Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day December 2014 and a Draw.

I am a couple of days late joining in with Carol’s Bloom Day  on the 15th of the month but the link is still open and as I have been blogging for a year now I am interested to compare what is out now with what the garden had to offer last year.

In the back garden this pretty Abutilon megapotamicum is still blooming happily in the shelter of the wall. Yuck, I just noticed that something has been feeding on the leaf and leaving its calling card.
Kniphofia rooperi is still throwing up its bright red torches. This Red Hot Poker from South Africa always blooms through the Autumn and into the Winter.

In the greenhouse the cutting I took from the wonderful Chrysanthemum Chelsea Physic garden is in flower.
I have a pot of nerines which always bloom long after the others have finished and these are still looking wonderful.

But these are left overs from the old year, it is much more exciting to see which Winter and Spring flowers are coming out now. Let’s start with the hellebores.

My Christmas rose, Helleborus niger has been in bloom for ages now so it is well named.
The Helleborus x ericsmithii  ‘Shooting Star’ is earlier this year,  it was still in bud for the December Bloom Day last year. I love all these ‘ericsmithii’ hybrids.
The wild Helleborus foetidus is a bit of a weed in my garden but I like its apple green flowers.

For fragrance we have the winter honeysuckle Lonicera purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’.
The first buds of the peerless Daphne bhlolua‘Jacqueline Postill’ are just opening. If you have nothing else for winter delight this is one you should seek out.
The spicy flowers of the
Chimonanthus praecox are just beginning to open too.
Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis may be a bit of a mouthful to pronounce but its fragrance is wonderful. I would like to have a hedge of this wonderful shrub as they do in the winter garden at Anglesey Abbey.
The Rosemary by my gate is in bloom and I will include it with the fragrant flowers although you have to handle it to enjoy its scent.

I have already shown you the lovely Galanthus elwesii ‘Mrs. Macnamara’.
Galanthus plicatus ‘Three Ships should be in bloom for Christmas. When I went to check, I found that someone had got there before me and most of the flower has been chewed off.

In the front garden the Hesperantha coccinea ‘Fenland Daybreak’ is still blooming away. It has been flowering for months now.

Hesperantha coccinea 'Fenland Daybreak'

Hesperantha coccinea ‘Fenland Daybreak’







I am not going to show you the left over roses, penstemons and geraniums although quite a few are still blooming away. We have probably seen enough of them for this year.  And I have already shown you the winter jasmine; Jasminum nudiflorum , the Mahonias and the Viburnum tinus which are all over the garden.
I would love to be able to tell you that I have witch hazels out but the buds on all of them are still quite closed. If you want to see some Hamamelis you will have to go over to Angie at Angie’sgardendiaries to see her lovely ‘Jelena’. Or you could pop over to Cathy at Ramblinginthegarden because her Hamamelis Harry’ is just starting to open.

So we will finish by looking forward to a couple of harbingers of Spring.   First a primrose, and then I was hoping to show you Narcissus minor ‘Cedric Morris’ which is very often in bloom for Christmas. As you see it hasn’t quite made it this year. It won’t be long though.

Thank you to Carol at Maydreamgardens for hosting this meme.

And now I will tell you the result of the draw  for the useful little book:  ‘Plant Names Simplified. Their Pronunciation, Derivation and Meaning.’








As I said in my last post, I decided to have a draw for a copy of this book as a thank you. I was so delighted with  the thought and enthusiasm with which people entered into the debate that Christina started on Monday and  that I wrote about in my post; ‘Is Taxonomy too Taxing?’  Thank you, all of you, for contributing and I wish I could send you all a copy of the book. I love it when we all start exchanging opinions about a subject like this.
I put all the names into my Transylvanian Shepherd’s Hat and the Pianist picked one out. Anna from Green Tapestry blog wasn’t included because she very sensibly already has a copy.






And the name that came out of the hat is Snowbird from Gardensandwildlife blog. So congratulations to the lovely Dina. A copy of the book is winging its way to you as we speak.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day December 2014 and a Draw.

