GBBD. Brave Flowers in December.

I wasn’t expecting to find many flowers at all this month, but once you start looking, it’s amazing how many you find. The weather has been quite mild for December so that is why any flowers that have ventured forth, haven’t been bitten by any frost. The first one is right outside the back door and will keep flowering on and off all winter as long as the temperature stays above zero, it is a quince or Chaenomeles.


There are just a few flowers out at the moment, but the branches are covered with hundreds of buds, if the weather stays mild, it should be beautiful by Christmas!

Iris unguicularis

More buds are out now on the Iris unguicularis that I showed you a couple of posts ago. Seeing such vulnerable flowers in December is amazing, just hope the weather stays mild for them.

Mahonia Charity

Mahonia Charity has been flowering for quite some time now and is looking very pretty. This bush is by the dead oak and is kept to about 6ft tall, we have another in the border by the drive which has grown to about 10ft, so as soon as it finishes flowering it will be cut back.

Viburnum bidnantense New Dawn

In the border by the field, Viburnum bodnantense Dawn is looking beautiful, absolutely covered with pretty flowers, so no frosts for a long time please!

Rosa Brother Cadfael

Just in front of the Viburnum is Rose Brother Cadfael, still putting out more flowers.

Rose Iceberg

The same as Rose Iceberg, still lots more buds to come.

Campanula porscharskyana

Lots of clumps of Campanula porschaskyana are still flowering around the garden, it never seems to stop.

Choisya ternata

While sweeping up the leaves in the back garden the other day, I noticed that Choisya ternata had decided to flower, lots of buds, so hopefully they won’t get frosted.

Erica, Tree Heath

Erica or Tree Heath, which is behind the alpine scree, is just about to flower. I keep this bush to about 5 ft tall, so this will soon need cutting back, when it has finished flowering.

Miscanthus sinensis Silver Feather

Maybe past its best, but Miscanthus Silver Feather is still adding a certain something to the garden.

Miscanthus sinensis malepartus

Miscanthus malepartus looks stunning when blowing in the wind. The flower heads emerge dark purple but now they are bleached white. Another month and then they will need cutting back as the winter winds take their toll. I usually leave the flower heads at the back of the border and the birds take bits of them to line their nests in the spring, not just the birds, squirrels do to!


My first Primrose!  there is another one out but it has been rather chewed by something so didn’t get photographed.

Jasmine nudiflorum

Jasmine nudiflorum has been flowering for a while now by the front door, more and more buds are opening in the mild weather.

Penstemon Garnet

The last flower on Penstemon Garnet, they flower for so long, all through the summer, almost time now to cut them back by half. I usually leave quite a bit of foliage and stems to protect the crown, in case we get a prolonged cold spell.

Red Campion

On the top of theDevon bank behind the bog garden, the Red Campion are still flowering. They made a nice show this summer, behind and above all the bog garden flowers, I thought they finished flowering long ago.

Cow Parsley

Also in the bog garden is a small plant of Cow Parsley, that has decided to flower now. The common name for it here is Queen Anne’s Lace and is very reminiscent of the huge lace collars that men and women used to wear in the 18th C.

As you can see, there were quite a few plants still flowering or flowering early, I just hope that frost doesn’t suddenly arrive and spoil it all!

Thanks must go to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting GBBD once more, do pay her a visit and see flowers from round the world.

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38 Responses to GBBD. Brave Flowers in December.

  1. Carol says:

    Beautiful flowers. You make me long for a milder climate!

  2. Lea says:

    Beautiful blooms!
    I especially like the Mahonia.
    I must check my Quince for buds – thanks for the reminder
    Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day!

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Lea, its good to hear from you!
      I too like the Mahonia, the leaves contrast with whatever is around it. This Quince (planted before we arrived here, so I don’t know the name)flowers all winter, but I have another calledApple Blossom which only flowers in the spring.

  3. Liz says:

    Hi Pauline,

    Lovely to see the Quince! I don’t think I have much blooming that I haven’t already shown so I’m not so sure I’ll post anything… Winter Jasmine is out here and I haven’t noticed the Autumn cherry blooming yet. I also don’t know whether I’ll manage to get out and take any photos until next weekend anyway.

