A Less Floriferous Boxing Day

img_8649Hamamelis ‘Jelena’ was undoubtedly the star of the Boxing Day Bloom Show, but some of the other five witch hazels that are coming into bloom are not far behind as you can see in the collage at the end of the post. I am especially pleased to see flowers opening on H ‘Zuccariniana’ after two years without, and on ‘Harry’, my all-time favourite who gazes at me through the kitchen window when I stand at the sink, but who was merely in bud until Boxing Day’s sunshine which encouraged him to take off his hat and join in.

However, the six witch hazels do not match last year’s seven in bloom at the end of December, when there were also seven hellebores, three lonicera and twenty further assorted bloomers, a total of 37 different varieties. This year, if I am strict and exclude those still in bud there are merely 14, and that’s stretching it a little with the snowdrops. We have Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’, now joined also by ‘Jingle Bells’:

boxday3Native and cultivated primroses:

boxday1Snowdrops ‘Reverend Hailstone’, ‘Mrs Macnamara’ and the nobbled ‘Faringdon Double’:

boxing-day-bloomsThe fourteenth bloomer is Jasmine nudiflorum, shown here (clockwise from top left) with the not quite open Sarcococca humilis, Lonicera standishii ‘Budapest’ and Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’:

boxday2Most hellebores are not even in bud yet, the nearest to flowering being ‘Harvington Double White’ and H foetidus:

boxday42016’s haul of 14 blooms is also much less than the 28 in 2014 and 20 in 2013 and how much of this is weather related is anybody’s guess, particular as one of my other witch hazels, ‘Spanish Spider’, bloomed three months ago at the end of September. Nature is very much her own woman and I shall just have to enjoy my blooms whenever they happen to appear.

Helen, the Patient Gardener, instilled in me the idea of counting blooms on Boxing Day so I shall link this post to hers, where you will see that she also found fewer things in bloom in her garden.

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27 Responses to A Less Floriferous Boxing Day

  1. Lucky you, the Hamamelis in my garden are still closed tight. It’s probably a good thing, however, as our coldest weather is always in January and February. Your bloom count might be down, but what you have is beautiful and many are fragrant, so enjoy!

    • Cathy says:

      Same here with the weather, Marian, but this is the time of year the witch hazels flower although this year and last they have been a bit earlier than usual

  2. I must follow your lead and count mine. 😊

  3. Your garden is quite floriferous. Here we are lucky to have any green showing. The sun is shining today tho that is good. Happy Boxing Day.

    • Cathy says:

      It is all relative, isn’t it Lisa? It was sunshine and glorious blue skies on Boxing Day here – but a bit chilly! Hope your sun continues to shine

  4. johnvic8 says:

    You have so much more going on in your garden than we do right now. /Thanks for sharing…very uplifting. Happy Boxing Day.

  5. Helen Johnstone says:

    My hamamelis has tight buds but I think it’s a late flowered, although I moved it in November so it might be punishing me. I really must get some winter flowering clematis, I say it every winter and never do anything about it

    • Cathy says:

      My Arnold Promise always starts flowering a few weeks after the others – but it has lots of buds, and that is always a good thing so yours will flower in due course, I am sure. My Pallida has none, so there will be no flowers there 😦 I find my winter and spring flowering clematis are always the most reliable so definitely worth investing in

  6. Anna says:

    As you say Cathy nature is indeed her own woman. Here also fewer blooms possibly as a result of a colder autumn than last year. My stalwart pulmonaria rubra ‘Redstart’ which usually gets going early in November is just showing one flower to date. The lovely ‘Reverend Hailstone’ you kindly sent to me has opened – only just and it is under cover. It must be a pleasure to stand at your kitchen sink gazing at Harry now that he’s so considerately doffed his hat.

    • Cathy says:

      Ooh – I didn’t think to check my pulmonarias, although there has certainly been no obvious blooms on them. Glad your Rev is doing well – it looks as if he will turn out to be reliably early

  7. Kris P says:

    I like the idea of an annual flower survey. The 26th of December here is generally only recognized as a day to shop but, as I abhor crowded shopping centers, counting blooms in my garden seems a much more rewarding exercise.

  8. Chloris says:

    I always count my blooms on Christmas Day by picking a posy of everything in bloom for the table. Like you I have found the numbers down this year. I can’ t think why as it has been quite mild. I love all your witch hazels. I’ m just off out to check my Rev. Hailstone, I think he is dragging his heels a bit this year.

    • Cathy says:

      In fact Christmas Day is probably a better day for a count, if it can be practically fitted in – how many did you have this year? I like the idea of a posy from them although I shall be saving cuttable sprigs of my witch hazels for appropriate Monday vases! Hope your Rev visits soon 🙂

  9. croftgarden says:

    It is all very Proustian I can almost smell the Hamamelis. Not much chance of a winter garden in this part of the world, but we have a few pots of bulbs in bloom in the greenhouse.!

  10. Goodness those witch hazels are lovely Cathy and such good names. Interesting observation about the numbers of blooms

    • Cathy says:

      They go from tight buds to fully open blooms quite quickly – I am sure it was Boxing Day’s sunshine that did it, even though it was cold

  11. rickii says:

    Maybe less than last year, but still a mighty fine showing.

  12. Alison C says:

    Still an impressive display, I think. A few things here which flowered throughout last winter are hiding this year. I have not even got a peep from snowdrops or Hamamelis yet though hellebores are considering sending up flowers. We are quite exposed and there is plenty of time and lots to look forward to. Three more catalogues today!

    • Cathy says:

      I noticed evidence of my common snowdrops beginning to push through when I was trimming hellebore leaves yesterday; although they are always later than my specials both, like last year and the witch hazels too, are earlier than they generally are. With time to observe, I am in no rush and happy to see things flowering when they feel the time is right! Our garden is quite sheltered and it is interesting to read about the differences in other gardens

  13. Christina says:

    Maybe there are less of the flowers that need a cold spell before flowering, your autumn was quite warm wasn’t it? I like the last Witch Hazel it looks like a feather boa!

    • Cathy says:

      Jelena is absolutely stunning this year – so full and floriferous! Last autumn was mild too and there were a lot of lingerers whereas there are none this year – and the hellebores were very early last ywar so it must be a combination of things I guess

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