GBBD: Hangers on and a Few Surprises

November and early December have continued in their unseasonably warm spell of strangeness, so there's still the remains of summer blooms amongst the usual death and decay. Last week our first proper frost finally took away last month's Fine Fuchsias, but I couldn't resist showing off September's Echinops flower heads again. The morning sunlight was highlighting them so beautifully a couple of days ago.

The ever reliable Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve' still has the odd flower head* to show for its troubles and the perennial Nemesia 'Vanilla Lady' I bought at Malvern is taking advantage of the extra warmth by my patio doors. The big surprise is the giant potted summer pelargonium in my north facing front garden. It's still flowering away when its companion New Guinea Impatiens have turned to mush.

The garden feels very in-betweenish because many of the reliable winter flowers are still in bud. The Lonicera x purpusii 'Winter Beauty' is being very shy as is the Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn'. They and both my Clematis balearica are only hinting at what's to come, but then the latter were flowering completely out of season in July, so perhaps deserve a rest.

But then I find my rosemary and Pulmonaria are in flower well ahead of their usual late winter/early spring appearances and my perennial candytuft is flowering too, thus adding to the topsy turvy nature of my garden this month.

I usually confine my winter Cyclamen to various outdoor winter pots and this was so for this pictured bargain** until a couple of days ago. It was a welcome shot of red by the front door, but I've decided I want to keep its cheer much closer to me and so have brought it indoors. Here it's drying its wings in our utility room before it graces our Christmas table.

Moving back outdoors for a brief moment, the garden held one final surprise. Nestled under the blackened stems of my Helianthus 'Lemon Queen', I found my fig tree has finally borne fruit. The sunflowers must have nurtured them through our indifferent summer weather, to provide me with one final luscious taste of that season. There were just enough to brighten my breakfast this morning.

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. I have summer, autumn, winter and spring blooms in my garden this month. How many seasons can you see in yours?

* = always reliable in my garden where it often flowers all year

** = £3.50 for 3 in a terracotta bowl - not bad :)


  1. Pretty cyclamen! They always remind me of butterflies!
    Those seed heads are gorgeous, too!
    Mississippi, USA

  2. The echinops are quite striking in your winter garden. I, too, have red cyclamen growing in the planters near my front door, but I neglected to take a pic of them for my Bloom Day post! I prefer cyclamen to poinsettias for Yuletide cheer.

  3. yes this year our plants & flowers are doing amazing things. I have just picked some orange roses to put in my vase. There is also rosemary, honeysuckle and lavander

  4. It is very confusing isnt it. My garden doesnt seem to have as much confusion but then it doesnt seem tohave that many flowers which seems to imply I need to have more winter/autumn flowering plants

  5. Ah, I lived in Wiltshire once upon a time. In an old farm house outside Swindon - or it was outside when I lived there. Swindon has grown since. Our central coast California weather is also unseasonably mild and warm. Cyclamen remind me of England somehow, though they grow here too. Haven't grown any myself but enjoyed seeing yours, and that marvellous seed head.

  6. I love Erysium 'Bowles Mauve', but I can't find it at the garden centers nearby any more. I'm not surprised at your Pelargonium's performance. They seem to like cooler weather, & the microclimate it's in must be just enough protection. I've had them blooming outside into November here in Zone 5. I think I just got the same Cyclamen as yours. It's perfect for Christmas.

  7. Great for the fig as it has been a strange year weatherwise for blooming. Nice cyclamen, and have a happy GBBD.

  8. Nice...I LOVE the Echinops seed heads!

  9. I love cyclamen for Christmas...much nicer to me than poinsettias. And what a wonderful fig surprise!

  10. Lovely seedheads. I hope our two fledgling E. ritro ruthenicus make it through the winter, I have one in the unheated greenhouse and one on the kitchen windowsill, and my fingers crossed!
    Our garden is rather confused, but then most things are new or newly planted.

  11. Lea - yes Cyclamen do look like they have wings :)

    dorothy - welcome! I prefer Cyclamen to poinsettias too :)

    miss mary - hello! You have lots of lovely scent in your garden and I plenty of bees too I bet :)

    PG - it's been topsy turvy pretty much all year hasn't it?

    Country Mouse - welcome! Swindon will probably be unrecognisable now - it's growing even more!

    MMD - that's a shame as it's such a good performer. I always think of Pelargoniums as a Mediterranean plant, but then I think your definition of cooler weather might differ to mine bearing in mind your location ;)

    gardenwalkgardentalk - I wonder if there's ever a 'normal' year. Gardening makes you realise there's always something unusual going on ;)

    scottweberpdx - welcome! I see you're a fan of seedheads - I love the Piet Oudolf quote on your blog - I must store that one up for Muse Day

    Leslie - they were delicious!

    Hillwards - I'll keep my fingers crossed too, they're a great plant to have in the garden :)


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