Week after week of relatively mild weather has had an effect on the home garden and other local gardens, too. This year may well have been the best year ever for fall blooming camellias, and some precocious Camellia japonica sorts are also reported as blooming now. Those who keep lists of plants blooming on Christmas Day or New Year's Day will probably have long and varied lists this year.
My Christmas Day list from the home garden is short but sweet this year: snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii sorts), winter sweet, winter jasmine, winter honeysuckle, Camellia sasanqua and Elaeagnus pungens. Iris unguicularis was in bloom late last week, but the one flower had started to shrivel by today. Dandelions are blooming here and there. Helleborus foetidus (here) and H. niger (elsewhere) are blooming. Some garden hellebores are in advanced bud. I could not find any witch hazel flowers. In one of the cold frames Narcissus tazetta is blooming. Knock Out roses are still to be seen blooming here and there.
This morning I saw (and heard - what a pleasure to hear bird song on this date!) a flock of birds (goldfinches?) working over the buds of the red maples.
In terms of what I've accomplished in the garden, I'm better prepared for the arrival of real winter this year than in any recent previous year; but emotionally I'm not prepared at all, and it's going to sting when it happens.
That's winter sweet, Chimonanthus praecox 'Luteus' in the image above.