Posted by: christinelaennec | January 31, 2014

The end of January

The last day of January is here!  I must confess that January often seems like a long month to me.  But I try to follow nature’s example and embrace the time of rest.  The Dafter and I were delighted to discover these catkins on a wheelchair walk:



You can see the ground is sodden.  I think that Glasgow had 12 inches of rain in December, and no small amount in January either.  But we have been much more fortunate than many in other parts of Britain who have been flooded out of their homes.  It has been the wettest January in the UK since records began, apparently. (There is a map showing rain levels at the bottom of the BBC story I’ve linked to.)

I was delighted to see these snowdrops in the park the other day, and I decided to risk the wet ground to get close enough to photograph them.  Well, I did get my photograph, but just about ruined my boots!  Cleaning them will be a task for tonight, if they have dried out by then.

Snowdrops - and a few crocuses (yellow on the left, purple on the right).

Snowdrops – and a few crocuses (yellow on the left, purple on the right).  Take my word for it!

Along with lots of rain, we have so far had an extremely mild winter with very few frosts.  You can’t really see it in the photo above, but a few crocuses have started to come out.  Too early for that, my dears!  Stay tucked up in your beds!

Here at home, I have been buying some new plants for the garden, including some hellebores.  I always loved my hellebores in Aberdeen.  I was delighted to find, at Ardarden Farm Shop, some cowslips!  These are native wildflowers, and we also had them in Aberdeen.

Hellebore "Anna's Red" and a cowslip, my back garden.

Hellebore “Anna’s Red” and a cowslip, my back garden.

I know some of you are dealing with quite extreme weather, so I hope you are all safe, warm, and dry.



  1. Hi Christine I have been absent from here for a while but glad to see you are setteling in well in your new home. The spring flowers are a great delight letting us know that spring is on it’s way. Wishing you all well for the new year

    Susan x

  2. Lovely flowers! I especially love cowslips, we bought one or two plants a while back and they’ve started colonising the garden, appearing in the oddest places. One has gone red and others have cross bred with the primroses, so we have quite a collection. The Hellebore is lovely too, so good to have things flowering in the depths of winter. Though it’s been so mild here that I saw daisies out the other day

  3. The catkin picture I particularly love. Like little sticks of gold.

  4. I love the glimpses of spring you are already having! Snow still on the ground today and the promise of more next week. extreme cold is here to stay. Fingers and nose frozen as I type! What a winter. I love hellebores but I don’t think they would work in our climate?

  5. Lovely hints of spring, and crocuses already?! Those poor people down in the south of Britain are in for another lashing tomorrow by the looks of things, it must be utterly miserable for anyone flooded out at the moment, but I for one have certainly appreciated the mildness of this winter so far.

  6. What lovely photos! What kind of tree has those vividly colored catkins? Love the backyard flowers. Planning our garden started this week. Mostly veggies. Glad you and your daughter had such a nice outing.

  7. It has been a crazy winter here in the Deep South, but due to a shift in winds, some of my bulbs have begun to peek through the soil as well – but they are protected inside my kitchen window. Lovely photos, Christine! ❤

  8. Oh dear, we are 10+ inches behind in rainfall here. Perhaps it has been dumped on Britain! I loved seeing your shoots and flowers…especially the Snowdrops 🙂 Some of our Daffodils are sending green leaves skyward although our temps are to settle for the low 20s this week. Wishing your happy healthy days this week, Christine xx

  9. January has seemed like the longest month this year, that’s for sure. Such deep snow and terrible cold. Oh, I see that you’re friends of Stacy’s, too. She and I are blog buddies, as well. Hope you got your boots cleaned. 🙂

  10. Thank you, everyone, for your comments! Always a pleasure to see them, and to share these little signs of spring with you.

    Mary in TN – I wish I could tell you what kind of tree has the catkins. I must see if (with the aid of a book) I can identify it!

    Gracie – I’ve heard about your drought from our family. Surely they will someday be able to invent a way to pipe water from one part of the world to another, the way they do oil?

    Kathy – I don’t envy you your deep cold, though your photos are lovely. Yes, I’ve seen your comments on some other of the blogs I read! Small world here on the internet. And my darling Michael cleaned my boots for me. Lucky!

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