Twenty Eight and Still Counting

I have managed 48 hours without switching on my laptop so a belated thanks for all Christmas wishes from other bloggers out there – normal service will be resumed shortly and your comments will be responded to in due course. What a friendly blogging community we are – friendship and support abound and I hope not only to continue these friendships but to have the privilege of meeting some of you during the forthcoming year.

Following the lead of Helen the Patient Gardener last year I carried out a Boxing Day roll call of blooms, finding 20 different bloomers in 2013. It was interesting looking back because although there was then a greater variety of blooms this year’s total has been boosted by the mild end of year which brought the witch hazels out earlier than ever before. Last year there were shreds only on Hamamelis ‘Orange Peel’, this year those recent few days of mid teen temperatures turned the hint of colour into fully flowering witch hazels in the case of (left to right, top then bottom): ‘Jelena’, ‘Orange Peel’, ‘Pallida’, ‘Harry’, ‘Magic Fire’ and….. oh, a bit of a cheat really, not a hamamelis but a ‘Chinese witch hazel’, Loropetalum ‘Black Pearl’, and a double cheat as it arrived by mail order just a few days ago and is still sitting in its pot. Nevertheless, it is a very pretty shade of pink, has lovely dark leaves and is blooming on Boxing Day!

BoxDay14.1 BoxDay14.2Also not in evidence last year are some early snowdrops, not fully open but I am still including them – the first emerger a week or two ago, ‘Maidwell L’ (left) has now been overtaken by ‘Mrs Macnamara’ (right) and ‘James Backhouse’ (centre) who appeared out of nowhere this week and not known for his early habits was a real surprise!

BoxDay14.3Like last year the hellebores are still at bud stage except for the H foetidus (right) seedlings I moved to different homes which are now repaying me in full:

BoxDay14.4There are still some almost perfect roses (Danse du Feu, Zéphirine Drouhin, Magic Carpet, Queen Mother)….

BoxDay14.5…..and other stalwarts (left to right, top to bottom) remnants of brachycome overwintering for the third year, pecked polyanthus, a hint for next Monday’s vase, Campanula poscharskyana, ubiquitous ivy, Viola ‘Cool Wave White’, primroses, C poscharskyana ‘Lisduggan’ and Viola ‘Cool Wave Frost’:

BoxDay14.7Particular surprises are the overwhelming thoroughness of flowers on Rhododendron ‘Cheers’ (left), a random flower on Dianthus ‘Sherbert’ (don’t remember any flowers earlier in the year!) and another fresh flower on Echinops ‘Arctic Glow’ (why?):

BoxDay14.6Astrantia ‘Buckland’ (left) never gives up and although there were no buds yet open on Sarcoccoa humilis (right) so it couldn’t be included I am pleased to say that wasn’t the case with Lonicera fragrantissima, who obliged with an unexpected clutch of their fragrant flowers (even if it wasn’t as obliging in having its photograph taken):

BoxDay14.8It would definitely be cheating to include the hyacinths and poinsettia (‘fraid so…) that I received as presents, but can I include the amaryllis/hippeastrum in Monday’s vase? If so (and not counting the unopened hellebores) that would make it 28 this year, although having read Helen’s Boxing Day count I shall have to add another as I too have some rosemary flowering. Not a bad tally for 26th December….


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20 Responses to Twenty Eight and Still Counting

  1. rusty duck says:

    Not bad at all. I haven’t done a count, but the camellia that I can see from the kitchen window makes up for it.. flowers almost fully open and at least a month early. It’s so windy tonight though, it may not look the same by daybreak!

    • Cathy says:

      Oh, I hope your camellia buds survived – lovely to have it in full view from your kitchen window, which is where my H Harry is, barely 6 feet or so from my eyes. Lovely!

