Monday, 15 December 2014

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day 2014

It's the final bloom day post of 2014 and it seems a couple of plants are ending the year exactly as the started it - in bloom.  The great year has in fact returned to a winter I am much more accustomed to. We are experiencing frosty conditions, thankfully nothing too bad and the lowest temperatures have been a warm -1°!  Snow has been falling and lying elsewhere but thus far, my garden has escaped it.

There really isn't a lot going on right now, which is a good thing, as I'm currently up to my armpits in cards, wrapping paper and sellotape.  I put down the scissors for a wee while and got myself out into the fresh air.

The witch hazel has been throwing out the odd bloom here and there since October but has finally started to get it's act in gear this month.  I love those copper-orange ribbons.  They are a real treat at this time of the year.  What Jelena lacks in autumn colour, more than makes up for in winter blooms.

Hamamelis x intermedia Jelena
The Mahonia on the other hand has been flowering profusely since the beginning of October.  The starlings have devoured all the berries that remained on the bottom half of the plant.  I've given up on ever getting the scent from this shrub.

Mahonia x media Charity
The third shrub still producing flowers this month is Viburnum tinus Eve Price - like the Hamamelis and Mahonia, started flowering back in October.  As you can see there are still loads more to come - it will be interesting to see how many months they can feature in Bloom Day Posts.  The record holder this year is the Persicaria that has featured in 5 of them.

Viburnum tinus Eve Prince

Lack of light makes photographing the blooms extremely difficult, particularly white flowers.  They seem to glare in what little light there is.  Mrs MacNamara is still in bud.  New to the garden last year, I'm pleased to see I am going to have 2 flowers this year.  Sitting beneath the berberis - the flower stems have a slight list.  Since she is one of the earliest to appear I wonder if the reason for this is the fact that the deciduous shrubs are still in leaf when it emerges and it reaches out for light at that time.  I need to look into this and perhaps find a spot that is a bit more open.  Thanks to Chloris over at The Blooming Garden, I've also discovered that this snowdrop, named after Dylan Thomas's mother in law is sometimes referred to as G. Milkwood.  I am not familiar with Dylan Thomas's work but know enough to recognise the Milkwood connection.  

Galanthus elwesii Mrs MacNamara
I blinked and almost missed the first of the Hellebore to flower this winter.  A lesson I learned last year was that the hellebores with variegated/interesting foliage look much better in bloom with their leaves remaining (I used to cut them all back), I just couldn't help myself this afternoon - I cut the foliage away.  I hope I won't regret that!  I obviously missed some earlier flowers too.  

Helleborus x sterni White Beauty
Regular readers will know that no blog from my garden would be complete without the odd bloom out of season.  There is never a month goes by without something or other flowering when it shouldn't.  I kind of like the suspense of the days preceding bloom day to see what will be in bloom for each post. I also love the fact that like me, my plants don't read many gardening books, blooming when they feel fit rather than when the experts say they should.    

Roses flowering here in winter is a common sight.  In fact, going round the neighbours delivering Christmas cards earlier today, I spotted lots of folks with roses flowering right now.  Many of the roses in the front garden are abundant with buds, others with single buds - the race is on for roses to bloom in January.  Of course, that will all depend on Mother Nature - it's out of my control.

Roses blooming in the garden today are both climbers.  The race to the top of the Pergola has finally been won.  The Wedgewood Rose, blooms far from perfect, is a reminder of summer past.

Rosa The Wedgewood Rose (Ausjosiah)
 Doing exactly as it says on the tin - Rosa Warm Welcome - is exactly that!
Rosa Warm Welcome (Chewizz)
Whilst most of the hardy geraniums are long gone, the tiny vivid blooms of Bill Wallis are just not for giving up quite yet.  You can also just make out a few magenta pink blooms of Potentilla Ron Mcbeath in the background.


Also known as 'The Beacon' the brilliant red blooms, admittedly, not quite so brilliant nor red - Achillea Fanal sprawls out over onto the lawn in the front garden.

Achillia Fanal (syn. The Beacon) 
The last hazy reminder of summer is a plant that was moved from the back garden round to the front garden, where drainage there is better suited to it's needs, back at the end of summer.  Verbascum Clementine is listed as a short lived perennial, so whether or not it returns next year is anyone's guess really.

