Archives for category: Winter

Last Christmas, I picked up some seeds from the black bat or devil flower, tacca chantrieriin the Natural History Museum in Vienna (from the gift shop – I didn’t pilfer them from a display). Read the rest of this entry »


img_3965A ranunculus and twigs salvaged from the office flower arrangement on Friday afternoon. Gather ye rosebuds while – and where – ye may. Read the rest of this entry »

Apart from Lupo – good flowerer, attracts bees, hips look nice in a flower arrangement and light up winter – is there anything this rose can’t do? Read the rest of this entry »

img_3823 Read the rest of this entry »

20160106_010The usual view to the east, in winter guise. Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_3238It’s the time of year when the balcony goes terracotta, green and grey. Having postponed it at length, I finally got round to the yearly winter preparations, with some help clearing the annuals and then setting about wrapping up the roses, clematis and other hibernators, as well as cutting down a few pelargoniums and bringing them inside. Read the rest of this entry »

january morningLike last year, the winter has been rather gentle. A light layer of snow now and then, but none of those Russian weather fronts I’ve grown accustomed to here. And like last year, it was February before we had several consecutive days of frost. Read the rest of this entry »

An unpublished post from December:

IMG_2760Just inside the entrance of my local, underground, supermarket, there are potted plants for sale in various degrees of distress. Wilting from lack of water and light, and this time of year sometimes sprayed with glitter or gold paint for that festive look…

Every once in a while I get the urge to save one of them and give it a good home (though admittedly that doesn’t always work).

My latest protégé is this ivory christmas rose (Helleborus niger). I hastily repotted it in what I had at home: a mix of cactus soil, leaf mulch and a few nettle pellets… It’s already had several temperature shocks, so we’ll see how it goes. If it makes it through winter, I think I have a good summer spot for it on my shady kitchen window ledge.

hyacinth glasses

star bulbsHope they don’t look too sinister. The pointy hats are inspired by benevolent yuletide star boys in Sweden. The owl in the background had to have one too. I’m premiering my new hyacinth glasses, the green and blue above, English 1920’s. The bulbs didn’t get ready for Christmas but should instead usher in (a hint of) spring once the holidays are over.

sweet pea sproutsAnd we have growth on the balcony! My sweet pea sprouts from the November sowing. I’ve read not to top autumn sowings as they should naturally develop shoots. They could probably already do with deeper pots though, which would leave less headroom in the mini greenhouse.