Boxing Day Flower Count 2011

I remember reading on some blog somewhere that some gardeners do a Christmas Day flower count to see how many plants are flowering in their garden.  I have decided to start doing the same but as I spent yesterday cooking and eating I have decided to do a Boxing Day flower count.

My Grevillea Canberra (above) is just opening its flowers which will please the bees a lot as they love the plant and it is covered in insects during the late winter/spring.  I love this plant.  Firstly it reminds me of my sister as I bought it from a wonderful small nursery near her and she, being a non-gardener, was impressed I knew what the plant was.  It wasn’t that impressive as I had just been reading about it in Christopher Lloyd’s Colour for Adventurous Gardeners.  Secondly I love it as it is thriving in my front garden and is a real focal point especially in the winter.

The Climbing Fuchsia is still flowering and has new buds opening.  I think the description ‘climbing’ is a little optimistic but I am hoping it will provide some low-level interest against the fence at the end of the patio and I will grow a clematis, yet to be decided upon, along the top of the fence.

I was surprised to find Antirrhinum still flowering its socks off.  I had thought I had pulled them all up when I did an autumn tidy but, like my housework, my garden tidying obviously leaves a little to be desired.  However, it is nice to see such a fresh flower at this time of year.

The Ceanothus which looked like it had given up the ghost this time last year after a second harsh winter is thriving.  This is an autumn flowering one though I have no idea of its name.

I love this Abelia which I think is a much underrated shrub.  I have two which I bought a couple of years ago for a few pounds each and they are now both substantial shrubs.  The one above has been moved from the front garden where it was getting subsumed into the laurel hedge – I had underestimated the growing space needed – and is  now in the new cottage garden border, she says somewhat grandly!

I love photographing the Mahonia, the flower spikes are so beautiful.  I also am still enjoying photographing the Cyclamen hederifolium which has been flowering for a couple of months although it is starting to look faded now.  I did notice this morning that there were leaves appearing which can only mean that the flowers will definitely be over soon.

The winter jasmine is full of flowers with more buds about to open.  In contrast the Bidens and Salvia confertiflora which should have finished flowering back in October are hanging on but I think they will give up soon.  There are also a few winter violas flowering and this Geranium whose name I have long forgotten.

So that’s 12 plants in flower on Boxing Day 2011 and in a couple of days they will be joined by the Choisya and Sarcococca.  A bit different to last year when the garden was covered in a thick icy blanket of half melted snow.

I wonder what will be flowering on Boxing Day 2012

Author: Helen Johnstone

I live in Malvern, Worcestershire and am a very keen gardener. I started the Patient Gardener Blog in January 2008 as a way of recording what was happening in my garden and connecting with other like-minded people. I started a second blog PatientGardener 365 January 2013 in order to try and post a photo a day to capture what is growing in my garden or places I have visited

16 thoughts on “Boxing Day Flower Count 2011”

  1. Lovely flowers Helen all look nice and like spring is on it’s way when it’s still winter i know they are winter plants

  2. a pretty good number of flowers – I love to see the grevillea, one of our natives so far from home, one of my fave flowers. And the colours on the fuschia make me feel weak in the knees, so-o-o-o lovely … happy hols to you PG, cheers, catmint

  3. I have planted 3 of these beautiful grevillea’s in my small Canberra garden, as the prickles protect the native wrens and finches from our cats. Also a good hedge and privacy screen, and it helps to keep snoopy kids/vagabonds at bay with it’s fiesty little prickles. You’ll know it if you run into this bush accidently! It’s great to see people around the world embracing this one, as I grew up with it in the front yard and am glad that it’s still in my front yard.

  4. An excellent tradition – back in the ’80s the Cottage Garden Society magazine used to encourage readers to go out and count their flowers on Christmas Day. The counts in March made fascinating reading. Your grevillia is a beauty and must be appreciated by any insects that have recently been fooled into thinking that spring has already arrived.

  5. Very taken with your photo of Grevillea Canberra and had to look it up for more info as it’s such a beauty. Sadly, computer says plant very toxic (skin irritant) so probably not a good idea for me to put one in the communal garden! (The kids tend to pull on flowers and leaves in passing.) Lovely round up, our ceanothus is flowering too!

  6. always good to come across a total unknown – your Grevillea Canberra is a sight to behold especially at this time of year, aside from its personal associations Helen. The winter has been kind so far which alas means the bugs will also be blossoming.

  7. A Boxing Day flower count is something that’s just not done here in Chicagoland (although I do have one Galanthus ready to pop). What a treat it must be to still have so many flowers blooming. I am not surprised your Antirrhinum is in fresh bloom; I’ve found them to be among the most cold hardy of annuals, right up there with pansies. Happy New Year!

  8. I do wish I had done this. What a great idea and lovely to see how much you have in flower. I know some of my hellebores are out but perhaps tomorrow I will go and walk and wander and really concentrate.

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