Saturday, December 15, 2007

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - December 2007

Call it positive thinking, but I honestly thought I'd have more than two flowers blooming in the middle of December. I know we've had an ice storm and right this moment, a "nor'easter" is about to make its grand entrance, but I still thought I'd have more. I'm not really disappointed though. In fact, it just makes me appreciate the toughness that some plants possess.

I've got two pictures to post of my outside blooms, and they aren't the best quality I've ever produced, but it was windy and cold out there this morning, so this will have to do.

Have a look at this viola! Little Johnny (Jump-Up) has seen better days, but look at its delicate petals sporting that violet and yellow! What a bright spot on the dreary winter landscape. In just a few hours, it will be buried under a warm blanket of snow, so hooray for this one last blast of color! No "calm before the storm" for this guy!

This might not count, but I'm counting it anyway. The Scotch Heather (Calluna vulgaris 'Tib') still has some flower buds. They're looking a little dehydrated, but its identical twin beside it isn't looking so good. Everything, including tiny flower buds, is brown. I got both of these for half-price at Lowe's earlier in the fall, because they appeared to be half dead. I knew there was still some life in them, but now I'm wondering if I'm not seeing another "half" going on. Spring will tell the story.

That's it for me, as far as the outside garden goes. The helleborus is looking vibrant and green while its neighbors are mounds of mush and my sister-in-law has a few purple blooms on her Vinca minor. No blooms on ours, but hers is on the south side of her house, where it's warmer.

Inside the house, we've got a few blooms, with more on the way.

One pelargonium, 'Red Happy Thoughts' is still in bloom...

The Flowering Maple (Abutilon 'Luteus) is still going, with more coming on.

The Saintpaulia African Violet survived Jilly, although you can see evidence of her presence by the cat hairs clinging to its blossoms. I've got several other African Violets with blooms coming on, too.

The Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii) will have blooms all winter long in its south window location, but they won't be as abundant or deep in color as they are when the plant is outside in the summer.

The hoya is in bloom and smelling exotic. It's got more flower clusters forming and several of them should be blooming at the same time. That may be enough to perfume the entire room.

The Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost' has not stopped blooming since I dug it up from the garden and put it in pots to bring inside. It's not hardy to our zone (5) and I thought I'd try and keep them until next spring. So far so good, although both pots did drop a LOT of leaves just after I brought them in. They're not flowering as profusely as they did when they were outside either, but the prospect of them surviving the winter indoors is looking positive.

There are a couple of things that will be in full bloom in the next week or so, such as a brugmansia, amaryllis, orchid, more African violets, and this heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens 'Marine').

And of course, there is the bouquet of Gerbera daisies (Gerbera jamesonii) I received earlier this week, which is just about as vibrant and happy as it gets - winter or summer. As cut flowers, they are technically dead, but it's an amazing thing that flowers can do, this pretending to be alive. But probably no more amazing than the water that allows them to do it.


Anonymous said...

Kylee, your flowering maple is gorgeous!

Melinda, Elements In Time

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

I've never smelled a Hoya blossom and now I want to! Does it smell anythinh like plumeria or Hawaiian ginger flower, because that's what I'm imagining right now. Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

P.S. I'm thinking of you and hoping that you're feeling well.

kate said...

You are doing way better than me with outside blooms. I don't have a single one... the snow keeps falling daily and everything is dressed in their winter clothing.

The Hoya blooms are beautiful - I can only imagine how wonderful the scent is from them. I like the colour of the flowering maple bloom.

I hope you'll be happily wrapped up and cosy while the storm is happening outside!

dave1949 said...


Beautiful images...

Concerning winter bloomers have you had experience with growing Helleborus??

Since i live at 7800 feet,(yep you know me), I decided to give them a try.

The arrived a little late, the ground is not frozen here, yet.
They are almost 6 inches tall in 2 inch pots.

Last week the weather was rainy but very bad weather predictions were given us. I held off now the temp as plummeted, so do not know weather to put them in ground or try to winter them in a inside controlled climate...

Any ideas...

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I hope you're feeling better, Kylee.
Who needs an outdoor garden when you can have those blooms inside. Wow!

Unknown said...

