The festive season has arrived at the Elliott household (we found a bottle of port at the back of Mother-in-Law's cupboard, 40 years old, if it is a day - the port, not the Belle Mere) and I'm writing my list for Santa.
Naturally, plants are a priority.
At the moment the garden is lacking colour so I thought perhaps Mahonia x. media Charity, Winter Sun or similar would bring a bunch of scented sunshine into a cool misty morning. As an ex-gardener at the Saville gardens, Windsor, I am very fond of Charity, and he rarely seen sisters, Faith and Hope, which were bred on the nusery there.
I already have my eyes on a sucker of Viburnum bodnatensis in a garden in the village, but I am not sure of the variety. The cross of Viburnum farreri (formerly V. fragrans) and V. grandiflorum was originally made by Charles Lamont, the Assistant Curator at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh in 1933. He didn't rate the resulting plants as being any better than their parents, so did not propagate them. In 1934 and 1935, the same cross was done at Bodnant, hence the derivation of the name. 'Dawn' was the first cultivar to be named, 'Deben' was another and, after he died, 'Charles Lamont' was also named in honour of the original raiser.
Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna is a great little evergreen shrub that we have grown in several gardens, but do not yet have here in Chabris. It's the sort of plant you hardly notice until, in December, it produces small, but intenslty fragrent white flowers. Our front door faces north and this plant is ideal for these conditions. A small bed, which this summer contained a New Guinnea Hybrid Busie Lizie, awaits.
Then there are books: "Planting the Dry Shade Garden is already on order with Timber Press, a company whose stock list is one of the most desirable for gardening enthusiasts. Two other's recently published by the same company are on my list: Contemporary Colour in the Garden and Designing with Grasses.
Richard Ford's book on Hostas (Crowood Press) is one of the best I have read on the subject and would have been on the list had I not already ordered it via the Garden Design Academy bookshop. I will never tire of gardening books, or of plants, but I realise buying them for me is not easy.....hence the list.
What are other gardening enthusiasts hoping for this Christmas?