Bloom Day January 2012

Bloom Day brought the rain back. A solid month of dry weather and blue skies was getting very tedious.
Thank you, Carol! And congratulations on five years of hosting Bloom Days at May Dreams Gardens.

Much of what was blooming in December still holds. The cloud forest salvias from Mexico like S. chiapensis flower well in a zone 10 winter. And there’s a handful of plants of Helleborus argutifolius now in bloom. (The fancy hybrids still scare me. I imagine a very expensive, painfully slow trial period with them, at the end of which I’ll inevitably conclude that they prefer more winter chill than I can give them.)

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Although its leaves aren’t much to look at for the moment, Cotyledon macrantha’s flowers are doing their part to promote Pantone’s color of the year for 2012, Tangerine Tango. The new flowers on a kangaroo paw, Anigozanthos ‘Gold Velvet,’ are brushed in Tangerine Tango too. In fact, orange is old news to this garden.

Sophisticated, dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenalin rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”

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January is the month for peering in close at odd and subtle means of pollination, like the flowers on the String of Pearls, Senecio rowleyanus. In June I doubt they’d get a second look. And I’m wondering if the inflorescence on Pennisetum ‘Princess Caroline’ will consistently arrive this late once the grass settles in after a year or so.

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Begonia luxurians in flower this Bloom Day, just as it was in 2011. Euphorbias are budding up, including E. rigida.

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Centratherum punctatum, Brazilian Buttons, is always willing to bloom in January, usually overwilling. Just one plant was spared and allowed to grow. Some years the brick pathways are overrun by it. Nice, fruity smell to the leaves too.

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The Gerbera ‘Drakensberg Carmine’ hasn’t mushed out or fainted in the heavy, cold soil of December and January but instead seems to be thriving, pushing out more blooms daily. I’m impressed, even though the blooms swivel in several directions like distracted geese.

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Echeveria agavoides with twin antennae bloom spikes, annual linaria in the background.

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And closing out Bloom Day January 2012 with broad bands of lantana and Helichrysum ‘Limelight’ from a local municipal planting.

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6 Responses to Bloom Day January 2012

  1. David says:

    I love all of the flowers, but that next to the last photo is so quiet and charming. You have some beautiful blooms for January.
    David/ :0)

  2. Denise that combination of E. rigida and the orange Sedum (?) is breathtaking! And the Echeveria agavoides is perfect.

    If our winter proceeds like it has my Anigozanthos might actually be alive come spring, that would be a first. I put the container in our unheated garage last fall knowing the plant was a goner and not wanting the pot to stay outside and surprisingly the plant is still alive.

  3. Scott says:

    I’m so jealous that ‘Princess Caroline’ is hardy for you! I’ve actually found a new dark-leaved Pennisetum that is supposed hardy in our zone (‘Vetigo”), doesn’t bloom, apparently…but its the foliage I’m after! Those String of Pearls blooms are too cute!

  4. Denise says:

    David, it’s the quiet, charming stuff that gets us through January!
    Loree, I do like those two together, and the sedum is budding up now too — the buds really more interesting than its white flowers. I’m so glad your anigo is hanging on.
    Scott, this Princess Caroline interests me — kind of stiff in growth, unlike the typical soft cascading setaceum rubrum, wider blades. I’m looking forward to find out what stance a mature plant will have.

  5. hb says:

    Enchanting! And a Gerbera that…lives? I want!!!

  6. Les says:

    Orange is old news here as well. It always amazes what traits people associate with a color. Happy GBBD!

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