Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hunting For December Blooms on Bliss

At this time of year there's not all that much in bloom in the garden if you garden in a temperate or, worse, a cold climate. This seems to be a worry for many a garden blogger who has joined Garden Bloggers Blooms Day, a fun idea that sprouted (grin) from Carol's (of May Dreams Gardens ) brain. But it doesn't worry me though, because at this time of year I love to hunt for the odd bloom here and there and I was pleasantly surprised a couple of times by unexpected blooms. And, as there's not all that much in bloom outside, we're allowed to show off our indoor blooms as well. So fellow garden bloggers, don't worry, be happy! ;-)
First I want to show you the usual suspects that flower outside at this time of year: pansies!
They flower for such a long time and in so many different colours too: blue, yellow, white, burgundy and pink.
I use the little darlings where ever I can find a spot for them; in window boxes, hanging baskets and pots. Pansies and violets cheer up my garden in every season of the year. I love them to bits, small wonder as Yolanda means Violet. What's in a name, eh?
The winter Jasmin is also a plant to flower at this time of year, just as this one
my Christmas box or Sarcococca humilis. Once those flowers open the air will be filled with a wonderful scent. Another good plant for adding some colour and scent in winter is Skimmia japonica Rubella.
My old friend Periwinkle can be depended upon to put up a few bloom at this time of year too.

This is what my garden looked like this morning so I was agreeably surprised to find my Lavatera still in flower
and my lovely Rosa Magenta was also kind enough to give me a lovely rose today. Most people seem to think that roses are very delicate plants but I've found many of them to be as tough as old boots.
But today while I was hunting for blooms in my garden I came upon some very unexpected finds:
the hanging rosemary in my strawberry pot had started to flower and so was the fennel in the kitchen garden.
But I found more unexpected blooms in my kitchen garden such as the Centranthus and also the Bergenia.
I also found that this one was still outside in its pot but it should have been inside for a month at least. So far it seems to have survived the night frosts but this weekend it will go into my Victorian greenhouse to overwinter there safely.

In the south borders I found the yellow wallflowers were still in flower as they have been since last October.
I was utterly amazed to find this plant in flower too, my white Penstemon. This plant is supposed to be not all that hardy and would probably not survive a winter with some frost. Isn't it amazing then to see this Penstemon in flower in December and after a night of frost as well?
Last Spring I bought some pots with bulbs in flower and after they had flowered I put them outside next to my greenhouse and promptly forgot all about them. I had planned to plant them in my garden when the time was right. Imagine my surprise today when I noticed this:
grape hyacinths in flower outside in the garden at this time of year. I took one pot inside and the others I planted in the new border.

Another plant I brought inside is my Camellia that's been flowering for over a month now and it seems to be very happy in my conservatory.
And there are more who enjoy life in the conservatory as you can see here.
Erm, I was talking about the plant, do pay attention, please! ;-)
The Aeschynanthus produces wonderful flowers, don't you think ?

My Orchids are providing lots of colourful joy inside my home. Here are some of them. Gorgeous, aren't they?
Recently I bought a few houseplants, one of them a Kalanchoe. This one is very pretty as it has pink double flowers, as you can see here.
My Streptocarpus is down to its last flower but it has been happily flowering its little heart out for months now. It's one of my favorite houseplants.
I like to have flowers and plants everywhere, especially in places where you notice them a lot like next to the kitchen tap. It's amazing how often you use the tap, and every time you do you're treated to this sight. Not bad, eh?
My indoor blooms would not be complete without a bunch of flowers or two. This one is shop bought
and this one I picked in my front garden a few days ago. Not too shabby eh, to be able to pick a bunch of your own flowers in December. This little bunch consists of rosa Moonlight, rosa Guirlande d'Amour, rosa Sombreuil, rosa Madame Alfred Carriere, some Gaura and a few sprigs of winter Jasmin.
copyright 2007: Y.E.W. Heuzen

We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.
Oliver Herford (1863-1935)


Connie said...

