So this is the seventh year I have counted the number of plants in flower on Boxing Day. It’s an interesting exercise and makes you really look at the garden to spot any flowers. This year the snowdrops seem to be ahead of themselves. Galanthus Mrs McNamara (above) is already in flower, with Galanthus Ding Dong and Galanthusplicatus ‘Colossus’ coming up quickly behind.
There are two Viburnums in flower; the Viburnum tinus ‘Eve Price’ and the Viburnum rhytidophyllum
Other shrubs in flower which I overlooked photographing are:
and this Abutilon, whose name I have forgotten (as usual).
The first hellebore is in flower, last year they were only just in bud.
Conversely there is only one primrose in flower, where as last year there were numerous primroses and primulas in flower.
Another small delight is this little cyclamen, a new addition under a shrub. I choose the white flowers over pink ones as I wanted something to lighten the spot.
Finally, is the delightful pot of violets which lives on the patio table. They have been flowering for weeks, only closing their petals when it snowed.
In total there is one more plant in flower this year, 13, to last year which remains low compared to 2015 when there were 35 plants in flower. I suspect some of this might be because of my leanings more towards foliage plants other flowers.
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.
At this time of year any flower is a welcome addition to the garden although many of them you really have to seek out. Viburnum rhytidophyllum (above) surprised me this weekend with its flowers which are just opening. This poor plant has suffered from my indecision and is in its third location in the garden, I blame my son’s workshop. This is the first time it has flowered since 2010 and although it was relocated this year I think its new location is much better for it and is similar to the location it was originally bought for. Hopefully the flowers are a sign it is happy and as I have no intention on relocating the shrub it should get a chance to thrive now.
Cyclamen are bringing most of the colour highlights to the garden at the moment. I bought a batch of the above cyclamen which were being sold as winter bedding to brighten up a bare patch created my removing the dead Acer. I don’t know what variety of Cyclamen they are as they weren’t labelled but they have been flowering for well over a month now and there are lots more buds to come. Although they were sold as winter bedding I won’t discard them come the spring as they may flower again next year. I did the same with some other bedding cyclamen below last winter and they are smothered in flowers.
I don’t think they are hedrifolium or coum as they seem to be much larger plants so if anyone has any ideas I would love to know. Of course if we have a very hard winter then I am sure they won’t survive but for a couple of pounds they are value for money.
I always have some primroses flowering at this time of year although the slugs seem to be very good at getting to the flowers before me.
Primrose ‘Jack in the Green’ has been again been flowering for month possibly since October and probably due to the mild Autumn we have had it seems to have an endless supply for flower buds. It is such a pretty plant with the white flower surrounded by a green ruff of small leaves at the top of the stem.
And here we have signs of another primrose about to put on a small but perfect show.
For more Garden Blogger Bloom Day posts visit Carol over at May Dreams.