Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas Surprises

Christmas Day at our house was blessedly low key.  And the day even began with a little light rain.  Totaling 0.04/inch it certainly wasn't a drought-buster but we've come to appreciate whatever we get.  It left behind the clearest sky we've had since our last real storm in early December.

Without even any cruise ships in port, the Los Angeles harbor was quiet too


I took time to take photos of my currently subdued garden, finding a few surprises in the process.

Hippeastrum 'Giant Amadeus', planted as a bulb in early November bloomed nearly 7 weeks later on Christmas Day


The noID Crocus received as a gift with purchase over a year ago produced a few tiny blooms.  Largely hidden by the weedy foliage of Erigeron karvinskianus, I almost missed them.  I love Crocus but I gave up on them years ago as my climate isn't hospitable.

I found my first "spring" bloom of Alstroemeria buried under a robust clump of Artemisia californica.  Even in the land of early spring, this is an early appearance.


I had smorgasbord leftovers for lunch and spent much of the afternoon breathing clean air while pruning out-of-control shrubs before my husband and I sat down to a Cornish game hen and roasted vegetables for dinner, then watched a movie based on an Agatha Christie novel.  A perfect day!  I hope yours was as pleasant.


All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

32 comments:

  1. Sounds like a lovely way to spend Christmas day and a real bonus to find blooms in the garden.

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  2. It was a perfect Christmas gift to receive some rain, however small the amount, and to enjoy that splendid view Kris. Our Christmas was quite low key too: opening presents, seafood lunch with our son and daughter, a game of pétanque before it became too hot, relaxing and pizzas made by our son in the evening. It is very hot here and we have a week of 37+ ahead of us with no sign of rain.

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    1. Well, it all sounds nice except the heat, Jane. Our summers almost never include rain so we've learned not to expect that kind of break but I hope you get one to ring in the new year right!

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  3. Sounds like a perfect day and what lovely Christmas flowers to enjoy.

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    1. Winter blooms make up for their scarcity with the element of surprise they provide.

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  4. A wonderful way to spend the day! I'm seeing a few early "risers" in southerly gardens right now. We are supposed to have a gorgeous day on Friday where it will get to 10C/50F but a single day like that will not an early riser make around here ;)

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    1. Our temperatures are supposed to dip over the next few days but they'll still be in the low 60sF. We're spoiled her, Margaret!

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  5. I'm so glad you enjoyed your low-key Christmas, and that's a beautiful Hippeastrum.

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    1. I bought that bulb on the fly and was initially disappointed by its inactivity but, once it got started, it grew quickly. There are 2 more buds gearing up to open too.

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  6. I drove my mom home from our Christmas Eve party around 9 p.m., and it started lightly raining on the way back home. It never amounted to much rain but was still a lovely surprise. So glad you had a good day and got those amazingly clear views!

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    1. At one point, AccuWeather was showing almost 2 weeks of rain between the end of this month and the second week of January but that forecast abruptly evaporated. It just goes to show that one can't get invested in long-term forecasts. The marine layer has given us as much precipitation as the Christmas Day "storm" over the last few weeks.

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  7. Sounds like a lovely day and that blue sky and view are breathtaking. We had a friend over in late afternoon and we just munched and noshed and read books by the fire. Now we're getting some rain so the snow is gone.

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    1. Short-term snow sounds like the best kind to me - except in California's mountain areas where we need it to hang on to provide our water during our very long dry season.

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  8. Sounds like a quiet and lovely day Kris. Those are the best kind of holidays.
    So sweet to see your crocus. I didn't know they would grow in California. I thought they needed a cold winter. We are a long ways from seeing them here, so it is nice to see yours.

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    1. Crocus will usually bloom only once for me here at best, Cindy. We just don't get cold enough. These 3 surprised me by going another round.

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  9. Even the few Crocus are lovely. I sometimes feel our gardens lead an if you blink you miss it secret life.

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    1. I think you're right, Diana. I expect I miss a lot of what my garden - and the critters in it - are up to.

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  10. On a gloomy rainy winter day it is so nice to see your Christmas surprises. Eating leftovers here too. Enjoying the lights of the season. Cheers.

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    1. I actually love leftovers, or most of them anyway. My husband's making one of his almost salt-free dinners tonight and I so wish I could have leftovers instead ;)

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  11. I wrote a comment but not sure what happened. It says "your comment was published" but i don't see it. Can you please let me know if you received it. Thanks.

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  12. Nah! I don't think it was published. Duh!. So, here it is again if I remember it correctly -- a late Merry Christmas and an early Happy New Year to you and your hubby. What a beautiful way to celebrate the day. Ah! your garden is so beautiful now and here it is everything dead and cold. You can see pacific ocean and harbor from your house!? Wow.

    I was away from the blog world because of reasons I mentioned in my recent blog post. I hope to become regular now.

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    1. We were lucky - we bought the house during the economic downturn. I look forward to seeing more of you KL.

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  13. I'm glad to hear your had a pleasant Christmas. We did, too--especially in the evening when we got home from the Chicago 'burbs (we were visiting my in-laws). Nice that you got a little trickle of rain, but not too much. :)

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    1. If only we could get a little rain every day - or even every other day - for an extended period!

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  14. Some nice garden surprises and a quiet day at home - a perfect holiday! Glad you were able to relax and enjoy the day.

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  15. Ola Kris, coming to wish you a good
    year entry.
    janicce.

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    1. Thank you, Janicce! Best wishes for a happy new year to you too.

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  16. Ah, the joy of having Hippeastrum blooming outdoors on Christmas. I bring my potted ones up out of their basement dormancy period around Thanksgiving and then try to coax them to bloom in my not-warm-enough-for-their-liking house.

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    1. There are 2 more buds on that stalk that have yet to open but then we've been particularly cold of late (by our standards!). I planted 3 of the Hippeastrum I grew in a basket last year in one of my borders - I'm hoping I'll have the kind of success naturalizing them that I had in my former garden but at present I put the odds at 50/50.

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