Christmas Tussie -Mussies.

Every Christmas Eve, I like to count how many flowers there are in bloom in my garden. I stroll around and pick a posy for the Christmas table. On a mild, sunny day like today, this is very enjoyable. At first glance there is nothing much to see, but if you poke about there are brave spring flowers popping up too soon as well as summer malingerers, so you end up with representatives from all seasons. I don’t allow any flowers from the greenhouse for this festive vase, that would be cheating.

Here are my two little porcelain, German Heutschenreuther Christmas boots full of little treasures.

This is what I found. In the boot on the right I have a little Christmas rose, Helleborus niger with white heather, Erica carnea , Skimmia ‘Kew Green’, Skimmia rubella and blue Rosemary. White flowered Choisya ternata often blooms in winter, although its main season is May. I don’t know why it is known as Mexican Orange Blossom because it smells quite unpleasant. I have three snowdrops in bloom, ‘Santa Claus’, ‘Three Ships’ and this one ‘Farringdon’s Double’. I could only bear to pick one.

Along with these winter bloomers I have a large lilac flower of Abutilon x Suntense which is definitely out of season. The starry flowers behind the Christmas rose are the stragglers of the climber, Solanum laxum ‘Album’

In the next shot you can see a little purple viola and the unusual green flowers of Rosa viridiflora Some people hate this rose for being so unrose-like but it is very useful for arrangements and blooms for months on end.

In the other boot I have three viburnums, all blooming in their proper season. First my favourite, the dark pink: Viburnum bodnantense ‘ Deben’. Viburnum farreri is paler pink but still pretty and Viburnum tinus is only in my garden under sufferance, but as long as you remove the dingy leaves which smell of dog when wet, the flowers are quite useful for winter arrangements.

I have three yellow flowers here, the spike you can see is Genista spachiana which is still blooming bravely. On the right is the primrose- coloured flower of Coronilla glauca, both of these are fragrant. Winter jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum blooms abundantly and is very useful for Christmas arrangements. The peachy rose you can see is Rosa ‘Perle d’Or’ which is a little beauty and perfectly formed. I also have a bud of Rosa ‘Bengal Beauty’ in this boot.

Chrysanthemum ‘Chelsea Physic Garden’ is behind the bud of ‘Bengal Beauty’. It is still looking good in the garden and I picked a vase full last week. It is the only Chrysanthemum which carries on until Christmas, I wouldn’t be without it. On the left you can see Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ which doesn’t seem to have noticed that it is winter. And the purple is a lingering penstemon The dainty little pink flowers are Prunus subhirtella autumnalis ‘Rosea’. I hadn’t even noticed that this lovely winter flowering cherry is already in bloom.

So my count this Christmas is 23, it would be 24. but I can’t bear to pick my Narcissus ‘Cedric Morris’ which I showed in my last post.

You might think that you have nothing in bloom in the garden but it is amazing what you find if you hunt around. Vita Sackville West delighted in the old fashioned word ‘Tussie -Mussie’ for a posy and I love it too and what better time to use it than for an old fashioned posy on Christmas Eve?

Christmas this year is pared down for many of us and we are all still under the shadow of this awful pandemic. But I do hope you all have a wonderful, healthy and happy Christmas with your loved ones and all my best wishes for the coming year.

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25 Responses to Christmas Tussie -Mussies.

  1. Cathy says:

    Lovely flowers Chloris. I only have one hellebore in flower here, so it is a delight to see so many different flowers in bloom at Christmas! Best wishes for the new year too.

  2. bcparkison says:

    Nope…not here. I could come up with a pansy or two but that would be it. You did really well. Pretty.

  3. Kris P says:

    What an amazing collection! I’m not sure I could come up with as much here, despite my milder winter climate. Have a peaceful Christmas! I hope the Pianist is feeling better.

    • Chloris says:

      I’m sure you could Kris, you continue to produce amazing vases all through the winter. Thank you, the Pianist is better now, he was never really bad, so he is one of the lucky ones.

  4. tonytomeo says:

    Merry Christmas! What delightful flowers! We have been off of work for two weeks, so I have been out of contact with what is blooming now.

  5. Merry Christmas. I am always surprised at how many flowers you have blooming this time of year.

  6. susurrus says:

    It is amazing – the range of colours you have too. I hope you’re having a lovely Christmas.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you, December is a difficult month to keep flowers going, but the snowdrops are starting now and they will be giving pleasure for the next few weeks

  7. I am in awe of how many flowers you have blooming! Our bloom time is long gone so I enjoyed seeing the flowers of your Tussie-Mussies, a lovely complement to Christmas.

  8. Cathy says:

    Thank you for sharing your tussie mussies with us, Chloris – those little boots are perfect to hold them! It’s always intruiging to see what’s in bloom at this time of year and after reading your list I need to run (well, perhaps not!) outside and see if my skimmia is flowering! You will see that I have cheated with my count…😉

  9. Wonderful, I realized I missed your Christmas posy and had to go back and find it. The boots are wonderful and so is the bounty. I think the Choisya is a love it or hate it fragrance, I am really enjoying green zinnias and love your roses, though many think my zinnias are weird. I hope you had a peaceful Christmas.

  10. snowbird says:

    What absolutely delightful posies! Lucky you having so many beauties flowing in your garden during these dull days, they certainly cheer me

  11. Very nice. Thanks for sharing your beautiful bounty and lovely arrangements. Best wishes to you and yours for the year ahead!

  12. Anna says:

    Oh the contents of those boots are so cheering Chloris – winter flowering plants and shrubs are most precious indeed often with the added bonus of scent. I only have seven flowers on my ‘Cedric Morris’ and like you couldn’t bear to pick a single one especially as they flower for such a good spell. Wishing you and your family all the best for the new year and I hope that is a kind year for your garden xxx

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