GBBD: Brightness Amongst Winter's Decay

A bright daffodil nestles amongst the decaying stems of Echinops in my winter garden
A bright daffodil nestles amongst the decaying Echinops stems in my winter garden. 

It's been a record breaking winter. There was record warmth and rainfall for December, possibly January too for the latter. Now we're poised on the cusp of the coldest spell of the winter thus far, possibly the coldest for the past few years.

So it seems fitting to enjoy my garden's solitary record breaking daffodil whilst I can, possibly sentenced to doom in tonight's forecast frost. It flowered just before Christmas and has had to stretch itself almost impossibly high to get itself noticed amongst the Echinops stems.

It's a record breaking winter for blooms in my garden too. I expect many of these will get nipped in the bud tonight, so it's fitting to record the full list for this month's Blooms Day and posterity. There's a total of 35 flowers and even if you take the 4 new-to-the-garden snowdrops away from the total, this is still my most floriferous January ever.

Expected Blooms

  • Clematis cirrhosa 'Balearica'
  • Clematis cirrhosa 'Freckles'
  • Crocus tommasinianus (a little early perhaps, but more expected than unexpected)
  • Cyclamen 'Snow Ridge' (wine form)
  • Cyclamen hederifolium (light pink and white forms)
  • Galanthus elwesii
  • Galanthus elwesii 'Lady Beatrix Stanley'
  • Galanthus nivalis
  • Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno'
  • Galanthus nivalis 'S Arnott'
  • Galanthus plicatus 'Augustus'
  • Galanthus plicatus 'Percy Picton'
  • Helleborus 'Anna's Red'
  • Helleborus (unknown pink vintage, probably x hybridus from a friend)
  • Helleborus x ericsmithii 'Winter Moonbeam'
  • Lonicera x purpusii 'Winter Beauty'
  • Primula 'Cottage Cream'
  • Pulmonaria (unknown pink vintage from another friend)
  • Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn'
  • Viburnum davidii

Unexpected Blooms

  • Bacopa (white trailing hanging basket plant as chosen by Franks Plants)
  • Centaurea montana
  • Dandelion (oops!)
  • Fuchsia 'Pink Fizz'
  • Knautia 'Red Ensign'
  • Lonicera (self-sown honeysuckle of unknown summer vintage)
  • Mangetout pea
  • Narcissus (unknown variety)
  • Nemesia 'Wisley Vanilla'
  • Rocket (arugula)
  • Rosa 'Kew Gardens'
  • Rosa 'The Fairy' (red form)
  • Rosmarinus officinalis Prostratus Group
  • Salvia 'Amistad'
  • Strawberry 'Mara des Bois'

I'm amazed there are almost as many unexpected blooms as there are expected ones.

How's your garden faring this January?

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.


  1. Cheerful beauty! Lovely in the rain!

  2. It has been an extraordinary winter. I'd forgotten that we too had strawberries in bloom. And we have been cutting the earliest purple sprouting I've ever known!

    1. Every cloud has a silver lining Colleen!

  3. And I have mowed the lawn for two times! Groetjes Hetty

    1. We *should* have mown ours as well Hetty!

  4. I've never heard of a Echinops but your daffodil is so lovely. Your picture is stunning, capturing every beautiful detail engulfing one single, daffodil. :)

    1. Thanks Alexandra - it's the contrast amongst the decay that makes it even more precious :)

  5. We have some early bloomers and some late plants still hanging on but no daffodils ot snowdrops flowering yet.

    1. It's amazing what's blooming where, Sue. Andy plenty of plants which haven't shed all their leaves... yet.

  6. The garden is faring ok so far let's hope the cold spell is not to severe.

    1. In some ways I'd like some cold though Brian, otherwise I won't be harvesting garlic later on in the summer and I fear for this year's apple harvest...

  7. Great photo :-) That's some list of blooms you have there! Let's hope we don't get the cold winter predicted and many of your blooms survive and you don't get winter losses. While I love cold winters for the variety of birds coming to the garden (some only seen in very cold winters) I'm not a fan of driving and travelling in snow/icy roads. Enjoy your garden blooms while you can :-D

    1. Thanks Shirley - it's good to sieze the moment isn't it :)

  8. This is an extraordinary winter. At Christmas we had summer jasmine and a snowdrop in bloom. Bizarre.

    1. I did wonder if my jasmine would be blooming too Sarah, but alas, no.

  9. Oh that little daffie looks as it's lighting up a dull old day VP. It's most interesting to read your list of unexpected blooms. I have an Ooooops plant flowering too. At long last some decent real winter weather here - let's hope that there's more of it in store. I noticed your reply to Brian about your concerns about this year's apple harvest and have been wondering about what might transpire down the line. I'm glad to learn that 'Percy Picton' has come to live in your garden. He's a most fine snowdrop.


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