Curiously the mild winter we are having hasn’t resulted in lots of flowers in the garden this Boxing Day. Last year I had a bumper count at 35 and I put this down to last year’s mild winter but presumably it is more subtle than that. I do believe that some plants need a cold snap to help them start flower but that’s just wild guess work on my part.
My Mahonia has finally forgiven me for being lopped probably 3 years ago. I wanted to avoid a shrub with just one stem so I chopped it down to the ground and then spent a year, almost, anxiously watching to see if anything would appear. Finally new shoots reluctantly put in an appearance and the shrub now has 3 stems and is producing good size flowers.
Grevillea victoriae is my favourite shrub at the moment. It is one of two Grevilleas I have – the second being Grevillea Canberra Gem – and I adore them both. To be fair the Grevillea victoriae flowers haven’t really opened yet but any excuse to include a photo of it.
A bit of colour on the retaining wall courtesy of Jasminum nudi-florum. Last year I removed the clematis that also grew in this space and the Jasminum seems to have improved. I suspect the increased flowering is because I can prune it better without the clematis – I must investigate when I should be pruning the plant as I have a habit of pruning when I think of it.
In recent years I have developed a bit of a weakness for Euphorbias and Euphorbia rigida is the first to start flowering although I don’t think the other will be far behind.
Even the number of primulas in flower this year are less than last year but I can always rely on this lilac, or is it pink, primula to be flowering at Christmas.
The first snowdrop is about to pop open its flowers. I can’t for the life of me remember which variety this is and the label seems to have gone missing. I will have to do some research on the blog to see if it has featured at this time of the year in the past.
In the greenhouse this little Cyclamen is flowering, I may have to keep a magnifying glass in the greenhouse just so I can see the flowers.
Although the number of plants flowering this Boxing Day is significantly down on last year, at a mere 12 compared to 35 last year and 17 the year before there are buds a plenty. The hellebore above will be flowering soon and other are hot on its heels; last year some were already in flower which was rather early.
You can access previous Boxing Day flower count posts here
Who would have thought that a November Garden Bloggers Bloom Day from the UK Midlands would feature a rose in full glory. I keep posting ‘last roses’ this year and still they continue.
At the same time you have the usual seasonal flowers starting to bloom such as this Fatsia ‘Spidersweb’ which is flowering for the first time and I really like the combination of the white flowers with the variegated leaves. The plant, along with my other two Fatsias are already starting to hum with late pollinators.
Also popular with the pollinators is the Mahonia. I am really pleased to discover the flowers on this plant as I ruthlessly chopped it down to the ground probably three years ago to try to encourage more than one stem. It just sat there for months on end before this time last year there were signs of growth, and now we have the first flowers.
Like the roses the Salvias are revelling in the mild Autumn temperatures. The Salvia involucrata ‘Boutin’ is like a beacon at the top of the garden with its large bright pink flowers. I love the exuberance of this plant, it is like a Salvia on steroids and have cuttings growing in the greenhouse just in case I lose the one above if we have a cold winter.
Another half-hardy resident is this Chinese Foxglove which I acquired back in the early summer and it has been flowering non-stop ever since. It has lived in the border but as is slightly tender I have decided to pot it up for the winter and it will probably be stored in the greenhouse or cold frame. I am just trying to work out how I would propagate it apart from seed.
Also waving at me from the top of the garden are the Gladiolus murielae (formerly Acidanthera). These flowers are particularly satisfying as they are from pots of bulbs that I had discarded on the very top border as there were no signs of growth and then lo and behold in the summer shoots appeared and they have been flowering merrily away. I am going to leave them in situ, maybe with a protective mulch, to see how they come through the winter.
Finally I leave you with a more diminutive treat, Saxifraga fortunei ‘Conway Snow’, one of my alpines saxifragas. I have a bit of a weakness for these but I am keeping it firmly in check as I really don’t need any more plant obsessions!
To see what is flowering in garden bloggers gardens all around the world pop over to Carol’s at May Dream Gardens and check out the links.