Wednesday, December 14, 2011

december in the garden

Can you believe that in the middle of December, after numerous frosty nights, there are still summer-blooming flowers in the garden plugging along, hanging in there?  I thought this month's bloom day would have to rely on houseplants!  This time last year I had several pots of amaryllis opening up.  This year, except for my gorgeous Schlumbergera, which I posted pictures of yesterday, all the blooms are outside.

The bright red and green of pineapple sage is more than welcome inside or out at Christmas.  I thought this plant was done for the season several weeks ago.  It lost lots of leaves and the tips of the ones that were left after a couple of frosts were all black.  But it's still blooming!...which is especially good for me because I like to nibble on the flowers; they have a pleasing texture and a sweet drop of nectar at the base (like honeysuckle).

Plentifall pansies keep blooming their little heads off.  They've been a joy to have.  The autumn ferns beside them are favorites, too.  Beautiful and green all year, they take drought very well and tolerate some sun.  If you don't have them, try them!  I think you will be happy you did.

The way 'Plentifall' trails over the pot's edge is so pretty. (Should I worry about these spots on the leaves?)

I'm glad I didn't bother forcing any paperwhites this year since they're already blooming outside (and have been since Thanksgiving).  I'm not fond of the strong scent in close quarters, anyway.  Janet at The Queen of Seaford posted a pretty close up of her paperwhites blooming in January, which is a little more typical.

Just a few feet away from the paperwhites, a coneflower keeps trying.  Isn't it interesting how the petals look quilled?  I've never noticed one opening that way in the summer.  I like the lime green undersides, too.

Black-eyed Susan is persistent.  I've had repeat blooming on these plants for six months!  The seed heads stay until the birds clean them off.

A few periwinkle blooms are opening above the leaf litter.  In a few weeks, these will cover the ground underneath a cheerful yellow daffodil canopy.  It's a combination I always look forward to.

Sweet alyssum is still throwing a bloom or two.

Quirky-blossomed Mazus never completely stops blooming;  there's a flower on it somewhere most of the year.  Any time it warms up even a little, new blooms arrive.  I love it, especially when fresh new leaves are completely covered with blooms in the spring.

Camellia japonica 'Professor Charles Sargent' is blooming!  This is the very first bloom of the season.  My mother gave this shrub to me (and another to my husband) for Christmas last year.  Both plants are full of huge buds.  Davy at Davy's Louisiana Gardening Blog says his  'Professor Charles Sargent' has fragrant flowers, but mine seem completely unscented.  Maybe it's more fragrant at different times of day?  Fragrant or not, this scarlet red camellia is quite a Christmas treat.

See what's blooming today in gardens around the world ~
It's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens!