In a Vase for Christmas.

Many years ago Tony Venison, who for years wrote a gardening column for Country Life, told me that he went round his garden on Christmas Day every year and picked a posy of flowers, including just one of every variety he could find in bloom. He counted them and kept a tally from year to year. Christmas Day in my house is always rather busy, but for years now I have picked a Christmas Eve posy for the table. The number of flowers varies from year to year according to the weather, but even in the coldest years I am always surprised at how many blooms I find once I start searching.  Hunting for flowers on one of the darkest days of  the year is a lovely thing to do.

This year we have had ice and snow and there are not so many stray summer flowers lingering on, but still  17 is a respectable total and it should be more but I  forgot to include a couple of blooms.

So here they are.

In the pink pot I have the last of the nerines and a sprig of Salvia ‘Love and Wishes’ from the greenhouse.

From the winter garden I picked some heather, Erica carnea ‘Springwood White’. The clematis is the winter flowering ‘Freckles’. There are a couple of sprigs of viburnum in there including the much maligned (by me) Viburnum tinus.

In the next pot is a rose and some fragrant Lonicera purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’ and winter jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum with chunky rosehips and a sprig of Abutilon megapotamicum which is rarely out of bloom. The variegated foliage here is Eleagnus ebbingeii. This has lovely yellow and green leaves but the unvariegated part takes over quickly when you are not watching and grows strongly. The whole thing has got too big for its boots and has to go. The pink berries belong to Symphoricarpos, another  Devils’ spawn plant which I spend hours trying to exterminate.

In the little pot there is a sprig of the deliciously fragrant Chimonanthus praecox with a snowdrop, Galanthus ‘Farringdon Double’ a primrose and a bit of  Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ with white winter Clematis cirrrhosa ‘Jingle Bells’.

In the other little pot there is a Christmas rose, Helleborus niger, the  last of  Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’, a pansy and a sprig of Coronilla valentina. The blue is lovely Iris unguicularis which I preferred when it was called Iris stylosa because I can’t spell ‘unguicularis‘. The red berries are Skimmia japonica which I have used for Christmas decorations as all the holly berries were eaten by birds three weeks ago. They don’t seem to like skimmia berries.

Thank you Cathy  at Rambling in the Garden for inspiring us to cut our flowers to enjoy in the house all year round.

A very happy Christmas to all my blogging friends.



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44 Responses to In a Vase for Christmas.

  1. What a good idea for those of us that have flowers this time of year. Merry Christmas!

  2. snowbird says:

    How lovely, finding all those blooms. I am surprised to find that I still have roses, and other plants still blooming. Such a lovely post, especially at this time of the year, a good reminder to always go out and look. All the very best to you and yours, have a wonderful

  3. Kris P says:

    That’s a lovely tradition. Your garden doesn’t seem nearly as bleak in the face of winter’s advance as you’ve described it in recent posts. I’m not sure I could come up with 17 different species of flowers this time of year in my own more temperate garden, although I’ve had a couple of surprise appearances in the last few days too. Best wishes for a merry Christmas!

    • Chloris says:

      It looks quite bleak from the window but I do try and have something of interest all year round. I know your lovely garden is full of treasures all year round too.

  4. pbmgarden says:

    You’ve collected an impressive number of blooms. Love the way you grouped them into the little white vase and the boots are adorable. Happy holidays to you.

    • Chloris says:

      The little boots are German Hutschenreuther, I have quite a few Hutschenreuther china bells and boots on my Christmas tree. I love them. Happy Christmas Susie.

  5. Linda P says:

    A lovely tradition. It’s so refreshing to see your beautiful posies in small vases. Our garden blooms are few now, but roses keep giving. I wish you a happy Christmas and a good new year.

  6. tonytomeo says:

    That is impressive. I doubt that I could find that many flowers in our much milder climate. I dislike Viburnum tinus too, but the snowberry is sort of cool out of the way. I do not think of it as aggressive. Ours are all white, without pink blush.

  7. Chloris says:

    I have devoted part of my garden to winter interest. It goes on too long and I can’t get excited by topiary or seedheads rimed in frost but it is amazing how much colour there is to enjoy as long as it is not too frosty.