    I really must get some Mahonia; my parents bought some recently and plan to let it get nice and large to help hide the house behind them. I saw a lovely ‘ferny’ type Mahonia that is almost spike-less as I’m not a fan of the leaves on other types. Although, saying that any winter interest is good so perhaps a range of Mahonia… Hrmm… Planning my next garden already 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Liz, Mahonia is good for disguising unsightly things, in my case the wheelie bin, the flowers are a bonus! Lovely to see that you are thinking about your next garden, are you going to pot up your favourites or at least take cuttings?

  4. Janie says:

    Where are you from….it’s amazing wherever you are.

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Janie, lovely to hear from you! We live in the SW corner of the UK, in the county of Devon. It is usually mild here in the winter although we do get frosts each winter and sometimes even snow, but that isn’t very often!

  5. Angie says:

    You’ve still got lots going on Pauline – I do hope it stays a bit milder so you can enjoy them just a wee bit longer. It’s a rotten weekend up here. Happy Bloom Day!

    • Pauline says:

      Angie, I’m hoping the frost stays away too, it would be such a shame to spoil it all! Rotten weather here too, pouring rain all day, but musn’t grumble, we haven’t had any for quite some time.

  6. Annette says:

    Gee, so many flowers! Your mahonia is delightful. I also spotted fat buds in our chaenomeles. It must be very mild where you live.

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Annette, it certainly has been mild here lately, a lot warmer than it usually is. I just hope plants don’t start growing just to be cut back by a severe frost.

  7. Anna says:

    I enjoyed your December blooms Pauline. I think that I would certainly line my nest with miscanthus malepartus if I were a bird – it looks so soft and almost feathery. Don’t think that I’ve ever seen cow parsley in flower at this time of year!

    • Pauline says:

      Anna, the funniest thing I saw in the garden one year was a squirrel dragging a plume of Miscanthus behind it, complete with stem, climb a tree and then try to drag it into the hole where it had obviously got its nest ready for babies! The cow parsley was a big surprise to me too at this time of year.
      I keep trying to leave messages on your blog, but they suddenly disappear into thin air, I will keep trying!

  8. Caro says:

    It’s a bit worrying when plants start putting out new shoots at this time of year as with your Choisya although at least that’s one plant that’s pretty tough. I love Chaenomeles, such an unpromising looking thorny shrub until the flowers unfurl! Do you cook the fruit? I’ve been lucky to forage several kilos of unwanted fruit from a C x superba at college so have made jams, jellies and compotes which are delicious (even if I say so myself 😉 !) I also love your two roses – Brother Cadfael (one of my favourite tv dramas) – such gorgeous colours! This is a lovely get together, and a great chance to show off some beautiful blooms – thanks for sharing!

    • Pauline says:

      I agree Caro, but The Choisya quite often does this, so it should be ok. We usually only get 2or 3 fruit from the Chaenomeles, but yes, I do use them in cooking. I planted R. Brother Cadfael for my mother when she came to live with us when she had dementia, it was one of her favourite TV programmes.

  9. pbmgarden says:

    Looks like spring at your house. So nice to see some flowers blooming. Is it unusual for your Viburnum to be blooming this time of year? That is lovely. Not much flowering here–several frosts have done in my camellias.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Susie, we have had very mild weather for the last month so plants just don’t want to stop.The Viburnum Dawn is supposed to flower on and off all winter, it should flower as long as it isn’t frosty. Sorry you camellias have suffered from the frost, I haven’t any autumn flowering ones, my first one starts flowering in February and then we have to hope that the frost doesn’t find it!

  10. Cathy says:

    All so lovely Pauline – and your campanula is a star too, I see! I do hope my viburnum, which is in a pot, flowers as well as yours – I shall have to find a spot somewhere else for it if it doesn’t. And I am really impressed by the iris so think I shall look out for some for next year. This meme is such a good incentive to go out and look for those elusive blooms, isn’t it?

    • Pauline says:

      I agree Cathy, if it wasn’t for GBBD I wouldn’t go searching at the back of borders and would have missed the cow parsley and red campion. I’m really pleased with the viburnum this year, all thanks to the mild weather because it is by the field next door which gets all the north and east winds that come whistling across. I’m also loving the iris too, but the one in the back garden still isn’t showing any buds yet.

  11. Cathy says:

    How lovely to have all those flowers in December Pauline. I look forward to seeing that quince in full bloom, and that Viburnum is lovely too. So I hope you don’t get any frost either! We haven’t had a really cold spell yet, but there’s very little grows at our low temperatures in winter.

