It is a tradition among garden friends to check and count the plants that are in flower on Boxing Day each year. So just before TheGardenPost went on holiday (more of that anon) this December, I rushed out with camera in hand and took images of everything that gave the place colour and pleased me. So not all flowers: some foliage and berry colour as well as the flowers that bloomed on Boxing Day.
The bright orange daisy-shaped flowers of pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) always give me pleasure in any season, so not unexpected that this bright bloom makes me smile in winter. This particular plant I bought in summer from the wonderful herb nursery, The Cottage Herbery in Herefordshire. I have already saved some seed to sow in spring and I am sure some has self-seeded as well.
Next up was the early flowering camellia given to me a few Christmases ago. It starts to bloom in November and offers its plain and simple flowers through until December, but there were one or two hanging in there even after Christmas. A delightful flower before the fat and full camellias really being to show off in February.
Because the weather has been so mild there are many left-over summer plants, such as white lobelia I used in containers as a summer filler. This one has just kept on and on flowering.
Ready and waiting to give pleasure is a rich and ruddy bronze hellebore. Its first flower was just opening and you can see how many buds there are waiting to burst.
A couple of years ago a friend gave me a voucher to buy a plant and my choice was Nandina domestica. At first this didn’t thrive, but now it is growing well and this is the first year that the berries have given so much colour.
Another plant that gave me great pleasure all through the year with its fragrance in summer and now in winter, its bright warming foliage, is Trachelospermum jasminoides. I have a pair of them growing in containers. They need a great deal of water in spring and summer. By the end of winter new shoots start to appear and the spring foliage is also attractive and I know that soon the little sitting out area where they are growing will be fragrant again.
And yes, there were primroses in bloom on Boxing Day in my garden. Seems fitting for a house called Primrose Cottage… the primroses have seeded all over the garden.