Hamamelis ‘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’:
Native and cultivated primroses:
Snowdrops ‘Reverend Hailstone’, ‘Mrs Macnamara’ and the nobbled ‘Faringdon Double’:
The 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’:
Most hellebores are not even in bud yet, the nearest to flowering being ‘Harvington Double White’ and H foetidus:
2016’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.