January treasures for GBBD.

At the moment, the sun is shining, the sky is a brilliant blue, the wind is blowing and everywhere is very wet from torrential rain overnight. We have escaped the awful weather of the last few days, when other places are covered in snow still. We had a bit of sleet and a few hailstones yesterday but that was as bad as it got.

The sun tempted me out to see what is flowering for GBBD in January. Starting in the front garden I found –

Wingter Jasmine

Winter Jasmine, that has been flowering since the beginning of December.

White Primrose

The white variety of the common primrose is always the first to flower, the yellow ones are still safely tucked up, away from the winter weather.

Cyclamen coum

Tucked among the red stemmed Cornus are a few Cyclamen coum. The ones in the front garden always seem to flower before the ones in the woodland, probably because they have more sun.


Under the dead oak in the middle of the garden, forming ground cover under a Mahonia and holly, is some winter flowering heather. This saves me having to weed in such a prickly spot!

Lawn daisy

The first daisy to flower on the lawn!


The Hellebores are gathering strength and will soon be open properly, this one is near to the bog garden.

G. Acton Piggot

Snowdrops are up everywhere, maybe if it stays sunny today, they will open their petals,  I should have waited to photograph them all !


My Camellia bush in the corner of the garden just gets better and better each day, and there are still so many buds waiting to open.

Double Snowdrop

One of the Greatorex Doubles, I really must tidy away all the dead leaves of the iris next to it! These snowdrops are by the arch way into the woodland.

G. gracilis

Glanthus gracilis is easy to identify, thanks to its twisted leaves.

G. Little John

Galanthus Little John, in the woodland, is so huge compared to other snowdrops. I see that something has been having a nibble!


This is another snowdrop that is easy to identify from its lovely shiny green leaves. Galanthus woronowii also spreads quickly by seed. Where I have got it planted , it is on a slight slope and it is seeding downhill where the flower stems arch over when the flower has finished. The seed case is then on the soil and the seed deposited. I must try collecting a few seed pods and spreading them on other slopes in the woodland.

Daphne Jaqueline Postill

Scenting the air in the woodland is Daphne Jaqueline Postill, such a beautiful perfume, it is worth going out, no matter what the weather is doing, just for a sniff!


This is the first hellebore to open in the woodland, the rest are covered in buds, so it won’t be too long before they join in.

Forget me not

The little forget me not that I showed you on New Years Day is still flowering, such a pretty little blue flower.

Hamamellis Roger

H. Roger is the only witch hazel flowering for me this year, just as well that I bought it last year.. My two stalwarts, H.mollis and H. Arnold Promise haven’t got any flowers at all, in fact some of the twigs look dead, I do hope I’m not going to lose them.

G. Lapwing

G. Lapwing is increasing very well indeed, I will have to photograph it again when it is open as the inner markings are rather nice.

White Cyclamen coum

A white cyclamen coum makes a nice change from the magenta one.

Garrya elliptica

Back in the back garden, Garrya elliptica is having his moment of glory. Having pruned it too hard a couple of years ago, it is good to have lots of tassels once again.


My early unknown narcissus is still putting out new flowers. Other narcissus that are supposed to be early are still refusing to flower!

Hallebore Argutifolius

Hellebore Argutifolius is on the rockery near the house and is getting to be a bigger plant each year.

G. Angelique

Galanthus Angelique is also on the rockery. When she opens, she has 2 tiny green dots on the inner petals.


The few Primulas that we have on the rockery have been flowering on and off for a few months now, as long as the frost stays away.

Iris unguicularis

Still flowering under the dining room window is Iris unguicularis. Every few days a new flower opens up and looks so pristine among lots of dead leaves, I must remember to cut the dead leaves away in future.


Just by the back door , the Chaenomeles is still flowering away with masses of buds still to come, it doesn’t seem to have suffered so far, with the few frosts that we have had, another is due this weekend!

I have enjoyed my wander round my soggy garden, I found more snowdrops than I expected, but decided not to photograph the rest until they had opened and were showing their different markings. While in the woodland, the sun felt decidedly warm, it is sheltered out of the wind, I could feel that spring is on its way

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Garden for hosting this meme each month, do pay her a visit to see which flowers are giving pleasure around the world.

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38 Responses to January treasures for GBBD.

  1. Caro says:

    Oh, you’ve made me want to rush out to the garden for a look round! I love Garrya eliptica at this time of year. When we studied this plant, we were told that it was pretty dull for most of the year but, gosh, it really shines in your garden! And I’m envious of your Daphne; I’d like one for the gardens here but they’re very expensive to buy. I had a wander at the weekend and all is confusion in the gardens here – coreopsis, borage and anemones flowering next to primula and snowdrops. Zonal Pelargoniums planted two summers ago are still flowering prolifically giving a very unseasonal splash of colour and the tulips are beginning to poke through at the same time as the daffodils! Nice to see that your garden has a sense of the seasons!

