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.
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.