Thursday, February 19, 2015

Oops, I did it again: Bloom Day, February 2015

February's Bloom Day has come and gone, and here I am posting late - again. I'm not even going to bore you with so-called excuses (like the Northwest Flower and Garden Show) from last weekend. I'll just launch right into my flowers.

Many of the "almost" blooms of January are beautifully full this month. Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' is perfuming the entire back garden. Just one bloom cluster brought indoors is an intoxicating harbinger of spring.

Also pretty in pink, Arctostaphylos x 'Austin Griffiths' is attracting fat, black bumblebees this month.

It's a welcome sight out our deck door.

An unknown Hellebore, trying not to be noticed in the back of a bed.

Here's the Hellebore I showed in bud last month, now fully in bloom and suffering a bit from slugs.

I had to take these photos of our two NOID Camellia japonica out the living room window where the blooms first showed - I couldn't get to them from outside.

I apologize for the distracting reflections, but it was the only way I could capture anything of these big blooms that face the house.

Camellia x 'April Kiss' is blooming in her perfectly symmetrical whorls.

The tiny urn-shaped flowers of Vaccinium ovatum are making an appearance.
 Loropetalum chinense 'Sizzling Pink' is sending out a few thready blooms.

We also have quite a few indoor blooms this month.
This orchid (the tag long-since lost) was blooming when we returned from California, and it continues to brighten our dining room.

The last two blooming stems of Clivia miniata are almost done. I'll miss their gorgeous clear orange flowers when they're gone, although their strappy, deep-green foliage is a nice consolation.
We are lucky to have blooming stems of Streptocarpella many months of the year.
 Can you guess what plant is sending out this long bloom stalk?

The flower's mix of red-orange and yellow is one of my favorite color combinations, but they are unassuming little blossoms about the size of my little fingernail.

If you guessed Dyckia, you were right, although I don't know the species. See the stalk going up on the right?

I'm going to leave you with the fluffy little flowers of dwarf Papyrus, Cyperus involucratus 'Baby Tut', that have bloomed for months now. I love how they remind me of summer's warmth.
Despite my poor example, Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of the month by Carol, at May Dreams Gardens. She has lots to see there, so if you haven't already, do pay her a visit.

Happy Belated Bloom Day!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Super-late, Little, and Almost: Bloom Day - January 2015

I'm ultra-late with my Bloom Day post. I took these photos on January 17th, but didn't get to posting this until today. Although this is likely the latest Bloom Day post ever, I'm emphatically not looking for the prize - I just wanted to record my garden's progress, so I'm going ahead and posting what was happening just a few days after Bloom Day in January.

Arctostaphylos 'Austin Griffiths' was beginning to bloom on its south-facing side. Although they were small, the flower clusters were thick all over the crown and are more and more glorious as they open further.




The much-maligned Vinca minor struggles to survive in the inhospitable ground around my front yard trees. While most Portlanders are eradicating Vinca as a thug, I'm enthusiastically cheering it on as the only thing that will grow (sort-of) there.

Rosemary is often the earliest to bloom, and this prostrate variety is no exception.

This plant was actually sold as Barbeque Rosemary. I get the moniker, but I'll wait until it gets a bit bigger to start clipping skewers from it.

Now we're into the "almost" part of this post: a NOID Camellia japonica.


Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis hadn't started to drift its scent around the garden, but it can't be far off, especially now. This entry qualifies as both "little" and "almost".
Daphne odora 'Marginata' was almost popping.

I resent handing over the space this shrub occupies most of the year, but I love the fragrance when it blooms.

The third and last of my three Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide" was finally blooming. A little post-holiday of it, but it gets the most shade of the three 'Yuletides'.

Mahonia repens. Still waiting for those bright yellow flowers.

And last, a NOID Hellebore in deep shade is taking its sweet time, even now.