    • Pauline says:

      I agree Caro that Garrya eliptica is rather boring for the rest of the year, it’s just as well he has interesting neighbours! Daphnes are expensive unfortunately, but so worth it at this time of year. Mine was so tiny when I bought it (and therefore cheaper!) but now it is about 3x3ft and covered with flowers. The only Pelargoniums I have flowering are in the conservatory, I must use the new growth for cuttings as I forgot to take any last summer.

  2. Chloris says:

    And I enjoyed the wander round your garden too Pauline. You like many of the same plants as me. I loved seeing all your snowdrops. It is interesting to see Little John in flower. I have the very similar Robin Hood but it flowers much later on.
    Don’ t worry about Arnold Promise, he is always the last Hamamelis to bloom. Mine is still in tight bud.
    What a gorgeous Camellia you have; smothered in flowers.

    • Pauline says:

      We do like the same plants don’t we Chloris! My Robin Hood snowdrops are up and almost ready to flower, I can just see the white in the bud. I’m afraid Arnold Promise doesn’t even have any flower buds, they are so different from the leaf buds, I don’t think he can be very happy for some reason.!

  3. pbmgarden says:

    Glad you escaped the worst of the poor weather recently Pauline. It’s been very wet here all winter. Your garden is full of lovely blooms. I like the color of the Chaenomeles.

    • Pauline says:

      We thankfully haven’t had as much rain as last year when we had floods everywhere in this country, we’ve had enough though and we are on the wetter side of the country so get all the moisture that is picked up from the Atlantic Ocean! Fortunately there are lots of plants that like the rain! The Chaenomeles was here when we came, but it is wonderful the way it flowers through the winter to April.

  4. rusty duck says:

    So envious of your Daphne Pauline. JP can’t be bought for love nor money at the moment.
    I was so worried about my Hamamelis ‘Diane’ I went for drastic measures a couple of days ago and dug her up. I’d stupidly planted her too close to the roof line and when rainwater pours off the thatch the border gets waterlogged. She does have flower buds, albeit fewer than she had because the sheep nibbled them, but the plant just didn’t look well. She is now in intensive care (greenhouse) to see if she revives.

    • Pauline says:

      I hadn’t realised how scarce Daphne JP had become, I read on someones blog that new plants will be available this year, but I wonder what the cost will be, would you like me to try and take a cutting for you?
      My 2 Hamamellis which have no flower buds at all have been growing here for over 10 yrs now and this is the first time there has been a problem, usually they are so reliable, maybe mine need your intensive care treatment!

  5. Christina says:

    I love all your winter plants Pauline, but I really wish I could grow Daphne Jacqueline Postill, such a wonderful perfume and yours looks so healthy. Sadly she didn’t like my garden in England either so I’ve never had one of my own, but it is something I search out if I visit gardens in winter. Your Narcissus is very early! January, I always associate daffodils with March. Good news that you missed the worst of the weather.

    • Pauline says:

      I hadn’t realised that Daphne JP was so tempremental, her perfume is so wonderful, but I wish I had planted her nearer the path for her daily sniff!
      I do have Nercissus Rijnveld’s Early Sensation which is supposed to be in flower now, but no buds to be seen so far, instead this old one, which I must have planted 20 yrs ago, has got thoroughly confused.

  6. Angie says:

    Lovely to see your Snowdrops coming into bloom Pauline. You must get quite excited every time you go out too see what’s new in bloom.
    I do hope your Hamamelis are just having a wee break this year, it would be a shame too loose them, especially if they are fair sized plants.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Angie, yes I do get excited when the snowdrops start opening, it is worth going to the woodland each day, depending on the weather, usually something new has opened overnight. The forecast doesn’t sound too good for the weekend, so I think the flowers may stay tight shut!
      I have scratched the main stems of the Hamamelis and they are green underneath, so I am hopeful, maybe they didn’t have enough moisture last summer and that is why the twigs are so brittle. One H.mollis is as tall as me and H. Arnold Promise is about 3x3ft so I would hate to lose either of them.

  7. Alain says:

    What a wealth of blooms you have Pauline. I particularly like your camellia with its single flowers. We are in Victoria, B. C. for part of the winter and what is in bloom here just now seems very similar to what is flowering for you.

    • Pauline says:

      The Camellia has surpassed itself this year Alain, it has never had so many flowers before or flowered so early.
      I imagine you are escaping the worst of your winter weather, is your garden back home under snow at the moment?

  8. Helle says:

    Your camellia is rather lovely. It reminds a bit of one I used to have, it gave up the ghost several years ago, called Berenice Boddy, it had the same open flowers that I like much better than the tight ones. So many things already flowering, I’m amazed. Here it’s only my cyclamen and the Hamamelis, so far.

    • Pauline says:

      I too prefer the Camellias which have single flowers Helle, they seem far more natural somehow, although I do have a couple with double flowers! Do you have snow at the moment, I think you are higher and colder than we are in our corner of England. Keep warm, we have more frost on the way!

