Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Wednesday Vignette: Christmas Flowers

Last Thursday, I turned a corner and was startled to see the first blooms on hybrid Camellia 'Taylor's Perfection'.  I thought it'd be weeks yet before the shrub bloomed but, when I checked my 2016 record, I found that the blooms are right on schedule.

I took this photo late in the day so the light wasn't great but the flower's shape was indeed perfection


I took my camera out on Christmas morning to see if any other blooms had made an appearance since my Bloom Day inventory.  I found just a few.

I had some difficulty getting a clear photo of the flower on Billbergia carioca as the camera wanted to focus on the plan'ts spotted foliage

Unlike the Camellia, the powder-puff bloom on Calliandra haematocephala is a couple of weeks early

However, the noID Narcissus is making a well-timed entrance

Erigeron glaucus 'Wayne Roderick' isn't actually a new bloom but it deserves another look because it's putting on an especially good display right now


The winds have died down at last here and the humidity level has risen dramatically.  We've still had no rain to speak of but two weather services are showing a good chance of some light rain on New Year's Day.  The Thomas Fire in Ventura County is finally under control, 88% contained after becoming the largest fire in California's recorded history in what was surely the worst year for wildfires we've ever seen.  Flowers in winter don't make up for that but they do provide a moment's diversion.

Visit Anna at Flutter & Hum for more Wednesday Vignettes.


All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

20 comments:

  1. Billbergia flowers are the best, they always strike me as so unnaturally colorful and exotic. Before our recent snow I discovered lots and lots of buds on my Camellia 'April Kiss' so I'm hoping that means lots of flowers in a month or so, for the first time.

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    1. The vivid colors of the Billbergia flower are a dramatic contrast to its leaves but I do love both. I'd like to have more Camellias (I admired one with huge white flowers at a nursery just yesterday) but, given the rain/water situation, I just can't justify planting more.

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  2. That Camellia is indeed perfection, but that Calliandra... swoon! Just LOVE those puff balls!

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    1. The gardeners recently sheared all my Calliandras (along with everything else they consider hedge material) so I'm wondering just how many flowers I can expect this year, Anna. Hopefully, the flowers grow from new stems :(

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  3. We may, get a millimetre overnight to New Year.
    Can always hope.

    Your Billbergia has a whole rainbow spectrum!

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    1. One weather forecast projected 0.6/inch (15mm) of rain for New Year's Day here, which would be a LOT from our perspective. Fingers are crossed but I'm also girding myself for disappointment.

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  4. It's lovely to see the new faces coming into the garden as the year turns. Your 'Taylor's Perfection' camellia is just what I think a camellia flower should be...

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    1. That Camellia is exceptionally pretty. I fell in love with it at first sight. I think it may have been the first plant I bought after we moved in. Of course, that was before a drought was declared...

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  5. Such a lovely, delicate camellia and the Billbergia is a beautiful color combo.
    Good news about the fire containment, such a nightmare to live through. I cannot imagine it. Hope 2018 holds better things for all of us.

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    1. I hope that all the climate extremes plaguing the county in different ways - be it wildfires, hurricanes, floods or massive snowfall - will finally convince some of the climate change deniers to get on board and take constructive action to manage the contributing factors within our control.

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  6. Kris, I love that Camellia! Her pink color and shape are gorgeous!A perfect bloom. I miss my Camellia blooms now,I had to move most of my potted Camellias under roof because my neighbor pruned the tree that gave them shade and they dislike the harsh direct sun.

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    1. I thought you'd like 'Taylor's Perfection', MDN! I hope your neighbor's tree fills out again quickly to provide the shade you need.

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  7. I was so glad to hear that the Thomas Fire was finally being controlled. What an awful experience for those affected in any way. The flowers help people deal with difficulties--they certainly help us here in the subzero Midwest deal with our disgusting, bone-chilling winter existence. Thank you for sharing. 'Taylor's Perfection' is a beautiful Camellia!

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    1. It sounds as though this winter's come in like a lion in much of the country, Bath. I hope you get a nice gentle melt soon! It's a relief that the Thomas fire is under control. Unfortunately, it and other factors have left us with some of the worst smog I've seen all year.

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  8. Taylor was right about the perfection. I must look for a copy of 'Wayne'--what a great plant.

    And yeah, what's with the grey dirty air? Thomas fire leftovers?

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    1. The smog blanket is odd - it wasn't this bad DURING the fires! No-burn notices have been in effect most of the week here and I read that fireplace emissions were part of the problem but weather (that stupid high pressure system again I suspect) was also cited as a factor.

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  9. Stunning blooms for this time of year. It's always a thrill to see your Calliandra haematocephala in bloom.

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    1. I enjoy the Calliandra blooms too but can't help wondering if the gardeners who keep our hedges in check know what they're doing when they hack the plants so close to the bloom period. Maybe I need to ask for a hedge-trimmer for my next b-day...

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