The Birds and the Bees…

Today (Friday) was the first day of sunshine here and after too many days of rain, it does bring a song into your heart.

I ventured out into the garden to finish pruning the climbing roses, before I began, I decided to do a tour with the camera. The gardener’s friend, was as usual, keeping an eye on me while providing his own welcome tune.


The Mohonia in full flower, with the sunshine, brought the honey bees out from their hives.

Mahonia Bealii


They were also visiting the Clematis which scrambles all over it.

Clematis cirrhosa balearica

The Flowers and the Trees.

By the front door there are pots planted up for a seasonal display with Carex, Ferns, Cornus stolonifera ‘Flaviramea’,  Erica x darleyensis ‘Phoebe’, Thuja ‘Goldy and the…


…Snowdrop elwesii…

Galanthus elwesii

…and a hellebore.


Another pot contains the Sarcococca ‘Winter Gem’.

Sarcococca ‘Winter Gem’

On the other side of the door an Euonymus is trained against the wall with Sarcococca confusa in front…

Sarcococca confusa

…the powerful scent from the Sacococca ( Christmas Box) fills the house every time the door is opened.

Sarcococca confusa with Euonymus Emerald & Gold

In the Oriental garden the Hamamelis is in full flower, I have mentioned before I would not recommend this variety, because it holds on to its dead leaves. I removed them all before taking this picture.

Hamamelis Moll Pallida (Witch Hazel)

The sunshine was highlighting the Erica ‘Albert’s Gold’ by the entrance to the White and Green garden and the standard variegated Holly, Ilex ‘Argentea Margenata’ at the back.


Around  the Holly are planters with variegated Myrtle, Tulips just starting to show and Vinca minor ‘Alba’

Ilex aquifolium ‘Argentea Margenata’ & Myrtus Communis Variegata

The snowdrops are beginning to open around the garden, especially where the sun reaches…

Galanthus nivalis

…the common double, which was given to me by a friend, are clumping up well, ready to divide later on…

Galanthus ‘Flore Pleno’.

…as is the winter aconite, although more slowly.

Winter Aconite
Eranthus hyemalis

The Prunus Serrula always looks wonderful with the sunlight on its bark, its mug decorations ( Mug Tree) have so far survived the winter.

Prunus serrula

Around its roots is a Skimmia and variegated Ivy. Many gardeners fear ivy in the garden, I like to see it, the variegated forms are not so vigorous, while providing some colour to lighten a dark area of the garden along with being good for wildlife.

Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’ & Variegated Hedra.

It is easy to ignore plants such as Skimmia when everything else is in full flower, however at this time of year they make a welcome contribution to the garden and this one below is a little more unusual than most.

Skimmia Hermaphrodite

The House Sparrows are gathering in the top of a Viburnum before diving down on to the ground feeders.

Version 2

What ‘Birds and Bees, Flowers and Trees’ are making you sing in your garden?




31 thoughts on “The Birds and the Bees…

  1. Lovely to see your garden looking very good in the winter sunshine. I thought I was seeing things when a bee landed nearby last week, now you have shown that this was certainly true in your garden. The clematis looks very appealing…will look that one up.


  2. We noticed that the bird are starting to sing. Our sarococca was only planted last year and is still quite small but I noticed that perfume this week. I think a little sunshine would help intensify the scent.


  3. My Mahonia flowers are long gone – something else that flowered out of season back in November. I still think your Prunus is a wonderful “diversion”; you explained its unusual blossom a while back. But I’m zooming in on your Sarcococca ‘WInter Gem”. I’ve been looking at it (and its parent ‘Purple Stem’) for some variety but have read that the so-called red flowers are just the buds and they actually open white and the initial impression of two-tone flowers soon disappears. How long does yours hang on to any of the redness please?


  4. There have been a couple of days lately when it has felt almost spring like and the birds are definitely singing again. So frustrating though because the ground is still far too sodden to set foot on. I am itching to get out there!


    1. You are on clay there Jessica, we are on a free draining loam. I am sure you know, more harm than good can be done by venturing on to clay soil to soon.( Both to the soil and the gardener).


  5. Hello Brian, Well every day when we go up the steps (opposite the Post Office in Malvern) we also have the heady perfume from Sarcococca confuse. We were also greeted by a Robin as we started our walk this evening along Abbey Road, But alas have not seen any bees, BUT at the top of Rose Bank Garden as you enter the path from Foley Terrace, there is a delightful display of the tiny deep pink cyclamen. I have enjoyed “the walk” through your garden – amazing there is so much now. But where/when did you get the white gate????? Best wishes, Tina PS I think I might have had your Skimmia (Hermaphrodite) many moons ago in one of “my” gardens.


  6. And what a difference a bit of sun makes. The birds are singing and the garden is coming to life. I enjoyed the stroll round yours and seeing what you are enjoying at the moment.


  7. It is snowing here today Brian but we did have a couple of mild days towards the end of January when it was good to be out and about. Your garden is looking fabulous and full of winter interest. Love the mug tree – was that idea inspired by your grandchildren?


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