Bloom Day December 2010

(Actor Slim Pickens riding the bomb in Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove.)


A December Bloom Day post begs for a little goofiness. No other word describes prowling a drizzly garden for photos in non-existent light searching for non-existent blooms.

The roster for this month is pretty thin. The paperwhites are budding. (The single most important factor for success with bulbs is foresight, foresight, foresight.)


Erysimum linifolium ‘Variegatum’ loves zone 10 winters.


The bracts of the ‘Waverly’ salvia color up duskiest in December.


Amicia zygomeris surprisingly putting out lots of fresh growth through winter, as well as these almost hidden, pale yellow, bruise-like flowers. My first year growing amicia, planted in fall, a favorite of the late Christopher Lloyd at Great Dixter. Any plant that flourishes in zone 10 winters is instantly suspect for being unable to endure zone 10’s dry summers.


I’ve been deadheading Queen Anne’s Lace, Ammi majus, to bulk up the plant for spring, but it insists on throwing out blooms.


Being a cloud-forest sage, Salvia chiapensis prefers the cool temps in fall, winter, and early spring.


Pelargoniums. (If Kathy sees this, she’ll know I’m stealing Filoli’s scheme of potted pelargoniums for the porch steps.)


The reed-stem orchids, epidendrum, are throwing a few blooms. They’re blooming like crazy all over town, which they might do here if I wasn’t so stingy with fertilizer. Run-off into storm drains is behind the stinginess, not money.


Copper Canyon Daisy, Tagetes lemmonii ‘Compacta’


Some succulents in bloom.

Graptoveria ‘Fred Ives’ harassed by one of the predators of winter.


This one came labeled as Echeveria elegans ‘Grey Red’


Amidst all the drizzle and grey, it looks like there’ll be roses for Christmas this year.


May we all ride Old Man Winter as joyfully as Slim Pickens atop the bomb and trust to expanded garden pickings ahead. Happy Bloom Day!


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10 Responses to Bloom Day December 2010

  1. Donna says:

    Some really lovely images and a touch of humor too. Love that.

  2. Never having lived anywhere warmer than my present zone 8 there is something so amazing to me about having paper-whites outside!

  3. hb says:

    They are all lovely. Your Erysimum seems far, far happier in Sunset 24 than in 23. Rose is really gorgeous, which one is that?

  4. your photos were really gorgeous! love the rich background colors.

  5. Les says:

    I hope my paperwhites have survived the cold weather we have had. They were fat with bud and ready to open just a few days ago. I am afraid to go look and see if they are still among the living.

  6. Grace says:

    You inspire me, Denise. I think I might stop at the nursery and see if they’ve still got paperwhites. Love the S. chiapensis. I had it but I think the chill of Thanksgiving week did it in. Love the rose blossom!

  7. David says:

    Beautiful photos and great flowers. Plus…I love those little agaves in that first photo. I’ve got 2 more days teaching and then I’m FREE….to catch up on my blog reading. Can’t wait to read your past posts. Happy GBBD! šŸ™‚
    David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston

  8. Mac_from Australia says:

    Gorgeous photos.

  9. Denise says:

    Thank you all for commenting! Yes, Grace, go grab some paperwhites. Les, I hope there are a few to bring inside. Your comment reminds me that I planted out last year’s paperwhites and should go check them for buds.

  10. Denise says:

    Hoov, that’s currently my only rose, Bouquet d’Or, a seedling of Gloire de Dijon. That erysimum was bought in November and I expected it to mope until spring, but it’s nearly doubled in size. Must be due to being in a pot and not in the colder ground.

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