Tag Archives: Chimonanthus praecox

Onwards and Upwards

22 Dec

This was the state of my room this morning. During moments like this I wish I had Merlin’s magic bag from Disney’s Sword in the Stone to make packing and moving much easier. Alas, I am just a mere mortal.

Higitus, figitus, migitus, mum Prestidigitorium!

Higitus, figitus, migitus, mum
Prestidigitorium!

Over the weekend I visited two gardens: The Savill Garden and Oxford Botanic Garden. I will create a post for both and – hopefully – I will catch up and write about all the other gardens I have visited during the next few of weeks. Just two mini highlights from the two gardens:

These snowdrops at The Savill Garden are either really early or extremely late.

These snowdrops at The Savill Garden are either really early or extremely late.

Carlos (one of the trainees) spotted some snowdrops blooming at the foot of a tall oak and we all rushed over to admire them. I find the simplicity of snowdrops very beautiful, and combination of the clean linen white and fresh apple green is so hopeful and encouraging during the final throws of winter.

So small and delicate!

So small and delicate!

At the Oxford Botanic Garden a wonderful shrub was starting to bloom: Chimonanthus praecox. This deciduous, winter-blooming shrub is native to China where it is highly prized for its scent and its audacity. This shrub has long lancelet leaves and has a wild habit, but in the dead of winter brave blossoms hang off of the bare branches. The papery petals are pale yellow, bell-shaped and extremely fragrant. The scent is reminiscent of hyacinths, but softer and smoother – to die for. A must have in a winter garden where it can get a bit of shelter from the cold, drying winds.

Chimonanthus praecox, a ghostly looking flower with a haunting fragrance, blooming at Oxford Botanic Garden.

Chimonanthus praecox, a ghostly looking flower with a haunting fragrance, blooming at Oxford Botanic Garden.

My next stop is Bury St. Edmunds where I will be spending my Christmas and right after that straight onwards to Edinburgh. Technically I start my placement with the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh mid January, but since I have two ‘Study Weeks’ I wanted to take advantage of them and really get to know Scotland. (Plus nothing beats a Scottish winter to inspire you to write…specifically a mid-term report.) Anyway, time to finish packing and I’ll be heading off in the morning. Talk to you later!

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