Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review


Every year is different, even with the same flowers. Most years' favorites change.

January, 2012
 
Paperwhites and an Appleblossom Amaryllis 
brightened January.
 
 
Pansies and Violas cheered the outside in January.

 
 
February brought Daffodils and Camellias galore.


 When Azaleas and Dogwoods bloom in late March
 you can count on Butterflies returning.
 
April burst with Poppies, Larkspur and Echinacea.
Roses and Daylilies started blooming.
 
May adds Lilies and Hydrangeas. Oakleaf Hydrangeas are done.
 
 
June was full of delights for Butterflies and Tropicals for the delight of the gardener.
 

Pentas for Butterflies, Roses for show in July.

Tropicals like Pride of Barbados and Tecoma stans amazed in July.
 
August brought tasty delights.
 
September is harvest time, time to
boil peanuts and collect fall
decorations.
 
The greenhouse got a new skirt to hide thermal mass
water barrels, a new design in the floor, and new shelving
before the plants all came back in for the winter.
 
A Sulphur butterfly came in to seek
minerals on the floor.
 
Ike staked his claim early to make sure he
would have a spot on the wicker shelves.
A pot of lemon grass over to the left gives him
something to chew on so he doesn't shred the
bromeliads.
 
December's highlight was Christmas Cactus.





Looking forward to 2012:
Hyacinths show promise of
blooms for Valentine's Day.
 
Happy New Year!
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 


Monday, December 24, 2012

Amaryllis in Time for Christmas

As it turned out, Camellias were not fazed by a mere 29 degrees and blooms are still there.

Benfica Amaryllis is now fully open with 4 blooms.
 




The weight of the blooms make it top-heavy so there are bamboo
stakes and some raffia holding it up. An errant bird's nest fern
threatens to take it over.
 
Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Very Last Blossoms before the Freeze

They almost stayed until Christmas.

Wide open blooms of Mathotiana will turn brown when
freezing temperatures reach them.

Tight buds are not affected by freezes, just open blooms.
As soon as nighttime temperatures warm again, we'll have
blossoms again and the brown ones easily fall off.
They are held on the plant by a single circle of cells, I read. 

Camellias sasanqua blooms are at the end of their season.
White petals cover the ground like our version of snow.
Tomorrow they will all be brown but they were a pleasure.



I went out and picked as many Pentas stems as I could. I have plans
for white Pentas in a bed of whites next spring. You can't have too many
Ruby Pentas, just ask the butterflies.
 
When these flowers fade, I'll clip off the heads and keep the foliage in
water all winter. In the spring, I'll cut off the bottoms of the stems and
root them. 'They' say there's only about a 10% success rate, but last
Spring I had really good rootings. There are already rooted cuttings in
the greenhouse, lots of pink and rose and a few lavender too but
there are seldom enough when planting time comes.
 
 
Previous cuttings of Duranta failed to take, so I took more.
In previous years, they've bloom well inside. 

Red Shrimp plant usually survives.
I only took cuttings of the white, just to
see it bloom under glass, which is the
only time mine blooms.

A few brave Echinacea remain.

Yellow lantana gave up at first frost.
Lantana montevidnesis is still blooming to the delight Friday of
a Sulphur, a Gulf Frit and 2 Skippers that I saw.
  

One lonely little Gerbera daisy blossom.
They are root hardy here.

 
I'm glad to be in out of the wind, which is fierce and cold today.
 
 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Flowers for Bloom Day



Come and peek into the greenhouse to see what's blooming indoors; then we'll look at the blooms outside. My goal is blooms year 'round even if I have to fudge a little in January with forced bulbs if a hard freeze takes out Camellia blooms here in the Coastal South.

 
Christmas Cactus, Graptopetalum and bromeliad Neoregelia
in a grapevine ball in the midst of chaos.
 
White Christmas Cactus at top.
Top left Christmas cactus color is not yet determined, the last to bloom.
Can you see the green pepper at bottom center?
I cut back a tall plant and blooms appeared and now a pepper!
Next year I want lots of white begonias, bottom right.
 
The Christmas Cactus cutting above has yellow
blooms. They show up white here.
 
This one is obviously pink and not quite open.

 
 Benfica Amaryllis about to move into the house for Christmas.
 
Firecracker Fern Russelia equisetiformis, and
Pineapple Sage in aqua pots are both blooming red.
 
For Christmas we will have food for the soul -- Nymph Amaryllis --
and food for bodies: Green Pepper, Tomato and Eggplant, all plants
that were in containers outside that I cut back in early fall and brought
in when they regrew.
 
 
 
 
Violas from seed added to pots of purchased Pansies
outside the greenhouse doors.
 
 
Outside, Camellia japonicas are coming into bloom.
Some of the later-blooming  Camellias have fat buds.

The old Camellias that bloom by Christmas are starting. 

Camellia sasanquas have more petals on the ground than on
the tree now. The petals last a while on the ground when it's
cool, looking like snow -- as close as we get.
 
Benfica Amaryllis, a last look.
 
The first Amaryllis in bud was Elvas --
I took it to the Beach on Thanksgiving for our
daughter-in-law and son to enjoy.
It bloomed the next day, so I missed it.
 
Happy Bloom Day to all and a very Merry Christmas.
 
Join Carol for Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens and share your December Blooms.


 
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