The Rage of Friederike







Last week storm ‘Friederike’ killed our old plum tree. For many years it served as coat stand for the jacket of Mr Bobby James.

Only a few broken roof tiles

It was inevitable that we had to fell our old plum tree sooner or later but it was Friederike who took the decision.  After it fell on our Cotoneaster hedge, we had to shorten the long twigs in order to free the trunk and to saw it in pieces. But here in Viller Friederike refrained herself and besides a few broken roof tiles, the storm was fortunately not a big problem.

We had to protect our cold frames against the storm
Photograph by Frank Fritschy

Our old plum tree in better days


The calm weather of the last days gave me the opportunity to take some pictures of flowering shrubs. As usual, I took some images from the ever-photogenic witch hazel (Hamamelis mollis) which first flower buds already started to unfold on the last days of December. But it was especially a nice bunch of Cyclamen coum with its lovely rounded heart-shaped leaves which caught my eyes. I planted some tubers a few years ago and after a difficult start, it finally is going to spread. Besides the lovely pink, magenta or white flowers,  I like the silver variegated leafs. The silver coloured Christmas tree pattern on the leafs of Cyclamen hederifolium are even more spectacular. Their flowers though started to unfold at the end of the summer.

The blue metallic berries of the Viburnum tinus ‘Gwenllian’ are flabbergasting
Photograph by Frank Fritschy

Fruit for birds

The shape of the leafs of the former plant reminds me of the ivy and especially its greenish-yellow flowers which now are ripened into purple-black to orange-yellow fruit. They are an important food for many birds.

The colour combination of the blue metallic berries on the red stalks of the Laurustinus (Viburnum tinus ‘Gwenllian’) is flabbergasting. The tincture of this fruit has been used lately in herbal medicine as a remedy for depression.The winter jasmine which already started to flower in December shows now a lot of flowers. Unfortunately, this climber was planted on a shady wall. I recommend planting this Jasminum nudiflorum against a south facing wall to get the most out of it.

Your name on the headlines

By the way, here in Germany you can sponsor a low and give it a name. For 199 euros your name can be the talk of the day and shown on the headlines of the newspapers( Institut für Meteorologie).  Doro prefers to receive a high as a gift but I have to dig deep into my pocket. It cost a hundred bops more.