Garden Bloggers Blooms Day: Cool Waves in December

Cool.waveRather than amalgamate this with a Monday vase, I am posting a day late for Garden Bloggers Blooms Day, kindly hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. It is especially intriguing to see what is flowering in the leaner months of the year compared to previous years, and a quick check back to last year suggests that there was a greater variety of things blooming then, which surprised me.

Having not grown violas or pansies  from seed before I am particularly pleased with the addition of the Cool Wave violas shown above, grown from seed purchased from eBay and flowering within 8 weeks of sowing – these are Cool Wave Frost and Cool Wave White, and I also have their purple relatives although not yet in bud. Hopefully they will continue flowering for months.

Below is Rhododendron ‘Cheer’, featured in vases last week and still showy but tailing off now – she has never flowered like this in December before:

IMG_3735Other December bloomers, shown in collage form, are (top to bottom and left to right): nearly blooming Galanthus ‘Maidwell L’, Campanula portenschlagiana, astrantia (probably ‘Buckland’), Rosa ‘Queen Mother’, ivy flowers, Rosa Pink ‘Perpetue’, Rosa ‘The Fairy’, primrose and Hellebore foetidus. Apart from the ivy none are flowering prolifically,  but every individual bloom is a joy to see.

GBBD.Dec14As I rambled with the camera yesterday, admiring all the above and also the specks of colour on the witch hazels I determined not to even attempt to photograph any of the latter until  there was evidence of a distinct shred. I had just reached the back door again and – lo and behold – there it was! The first shred – Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Harry’…



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23 Responses to Garden Bloggers Blooms Day: Cool Waves in December

  1. Pauline says:

    You have lots of lovely flowers Cathy, your garden ramble was very rewarding. I don’t think my witch hazels are showing colour yet, I must go and have a look.

    • Cathy says:

      Apologies for lack of detail as I was a bit rushed! Even though there are only odd examples of each it is still lovely to see them. I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised when you inspect your witch hazels….hope so anyway!

  2. A touch of summer on a cold, dreary, winter day is always a bit of magic.

  3. AnnetteM says:

    I wonder if your rhododendron will still flower in Spring. I guess it would have to make some more flower buds very quickly. You had better give it the plant equivalent of Christmas dinner! I love your little primrose, though it does seem strange seeing it out already. Your roses are lovely too – I wonder how much longer they will flower. I am also surprised there were more things out last year – just off to see what they were in your archives.

    • Cathy says:

      Looking again at last year I see I was mistaken as there wasn’t much difference after all! The primroses often appear in winter – they do in the wild at my Mum’s off the W coast of Scotland too. Interesting thought about the rhododendron – it does throw up flowers in the winter but never like it has done this year. Perhaps it does deserve a good feed like you say 🙂

  4. johnvic8 says:

    Cathy, You are fortunate to have so many different flowers still in bloom in mid-December. What did you use in WordPress to create the collage? As a relatively new user, it looks like a nice feature I might like to use in the future. Thanks.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks John. The collage is not a WordPress feature as in the early days I really struggling with placing photos where I wanted them and another blogger (thanks Liz) suggested PicMonkey at and I use it for all my square collages or where I want pictures in a row. There is a paid for upgrade too, but the free version is very versatile and very easy to use. You don’t need to download it to your computer and I just keep a link on my bookmarks toolbar. Do try it and let me know how you get on.

  5. Anna says:

    I’ve probably asked you this before Cathy but do your astrantias ever stop flowering? 🙂 Hurrah for Harry – he’s a star.

    • Cathy says:

      You probably have asked about the astrantias – and they possibly don’t! It’s worth cutting them back after the first flowers are past their best as I don’t think there would be second flush if I didn’t. I think Harry might have been the first to produce a shred last year too (and the last to lose them), and like last year he still retains some leaves. Still my favourite, despite all the opposition… 🙂

  6. Christina says:

    What flowers are missing this year? I’d guess it would be the true winter flowering plants that need to have had some cold weather before they are triggered into flower. That is the reason that you sometimes have flowers earlier than I do on certain plants. And yes, please do explain about the wordpress collage.

    • Cathy says:

      I really thought more of the ‘summer’ flowers had lingered but when I looked again at last year’s post there was in fact very little difference, just bidens and a crocosmia and the mahonia. My crocosmia were rubbish this year and of course the mahonia has been sent to plant heaven (or maybe hell). The remaining roses last year were better quality than the hangers on this year though – but everything else were the same old stalwarts! ps have a look at my reply to John re the collage which was in fact not courtesy of WP 😉

  7. Chloris says:

    Lovely collage and three cheers for Harry! How lovely that he made it just in time for GBBD.

  8. Kris P says:

    I do love Hamamelis but I’ve far outside the zone to grow that. A belated happy GBBD Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, we have to accept that there are some things that our weather conditions would not allow us to grow. I am chuffed at how well the Hamamelis grow in my garden – hope I don’t regret it once they are bigger!

  9. Annette says:

    Wasn’t Harry the one to drop his leaves too soon? If so, the fact that he’s the first to flower would be a comfort!

  10. rickii says:

    ‘Rambling in the Garden’ brought you great results.

  11. Gayle Madwin says:

    It’s almost like spring! Great witch hazel photo.

  12. Nell Jean says:

    Violas are a great choice for cool-season blossoms.

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