January is not one of the garden team’s favourite months, longer nights and shorter days which are usually cloudy and grey. During the first few weeks of this new decade, clear blue and cloudless days have been few and far between, in fact, the first named storm of 2020, ‘Storm Brendan’, has already made its present felt with gusts on average of 40mph whipping through the college grounds. However, even with the sun hidden behind many a cloud, it hasn’t stopped the winter bulbs from bursting through the sodden ground brightening up their surroundings and effecting everyone around them, a very welcome arrival indeed.
Carpets of winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis), with their sunny, buttercup yellow flowers, have appeared en masse on the Nuffield lawn, each head being supported by a rather elegant dark green ruff collar. Not to be out done, twenty five thousand snowdrops (Galanthus spp.) have pushed their way through the soil of many of the borders and lawns, clean, fresh white drooping bells with many different green markings, truly a joy to behold.