Actually after all that lengthy preamble there aren't really all that many flowers to talk about this month. I used to be a on the committee of a dauntingly energetic branch of Plant Heritage - a charity which has much to be proud of and without which the range of plants in our gardens would be a pale shadow of their current splendour - and they did a competition each year for the most plants in flower on January 1st. The record currently stands somewhere around 30. I can manage three.
one of three heathers flowering heroically in a container just outside my back door
Mahonia x media 'Charity'
Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn'
recovering gingerly from its winter battering
There's a nearly-flower and a dead flower:
is it a flower? or is it a berry? Never could make up my mind. Pretty, though.
And who knows what this was. A member of the carrot family, obv, but angelica or Queen Anne's Lace? Or even a carrot? Who knows. But I'm leaving them there: rimed in frost they are sublime.
But the limelight at this time of year, in my garden at least, goes not to the flowers but to the berries, so if you can indulge me a little I'm going to cheat: here are the stars of my show this month.
The berries on my lovely mature variegated holly tree
And snowberries: Symphoricarpos albus. So happy here they're growing wild in the hedgerows.
Happy GBBD to all. I've got a little way to go to match my Plant Heritage colleagues: but I now have a goal, this time next year, to bring you four flowers. I feel an iris fest coming on...