the heady fragrance of Sarcococca confusa smacks me right around the chops with its gorgeous sweetness.  Now I feel awake and ready for the week ahead. 

As we leave via the glasshouse the colourful bracts of a tree we thought we would never see outside Spain catches our attention in the Bougainvillea 'San Diego Red'

Looking forward to the year ahead in our own slice of paradise, 2019 will bring new gardening practises and refinement, new plants and greater cohesion.  I have promised the local wildlife population that pesticides will no-longer be used.  I'm going to opt for beer traps and nematodes instead.  I may even go outside with a torch to grab the little buggers.


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