Mild

The weather remains unseasonably mild.

Morning mists over valley mid-DecemberDecember morning mists

The midpoint of December has come and gone, while we’ve only seen one or two light frosts so far. The morning mists clinging to the valleys are more redolent of autumn than winter, although I’m not complaining: I’m quite certain that there will be a long cold snap yet, and I’m more than happy for it to wait a little longer.

Verbascum seedheads silhouetted against December sun

Poppy seedheads backlit by December sun

In the meantime, a clutch of snapdragons have popped into flower to join the late show of the borders.

Pink snapdragons flowering in mid-December sunshine

Among the bulbs I planted last autumn were just over a dozen corms of Anemone coronaria ‘Mount Everest’, whose ferny green foliage was graced with lovely white ballgown-flowers in April. It was rather a surprise, then, when a new flush of buds appeared in November from the fresh greenery, several of which have now unfurled again into dainty white cups, with more buds still to follow.

Anemone coronaria 'Mt Everest' flower

Their petals are slightly burned at the edges by the winds that rattle through, and their heads hang heavy in the morning dew, but as the sun climbs its gentle winter path, they raise their faces bravely once more.

Triptych of anemone coronaria petal details

Anemone coronaria Mount Everest flower in December

I wonder whether they think it is spring Рor perhaps their early show was the out-of-time one,  forced by autumn planting, and they have now settled to a more regular winter show? Information on their flowering time seems to vary wildly from source to source, and in truth it is almost unnecessary. They are flowering now, and quite beautifully too, and that is surely the most important point.

Anemone coronaria Mount Everest flower in December

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20 thoughts on “Mild

  1. Lovely photos (as usual). I’ve got some snapdragons too, as well as one or two other confused plants, but it is getting a lot colder – brr, must go and light wood stove – so maybe winter is coming your way…

    • Thanks Kate. I love snapdragons for their ebullient colour (and defiance of weather and seasons, especially the self-sown ones). We’ve been having a few fires too, despite it not being that cold outside yet… but will keep our eyes peeled for winter approaching!

  2. Beautiful, inspirational photos – just looking at them brings on a calmness much needed so near to Christmas!

    • Ah thank you. I feel surprisingly calm too, despite having so much to do and so little time left, though the wind and rain are whipping up a frenzy tonight which may colour my mood soon!

  3. I bet that lots of plants are confused by the weather. I wonder how long they would need to adapt to a changed climate? (I mean how many generations before a “Spring” flower becomes a “Winter” one…)

    • Thank you, Janet. They remind me of paper lanterns when they glow in the sun. The wind has blown them all over in the last day or so, so all their lanterns have gone out now…

  4. Beautiful photographs. It is strange to be so mild. Anemone coronaria are a little odd when it comes to flowering. Depending when planted you can have them in flower for most of the year. Although they won’t survive much frost so you’d need a polytunnel to get winter flowers . . . or a very mild winter. ;) Such a beautiful white flower. Hope you’ll have some to pick for Christmas.

    • Thank you. The temperature has definitely fallen a little today; there are further buds on the anemone to bloom; perhaps they will make it to the table for Christmas!

    • Thanks, Frances. The last of those poppy seed heads have blown over now, though the verbascum and teasels are still standing tall. There seem to be a lot of teasel seedlings in the border to be edited out soon too!

  5. Ooooooh – those poppy heads looks like mini lanterns Sara. Noticed a garden just down the road yesterday filled with white snapdragons – now on my seed order list for 2014 :)

    • Yes, they made me think of paper lanterns a-glow. My mum gave me some giant white snapdragons, they have been beautiful, and still one or two late flowers on those too. Hope you enjoy them next year!

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