Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -- December 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day managed to sneak up on me this month. I usually have my post all ready to go first thing in the morning, but today I had to run around in the misty rain taking pictures of the few things that are blooming, with a short break to warm up inside the greenhouse. Today is our first day of rain after an unusual (for the PNW) 11-day stretch of dry, sunny, but cold weather with overnight frost. Call me nuts, but I prefer the rain and frost-free nights. During that stretch of dry weather I had been hoping to get all my bulbs planted. I did get some hardy Gladiolus communis ssp. byzantinus and Anemone blanda in the ground, but I still have a handful of Alliums sitting on the dining room table.

Anyway, I do have a few things flowering out in the garden.

What would I and our resident hummingbirds do without Mahonia flowers in the winter? This Mahonia x media 'Charity,' one of three in my garden, flowers right outside our TV room window, and the hummers that flock to it in the winter are not only a distraction from the TV watching that I do, but honestly, sometimes a lot more interesting and fun to watch.

The flowers are notoriously difficult to capture in closeup.

This one is always a bit behind in flowering than the other two, which is probably fine with the hummers, since it means the food lasts longer.

Still in bud

A few Cyclamen coum are still flowering, but most have gone past and the focus now is on their fabulous foliage

The same with Cyclamen hederifolium

Despite our week-and-a-half of frosty nights, this tall Acanthus spear is still stiff and trying to continue flowering

More buds waiting at the top

Fatsia japonica 'Variegata' aka Camouflage has lots of buds with just a couple of tiny open florets

Most of the flowers on Arbutus unedo 'Compacta' have faded to this sickly beige, although a few white ones are hanging on

Most of the "strawberries" have fallen off as well. Besides the leaf litter, you can see how the faded flowers are littering the ground under the shrub too.

There's not a lot of flowering going on inside the greenhouse either.

'Old Lady' Cactus often has flowers in her "hair" off and on all winter long

Begonias also continue to flower

Pregnant onion has produced one tall flower spike that has hit the ceiling of the greenhouse

My Adenium obesum aka desert rose dropped all her leaves once I moved her into the greenhouse, very much like my Pachypodiums do. They've produced new leaves by now, whereas she hasn't yet. She does have this one flower bud, though, which seems to be in a state of suspended animation. Is she waiting to see if she survives my winter care before she rewards me with an open flower?

Poor nekkid desert rose
That's all my blooms for this December Bloom Day. Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the fifteenth of every month. Check out her post here.