    • Pauline says:

      Only frost Cathy, can spoil the Quince and Viburnum display, I promise to keep you posted! The weather has been very mild for December and not much colder at night time, lots of rain now but we need it, it has been so dry!

  12. You have a brilliant array of winter blooming plants there, I love your mahonia, I have two, one too small to have had more than one flower, the other I cut hard back because it was growing really badly, maybe next year! My chaenomeles is also new, so I don’t know if it will flower this winter, but I hope so, we had one in the garden when I was growing up and I have loved them ever since.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Janet, I think Mahonias deserves their place in the garden, they’re so reliable for winter flowering. I usually cut half back at a time so that I’m not without the lovely winter flowers, it seems to work, hope yours flowers next year. The Chaenomeles keeps me happy through the winter, as long as we don’t have much frost!

  13. rusty duck says:

    Wow Pauline, you have loads of colour still! I must definitely get some of that Iris next year. I planted Penstemon Garnet this year, so I hope by next it will be established enough to give me a longer season. Lovely to still have it in December, if only one flower!

    • Pauline says:

      The Iris flowers Jessica are still looking lovely. Its the sort of plant that you forget about for the rest of the year, then all of a sudden, there it is, looking beautiful! Penstemon Garnet is such a good plant giving almost 5 months of flowers and they are so easy to make more with cuttings.

  14. Christina says:

    Lots of lovely blooms Pauline, I really like the colour of your Chaenomeles, I’d love like that. I’m also envious that your Iris is flowering so well already, mine isn’t showing any signs at all.

    • Pauline says:

      Christina, my iris in the back garden hasn’t any buds yet and that one is in sun, facing south. The one in the front garden, which is flowering, faces east and is in the shadow of a box cube! Hopefully the Chaenomeles will flower on and off all winter but it will all depend on the weather!

  15. I am with Carol the first commenter-your garden makes me long for a milder climate Pauline! Oh to have even a single primrose or such a beautiful Viburnum bodnantense Dawn in flower! Here the ground is covered in a foot of snow. It looks very Christmasy, but I would prefer the flowers!

    • Pauline says:

      Jennifer, I’m saying, oh to have a rest from gardening so that I can get up to date with my Christmas preparations! Does your snow stay now until March or will you get spells of milder weather when bulbs can pop up? Two winters ago we had snow, quite a lot for us, and it was fun for a while but we were almost cut off just before Christmas, we live on the side of a hill,and only just managed to get up the hill and onto our son in London for our Christmas celebrations.

  16. debsgarden says:

    Your Dawn viburnum is gorgeous! I hope the frost stays away from it and all the lovely blooms lingering in your garden! Quince has become one of my favorites. My quince show no signs of blooming yet, but once they start, they usually bloom for several months; and while individual blooms are not particularly noteworthy, the mass of them is amazing.

    • Pauline says:

      Glad you like the Viburnum Deb, it does look very pretty at the moment and no frost is forecast for a while, thank goodness. I have another Chaenomeles which only flowers in the spring, so the one outside the back door is extra precious for its long flowering time.

  17. Lyn says:

    Some of the winter blooms are the most exquisite of all, don’t you think? Chaenomeles and Iris unguicularis are just gorgeous. I was surprised to see your Campanula porschaskyana flowering. Mine stop in mid-summer and I always thought that was just their life cycle, but now I’m thinking that maybe they just need more water or shade to keep flowering for longer.

    • Pauline says:

      I agree Lyn, so precious because there are so few. The little campanula never seems to stop until frost hits it and then it gives up eventually.A lot of mine are in the sun but then, your sun is so much stronger than ours!

  18. All my favorite winter plants, how beautiful. I have been admiring Charity mahonia for a while, I need to find a place for it.

    • Pauline says:

      Mahonia and its various varieties are certainly worth a place in your garden Carolyn, the flowers also have a delicate perfume which is lovely if you catch it while passing.

  19. Such beautiful blooms! Iris unguicularis is one of my favorites. I moved a clump from my previous garden and just had my first bloom after 3 years. The Dawn viburnum is stunning. Happy Christmas to you, Pauline!

    • Pauline says:

      So glad Marian that your iris is now flowering for you, I would certainly want to take mine with me if I moved! Any flower at this time of year is precious and to be treasured. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas Marian.

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