  1. I cannot find Lonicera purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’ in any of my resource material or online from an American source. Do you also have Lonicera fragrantissima? It is very similar…semi-evergreen with very fragrant, small white winter flowers. Despite the fact you don’t like common names, I must tell you it is called “Sweet Breath of Spring” by the old-timers here, though most folks know it as “Winter Honeysuckle.” It’s a bit invasive in our region, but not terribly so because pollination is iffy.

    • Chloris says:

      I do have Lonicera fragrantissima in the garden and the flowers are just the same. I find it makes a big sprawly bush though and the flowers are a bit sparse. Lonicera purpusii is much more floriferous. It was created at Hillier’ s nursery by back crossing L. X purpusii with L. standishii. Cathy at Rambling in the garden has the rare Lonicera standishii ”Budapest’. This is a beauty with pink and cream flowers. I have one with large pink flowers called ‘ Elisae’ and it is a stunner but it is not out yet.
      Sweet Breath of Spring is a pretty name. Except it should be winter.

  2. AnnetteM says:

    Thanks for all the views of what is still flowering however my favourite photo is your hat! I find I am getting more and more drawn to floppy felt hats – is it floppy? Wonder if it is too late to put one on my Christmas list.

    • Chloris says:

      I bought my hat in Transylvania last year. It is made of felt and just like the ones the shepherds wear, except they don’ t have flowers on theirs. It is not really floppy but it is really warm. I love it; the only drawback is the hoots of mirth from everyone who sees me in it. The Pianist suggested that I just wear it in the privacy of the garden. But I don’ t care, I love it. If we have a cold winter people will get used to it I expect.

      • AnnetteM says:

        You go for it! If I had that hat I would wear it! Actually I don’t usually look good in hats. I can wear a beret, but have not yet found a bigger hat that suits me. I keep trying.

  3. Pauline says:

    You have a wonderful selection of flowers, isn’t it annoying though when something beautiful has been half eaten, your poor snowdrop! I must remember to get myself some Nerines next year, I keep thinking of them but forget to order them.

    • Chloris says:

      It is so annoying to have my lovely snowdrop eaten. I bought another Three Ships this year from Plant Heritage but it is not in bloom yet.
      You have to have some lovely nerines, Pauline. They are a delight and spread very quickly if they are happy in a nice sunny spot.

  4. Annette says:

    How nice to still have Nerine in flower! How’s that? I see you use bubble wrap for the greenhouse. Have you used it before? Does it make a big difference? The Kniphofia is great and so valuable for flowering that late and for so long. Fell in love with Kniphofia linearifolia and must have it for its foliage alone. Well, South Africa has so much to offer, not only plantwise. Your hellebores look great, mine aren’t out yet but with the weather being so mild the garden really is a joy. Stearn’s Dictionary of plant names is also very helpful.

    • Chloris says:

      I have absolutely no idea why this pot of nerines blooms so much later than all the others. It did last year too. I am delighted because it spreads the Nerine season for me.
      I use bubble wrap for insulation in my greenhouse as it is a very old timber greenhouse which is quite rotten in parts and the panes of glass keep slipping a bit, so it is very draughty. It is a nice big one though so it would be very expensive to replace. I would rather have my dilapidated wooden one than a new metal one. The bubble wrap really does help to keep it cosy.

  5. Alison says:

    You still have some very lovely and fragrant flowers blooming. Congrats to the winner of the book! I remember reading about Daphne bholua last year about this time, but couldn’t find it anywhere. Maybe next year.

    • Chloris says:

      Daphne bholua is divine. There is one called ‘ Gurkha’ which is lovely too but ‘Jacqueline Postill’ is my favourite. The fragrance is indescribably gorgeous. Cathy says there has been an issue with propagation and there are none available this year, I don’ t know whether there is the same problem over there. I hope you find one.