Verbascum Clementine
I purchased some Digitalis Milk Chocolate for the front garden at the beginning of autumn, which should, theoretically bloom next year.  It is presently giving me just a little taster of things to come.
When I say little, I truly mean little, the tiny flower stem is around 6 inches high and producing perfect blooms in miniature.

Digitalis parviflora Milk Chocolate
Well, that's my lot this December Bloom Day.  If you fancy more then please head over to May Dream Gardens where bloggers from around the world share what's blooming in their garden on the 15th of each month.

32 comments:

  1. Hi Angie,

    How very impressive! You must live in a little pocket where that tricks the plants into thinking it's still blooming time. The only oddity I've got at the moment is geum attempting to bloom again. Everything else is pretty typical - winter jasmine and autumn cherry.
    I always keep the leaves on my Hellebores - removing any dead or badly damaged leaves - but that's usually only one or two cut off. Never have blooms on mine this early, but I really need to make a point of looking for any buds. Weekends fly too quickly at the moment and there isn't enough daylight during the week to take any photos or get out and check what's going on.

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    1. Liz,
      Geums flowering here too - light was too bad to get decent shots of the blooms. I need to look into an autumn cherry. I hope I can get a small one that might go in my side garden.
      I was tidying up part of the garden today and noted that most of the Hellebores have buds now - I hope yours has too.

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  2. You have an amazing amount of colour still in your garden. Rosa Warm Welcome certainly lives up to its name.

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    1. Thanks Brian. I love when my garden surprises me with little treasures.

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  3. Gorgeous things to show us for a December bloom Day. Lovely to see your Mrs Macnamara is out too. I don' t think Mahonia Charity has much fragrance. The really fragrant one is the later flowering Mahonia Japonica. That one smells divine. I love all your roses still blooming away.

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    1. Thanks for clarifying that for me Chloris - I'll stop sniffing for scent now. Although, I'm sure the label said scented. I'm hoping some of the others roses bloom in time for Christmas - that would be nice.

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  4. How fabulous to have so many blooms at this time of year! My garden is completely bereft of blooms, but of course I live in a cold climate. I can't complain much, though, because we are warm and all the snow has melted. I do hope we'll have a white Christmas, but the cold can stay away! ;-) The Mahonias and the Viburnums are my favorite shots!

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    1. You do get it much colder than we do Beth. A white christmas would be nice. They've lessened the odds here, so we shall see.
      I work outdoors all night so am kind of climatised to the cold and it doesn't affect me quite as much as it does others. I think that's also the reason that I can still go out and garden when it's so cold.

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  5. You have a surprising amount in bloom, especially given your current temperatures. (Brrr!) I think that blog-dom is telling me to plant Mahonia - it certainly seems to do well in a lot of gardens. Never having tried it I don't know if it will like the warmer environment here. Happy GBBD Angie!

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    1. It will be interesting so see if you can grow a Mahonia there Kris - I don't know enough of the technical stuff to offer any advice though. I'm sure with a bit of research it shouldn't be too difficult to find out.
      I would imagine that if anything was going to hinder it, the drought would be top of the list.

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  6. Happy GBBD! You have such an odd and eclectic assortment of flowers this month.

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    1. It certainly is odd and eclectic Alison, thankfully not like myself :)

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  7. You have so much in flower for this time of year. When I see the weather forecast for Scotland I think of you and assume you are having severe frost or snow, your garden says different! Mahonia Charity does have a perfume but it is only faint. I must go and check on my Witch Hazels, I don't think mine are flowering yet.

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    1. Pauline, when I see the weather for Scotland - I ignore it. They are never right ;)
      I noted for the first time last week that we now have 'Ski Forecasts' after the local news.
      I'm sure your Witch Hazels won't be too far behind.

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  8. Lots going on aren't with hazel flowers strange? No flowers on our mahonia yet - I think the birds pick off the buds. Under Milkwood was our sixth firm play back in my school days

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    1. The flowers are fascinating Sue - I always thing having so many blooms here at this time of the year, although welcome, are a bit of a waste as there are no pollinators to benefit from them.
      I wonder which part you played in Under Milkwood?

