Cathy’s meme becomes a bit more of a challenge in this dismal month of December. Foraging in the garden for something to put in a vase I abandoned the idea of picking the last roses. There aren’t enough to fill a vase. December colours seem to choose themselves. I have a few nerines still blooming in the greenhouse but otherwise pinks are out at the moment.
So we have orange and yellow, fortunately there is plenty of that.
For foliage I have used the primrose yellow leaves of Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’. and the variegated leaves of Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’. There is some common ivy in there too and also some Rosemary.
The spiky bits are provided by orange Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ which is wonderful in the winter garden. The red Cornus is ‘Westonbirt’ which is the best for bright red colour. The brown seed heads are from the Rudbeckia hirta ‘Prairy Sun’.
The flowers are Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’. I though that this was ‘Charity’ until I found a label on it when I was hacking it back in the summer. I can’t see much difference between the two. There is some fragrant, Lonicera x purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’. I think this is one of the best of the winter flowering honeysuckles. There is some of that useful winter standby winter jasmine, Lonicera nudiflorum . I was amazed that a few flowers of Forsythia were out, I have never seen that in December before so I included them. I also picked some big branches which I hope will come out in water for Christmas.
The orange berries are from the very useful native Iris foetidissima. This iris has put itself all around my garden . The flowers are subtle rather than showy but it really comes into its own in winter when the seed cases split open to reveal all those shiny orange berries. It is sometimes called the Stinking Iris or the Roast Beef Plant becomes the leaves smell when they are crushed. I don’t see why you need to crush them though.
Round the other side you can see that I have used rose hips and holly berries. I have several hollies, some of them the birds have stripped already, others they have left for the time being. I have also used some nice red Skimmia berries and hidden in the middle is some Viburnum tinus which I feel a bit sheepish about using as I am always abusing it for being a nasty, smelly shrub with coarse leaves and for being all over my garden.
As usual thanks to Cathy at Ramblinginthegarden for hosting this fun meme.
I would like to thank everyone who took the time to contribute to the debate about botanical nomenclature in my previous post. I was delighted with the response and I really enjoyed reading all your comments. Garden bloggers are such thoughtful people! As a thank you and to provide someone with a little treat for Christmas I am going to put the names of everyone who has commented into a hat and ask the Pianist to pick a name out. I will wait until Wednesday to do this in case there are some more people to include.
The prize will be a copy of the really useful little book which I mentioned in the post. It is a book that I wouldn’t be without. I would like to send one to all of you really, but I am afraid it will have to be just the one.
Good luck! I’ll tell you who the winner is on Wednesday.