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The Butchart Chronicles : December 15, 2017

Flower and Garden Report December 15th - 21st 2017

Flower and Garden Report December 15th - 21st 2017

By Thea Hegland, Horticultural Assistant

A Holly display in the Rose Garden, Cedar boughs in the background

The Gardens are all decked out with Cedar boughs and Holly; the magic of Christmas fills the air. Still one more week until winter officially arrives bringing the most restful time in the garden. It is the time when everything is put in place and protected against the unknown elements of winter - whether it will be a mild one this year or bracing for a series of intense winter storms, we will be ready.

The gardeners are far from restful. The massive cleanup from the fall can seem endless at times but the end is near… just in time to brace for winter storms! Behind the scenes the greenhouse staff is busy propagating plants, preparing plants for the Spring Prelude (pictured below), pruning back tender shrubs and keeping our cycle of plant life on schedule. The arborist crew carefully monitor the significant tree collection for signs of damage and take preventative measures in the care and preservation of the renowned arboretum.

The Spring Prelude garden, open January 15th - March 15th every year

A true sign of winter is the first blossoms of Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’ (Witch hazel) which have revealed themselves this week. Fragrant, spider-shaped flowers in coppery orange are a true winter garden classic. Many are located throughout the grounds but it is the ones on the Concert border that are the first to bloom.

Watching for blossoms to emerge in the garden is always exciting, but patience is needed. This is the time to enjoy the canvas laid out before us and let our imagination take hold.

Plants, trees and shrubs that are blooming or of interest:

  • Anthurium (Flamingo flower)
  • Aucuba japonica (Spotted laurel)
  • Bellis (English daisy)
  • Bergenia (Elephant’s ears)
  • Callicarpa (Beautyberry)
  • Camellia
  • Catalpa (Indian bean tree)
  • Cotoneaster
  • Cyclamen
  • Davidia (Dove tree)
  • Erica (Heather)
  • Euphorbia pulcherrina (Poinsettia)
  • Garrya elliptica (Silk- tassel bush)
  • Hamamelis (Witch hazel)
  • Helleborus (Christmas rose)
  • Hydrangea
  • Ilex verticillata (Winterberry)
  • Kalanchoe
  • Jasminium nudiflorum (Winter jasmine)
  • Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ (Oregon grape)
  • Medinilla magnifica
  • Nandina domestica (Heavenly bamboo)
  • Ophiopogon planiscapus (Black mondo grass)
  • Orchid
  • Pansy
  • Pieris (Lily-of-the valley shrub)
  • Polyanthus (Primula)
  • Pyracantha
  • Sarcococca (Christmas box)
  • Skimmia japonica
  • Viburnum x bodnantense
  • Viburnum tinus
  • Viola

Poinsettia display in the photo window