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  9. When we moved here it was either going to be Devon or Scotland. I thought Devon would be a better climate for gardening. Maybe I was wrong?? Even my witch hazel buds are tightly shut!

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    1. I remember reading an article somewhere once, a long time ago and wish I could remember where. It was an interesting read in so much as it described the climate for gardening in Scotland as one of the best in the world. Then again, you have have a warmer climate where tender plants will thrive unlike here.
      I'm sure Scotland would have welcomed you both with open arms Jessica :)

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  10. Ciao, che bellissime fioriture ! Malgrado il periodo hai ancora moltissimi colori :) sai che mi hai fatto conoscere la Digitalis parviflora ? Mi piace moltissimo e spero di trovarla questa primavera :)

    Un grande saluto :)

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    1. I do hope you are able to find it Pontos - it will make a lovely addition to your garden. I found in my garden, when I've grown it before, that it hates wet at the roots. That was the reason I lost them previously.

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  11. So am I...impressed that is! We didn't have any frost up to now and lots is flowering that would usually be out later. I love the Viburnum flowers especially with a frosty coating. Jelena is still on my list as I'd like an orange flowering Hamamelis. A friend told me the autumn foliage is very pretty - might depend on soil/location? Isn't the Digitalis a bit late? Pretty all the same! Have a lovely week :)

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    1. Thanks Annette, nice of you to say.
      I found the foliage on Jelena just went from green to a dirty yellow, unlike some of the others I have seen. As usual, I didn't do too much research when I purchased it. You are far more thorough when buying your plants and i'm sure you are right in the fact that soil/location might make the difference.
      The Digitalis, yes it is a bit late. When I bought the plants, the nursery had them down in the polytunnels ready for splitting and let me go down to choose the ones I wanted. I got pots full to bursting that probably would have made quite a few plants, so I suspect they were glad to get their feet in the ground and this is a tiny reward.

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  12. Mother Nature's still intent on providing those little surprises & unexpected pleasures in the garden.

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    1. Who are we too mess with Mother Nature Jane - let her do her stuff!

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  13. I envy you in Scotland to have so many in bloom, especially the witch hazel. Jelena is not yet flowering here but it won't be long, generally first or second week of January I see the first flowers. Also no Christmas roses flowering in my garden, had a look this afternoon, so I bought another small one in bloom for on the table outside. The Viburnum is going on and on and of course here and there some roses.
    Oh, I love that snowdrop called after Dylan Thomas's mother-in-law. Under Milkwood is a play by Dylan Thomas, I've seen it here in Rotterdam.

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  14. Hello Angie, loved your collection of December flowers, especially your roses, the bad storm and rain took all my roses a couple of weeks ago and they are now trying hard to produce new ones. Your Viburnum is lovely, have you had it long? How tall and wide is it? I am looking for a smallish one with nice scented winter flowers, but everyone I look up gets tall and wide eventually…..not really suited for a garden that’s already full to the rafters.
    Here’s to finding things in your garden out of season – I can think of nothing better than discovering what gems the garden has to offer :-)

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  15. Do you think it has been unseasonably warm this year? We have a display table of what the members of my gardening club have in their gardens in Yorkshire which we blog about every two weeks and it's been amazing what is still out there: http://gardenersfridayforum.blogspot.co.uk/

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  16. I hope that you have emerged from that wrapping paper mountain Angie. This is the first December that I've also had roses and snowdrops both in flower in my garden. Kind of spooky isn't it? Viburnums are great for flowers at this time of year - sadly mine suffered at the jaws of the viburmum beetle and has been ejected from the garden. Maybe I should try one again in another spot. I do like the bronzey colour of the digitalis but can't detect any resemblence to milk chocolate. Email to follow shortly :)

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  17. Angie, lovely garden you have in mid-December! My mahonia is sleeping in cold weather. Your roses are the treat to look at.
    I wish you a Merry Christmas!

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  18. 'Jelena' is gorgeous - is it fragrant? And I love the color of 'Warm Welcome', that is my kind of rose!

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  19. I want to cheer on your unpredictable ways...setting a good example for your plants.

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