Check back in mid-February, when I'll just be returning from the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. If the blogging goddess is with me, I'll post on the progress of all these "almosts" and hopefully a few new blooms.

Though you'd be hard-pressed to tell from the timing of this post, Bloom Day is sponsored on the 15th of each month by Carol of May Dreams Gardens. Click over to see what was blooming in January all over the place.

Happy (very-belated) Bloom Day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A moist but heartfelt Merry Christmas!

So much for a white Christmas this year: it's been raining off and on for about a week, and the temperatures are in the high 30s to 40s. All in all, pretty typical for our zone 8b location.

Our real Christmas tree (we have an aluminum one indoors) the Mountain Hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana), remains sturdily erect against the deluge.

It really is a lovely little tree - slow growing, and somewhat fuller and fluffier than its higher altitude brethren.

This year, I decided against adding the usual silver and red decorations to it, because Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide' was putting on such a show behind it.
Mother Nature does a pretty nice job of looking good all by herself.


I wish you all a very Merry Christmas - and the best of whatever celebration is dear to your heart!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - December 2014

Like the days as we draw near to the Solstice, this Bloom Day post will be short - there are very few flowers in my garden this month, and just a few indoor blooms.

Flowers in the garden include a blooming stem of prostrate Rosemary that stands out on the otherwise green plant.

Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide' carries the month!



Mahonia nervosa repens is getting ready to bloom - will it be open for January's Bloom Day?


Arctostaphylos 'Austin Griffiths' is also moving toward its bloom phase, but not yet opening.

Indoors, Cyperus involucrata 'Baby Tut' appears to be thriving, if its fluffy, pollen-filled blooms are any indication. Maybe they're the reason I've been sneezing all day. I know most people up here grow Papyrus as an annual, but I just couldn't let it this happy plant die outdoors over winter.

A NOID Streptocarpus (Streptocarpella saxorum, thank you, Rickii) is a reliable bloomer, often for months at a time.

Last, Clivia miniata 'Belgian Hybrid Orange' steals the show indoors.

Despite the paucity of December flowers in my garden, I am ever grateful to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting Bloom Day each month. Click over there to enjoy many more flowers from all over the world.

Happy Bloom Day!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Late to the party: Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - November 2014

I got the pictures taken, but my involvement with multiple local commitments meant my Bloom Day post didn't happen until now. And although many of these flowers aren't out there now (after several sub-freezing nights since I took the pictures) they were lovely on November 15th. For the record, here they are!

This little Rhododendron 'Shamrock' surprised me with a few out of season blooms. They look almost white here but they are actually a very pale green.

Fatsia japonica is doing its Sputnik thing.

Punica granatum was blooming on November 15th, and it's blooming still, albeit with fewer leaves since our arctic cold snap.


A last few blooms from Agastache 'Acapulco Orange', my summer heartthrob.
And the last, slightly ratty blooms of Agastache 'Apricot Sprite'.

What would a late autumn/early winter  Bloom Day post be without Rosemary? I actually overlooked this prostrate Rosemary last month but it's still going strong even after our cold spell.

These few last blossoms on Erigeron glaucus are just a memory this week.

Not so with this Penstemon: I just checked, and today it looks about like it did last week.

Salvia 'Black and Blue' surprised me by holding out this long - well, until last Saturday, anyway.

I have a hard time capturing its color with my little point-and-shoot camera but this photo is pretty true. That blue is electric!

Rosa 'Perl d'Or' lives in a protected container on the deck near the house. It's still blooming now, a week after I took these pictures.
The energetic buds of Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Steroidal Giant' looked so promising last Saturday. Now they're a just limp reminder that we live in Zone 8b...

My last Bloom Day flowers are those of Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide', ushering in the holiday period. 'Yuletide' lives up to its name both by blooming in December and by being a deep pink trending to a Christmas-y red.

Bloom Day is hosted each moth by May Dreams Gardens. Click over to see what was blooming on November 15th everywhere!