Christmas Cheer.

The season it upon us! Much as I might wish to resist the earlier and earlier commencement of the Christmas season it is just too difficult; impossible even. The television advertisements have been at full flow for the past while and we were simply bombarded for “Black Friday”, which apparently is the longest Friday of the year as many shops are extending their reductions and special offers for the entire week. The Americans have eaten their turkey and I was sent to the attic this morning to retrieve the Christmas decorations and these were in place by lunchtime.

Now, don’t take the wrong impression of my attitude to Christmas for it is a day, and season, I enjoy very much. The shopping side doesn’t appeal to me, nor the over commercialisation, nor the fact that the season now begins so very early, but I really enjoy Christmas Day and Christmas dinner, especially.

View to river, long shadows (1)
A beautiful day today, good sunshine, long shadows and a good day to be in the garden
Betula utilis 'Jacquemontii'
The bright bark of this birch catches the light perfectly on days such as today – Betula utilis ‘Jacquemontii’

Today was an especially beautiful early-winter day, sunny, bright and cool and, after such a long period of heavy rain, dry! We have had approximately three times normal rainfall this autumn/early winter so such a day was very welcome and I took to the garden for the afternoon. Most of the heavy cutting down has been done previously but there was a patch of hellebores which needed to be cut to the ground as the new shoots and flowers are already well above ground as the weather has been so mild. There were a few other bits and pieces to do but nothing heavy – it was an easy and enjoyable afternoon.

Seat and maple in pot Oval Lawn.
The sun catching the last leaves on this maple.
Cotinus 'Grace' autumn colour against sun (1)
The Smokebush, so named for its flowers, but today it was the foliage which caught the sunshine and the eye. Cotinus ‘Grace’

However, though I thought I might be getting away from all things Christmassy for a while, the first flower which caught my eye was a kniphofia, one flower fully open and another seven ready to join it. Its name gives the title to this piece: Kniphofia ‘Christmas Cheer’. Its all around us but this is one piece of Christmas cheer that I am delighted to have.

Kniphofia 'Christmas Cheer'
Kniphofia ‘Christmas Cheer’
Rhododendron 'Christmas Cheer' (2)
Another ‘Christmas Cheer’ – a rhododendron with the same name as the Kniphofia as it flowers for Christmas.
Brugmansia sanguinea (1)
Defying the season, growing in a pot outdoors, Brugmansia sanguinea.

4 thoughts on “Christmas Cheer.

    1. There’s a planting on a roundabout in Tramore which has been in flower for ages. I don’t know what variety it is but it is very attractive.

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