Boxing Day Flower Count 2013

Cyclamen cyprium 'E9 form'
Cyclamen cyprium ‘E9 form’

This is the third year I have done the Boxing Day Flower Count and I have to admit that I really thought it would be a non-starter this year as there seemed to be very little flowering, if anything, in the garden this year; this does seem strange considering how mild it has been in recent weeks. The majority of the flowers are on early spring bulbs amongst my growing collection of small pots.  The Cylamen cyprium ‘E9 form’ above has been flowering for weeks in the greenhouse.  I keep it in the greenhouse, which is frost free, as it hails from the mountainous area of cyprus and I’m not sure it would really appreciate our damp winters.


I do like cyclamen and these are some of a group I planted in the top of the planter the jasmine is growing in against the back house wall.  They too have been flowering for weeks, if not months and really brighten up the patio along with the violas and cyclamen in the hanging baskets. I am pretty sure they are  form of cyclamen coum but I bought them from a large garden centre and they weren’t labelled beyond ‘cyclamen’ which is frustrating.

Narcissus cantabricus foliosus
Narcissus cantabricus foliosus

The Narcisuss cantabricus foliosus, which I bought at the AGS Conference in November has also been flowering for weeks.  It has such a delicate tissue like flower.

Thalictrum urbainii
Thalictrum urbainii

Another new addition to the garden is Thalictrum urbainii from Evolution Plants.  It is a dwarf spring flowering form of Thalictrum so I’m not sure why it is flowering now but maybe its the protection from the cold frame where it is residing until it beefs itself up.  Such a pretty and delicate flower.

Grevillea 'Canberra Gem'
Grevillea ‘Canberra Gem’

As with the last two years the Grevillea Canberra Gem is sporting a few flowers although these are very very early and the general consensus is that it shouldn’t flower until May-June.  I love this shrub and it was this plant and its conifer like foliage which started me change of attitude towards conifers although it isn’t a conifer at all.


The Abelia is flowering as well and again like the other flowers on this post it has been flowering for weeks.

Sadly unlike the last two years I cannot include the Mahonia since I pruned it severely after it flowered this year and it is only just beginning to shoot again.  However, there are a couple of primroses and bergenias as in previous years as well as the winter jasmine and a lone chrysanthemum.  The total of the year is 12 which is the same as last year although this  year’ selection  is more seasonal and not so dependent on stray annuals having gone into a torpor.

2012 Boxing Day  Flower  Count
2011 Boxing Day Flower  Count



13 Comments Add yours

  1. I really like that Abelia and the colour of the foliage. I gather that is outside and not in the greenhouse?

    I am coveting your Narcissus cantabricus foliosus & Thalictrum urbainii…. mmmmm

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Julieanne

      Yes the Abelia is a large shrub in the back garden,very run of the mill

  2. Cathy says:

    This is a good idea Helen and although I didn’t count today I could probably do it from memory – would you only include flowers which have actually opened and not those just in bud? Mine would all be isolated flowers, not bush or plantfuls, though. I really like thalictrum and that one of yours is a real beauty so will follow up your link. Need to check out abelia as it seems a really useful shrub if it has been flowering for weeks. Enjoy your break from work, Helen.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      I only included open flowers but did include if there was only one flower

  3. Roger Brook says:

    Cyclamen cyprium has such beautiful foliage Helen. I have some at the base of a south wall and it has been flowering for ten weeks now

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Interesting that you have it growing outside

  4. Diana Studer says:

    hmm I wonder if my Abelia has flowers … way down South in summer as we are.

  5. We have little more than some bedding violas flowering at the moment, so I went out and about yesterday to see what I could spot in the gardens of Highgate and Hampstead. Not a bad tally (though not as choice as your list), including penstemon, camellias and poppies. All looked rather soggy!

  6. rusty duck says:

    I think I am missing a trick with the greenhouse. I tend to fill it with plants that are dormant but just too tender to survive the winter outside. But what better way to extend the season and have some of these little beauties in flower. The marbling of the leaves on the first cyclamen is lovely too.

  7. Chloris says:

    I always do a Christmas Day count and this year is disappointing despite the mild weather. You have some beauties though. I love the Narcissus and the cyclamen. And I have never seen that gorgeous Thalictrum before.

  8. Anna says:

    That thalictrum looks rather special Helen. I have fallen for the trautvetteria listed on the Evolution Plants website but sadly it is sold out. Cant’ help myself but my shackles rise at plants with names that include letter and number combinations like E9, although I’m sure your cyclamen is quite lovely.

  9. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Lots of delicate and pretty flowers! Happy New Year! x

  10. hillwards says:

    I love the delicate petals and narrow leaves of your narcissus, very beautiful.

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