Wednesday, December 16, 2009

You Should Have Been Here Yesterday

I noticed that many of you had pansies and cyclamen for Bloom Day. I haven't any cyclamen, but I have orange violas. On the ends of the bed are purple and white with a bit of orange.

I was so envious of Noelle's Valentine Shrub that blooms from Christmas to Valentine's until I remembered our Loropetalum. Magenta fringes clash beautifully with orange leaves that will be shedding soon. Olive green leaves turn purple as the weather warms. The fringes persist, at their peak in Azalea season late March.

We have no snow, but white petals carpet the ground under  the camellia tree.
That blonde swirl near the bottom is Buffy's tail, escaping the camera.

When there's a freeze, the open blossoms turn brown.
The tight buds survive to open in the next warm spell.

This camellia was a seedling. I can hardly wait for it to open because it is a pretty red.
You could see last year's bloom Here.

There were others: a little skipper, nectaring on sheltered pentas that frost has not yet touched; lantana montevidensis and the last spikes of salvia leucantha, bits of pineapple sage and salvia coccinea; a clump of white alyssum -- I should go sprinkle alyssum seeds everywhere, they're quite hardy. All these are familiar things you have seen before, except for the skipper. Wednesday morning, I kicked at the mulch under some roses and behind salvia farinacea, still bravely sending out blooms. When the mulch moved, out fluttered a tattered Gulf Fritillary, safe under pine straw.


Last bits: Cuttings of Persian Shield are rooting in the greenhouse, other begonias have moved inside along with bits of chartreuse alternanthera. Brazilian ruellia survived the cold very well last winter. I should have taken cuttings for the red blooms inside. Dwarf daylily and variegated lirope will be fine.

Mostly begonias, with an Emerald Phildenron at far left,
palms and pentas at the top, some bits of licorice plant.


  1. I love your white camellia it is very grand

  2. OMG! How I would love your greenhouse with all those begonias!

  3. Ah, the big reveal at the end! Well done, Nell Jean! I loved seeing Buffy's tail, just a tease. The white camellias turning brown is a big turn off for me. I moved the one by the front door that finally bloomed with too many brown bits over by the heater where I don't have to see it. The Persian Shield is a beauty. What a surprise with the skipper too, poor little thing. Or is it? :-)

  4. Patient Gardener and Ellie Mae's, thank you for visiting and finding something to admire.

    Frances, we have days where the temps are in the 70s. I am not sure where butterflies hide in bad weather, but they find little places out of the wind and warm up in the sun when it peeks out. Today there's a cold wind and most are hiding, except for sulphurs, who don't seem to mind much of anything. They find sheltered places to flit about.

  5. Love the "snowfall" of camellia petals, Nell! -Jean

  6. The white camellia is lovely. The fallen blossoms o remind me of snow. I have several red camellia japonicas, but they have not started blooming yet, though they are full of buds.

  7. Oooh fab plant stand, did you make it?

    RO :o)

  8. Wow Nell! Violas, camellias, and your color filled greenhouse in December. I loved the picture of the white camellia petals under the tree. Your place looks lovely and inspiring as always.

    I got a real kick out of your post on my blog. We did bring the table inside from the porch, in case it rained. Well, it just started raining. DH is looking forward to polishing it up after I clean it with Murphy's oil soap. I'm glad you got 'into my blog'.


  9. Neil Jean,
    Wow that Camellia has more blooms than any I have ever seen before. Any idea which camellia it is?

  10. It's the Loropetalum [pink!] that I love the most. Beautiful! I think mine survived the cold snap, thank God.

  11. Hello Nell,

    I love your Loropetalum! I even like the way the orange clashes with the magenta. Thank you for the kind mention on your site. Valentine is my absolute favorite shrub. I need to get more for my garden. Right now, I just have two.

  12. Oh, the burden of having the ground carpeted with white camellia petals:) Beautiful, I say. Buffy's tail, that was cute.

    I like the magenta and orange together on your Loropetalum.


  13. My loropetalum hasn't bloomed in two years. Could be that I've moved it 3 times now, the last time separating the two main stems into individual plants. It's covered in green leaves, when it's supposed to be purple. I'm hoping it does what you say, and turns when the weather warms next spring.

    I adore that white camellia. I've got a couple in my yard now, but they're still tiny and have no buds.

  14. I've always loved the snowfall you get from Camellias, even it is pink or red.

  15. I love the staging of plants in the greenhouse; I know where I would be spending my cold days!

    I have to admire the camellias from afar.

    You still have lots of beauty going on.

  16. I think, I just suspect, that the white Camellia sasanqua is 'Mino no Yuki' and I think it is also called 'snow on the mountain.' It was planted here more than 40 years ago and eventually made a tree, happy where it grows. After Christmas when it finally drops all its buds, there is a white C. japonica beside it that will come into bloom with big open blossoms that fall off whole rather than forming a carpet of petals underneath. It has no name.

    The plant stand is more than 30 years old. I forget where I bought it, but it was inexpensive. I put it up on top the shelf that covers the water barrels so as to take advantage of vertical space in the gable roof. I suspect the air stays warmer up there than near the floor.

    Later on, I must write a post about Loropetalum, when the white one blooms.

    Thank you all for coming by and leaving such complimentary comments.

  17. Beautiful pictures. I love the camelia snow and the azalea is still so pretty. In your previous post, I like the way the yellow rose is tipped with red after the frost, stunning. :)

  18. I love the "snow petals"...that looks like spring to me!

  19. I got here via your comment at Joco's blog (I always like to know that). Think we are all jealous of the nice indoor display of plants. Most of us are crowding every window sill and wondering where on earth we will fit a Christmas tree. Glad to have found you...I'll be back.

  20. Forgot to mention: love the title of this post. I remember, as a kid, whenever we visited friend with a view, it was always "You should have seen it yesterday!" (Portland OR, technically also zone8, is socked in a good deal of the time)

  21. my favorite photo is the one at the very end...great shot!

  22. Hi Nell Jean; thank you for your fave. Your profile sounds alike to my gardening habits and your garden shows dear, known plants which is nice to see. Wonderful white camellia. The shrub with the fringes is unusually pretty with the colour combination of pink and orange. At the moment I have only two pots with cuttings going. Different coloured Bougainvilleas from my daughters garden, a white and dark blue plumbago and dark blue and hot pink Salvia cuttings. It is hot and dry and I have a lot to do with watering pots and garden. Your garden is beautiful and I will be back for more. I wish you happy Christmas days.

  23. I simply love your Loropetalum (my pink beauty is like yours too) and the fabulous flower stand with such lovely plants, Nell! They look great!


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

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