  9. Anna says:

    Oh fingers crossed for those shy witch hazels Pauline. Hopefully they are just taking a year off. Chloris’s comment about ‘Little John’ being similar to ‘Robin Hood’ bought a smile to my face – only in snowdrop land. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your snowdrops when they are open.

    • Pauline says:

      I’m hoping that it was the drought we had last summer Anna, that has caused the witch hazels to drop their flower buds, and nothing more serious.
      My Little John snowdrop is huge, compared to Robin Hood! Robin Hood is just showing white in the flower buds whereas Little John has been flowering for a few weeks now. I think I ought to move them so that they are together!

  10. Judith says:

    Lovely to see how plants we are sharing. Wandering across British blogs, we all seem to be pretty much in synch with the snowdrops, hellebores, Garryas and Hammamlis. I like to think we all have good taste.
    Your snowdrop collection is gorgeous. It’s very tempting to grow some more…

    • Pauline says:

      We do all seem to have the same flowers Judith, definitely good taste!
      Each day more and more snowdrops are opening, but it is still too cold, in spite of the sunshine, to make them open and show their inner markings. It won’t be long before G. nivalis and G nivalis flora pleno are joining in with the sprcials, then the woodland will look really pretty.

  11. catmint says:

    What a lot of flowers bloom in winter in your garden, Pauline. When we look at gardens around the world I am struck by the difference between yours and gardens that are currently covered with snow. That blue forget me not is a divine colour. I hope the sog recedes nicely soon.

    • Pauline says:

      We escaped the snow that came further north Catmint, we are lucky here in the SW corner. At the moment it is cold and frosty, but the flowers are coping thank goodness and haven’t been turned to crisby brown !

  12. Frank says:

    Hi Pauline, thanks for brightening up a cold, snowy Pennsylvania morning with your promise of spring color to come 🙂 The snowdrops all look happy this spring, I’m looking forward to seeing how yours have done since last year!
    Primula are always such a nice sign of spring. I hope the garden dries out and some warmth opens things up for a few more pictures, it’s so much nicer to look at flowers rather than frozen flower beds.

    • Pauline says:

      I’m so glad I was able to cheer you up Frank! It must be very frustrating to have so much frost and snow for so long, I know I would be longing to be in the garden.
      Snowdrops have been increasing nicely, I love the way that one single bulb quite often doubles each year so that in a couple of years you can have quite a sizeable clump.

  13. Anna K says:

    It seems spring is a lot farther along where you are than over here. That Garrya is spectacular – I so wish I had room for one. Simply beautiful!

    • Pauline says:

      Lovely to hear from you Anna, we are in the SW corner of England so the weather is quite mild but rather wet! Further north has been having quite a bit of snow lately so we have escaped, thank goodness! The Garrya is lovely each January, I look forward to it each year.

  14. Cathy says:

    It’s interesting to compare information about the witch hazels, isn’t it? I hope you were reassured after scratching the stems. I checked back on my blog after I replied to your comment and strangely 2 years ago my AP was definitely the last to flower but last year was one of the first. Jessica is right about Jaqueline Postill – I asked at various places on our travels last year and a gentleman at Bluebell Nurseries told me that the original source was no longer available and I think they had to grow new stock from seed and then graft them. It was going to take a few years anyway – and if your offer to Jessica could be extended I would love to try a cutting if you felt you could spare it.

    • Pauline says:

      The problem Cathy, is no flower buds at all were formed last summer. Maybe I was too busy watering the rhododendrons and camellias during the drought and I forgot to water the witch hazels, I will know for this year!
      Yes, I can try a cutting for you of my Daphne, but the important word is “try”! I’m fine at taking cuttings of perennials, but have never tried shrubs before!

  15. debsgarden says:

    Pauline, I love the combination of your winter-flowering heather with the mahonia and holly! Your Garrya elliptica is also breathtaking. You have so much winter interest. Like you, we have had many days of soggy, dreary weather. But today the sun is shining, and your post inspires me to get out and see what is happening in my garden.

    • Pauline says:

      The heather Deb, stops me being prickled by the Mahonia when weeding! The last few days have been cold but sunny which makes a nice change, but it means frosty nights. The Garrya is rather a boring shrub for the rest of the year, but January is when it is the star of the garden!

  16. Hi Pauline, It is so nice to see early signs of spring even if it is half a world away. Your snowdrop collection in particular always amazes me. Snowdrops have become one of my favourite spring bulbs.

    • Pauline says:

      Spring is definitely on its way over here Jennifer. At least it is where we are, further north they keep having snow day after day. As soon as the snowdrop noses push through, I start getting excited !

  17. Cathy says:

    I’ve been enjoying going back through your past posts Pauline, and realised I have missed so many! Your autumn garden was wonderful and I hope your head gardener is doing well now. The review of the year 2014 was also lovely – great photos!

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you so much Cathy for your lovely comments. My husband, to give him is proper title, is doing well on his medication, in a few weeks his daily radio therapy will start and go on for 37 days, after that, hopefully his growth will be dead. We just take each phase as it comes, thank goodness he hasn’t lost his sense of humour!

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