Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Blooming Outside on Christmas

Except for the white blossoms on Camellia sasanqua, there isn't much. One gaillardia bloom, three physotegia (obedient plant) -- it didn't start to bloom until November and now hangs one despite a heavy frost. A handful of nicotiana, it never gives up. Two Gerbera daisies; maybe I should take them up and move them to the greenhouse where they could bloom all winter. Some of the Gerberas here are more than 30 years old and have a sentimental history. The Camellia japonicas are full of tight green buds, it won't be long. I forgot to look for buds on Taiwan cherries. They bloom in January, bright magenta.

Red pentas just keep trying. Some are totally toast. There are still bright red blossoms on the south side of some of the clumps. Yesterday I saw a gulf fritallary butterfly sunning on an echinacea leaf, near the red pentas still open.

I didn't make photos but here's a photo from a different Christmas of pentas still blooming in December. Temps in the teens in February will destroy the tops, but at least half of them usually come back from the roots, a favorite of the butterflys' and mine all summer. I've tried to grow some from saved seed. This year I'm saving the whole seed head and will plant little pieces of the whole thing. I noticed that the seed catalogs offer 'pelleted seed' and I can see why. It appears that there is a good sized seed when everything is still green. When they dry, the seeds are hard to find and the capsules are dry and hard.

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I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.



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