  6. Laurin Lindsey says:

    How wonderful to see all the blooms in your garden. I am rather found of the flowers of the Abutilon! It is a lovely time of year in your garden : )

  7. Cathy says:

    Your hellebores are very forward, Chloris – mine have buds but aren’t near opening yet, even the offshoot I potted up and brought into the greenhouse. Lovely to see yours though – and see but not smell all your fragrant offerings (again buds on my sarcococca are not open yet). After people raved about Jacqueline Postill last year I tried to buy one – but there has been an issue with propogation and they aren’t available for the time being, according to the man at Bluebell Nurseries. Interesting to hear you call your H foetidus a ‘weed’ as the self-sown seedlings I rescued from a dry spot have romped away in no time when planted elsewhere and look gorgeous but seemingly I can now expect even more hellebore babies… 😉 Well done to Dina on winning the book – I shall just have to go and buy my own copy now! ps noticed one of your neighbours’ properties up for sale in the Sunday Times at the w/e

    • Chloris says:

      None of my other hellebores are anywhere near to blooming. I hoped Helleborus Niger would appear in time for Xmas but I was surprised to see the ericsmithii out so early. It wasn’ t out until mid January last year. The Sarcococca is in a very sheltered place.
      Oh dear I am sorry that you can’ t get hold of Jacqueline Postill. You really do need one. Do you think that this means that there is only one person propagating them?
      I do recommend the book, it is very useful.

      • Cathy says:

        I thought I had mentioned about JP in the blog but have searched and can’t see it so perhaps it was in reply to a comment. Bluebell knew about it because of their involvement in plant breeding. I think the original propagator had died and it would take years to grow them from seed so they were having to graft them which would also take some time but not as long. Something along those lines anyway. I’ll be patient…

  8. The pictures make me miss the Helleborus! No hope for growing that here..and the Winter Honeysuckle (L. fragrantissima) although I agree with you about the appearance of the shrub the fragrance is wonderful.

    • Chloris says:

      Can’ t you grow hellebores? Oh how sad. Mind you, it must save you a fortune. They are expensive and however many you have, you never, ever have enough.

      • I am in USDA Zone 10A, which makes up for a lot of things..
        When I lived further north we had H. orientalis which reseeded madly so it was a passalong plant. I don’t think I ever bought any but I gave a lot away.

  9. Anna says:

    Oh Chloris such a shame that your ‘Three Ships’ been nibbled 😦 It would not be as bad if you did not have to wait another whole year for the next flower(s). I’m sure that Dina will treasure her little black book and will find it both useful and enlightening. I think I remember that hat from last year – it looks most warm and desirable.

  10. Chloris says:

    Yes, do you think it is slugs? I haven’ t had snowdrops nibbled before.
    It is a warm hat, apparently I look funny in it, but then I do in most hats. I don’ t know why people pick this one out as a particular subject for ridicule. But then I have broad shou!ders, I can take it.

  11. mattb325 says:

    I love the hellebores: they are out very early! It looks like you are enjoying a very mild winter, I hope the weather stays favourable for you. I’ve had rabbits eat early bulb flowers (especially when there’s not much else around)…

    • Chloris says:

      The hellebores are really early this year but we are supposed to be in for some cold weather so things will probably slow down. Rabbits! I hate the little beasts.

  12. Your Bloom Day photos reinforce my desire to find that Abutilon for my front garden and remind me of a promise I made to myself (last year) to plant some Nerine – I guess I need a list of 2015 garden resolutions to keep my intentions front and center.

  13. snowbird says:

    Goodness me!!! I nearly fell off my stool when I read that I am the lucky winner….I had to make an emergency phone call to my brother as I had visited him today and as he asked what I would like for Christmas I asked for this book!!!! How smashin’! I now have absolutely no option but to lose my fear of Latin….btw….what a FABULOUS hat to be drawn from….what more could a girl ask for!!! Thanks EVER so much!
    Fancy a red hot poker from South Africa being blooming here in winter, astonishing! I do love the Christmas rose and Shooting star, how pretty they are, and what has been nibbling your poor Three ships… do have some beautiful

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you and congratulations Dina, on being the name to be picked out of my lucky hat. I hope you will find the book very useful and that it will help you overcome your aversion to Latin.. I hope it will arrive soon and not get delayed by the Xmas rush.

  14. Oh my! You have so many flowers blooming, and it isn’t even technically winter yet. Thanks for sharing because nothing is blooming here. Many of your blooms are great cut flowers, too–lucky you!

