The milder weather in the run up to Christmas created havoc in the garden, with many plants not knowing what season they were in. The result has been many plants flowering when you’d least expect them.

One in particular in my own garden is euryops pectinatus. It is an evergreen shrub which grows up to 1m in height and width. The shrub has pinnately cut, grey, hairy leaves and long-stalked yellow daisies to 5cm across from early summer and into winter when grown under glass, so says the RHS website. Mine are planted in the ground and have done well for the last few years despite the cold winters.

Just after Christmas, mine started to flower and is still going strong, despite recent frosts, with lots of pretty flowers creating their own sunshine on a grey winter day. They are generally pest free, pretty low maintenance to look after and work well in either a container or planted in the ground.

This year is the first I have not fleeced the majority of my palms in the garden. They were protected from the salty winds rather than the cold, but are now getting too big to cover. So far, so good, they do not seem to have much wind burn, let’s hope that prevails for the rest of the winter months.

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Next week sees the first of ten planned, open days (pre-booking essential) to see snowdrops at 5 Whitemans Close, Cuckfield, in Haywards Heath. The contact details and list of dates are on the National Garden Scheme’s website, It is a relatively small cottage garden full of exciting and unusual winter plants, plus a large snowdrop collection. All snowdrops can be viewed from paths, so you can leave the wellies at home. Entry is £8 but includes home-made teas. The first three dates are next week, 25th, 27th?

It is a great time to establish colonies of snowdrops in your own garden. Pop along to the garden centre and buy plants in flower so you can choose the prettiest blooms. Snowdrops are hardy perennial, winter-flowering plants that are often heralded as the first sign of spring. They flower whatever the weather and will even push through snow-covered ground. Although known for their small, white bell-shaped flowers there’s an incredible range of snowdrops. Snowdrop fanatics will collect different varieties, featuring different sizes, markings, colour changes and numbers of petals. To the amateur, a snowdrop is a snowdrop, but to the expert every one is a collector’s item with a significant difference.

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