Garden Blog - Blog Post

Million Flowers


I’ve been working through a list of winter jobs that has had me about the garden on sunnier days. It’s evident in the sunshine that we’re now well into late winter, with Spring just around the corner. The new season is approaching, fast. Seeing the crocuses in flower, the Camellia buds beginning to open and the cyclamen still hanging on has had me wondering on a question lately; in a full twelve-month season, starting at any point in time, does the count of all the flowers, blooms, blossom and inflorescences of all the plants across the garden over the year, surpass a million? I count a “flower” loosely as something that a bee visits individually for a nectar drink, so a delphinium spire isn’t counted as one flower, but as many because the bee can visit each flower up the flower spike for a snack at each stop.

Some plants, such as the ornamental cherry and even aubretia, have a very large number of flowers for their size, other plants aren’t as efficient. A million is a big number, but the borders are large and there are a lot of plants and there is always something flowering, no matter what time of year.

It’s an interesting question and I’m not sure how to go about answering it without loosing the will to live. Sometimes I think the flower count couldn’t possibly approach this ridiculously huge number, other times I think the flower count shoots beyond without even trying.

As I look out over a garden that is gradually beginning to wake from winter slumber, I daydream of all the flowers there are to come, not just the quantity of them, but also the myriad types, sizes, forms, colours and scents. I wonder whether there really could be a million of them and since that’s impossible to answer, perhaps I should just settle for “countless”.

stay up to date


Enter your email address to subscribe to the Garden Blog and stay notified when new posts are available.

catch up

Recent Posts

Don't miss these recent posts.

delve deeper

Garden Blog Archive

Peruse the full Garden Blog Archive going back over a decade.

Visit the Garden


Visit the Garden at 13 Broom Acres on National Garden Scheme Open Days and by arrangement

author & gardener

Sunil Patel

I'm Sunil Patel, this is me. I created the Garden at 13 Broom Acres and I open it to visitors. I also bake and write blog posts giving a "behind the scenes" look into what it's like to maintain such a garden.

Visit the blog, then come and visit the garden. We can have a good sit-down, a jolly chinwag and a relaxing cup of tea with a sinfully generous slice of home made cake.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Susan Maclean 23/02/2018 - 10:03 am

or maybe “zillions”!

Sunil 24/02/2018 - 5:34 pm

I’ll settle for “zillions”, Mrs. Mac.

lynngator 23/02/2018 - 6:51 pm

Countless sounds good Sunil.Or maybe a gazillion. But the idea of actually counting gives me a headache. 🙂 On mini daff blooming here in the mountains so far!

Sunil 24/02/2018 - 5:37 pm

Hello Lynn, I couldn’t even begin to think how one would count. Best stick with wild guesses. Miniature daffodils are a plant that’s on my shopping list for a mass-planting in a border, I’d forgotten so I’m glad you reminded me, will have to wait for autumn though (by which point I’ll have forgotten again).

gardeninacity 23/02/2018 - 11:26 pm

Plant composites – asters, sunflowers, coneflowers, silphiums. Each “flower” actually includes hundreds of tiny disk flowers. A single plant hosts a cast of thousands!

Sunil 08/03/2018 - 8:19 am

That’s very true, Jason, I was originally counting them as a single one (as it looks like a single flower from afar) but I can always go to the “proper” definition if I’m struggling to make up the numbers!


Blog Post Lucky Dip

Lose yourself in garden history with over a decade of blog posts to choose from.

neighbourhood explorer

Followed Blogs

Here's a favourite list of blogs that I love to curl up with a cup of tea, slice of cake and have a good read.

stay notified

Subscribe to the Blog

Enter your email address to subscribe to the Garden Blog and stay notified when new posts are available.

email address policy

Your email address will only be used for the purpose of sending you email updates to notify you of new blog posts. It will not be sold to third parties nor used for advertising or other marketing purposes.

© Sunil Patel. All rights reserved