It's a while since I've managed to see the garden in daylight but one day last week I had to visit my Mum in the early(ish) morning and managed a wander with my camera. The sun was still low in the sky and the brilliant Hawthorn berries (we call them haws) were lit like Christmas lights.
I was in luck too - although the sun was shining most of the garden was still covered in picturesque frost. Sometimes the bottom of the garden stays frozen all day as its in deep shadow at this time of year.
However my spiky mahonia is covered in sunshine yellow flowers (which I never normally get to see), and I'm glad I didn't pull it out as punishment for scratching my arms and legs all summer when I passed by unwarily.
As you can see, my Romanian willow arch has been woefully neglected for a couple of years and I really do have to cut it back in the spring before it's leaves start growing - I never like cutting off branches and boughs that are showing buds.
And don't you think this little shrub would be perfect for creating a Christmas arrangement - red stems, dark green leaves and white snowball berries. I'm not sure what it is - the label went missing a long time ago. It could possibly be a Pernettya (according to Google).
But I do know what these beautiful seedheads are - my Clematis Bill Mackenzie has run riot but its only in winter, when the leaves of the little birch tree have fallen that you can see just how far it has rambled away from its original frame.
Those fluffy seedheads could easily be taken for little lanterns in the gloom of late afternoon - if I could get to see them.
The last few days have been miserable, dark and wet and I may not see the garden in sunshine again until the New Year so I'm glad I was able to record its decaying beauty before it all springs to life again in 2013.