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!
Also 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!
…..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’:
Particular 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?):
Astrantia ‘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):
It 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….