Thursday, January 15

How does it compare - January

No doubt we have all had experience of thinking certain things are happening earlier or later than they were last year. This year I am going to try and delve into my library of photographs to try and compare  some plants each month with how they looked last year. Although for all sorts of reasons comparisons on exact dates may be difficult I'll give it my best shot.


Garrya - 11 January 2014
Cobnut - 11 January 2014
Rhubarb - 11 January 2014
Autumn Onions - 3 January 2014
Hellebore - 11 January 2014
Spring bulbs - 11 January 2014

Garrya - 11 January 2015
Cobnut - 5 January 2015
Rhubarb - 5 January 2015
Autumn Onions - 5 January 2015
Hellebore - 11 January 2015
Spring bulbs - 11 January 2015

The garrya tassels were a little further on last year but the cobnut catkins are at about the same stage.


The first rhubarb buds have burst already. Living in the middle of the Rhubarb Triangle this is causing concern amongst the commercial producers of forced rhubarb. Before being planted in the forcing sheds the rhubarb is planted in the fields for several years in order to build up a strong root system. The rhubarb is then taken into the forcing sheds where forced rhubarb is produced. The producers claim that the rhubarb outside is shooting too early as a result of the lack of a very cold frosty spell. The early shoots are produced to the detriment of the root system which in turn will affect the production of the forced stems. As we don't force our rhubarb this shouldn't be an issue for us.

The onions and garlic are battered but generally at the same stage.

The hellebores are at the same stage as are the spring bulbs.


12 comments:

  1. I wonder how the rhubarb will be affected if we have some hard frosts now. I think a lot of plants have been lulled in to a false sense of security with the mild weather we've had so far.

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    1. As far as we domestic growers are concerned I think we should be OK, Jo. Not sure about that grown commercially. I'm not a fan of forced rhubarb. It always looks weak and spindly in comparison to the unforced stuff.

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  2. I used to put hazel nuts out for the squirrels and one squirrel came to my front garden for them then ran round all the houses coming back into my back garden to hide his booty. I am guessing this as a tree sprouted in one of my glazed pots, it is a hazel and has those catkins, you show in the above picture. Will I get any hazel nuts or will I need another tree for pollination. As ever sue I am asking for your advice :-)

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    1. The one that provides out harvest is a Kent Cob which is semi self fertile but it is also growing next to another hazel, Any wild hazels close by will also help with pollination. So it really depends which type of tree it is. We do get bits on a couple of hazels that are more or less wild but they aren't really good for eating, Good enough for squirrels though

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  3. Interesting to read about the rhubarb and what a long process goes into producing it. Something else that will be increasingly vulnerable to climate change.

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    1. It's a strange sort of farming altogether, Jessica, The stems are picked by candlelight and the reckon they can hear the rhubarb growing

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  4. I'll have a look for my poor beleaguered rhubarb next time I go. It gets swamped with grass in the summer so it's not been doing well. I'm wondering if I can squeeze one into the garden, it's one of my favourite things.

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    1. It may depend on variety, CJ I think some varieties grow bigger than others. They certainly do on our plot

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  5. My Garrya varies from year to year, not sure if temperature alone dictates, possibly amount of sunny days too, mine is on an east facing wall so doesn’t get much sun. My hellebores were earlier last winter, I had many more in full flower on the 15 th January last year – but that was an unusually warm winter.

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    1. Our garrya faces south Helene and is tall enough to avoid being shaded at the top from most directions. It's between 3 to 4 metres high, We have one hellebore now in flower and I noticed the other day that it sits in its own small patch of sunlight in early afternoon.

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  6. My Glaskins Perpetual rhubarb never died down properly - it's had one or two leaves all winter, even after I stripped the older leaves away and has now started to put up new growth. Too warm here as well it seems!

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  7. I'm always amazed at the variety of plants and trees that you grow.....it's good to have pics to compare like that, seems that some things are ahead this year, my bulbs are certainly up a lot earlier.xxx

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