    • Chloris says:

      It is good to try and have flowers all year round. I find December the most difficult month but soon we will have snowdrops and hellebores and all the fragrant shrubs in bloom.

  15. Cathy says:

    It’s lovely to see the hellebores making an appearance again, and snowdrops and a primrose too. Spring will soon be here! Love your hat by the way!

  16. rusty duck says:

    Your post does make me realise the garden here is sadly lacking in winter interest and something I must rectify. Shame the Daphne is unavailable at the moment. I think I must have the fragrantissima winter honeysuckle, very sprawly and no blooms. I shall seek out the purpusii.

  17. Julie says:

    Love your winter flowers Chloris and I really like your hat, I have a red velvet one, similar shape, that my family think I should not wear, but yours from Transylvania looks even better.

  18. Brian Skeys says:

    I was inspired by your Bloom Day blog, Chloris to go out into the garden to see what was in flower. The Lonicera fragrantissima has a few flowers open, the Hamamelis mollis ‘Pallida’ has quite a few flowers, this shrub is a little annoying in that it holds on to its dead leaves, and the Viburnum farreri ‘Candidissimun’ with plenty of lovely scented flowers.
    I was also encouraged to order a copy of Plant Names Simplified.
    Thanks Brian.

    • Chloris says:

      Yes I have noticed that ‘Pallida’ does that, most annoying, but how lovely that you have some flowers open.
      And you have Viburnum candidissimum! I love this. Mine is not quite out yet. For some reason you don’ t see it very often. It is gorgeous. The only trouble is that in really hard winters the flowers turn brown.

  19. Robbie says:

    shoot-I missed this drawing!!!:-) To me you are the expert when it comes to “correct”name!:-)
    Beautiful plants as usualy+ love the hat!

  20. mrsdaffodil says:

    The nerines are gorgeous. Do you have them in a greenhouse? We are in Zone 8 here, so I’m thinking I might be able to grow them in a sheltered spot. I don’t even know if you use the same hardiness zones as we do. Also, do you do anything special for your Hesperantha? Mine have survived in the garden for two years, but have not bloomed.

    • Chloris says:

      I don’ t really understand your hardiness zones but Nerine bowdenii is hardy here and grows well in a sunny position. I always keep some in pots as well and for some reason this potful flowers much later than the rest which were over weeks ago.
      Hesperantha needs a lot of moisture to bloom well. They resent being kept dry.

  21. I came across the very same Daphne on a garden visit last spring and your post just reminded me of it. It was a beautiful mature specimen and the scent….incredible!
    I too like those ericsmithii hellebores – I have 2 and only this afternoon, decided that I would treat myself to a new one should Santa bring me any vouchers for one of my favourite GCs.
    I will be keeping a close eye on my special snowdrops from now on – woe betide any creature I find in the vicinity 😉
    Almost forgot….thanks for the mention.

  22. Chloris says:

    The Daphne is one of my favourite things in the garden.As you say, an incredible fragrance.
    The ericsmithii are just wonderful, I think you need some more. I think I do too.

  23. pbmgarden says:

    Enjoyed seeing your many flowering winter plants.

  24. Gayle Madwin says:

    You have new blooms opening up for the new year already? I wish I had some of those. I only have months-old blooms right now.

    • Chloris says:

      We have had a very mild winter so far but that is supposed to change soon. Winter blooms are so welcome I try to have as many as possible to get me through the darkest months.

  25. Debra says:

    =) The beauty never ends in your garden, Chloris! Thanks so much for sharing your winter flowers.

  26. What a treat seeing your blooms Chloris and I have been better at learning and using the latin names…I even found a book i bought to learn more about the Latin in gardening…

  27. bittster says:

    What a selection of blooms you are still enjoying! SO many lingerers from last season and so many hopeful blooms for the new. The hellebores are perfect, I’m a little jealous again 🙂
    Glad to hear you’re wearing your hat with pride!

  28. Chloris says:

    Yes indeed, this mild weather has meant we have more December blooms than usual.
    I am looking forward to seeing your garage treasures very soon. I bet they are all about to sparkle.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s