Posted by: Christine | January 1, 2013

New Year Flower Count

A lot of gardeners do a count on New Years Day, of the plants which are in flower on that day. Since the sun was shining for what seems like the first time in ages, I decided to do the same.

I started in the front garden, a couple of small beds either side of a window. The most obvious was the Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum). This has been flowering for  a couple of months and when it stops I will know that winter is over.

Winter Jasmine(Jasminum nudiflorum) on the front of the house

Winter Jasmine(Jasminum nudiflorum) in bright sun on the front of the house

It was given a drastic prune during the summer and I worried there wouldn’t be any flowers on it – I needn’t have worried! Also in this garden was a valerian (Centranthus ruber) with buds showing colour but not actually out so don’t think I can count that.

In the back garden I couldn’t miss the Mahonia (not sure what type – it my be Charity), covered with yellow flowers. This has also been out for a while.

Mahonia - well over six foot tall.

Mahonia – well over six foot tall.

It’s not very popular in our garden because of the very spiky leaves – they linger for ages on the ground and attack you when trying to tidy up. Worth it for the winter colour though.

Down to the bottom of the garden (vegetable patch) where I suspected I might find some primroses. There were loads of them.

Clumps of primroses in flower

Clumps of primroses in flower

I even found a pink one – does that count as two different flowers? Probably not.

One pink primrose plant among the yellow

One pink primrose plant among the yellow

I worked my way back up the garden. There were no cyclamen in flower, although I spotted one not that long ago. There were plenty of Hellebores in bud, but none out yet. I don’t seem to be able to grow the Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger) just the Lenten ones (Helleborus orientalis). Then hiding away in a dark corner I found one flower spike of Liriope muscari. Not much to look at, but better than nothing.

One flower stem of Liriope muscari.

One flower stem of Liriope muscari.

So that makes four flowers, plus of course the ivy – not very visible as flowers, but useful for any insects that might be about.

Ivy in flower - we've got lot's of this!

Ivy in flower – we’ve got lots of this!

A total of five – not very good. Looks like I’ll have to think about more winter plants. Or perhaps I can blame the weather. Who wants to stick their head above the ground when it’s been so horrible?

I have been looking back at the last year’s posts and discovered that there are only three on plants in my garden – all in the first four months (plus those I saw on the holiday in Greece). That must be a sign of how bad the weather has been this year, or how busy I have been doing other things.

New Years Resolution number one – write more about the garden. Perhaps on the first of every month? In the autumn I dug up all the plants in the main sunny border, weeded (it was full of twitch) and replanted. I’m not sure what I might have killed, plus it was difficult to tell which plant was which, so it’s going to be interesting to see what happens. I’ll try to report regularly. This is what it looks like now:

The replanted border - what will come up?

The replanted border – what will come up?

Here’s hoping that 2013 will be a better year in the garden than 2012.

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