December Blooms: Out for the Count

Since 2013 I have kept a record of what is blooming in the garden on Boxing Day or thereabouts. Although we shared last Christmas with my Mum, because of losing my younger sister earlier this year we were up to Scotland again so were not at home for bloom counting or anything else on Boxing Day. My count is therefore a few days late and is doubling up as a contribution to Chloris’ monthly bloom of top blooms.

Winter bloomers are beginning to come to the fore and I am anxiously watching their progress (sadly out of my control), looking ahead to our proposed garden opening on 16th February. Five of my twelve witch hazels are currently in full bloom, ‘Orange Peel’ (above) and ‘Jelena’, ‘Harry’, ‘Rochester’ and ‘Amethyst’ (below):

Native snowdrops are beginning to push their way up in the woodland edge border but in the special snowdrop border several are in bud and six are just waiting for a really mild day to open fully, including ‘Three Ships’, ‘Peter Gatehouse’ and ‘Gabriel’:

Typical winter stars are fragrant Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ and Sarcococca humilis:

…but let’s not take the humbler stars for granted, like primrose, ivy, viola and Bellis perennis, whether nibbled or not:

If we throw in a pot of cyclamen blooming in the Coop that makes a total of 18, more than the ten allowed by the forgiving Chloris but not atypical of a Boxing Day count, which for previous years were as follows:

2013 18
2014 28
2015  37
2016 14
2017 28
2018 16

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17 Responses to December Blooms: Out for the Count

  1. Chloris says:

    Thank you for sharing your December blooms and your Boxing Day count Cathy. Your Witch Hazels are looking fabulous. This year I missed my usual Christmas Eve bloom count for the first time in years because I was so full of cold I couldn’t face going out for several days. I’m sure you will still have lots to enjoy in February for your open day.

    • Cathy says:

      Aw, so sorry to hear you have been under the weather Chloris 😔 – the Pianist’s culinary Christmas efforts will have been wasted on you… Hope you are more yourself now and that your garden is drying out enough to get out and get on with things

      • Chloris says:

        The Pianist has been ill too but then he would go to that London for a pre-Christmas jolly with his chums and that’s where he caught it and then gave it to me. Well, what can you expect in London? Nasty germy place,

        • Cathy says:

          London germs – eegh!! At least you can have been miserable together, although I am sure you would rather not have been miserable at all – shame on the Pianist!

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  3. Anna says:

    Oh some beautiful December spoils Cathy. No doubt we will get a cold spell some time next month which will slow things down. Is ‘Rochester’ more orange than ‘Orange Peel’?

    • Cathy says:

      I would say that Rochester is a darker shade than Orange Peel, and more of a reddish orange – the flowers are much smaller though. Rochester is one of my two ‘very expensive’ witch hazels and arrived last year after the flowers were over so is essentially new to me this year

      • Anna says:

        Thanks Cathy says she ruminating over purchasing another witch hazel and if so which witch 😄

        • Cathy says:

          You have Orange Peel do you? Like Jelena its flowers are quite large which of course makes more of an impact. Sometimes choice is determined by what is available – Rochester came Very Expensively from Karan Junker and is quite probably not available anywhere else in the UK, but having read about it I decided it was the one that I wanted. It’s noticeably fragrant, unlike some of the others

  4. Love the Witch Hazels! What a joy to have so many things blooming this time of year. Happy New Year!

  5. It’s great to have so many flowers at Christmas. I love all of them. Witch hazel are wonderful. The divine snow drops. Viburnum bodnantense has a flower color that is fabulous. Sarcococca humilis with its white flowers is delicate. The ivy flower is special. Bellis perennis is one of my favorite flowers just like the viola that I love. The cyclamen is fabulous with its fuchsia tone. Cathy has a very beautiful and very well planned garden. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020! Greetings from Margarita ✨⭐🌟😊

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  7. tonytomeo says:

    Twelve witch hazel?! We used to grow it in the 1990s, but discontinued it because we could not sell enough of it. We had what I considered to be many cultivars, but I do not think there were ten. The old stock plants are retired out in the arboretum now. I will likely grow copies of some in my own garden, but am more likely to grow several individuals of only one or two cultivars. Deciding on one or two is not easy. Anyway, they are quite uncommon here, perhaps because there are so many other flowers to bloom in winter.

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