A couple of mornings ago, I was making our pre-getting up pot of tea, when my husband called out ‘look out of the window!’. I did, tied my dressing gown, then grabbed a camera and went out of the back door for this shot – facing East. Then, devoutly hoping the paper boy would not appear at that moment, I went out of the front door for this gentler western one. Today I saw that the iris stylosa (or unguicularis), are going for broke. Winter?
The garden is happy but perhaps confused. I wanted to bring in some flowers the other day and found this charming combination of nasturtiums and winter jasmine. I also found some late blooms on the centaurea and and yet the hydrangeas have their autumn seed heads.
Then we have the winter iris stylosa – I usually start looking for a few flowers on this in mid-December and sometimes find blooms for the Christmas table and then throughout January and February. They are already blooming in three separate sites in the garden.
And late blooms have appeared on the summer-flowering non-clinging clematis Durandii.
A few feet away a primrose is feeling the air, while between these two Rosa Papa Meilland is throwing up yet another bloom.
Raspberries are still fruiting – they are autumn raspberries, but they are usually long gone before November. This is looking like autumn. …but what are the runner beans doing flowering at this time of year, and why can I hear the buzz of lawn mowers even as I write? And how come we had lunch in the garden in the UK on November 1st?
Just a couple of pictures from last week.
Here in the East of England we have only had the tail end of the freakish high winds, tides and rain that have battered the West coasts of Britain and Ireland. This is one of the storms about to roll over us. The little river in our village is pretty full.
On the other side of the Atlantic, from where these storms are coming, our daughter was stranded by ice and snow for 24 hours in JFK airport.
In our garden we have some Iris stylosa. These charming flowers, which I took from my parent’s garden in Somerset many, many years ago, usually flower in ones, twos or even threes from December through to March. I have never, ever seen so many out at once.
Two days after I took this picture, I was able to cut another half-dozen opening buds and there are many more coming through. Whether this is the outcome of the hot summer or the mild winter is uncertain. Either way our small corner of the world is warmer than it has been so far in my lifetime.
I have a faithful azalea, given to me six years ago and rarely without a flower. It has a long summer holiday in the garden and comes in for the winter. I brought it in about three weeks ago and saw that it had no flowers, and thought, never mind perhaps it just needs a season of rest. A few days later I was cheered to see some buds showing pink and now…
Another faithful winter companion is the Iris stylosa my mother gave me so many years ago. Once this starts, there is always at least one open flower all through the winter. I know I will be able to go out on Christmas day and bring in a fresh bloom.