Saturday 31 December 2011

A positive start to the New Year.

 As most of you will know the Woodland Walk is one of my favourite areas in the garden.   I shall be working in this area today.   The pretty Cyclamen Coum that you see above is in bloom.    Planted under the apple tree, they are a welcome addition to this garden and are thriving.
Whilst in the village one day, I visited the little nursery that lives amongst the shops.   I noticed a tray of rather unloved Cyclamen.   I asked the owner if they were for sale.    She said not really because they had been neglected and she did not know if they would do well.    I offered to take them  for a small sum (£5.00).     She gladly accepted.   I planted them under the Apple tree, added some smashed egg shells (which they love), watered them well and let them be.    They have grown into the most beautiful plants and I love them for the sweet scent and dainty little flowers.
Our native hellebore (Helleborus foetidus), commonly known as the stinking hellebore.    The nose wrinkling smell of the flowers attracts early pollinating bees, so is absolutely essential in this bee lovers garden.   I must say I find it strangely attractive and now have a small colony of these unusual plants.    Interesting fact :     The plant has evolved an unusual way of dispersing its seeds.   They exude an oil that attracts snails, once a snail has consumed the oil, the seed sticks to the slime and is carried away to a new site.    I find many babies in my garden.....long live the snail :)
I decided a few days ago to add more trees to the garden.     I wanted to plant in numbers, not just the odd tree here and there.    I visited the local garden centre yesterday to browse, and came back with a huge smile on my face.   Ten bare root Hazel.    A native, and a lover of damp soil.   It can be planted in sun or shade, and that suits me well.  

I would like to leave you with a passage from A Tree in my Pocket by Jacqueline Memory Paterson.

The Hazel Tree.......Magic and Inspiration.

Hazel has always been regarded as magical for its presence inspires our intuitional senses.   It is called the poets tree, for in the mind of the ancients it had great associations with faerie lore and supposedly allowed entrance into such realms.

Druids carried rods made from hazel to gain poetic and magical inspiration.

The Hazel is powerful in early spring when its energy and sap are surging outward and in autumn, when its energy is contained within its harvest of magical nuts.     

Hazel can be used for protection.  Its ruling planets, the Sun and Mercury, make it a brilliant healing plant.

Happy New Year to each and every one of you.


  1. Lovely garden you must have - I wish I could walk there too! Happy New Year.

  2. Hi Jane,Happy New Year.
    Hope that it is a good one for you.

  3. Hi Cheryl,

    Happy New Year :)

    My Coum aren't yet blooming but I can see the bloom stems waiting to reach for the sun. I planted mine in little pots and have them near the house at the moment just because I wanted to see how they did - I plan on then moving them once they're a little more mature.

  4. Hi Liz,

    They do like to be planted under deciduous trees or hedgerow and if you sprinkle crushed egg shells on the soil around them they will be more than happy. You probably know this already but it may help :)

  5. I have a nice clump of Hardy Cyclamen leaves showing under the Ash Tree. I will give them some egg shells to encourage their vigor. What luck to have found some for such a good price. The quote about the Hazel tree is great. I have always loved Witch Hazels. I need to find one to purchase. What fun to have room to plant several in the garden. I wish you the Happiest Healthiest New Year with a garden full of buzzing bees and other wonderful wildlife.

  6. Hi Lisa,

    Tku.....I hope 2012 brings you much happiness also.

    Witch hazel is very beautiful but something that I cannot grow here. I made several attempts but gave up in the end :)
    Corylus avellana will be happy in this garden.

  7. Hi Cheryl,

    I hadn't heard about the eggshells; no. What purpose does it serve? Is it to stop snails/slugs or is it as the shells rot down?

  8. I'm always amazed to see a plant we can only grow as a houseplant growing in a garden.

  9. Planting around here will not happen until May when the frost risk is over. I share your passion for wanting more plants to be planted to change that balance of to much concrete!Happy New Year!

  10. Hi Liz,

    Not protection from snails. Cyclamen thrive on calcareous (think I have spelt it right) soil. Adding eggshell helps to improve the condition of the soil for them.
    I started doing this last Spring.....and mine have spread very quickly.

