This is always an exciting time of the year
In the form of rhododendrons there are a number of early flowering forms. Christmas Cheer, Cheer and a number of the R. arboreum forms are starting, as is R. Nobleanum in rich rosy red. This is usually the first of the large rhododendrons, and in a mild year can be out in February or even January.
Ideal for small gardens and tubs are the early dwarf Rhododendrons, such as the lovely white bells on R. Cilpinense and the pink and white trumpets on R. Seta. In pots, you can bring them onto the patio or into the conservatory (especially useful on frosty nights); in summer, they can be put out of the way down the garden.
A lot more Camellias are beginning to show colour and flower by now. Hybrids such as the rich pink, upright growing C. Inspiration and the single pale pink C. Bow Bells are now well out and will look good for weeks, well into April.
The dainty white single, C. Cornish Snow is always covered in clouds of its little dog-rose flowers by now. All do well in large pots and so can be moved round to the deck or into the conservatory for maximum enjoyment.