The Shortest Day

Argyranthemum smallAs the sun was (briefly) shining just now on the shortest day of the year, I took the opportunity to nip into the garden between cake icing and (yet more) mince pie making, to record what is still flowering after this absurdly mild autumn (don’t forget that by some reckonings winter officially starts today!!!). I couldn’t come up with any roses, but that’s because I don’t grow many – had I cheated and photographed my neighbours’ front gardens there would have been roses in abundance. And I can’t claim any freakishly early narcissi, though the leaves of many bulbs are well and truly though. Alas, my Iris unguicularis have not yet appeared so far this year, though there are lots around elsewhere. Perhaps the snails have taken to munching them in bud instead of allowing them to unfurl first.

Anyway, I came up with sixteen species blooming, with some multiples, especially the hellebores, which are flowering all over the place, at least three weeks earlier than normal. Here they are:

Alpine strawberries.

Alpine strawberries.

Argyranthemum.

Argyranthemum.

Christmas box, with last year's berries alongside this year's flowers.

Christmas box, with last year’s berries alongside this year’s flowers.

Clematis cirrhosa

Clematis cirrhosa.

Clematis 'Winter Beauty'.

Clematis ‘Winter Beauty’ (not quite open yet!).

White cyclamen.

White cyclamen.

Pink cyclamen.

Pink cyclamen.

Daphne odora aureomarginata (the scent of which fills the garden).

Daphne odora aureomarginata (the scent of which fills the garden).

Hardy geranium.

Hardy geranium.

Hazel catkins.

Hazel catkins.

Hellebores

Hellebores

hell 2

Lavender.

Lavender.

Pelargoniums.

Pelargoniums.

Pelarg 2

Primrose (snail-nibbled).

Primrose (snail-nibbled).

Lace-edged primula.

Lace-edged primula.

Skimmia.

Skimmia.

Violas.

Violas.

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