  11. HI Cheryl....Of into a new year we go and you sound like your ready for the changes,and,challenges!!
    I love the Cyclamen but here it is a potted plant only!!
    The native hellebore has pretty interesting attributes.....and would be good for me since it stinks and I can't smell we would get along fine...; ]
    How the Snail and the hellebore work together is pretty cool !
    The Hazel Tree... the ancients beliefs are so thought provoking...hope you have good luck with you trees!!
    Take care my friend and a good start into 2012!!

  12. My comment got lost in cyberspace!

    Will your hazel trees bear nuts for you? I do so enjoy your garden. Every time I read a novel set in the UK, I imagine all the gardens looking like yours and all the little girls just like Poppi.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! I do hope this one brings you happiness and joy.

  13. Tku Grace,

    I remembered that you cannot smell your flowers, so yes the stinking hellebore would not bother you :)

    I love to read about the Druids....I love their ways.

  14. ncmountainwoman,

    Yes, the hazel trees will produce nuts. Kent is known for the Kentish cobnut. I love them and they appear to be fashionable once again.
    They are being used in cooking a lot more these days.

    How sweet.....I am happy to be part of your reading matter, if only in your imagincation:)

  15. Happy New Year Cheryl! I'm looking forward to your garden adventures this year!

  16. Well, now I know that snails can be useful, too! The Hazel tree sounds like the perfect fit for your garden, Cheryl. I can just see your resident fairy having a tea party underneath them. Wishing you a very Happy New Year, Cheryl, and a garden full of busy bees this season.

  17. HI Eve,

    Happy New Year. I look forward to your lovely photograpy during 2012.

  18. Hi Rose,

    Everything has a purpose....even snails )

    I am looking forward to seeing the Hazel trees mature. I love them in both the Spring and Autumn. The catkins dripping from their boughs and then the nuts with their pretty frillly coats. Perfect for a wildlife garden.
    Now if I see a fairy sitting beneath one, that will be the icing on the cake :)

  19. Dear Cheryl - long may your Hazels inspire the poetess in you. Happy New Year!

    Fascinating re snails and Hellebores - was interested to read that yeasts reside in the nectaries of Stinking Hellebore, raising the temperature of the blooms (the same also applies to Primula vulgaris). This may act as enticement to insect pollinators for warmth alone and/or the lure of warmed volatile oils akin to aromatherapy oil burners.
    Not sure I can link it but you can google Royal Society article ‘Nectar yeasts warm the flowers of a winter-blooming plant’

  20. Oh how wonderful Cheryl, you must be so excited planting your hazels. I do hope you'll post some pictures of them throughout the year.
    As I'm sure you know, hazel is called the 'tree of wisdom' also so it must be a good choice for such a harmonious garden as yours!

  21. Tku Laura,
    That is really interesting. I love to learn all the unusual facts about plants. Blogging has opened up a world of information to me.....tku again.

  22. Is it Lucinda. No I did not know that, so tku for enlightening me.
    Excited, I cannot tell you just how much. For me, it was almost ceremonial.....I do so love my trees :)
    Yes, I will show the hazels as they grow and reach maturity. I intend to coppice some every third year.......
    I have an old hazel that hangs over my garden. It is on the other side of the fence (railway side). It drips catkins in the Spring and I mean drips.....just so enchanting L)

  23. Dear Cheryl,
    Happy New Year! Happy Hazel Trees.
    So wonderful you found the perfect trees to add to your gardens. I too love learning about the relationships of plants and critters. Snails are very cool. Since I am the steward of the garden I enjoy the web of life. Planting a grove of Hazel Nut Trees must be delightful. I love learning about what I plant too. The lore of the Hazel Nut Tree is perfect for you.
    May 2012 bring you much joy.

  24. Such a beautiful and happy post, Cheryl. I love how you rescue plants,nurture them and they thrive.

    A grove of magical hazels - how wonderful! I will echo Sherry's comment. Perfect!
    Happy New Year to you and yours.

  25. I'm also planting Hazel this week, but not trees. Mine are destined to form a hedge along the Coppice and in time. provide nuts for our red squirrels