Sunday, December 15, 2013

Bloom Day - December 2013

With much of the nation hunkered down under sheets of ice and snow, I can't whine about the limited supply of blooms here in my part of southern California.   In September, following a heat wave, I complained that finding blooms suitable to include in the Bloom Day post amounted to a scavenger hunt.  Finding blooms in my December garden presented something of the same challenge.

Much of what is blooming seems to be pink, with the biggest masses of color represented by Camellia sasanqua, Correa pulchella 'Pink Eyre, Pelargonium peltatum 'Pink Blizzard' and Schlumbergera x buckleyi.


Camellia sasanqua (no ID) with blooms somewhat worn by the recent rains

There are masses of bloom on this Correa pulchella 'Pink Eyre" but you have to get close to the flowers to fully appreciate them

Close-up of flowers on Correa pulchella 'Pink Eyre'

Pelargonium peltatum 'Pink Blizzard' is still churning our flowers in both pots by the front door

Schlumbergera x buckleyii on the side patio

Grevillea lanigera 'Mount Tamboritha' has bloomed continuously since it was planted in early January



Some other pink-flowering plants are just entering another bloom cycle:


Argyranthemum frutescens 'Comet Pink'

Camellia japonica 'Taylor's Perfection' will be blooming soon

Cuphea x ignea 'Starfire Pink' is coming back after the hard pruning it received in October

Coleonema pulchrum 'Sunset Gold'

The tiny blooms on Greveillea lavandulacea 'Penola' are just beginning to open en masse


Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl' is finally putting out more than a few sporadic flowers



Others are well past their prime:

Celosia argentea var. spicata is more tawny than pink now but I still hesitate to pull it out

These should be Lisianthus 'Echo Pink's' last blooms

Pentas lanceolata 'Kaleidoscope Appleblossom' has proven to be hardier than other varieties in my garden



There are some orange and yellow bloomers too.


Grevillea 'Superb' with Nandina domestica

Anigozanthos hybrid (Kangeroo Paws) with Papaver nudicaule (Iceland poppy)

A late-blooming 'Joseph's Coat' rose hanging over our truck's front bumper

Tagetes lemmonii (dwarf form)



And there are a few white and purple blooms here and there.

Argyranthemum frutescens 'Comet White'

Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy'

Hebe 'Patty's Purple' (photo-bombed by Geranium 'Tiny Monster')

Lavandula multifida (fern-leaf lavender)

My garden workhorse, Osteospermum ecklonis '3D Silver'

Osteospermum 'Serenity Purple'

Pansies
Westringia fruticosa 'Naringa' in the vegetable garden



Perhaps the biggest story this December is that my favorite citrus fruit is ripening fast.

Washington navel oranges

Mandarin orange (no ID), fruiting earlier this year

The pink-fleshed guava is also coming along but I leave that to the squirrels as I have yet to develop a taste for it.

Guava 'Mexican Beaumont'


Yes, I'm lucky.  Please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens, the host of the monthly Garden Blogger's Bloom Day event to find what's blooming in her garden and other gardens around the world.

22 comments:

  1. Camellias and citrus fruit and everything in between. Quite different from my snowy garden in December. You know that even though camellia aren't hardy enough for my garden, I want to find some really hardy ones and try to grow them anyway.

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    1. I hope you find a suitable variety, Carol. I can't imagine our southern California gardens without camellias - they're standouts for fall and winter blooms here. Thanks, as always, for hosting the worldwide event that is Bloom Day! I can't imagine what a garden blog would be without that monthly tribute either.

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  2. I just knew that you wouldn't be short on blooms Kris. Good to see your garden 'in the pink'.
    I love the flower on the Lisanthus - a sort of cross between a rose and an oriental poppy.
    Happy Bloom Day :)

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    1. Thanks Angie! I'm very fond of Lisianthus myself, although next year I think I'll try a different color in that area.

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  3. What a breath of fresh air this post was! I haven't actually been out to look yet, but I kind of doubt there's much blooming in my garden. I'm jealous you still have Celosia in the ground, and with some pink on them. And that Grevillea 'Superb' -- I love it!

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    1. Every time I get ready to pull those Celosia, I hold off, thinking maybe they can hang in there another week. I should probably just pull them up and plop them into a vase and be done with it.

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  4. You are so lucky to have all those blooms at this time of year...and oranges too! Your Camellias are especially gorgeous-Happy Bloom Day!

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    1. Camellias are a mainstay of the garden here at this time of year but the oranges are coming in a bit early, I think. Thanks for visiting, Lee!

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  5. Hi, I found you through GBBD, lovely December photos, lots of pinks!
    I would have loved to grow some of the things you have in your garden but here in London it is too cold for oranges and fruit like that. I have lots of other plants in flower though as we have not yet had any frost. Happy GBBD!

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    1. Thanks for visiting Helene! I have to check out your garden pics to see what London's showing off.

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  6. The joys of living in a milder climate, to have all those lovely blooms at this time of the year :)

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    1. Southern California is an oasis in the winter months!

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  7. Thanks for the bright and floriferous post! Of course you know you made my day with the grevillea shot...and oh to have citrus in my garden...

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    1. The oranges are early! They're not ripe yet but I suspect that we may be able to pick at least some of the navels in January.

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  8. Your many bloomers are beautiful! Our camellia sasanquas haven't opened and the Japonicas here won't be showing color until February. Citrus growing outside - what a treat! I'd certainly trade our winters but our summers here are so lovely that I guess I'll be happy to live where I do.

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    1. The citrus is wonderful, Peter. Our lemon tree (down at the bottom of our slope) produces all year long and the lime tree most of the year but the arrival of the oranges is always special.

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  9. So many lovely blooms, your climate looks wonderful

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    1. We're expected to have a daytime high temperature of 83F today so I have to agree, Christina.

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  10. My Camellia 'Apple Blossom' already bloomed, 'Yuletide has not yet bloomed though 10 years or more old. I was at a nursery today where a much smaller one was covered with blooms so I'm not doing something right. All your amazing flowers look wonderful to us in the far frozen north. But in the summer I get my revenge, I have lovely cool weather for the most part and can work out in my garden all day. I lived in San Diego for nearly 20 years and miss the winter gardening and yearround flowers. Sigh.

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    1. Maybe the camellia could use a boost of some acid-based fertilizer, Hannah? I don't habitually fertilize mine but I'll occasionally give them a little help if they're looking peaked.

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  11. Six inches of snow yesterday and a high of 29 F predicted today so no Bloom Day here. However, even a virtual tour of your lovely bloom filled garden make me feel much warmer. Happy Bloom Day Kris!

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    1. Brrr! I hope you enjoy a wonderful white Christmas, Sue!

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