Sunday, December 15, 2019

Bloom Day - December 2019

I've got fewer flowers to share than I had last December but perhaps that can be explained by the colder-than-usual temperatures we had in late November and lighter rain.  Or, it could be largely attributable to my reduced involvement with the garden during our protracted remodel, the last piece of which wasn't completed until this past Friday.

Let's start with the plants I consider my stars this month:

This is Hippeastrum 'Zombie'.  Each of the 4 bulbs I potted up has at least 2 flower stalks.  The flowers shown here are on a single stalk.

Bauhina x blakeana (aka Hong Kong orchid tree) is blooming heavily now, right on schedule

The noID Camellia sasanqua that came with the garden took a major hit during our remodel but this particular shrub is doing its best to make up for the lesser performance of the others

After repeated attempts to establish Hypoestes aristata (aka ribbon bush), a plant I grew in my former garden, I've finally gotten 2 of them established here.  The one shown on the left is backed up by one of several Polygala fruitcosa (aka sweet pea shrub) in my garden.  Vigorous plants, this one self-seeded in this spot.  The shrub flowers heaviest in the spring but produces a smattering of flowers, like the one shown in close-up on the right, during much of the year.

Even though this Tagetes lemmonii (aka Mexican marigold and Copper Canyon daisy) grows in partial shade, it blooms heavily at this time of year


The next group consists of plants that surprised me for one reason or another:

This is a pup of a bromeliad I've had growing in a pot for years.  I planted the pup in the ground with succulents about a year ago.  I believe it's Aechmea orlandiana.  The flower isn't as exciting as those produced by many other bromeliads but it's the first one I've seen this Aechmea produce.

I planted this Aloe vanbalenii x ferox in April 2016 and this is its first flower.  I don't have sufficient experience with Aloes to say which of its parents it more closely resembles.

I acquired Dermatobotrys saundersii (aka tree jockey) at a Huntington Garden sale in 2017.  It's semi-deciduous and looks so terrible in October/November that I always think I must have killed it with neglect - but then it blooms.  Still, it's looking leggier this year and I've been wondering if if would respond to pruning.  Mine has both dried and fresh fruit clinging to its stems, even as it's put out a fresh batch of flowers.

I grow Eustoma grandiflorum (Lisianthus) year-round but it doesn't usually bloom in December!

Metrosideros collina 'Springfire' came close to perishing in a horrific July 2018 heatwave.  Luckily for me, it recovered but it didn't bloom in spring or summer this year.  Yet, it's got a light flower flush going on now.  Pennisetum 'Sky Rocket' seems to be sending up fireworks in celebration behind it.


Although I haven't done as much gardening this fall, I have a few new additions to share:

I cleared out the bed shown in the top photograph back in September and subsequently planted it with Argyranthemum frutescens 'Everest', Lobularia maritima (sweet alyssum)  and purple, white and orange ViolasAntirrhinum majus plugs (bottom, right) were planted in November and I popped Cyclamen (bottom, left) in a pot in my lath house last week. 


As always, I have a collection of flowers that don't fall in any of the previous categories, yet are worthy of notice.  As usual, I've organized these into color collages:

Clockwise from the upper left: Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy', Lavandula multifida (against a background of Coleonema 'Sunset Gold'), Campanula poscharskyana 'Blue Waterfall', noID self-seeded Osteospermum, and Phalaeonopsis seco vivien 'Golden Leaves'

Clockwise from the upper left: Arbutus 'Marina', Correa 'Pink Eyre', Digitalis purpurea 'Dalmatian Peach', Grevillea 'Superb', Hemizygia 'Candy Kisses', and Osteospermum 'Berry White'

Clockwise from the upper left: Euryops chrysanthemoides 'Sonnenschein', Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream', noID Gazania, Mahonia x media 'Charity', and Rudbeckia hirta 'Denver Daisy'


For more posts on this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, check in with our host, Carol at May Dreams Gardens.  Best wishes to all for a pleasant holiday season!


All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party


26 comments:

  1. I love sweet pea shrubs, but zone 8b is a bit too cold for them. On one hand, we can all envy your winter flowers, and on the other, be grateful we can rest while ours are dormant! I mostly covet your gazanias and African daisies!

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    1. I could use a little rest from garden chores at the moment, Lisa!

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  2. What a feast for my eyes. Love that amarylis We got 2" of snow today so all is a Christmas white outside right now. Happy GBBD.

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    1. I think I could forgive snow at Christmas, Lisa - as long as it didn't hang around much after that.

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  3. Oh how lovely to have so much in the way of colour at this time of year Kris. I'm positively green with envy!

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    1. The flower roll-call is actually noticeably shorter this year, Anna, but I do know I'm lucky to have as much as I do.

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  4. Gorgeous plants and blooms! I do envy you your amaryllis. Mine have been very slow off the mark, but I'm hoping for blooms in the new year.

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    1. 'Zombie" seems to be a really vigorous Amaryllis, Dorothy. The 'Giant Amadeus' I grew last year wasn't nearly as tough and it's yet to put up a bloom stalk this year.

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  5. A feast to my eyes! I miss seeing blooming plants, alas. The Aloe vanbalenii x ferox is a handsome plant. The flowers will provide lots of buds for a long time by the looks.

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    1. I'm looking forward to seeing what that Aloe hybrid does over the next month, Eliza.

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  6. Nice flowers yet again. vanbalenii x ferox has aspects of both parents to my eyes, with maybe a slight tilt towards ferox. Your Bauhinia looks really good.

    Your winter annuals are so pretty. I got out of the habit because of the drought with its terrible Santa Ana events that killed off everything that needed our version of winter.

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    1. Violas and Argyranthmum will usually hold up decently through spring here before turning too ratty to tolerate as summer descends.

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  7. Gosh, that Bauhinia gets me every time. So darn beautiful.... And hooray for the remodel completion - right before Christmas! Congratulations, Kris - that's wonderful news!

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    1. I'm still annoyed with the contractor about the nearly one month delay at the end of the remodel but I'll shake it off - eventually.

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  8. Even with your less involvement with gardening your blooms are wonderful as always,lovely colors of violas,I didn't know there is a sweet pea shrub we grow them as an annual ,your aloe blooms reminded me that I totally forgot to click them in for blooms day. Lisianthus is spectacular.

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    1. The sweet pea shrub isn't actually related botanically to the annual sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus), Arun. Like many common names, that one is misleading.

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  9. Beautiful!
    Have a great week and Merry Christmas!

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  10. Such lovely cheerful colors. I can't even imagine having such beautiful flowers year round. Thanks for sharing yours with us. They are a feast for the eyes.

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    1. California offers both advantages and challenges in equal measure, Cindy.

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  11. Beautiful blooms even with the smaller count this time. Bauhinia is always a favorite.

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    1. The Bauhinia is a joy that came with the house, Shirley. I'm surprised it's not planted more often here.

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  12. I don't think I could ever tire of the Bauhina x blakeana flowers, they're so good!

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  13. Oh my goodness! Your blooms are beautiful and a feast for the eyes this time of year. The Hippeastrum 'Zombie' is gorgeous!

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    1. 'Zombie' (horrible name for a lovely cultivar) is a star!

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