  2. Garden Fancy says:

    I can’t believe you still have blooming things! I could count fewer plants with green leaves on them here than you counted flowers. Oh, to live in a mild winter climate…. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

    • Cathy says:

      I suppose we just need to accept where we are (unless we want to do something about it and move) – but yes, I am grateful to be living in the temperate climate of the UK and in a fairly central part of England so generally away from extremes. Since keeping a blog I notice far more in the garden than I used to and in the past I would never have imagined there could actually be so many things flowering in the winter

  3. Cathy says:

    Not bad? It’s brilliant! Lovely to see all your flowers Cathy…. we are forecast snow today and freezing temperatures for the next week of -15 degrees C, so I will have to be very creative for my Monday vase!

    • Cathy says:

      -15 degrees?! Gosh, rather you than me – I think our minimum o/n this week is forecast to be about -5. I have the witch hazels and the early snowdrops to thank for the total this year – and it has been intriguing to see how rapid their progress was after a couple of above average temperature days. I look forward to seeing what you come up with on Monday as I have every confidence that there will be something 🙂

  4. What a magnificent array of blooms! And roses in December! Well done! I’ve noticed a few blooms just starting, and they do seem early. I envy you your collection of Hamamelis. I need to find a suitable spot, somewhere.

    • Cathy says:

      I have had my oldest witch hazels for a little over 10 years , I think, although I had a couple before which I planted at the edge of the woodland but they just didn’t survive.They do need light and sunshine I have learned and fortunately I moved ‘Diane’ from the woodland while she still had a scrap of life and she has pulled through. They definitely seem to like where they are now – and with the flowers and their anticipation as well as autumn leaf colour there is plenty of interest all year. Hope you find a spot!

  5. Pauline says:

    What a fantastic selection of flowers. We have a few that are really early due to the mild weather we have had, but I think tonight is going to spoil all that. My Camellia bush is absolutely covered with wonderful blossom and the others aren’t going to be far behind. We have just got back from Bristol, so tomorrow will be the earliest I can have a wander round. Happy New Year to you and the Golfer for 2015.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Pauline – hope you enjoyed your visiting and that your garden hasn’t suffered any damage. Your camellias won’t like the cold though – what a shame that would be as they were showing so much promise.

  6. Anna says:

    What riches Cathy. I’m glad to see that Harry now has fellow company. I that nothing suffered as a result of last night’s sudden snow. I always whizz round and do a Christmas Day count after reading about such a tradition in the Cottage Garden Society magazine many moons ago.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – and if it wasn’t for the whole blogging concept I may not have noticed half of them, even though I did of course still ramble round the garden! I wonder what you found in your garden….

  7. Forgive me, Lord, for I have sinned. Reading this post, from my old farmhouse here in Ontario, I felt a twinge of envy for all the beautiful flowers. Roses in December, snowdrops and hellebores, etc., are a sight for my sore eyes.
    Congrats, Cathy, and thanks for sharing.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh Cynthia, sorry to put the source of envy in front of your eyes…. Winter and early spring blooms change the whole concept of winter – how could I not enjoy winter in the garden with them or the anticipation of them? 🙂

  8. Annette says:

    That’s what I call a proper christmas present, all these gorgeous flowers! Cathy, I have just nominated you for the Liebster Award and hope you’ll find the time to join in (more info in my latest blog post). Thanks for being such an inspiration and again best wishes for 2015!

    • Cathy says:

      It really is a delight to have them all blooming, even if only a few flowers on each, but the witch hazels have excelled themselves – such a joy! Thanks for all your kind comments and for the nomination, I appreciate it but will probably decline.. I look forward though to another year of sharing blogs and garden inspiration

      • Annette says:

        No worries, Cathy, you’re probably wiser than I am but the I thought it’s really about sharing other blogs and I try not to take things too serious…hope my breakfast choice didn’t upset you 😉

        • Cathy says:

          No, none of your answers upset me, Annette and if it helps to know about my breakfast it is muesli and home grown fruit except on Sunday when it’s porridge (with hgf)! I didn’t say that you are of course most deserving of an award for your lovely blog, with or without the personal questions 😉

  9. rickii says:

    Oh my, I think of our climates as similar but two cold snaps have left us mostly devoid of bloomers. I’ll just enjoy yours, thank you very much.

  10. Pingback: A Less Floriferous Boxing Day | Rambling in the Garden

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