Kylee, what a whole lot of blooms you have!

That 'Diamond Frost' euphorbia... a lady who comes to "my" garden center regularly mentioned that she had overwintered one last year. She said that it grew quite leggy but was fine, and that when she put it back outside in the spring she cut it back very severely and it bushed out for her. Just something to tuck away in case yours gets leggy, too.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Kylee, you have a nice variety of inside bloomers. They should get you through the winter.

Carol Michel said...

Hi, Kylee... I knew you would have a lot of blooms indoors. I had a 'Diamond Frost' euphorbia that I left outside. Seeing yours, I wish I would have save it!

Thanks for posting for bloom day again,

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Kylee Baumle said...

Melinda ~ Thanks! I'm enjoying it, too!

Cindy ~ I have no idea if it smells the same as those, because I've never smelled them! Well, I might have when I was at Marie Selby Gardens in Florida, but I sure don't remember. It's nice, though. Very distinctive.

I'm actually not feeling as bad tonight as I have been, but I've been taking it really easy, too. If I move around too much, I just get really tired and dizzy, so I just don't! Thanks for asking. How about you?

Kate ~ We're getting lots of snow right now. I'm kind of glad, because it will be a good blanket for all the plants! The girls are both home and spending the night tonight (as well as Kara's husband, Adam), because we have a family Christmas tomorrow. Well, unless it gets canceled due to the weather. They're in the kitchen making Christmas cookies right now. :-)

Dave! This is my helleborus' second winter, or maybe even its third, I can't remember. But I'm pretty sure you can plant it out where you are. They like shade, so with you at that high of altitude, I would think that's even more important, since the sun can be more intense, right? I just don't have experience gardening or living at that altitude. But I think, if I remember correctly, you're also zone 5, but it's a bit different than my zone 5. If your temps are really really cold, then maybe you should put the in a greenhouse type environment until the weather isn't frigid anymore. Do you ever use anything like row covers outside? That might be an option, too, for the first couple months or so. Doing that, you just "might" get blooms at winter's end, but I don't think I'd count on it this winter.

I have the somewhat same situation with the Paris polyphyllas I received earlier this week, and I chose to keep them inside in our basement greenhouse until spring. I don't think you could go wrong doing that.

Robin ~ Yes, Robin, a little better, thanks! As I said, I'm really taking it easy, so that helps. And yes, my indoor gardens keep me going all winter!

Kim ~ I don't feel like I've got all that many blooms, but maybe it's because I have so many that aren't blooming! LOL.

I think the 'Diamond Frost' probably will get leggy, but as long as I can keep it alive, I don't care. I think it will perk up and grow next spring after cutting it back, just as you said.

Lisa ~ Thanks. Yes, they'll keep me busy!

Carol ~ Well, I debated whether I wanted to bother with the 'Diamond Frost,' but I figured why not? Nothing to lose! I figured I needed a couple more houseplants anyway. LOLOLOL

Thank YOU for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day! :-)

Anonymous said...

Pam @ Digging says:

You have a joyous bunch of flowers and color indoors. They must do a great job of keeping the winter blues at bay.

Shady Gardener said...

By the time I reached the end of this post, with all the nostalgically beautiful photos... I was about ready to jump up and run SOMEWHERE to purchase some of those same houseplants! (Never mind that it's 10:47 p.m. and it's been snowing all day, too!)

I wonder if I'll get out tomorrow? ;-)

Unknown said...

Ah, of my favourite annuals. Do you find it loses much of its scent when it flowers indoors? (I'm going on memory here, as I haven't brought it in for several years.
That saintpaulia (Af. Violet) is glorious...and seems quite cat-hair free, too!
Yummy blooms, indoors and out!

Ewa said...

I can see many many heart warming blooms :) you say you are not surprised, but I say it is surprising :)

Entangled said...

It must be so pleasant to spend the winter indoors with all those lovely flowering plants! Red Happy Thoughts looks just like its name.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Must try to get me a Hoya too, it will probably do quite well in my conservatory. It's nice to see so many indoor blooms Kylee and you even got a few outdoor blooms as well.

Those gerbera's of yours are great, they must bring a smile to your face every time you see them.

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