  8. Joanna says:

    I can’t believe how many flowers you still have blooming at Christmas! Must be wonderful!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

  9. Quite a collection, with a Nerine and you cut a Snowdrop! I am always amazed by what comes out of your garden. I like the arrangement and the tiny vases, I have some Santa boots from my mother, I will have to use next year. Happy Christmas, I hope Santa brings you some mad succulents.

    • Chloris says:

      I love my little china boots, they always come out at Christmas. I have quite a few snowdrops out now so I could spare one for my posy.
      I have spent Christmas day with the family and a greyhound called Sam who I thought your Alan would like.

  10. rusty duck says:

    I found a Viburnum tinus the other day, lurking in a previously uncultivated part of the woodland. The jury is out. It fills a hole.
    Not sure I could come up with another 16 blooms though.
    Have a very Happy Christmas Chloris.

    • Chloris says:

      The trouble us that Viburnum tinus smells of wet dog when it rains. I had to get rid of one right next to my kitchen door which was horribly smelly in wet weather.
      Happy Christmas Jessica.

  11. Peter says:

    An impressive and beautiful array of Christmas blooms and a sweet tradition! A very merry Christmas and the happiest of new years to you, Chloris!

  12. Chloris says:

    Thank you Peter and a happy Christmas to you and yours.

  13. Bec says:

    Merry Christmas Chloris – lovely vase. I can’t believe how many flowers you’ve got blooming in December. I’ve got none in my soggy North-facing Salford garden so I had to improvise from a local hedge for my vase 😉 My mum has bought me winter flowering jasmine for Christmas so hopefully things will look brighter next winter. Love Bec xx

  14. Cathy says:

    I so enjoyed reading through this post Chloris and finding out what you had blooming – the tradition you have taken on is such a lovely idea. A few years ago I began counting blooms on Boxing Day and I think I will stick with that although I could of course combine the two – you have done far better than me this year, anyhow! As you say, the process of tracking them down is quite an adventure in itself! The two little wellies are especially floriferous for late December. Thanks so much for sharing and I hope your busy Christmas Day went well

    • Chloris says:

      Do share your Boxing Day blooms with us. I would love to see what you find.
      We had a wonderful Christmas thank you, I hope you did too and I hope you got to spend some time with your Poppet.

  15. Gillian says:

    Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year too!

  16. Brian Skeys says:

    Wonderful vase Chloris, 17 is very impressive. Best wishes for 2018.

  17. Lovely. And the Skimmia berries are even better than holly. And I like the boot vases!

  18. What skills you have Chloris. To have so many blooms at this time of year is incredible. Wishing you a happy healthy 2018 and happy gardening!

  19. Chloris says:

    I love winter flowers Dorris and I have dedicated quite a large area to winter interest.
    All the best to you for 2018.

  20. Pingback: A Few Boxing Day Blooms | Rambling in the Garden

  21. That is an impressive haul and the range of colours is magical. My last nerine was in a vase until a week ago, but that is gone now. Your Abutilon is v. pretty and makes me think of the pantomime (maybe Aladdin). Great vases too! Best wishes for the New Year.

    • Chloris says:

      This pot of nerines is in the greenhouse. I’m not sure of the variety but it is very late flowering. The Abutilon is in the garden and it is hardly ever out of bloom.
      Happy New Year to you Allison.

  22. Alison C says:

    You have a very, lovely collection and they all look in much better shape than my cuttings. It’s so cheering isn’t it? I love the little boots.

  23. Anna says:

    A lovely tradition Chloris and what perfect seasonal decorations. I hope that you had a good Christmas.

  24. I agree it’s a lovely thing to do–I might borrow this idea for Easter. For Christmas, I’m trying to get in the habit of using mostly natural items for my outdoor arrangements. There really are some interesting evergreens and berries (and dried materials), even in a cold climate. There’s something special about Mahonia–both on the plant and used as cut flowers. Yours is a beautiful vase for Christmas. Happy Holidays!

  25. Chloris says:

    I agree, there is so much material we can use even when flowers are scarce, (evergreens, coloured twigs, fir cones, berries and seedheads.)
    Happy holidays to you too Beth.

  26. At Cliffe we used to count the flowers in bloom on midwinter’s day, it was great fun looking for them, like a treasure hunt. I was thinking about you earlier, looking through the Van Meuwen catalogue at the Nerine undulata. I am very very very tempted ….. Happy Christmas my lovely, thanks for sharing xxx

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