This is the fourth year I have done a flower count on Boxing Day. I had noticed when weeding on Christmas Eve that there seemed to be quite a few flowers around presumably due to the recent mild weather, so it will be interesting to see how things compare.
I am particularly thrilled that Iris unguicularis ‘Walter Butt’ is in flower. Last year it flowered at the start of December and although the plant is strong and healthy so far this month there had been no sign of flowers but Christmas Eve morning saw this wonderful elegant dainty flower fluttering in the breeze.
This double hellebore has been flowering for weeks, in fact months, since I bought it from a plant sale in October. It is also covered in buds which means it should continue flowering for some time. There are lots of other hellebore buds appearing including the Christmas Rose (Hellebore niger) but as yet they are still in tight bud so I can’t really count them.
The Viburnum rhytiophyllum continues to flower, really lighting up the back corner. The Abelias which were in flower this time last year have gone over so can’t be included but the Grevillea ‘Canberra Gem’ as per the last two years has its first few flowers coming out. Still no flowers on the Mahonia which I butchered two years ago, it is really putting on good growth so hopefully next year I will be able to include this in the count.
The prostrate Rosemary is also starting to flower and is already becoming popular with bees.
Then we have a whole range of primulas which are flowering away. They are looking a little battered and I noticed when I was weeding two days ago that many seemed to be being eaten by something – I am assuming slugs. The weather has been so mild and wet it wouldn’t surprise me that the slugs are still active.
The Viola orduta has also been munched as you can see from the top petals. I have come across some small caterpillars when tidying up so they might be causing the damage. I shall have to keep an eye on them.
The Jasminum nudiflorum has responded well to pruning earlier in the year and I think I am getting the hang of this unruly plant. However, it is proving harder to photograph as the flowers seem too shy to be photographed.
Finally the first outside snowdrop – Galanthus ‘Ding Dong’ – has started to flower. I had hoped it would be fully open for today but I suspect the distinct drop in temperature today has made it hesitate in opening.
There are also two different types of bedding cyclamen flowering and a rose whose bloom opened a c0uple of days ago. In the greenhouse the only flowering plant is Primula palinuri. This is the first time the plant has flowered having been grown from seed probably two years ago.
The total plants flowering on Boxing Day 2014 is 17 which is up on the last three years when I recorded 12 each year. Also, with the exception of the Primula palinuri all the other plants are outside which is a huge improvement on last year when a significant number were in the greenhouse.
You can access the previous counts here.