How blessed you are to still have so many lovely blooms! Everything here is resting under a blanket of snow.

Bert said...

Hi Yolanda,

Still a lot of flowers in your garden, Yolanda!!
When will it stop???
And inside there are even more flowering plants, very nice.



Karin A said...

Unbelieveble! I can only find one flower outside now. Your rose and camellia impressed me much. Nice with pansies right now. Here they come in februari first. Have a nice Luciaday! :)

Frances said...

Your flowers are a delightful sight. How lucky you are for that type of climate and of course the conservatory AND a greenhouse?

Barbara said...

You have a rich collection of blooming flowers and colours in your garden and indoors. I'm always astonished to see that even in winter there is still something interesting to see in the just has to look a bit closer.
Enjoy your winter blooms and have a good time!

Melinda said...

What an amazing number of flowers you still have! The frosts have taken away a number of mine - next year I'll have to work on planting more winter flowers.

Melinda, Elements In Time

Felicia said...

Oh, this post was a feast for the eyes! Beautiful grape hyacinths and so many of the others. Thank you for sharing them :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Yolanda you are mightly blessed with blooms. I might be lucky to find one kalanchoe blooming on GBBD. Loved seeing your blooms.

jodi said...

Well, this is a delightful surprise to see, epecially as we're in the frigid zone at the moment and there is MORE snow coming down.
However, one of my amaryllis has joined the indoor flower fest here, so you can read all about that and see the yummy flowers at bloomingwriter's (indoor) garden.
I love the flowers on your rosemary, too, Yolanda. Haven't had them on mine for several years, but maybe if I stopped eating so much of the plant....;-)

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss!

* Connie: I was surprised to see that I still had some nice blooms in my garden. Over here we hardly ever have snow but if we do it is usually just a very light dusting, never a nice thick blanket. Snow is very good for protecting plants during winter.

* Bert: I don't know if it will stop as I have aimed for flowers in my garden all year round. Of course in the winter months there will be only just a few, but there will be some blooms outside too.

* Karin: I was very surprised by my Magenta rose, the white roses in my front garden were no surprise. Hope you had a wonderful Luciaday!

* Frances: LOL, it sounds a bit greedy doesn't it to have a conservatory AND a greenhouse but let me tell you that both are dreams come true for me, dreams that I have had to wait a looooong time for to come true at last.

* Barbara: I enjoyed hunting for December blooms in my garden as I was pleasantly surprised by many a plant.

* Melinda: good luck with planting more winter flowering plants next year! It is nice to have flowers in the garden for most (if not all) of the year.

* Felicia: you're welcome and I'm glad to enjoyed it!

* Lisa: it doesn't really matter how many blooms you have as long as there is at least one to cheer up a winter's day.

* Jodi: looking forward to your indoor bloom fest. My amaryllis was unfortunately not ready for blooms day. snif! ;-)
Well Jodi it looks like you can either eat your rosemary or have flowers but not both. ;-) Perhaps you could buy another rosemary so one is only for eating and the other for flowering. It's a thought! ;-)

Marie said...

A lot of beautiful photos lately!

I just love your cats!
I wish you a nice weekend!

Lis said...

Jetzt bin ich wirklich erstaunt dass bei dir noch so viel blüht. Ich kann in den Garten gehen wann ich will, da ist nichts mehr zu sehen. Im Nachbargarten blüht allerdings schon der Winterjasmin, das ist wie Frühling mitten im Winter!

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Hi Yolanda!

I tracked you down after you visited my blog, and I love it here. So cheerful and friendly, with lots of kitty faces with lovely names, and gorgeous flowers. I might just move in! LOL! Debi

Kris at Blithewold said...

What a long season you have! (That sounds like something Little Red Riding Hood would say, doesn't it?!) We've had buckets of snow and I think the few little bloomers we had outside are probably mush now. I'll have to virtually enjoy outdoor blooms for a while I think - Thank you for posting yours!

Entangled said...

Oh, how beautiful! I've been soooo impressed by your flowers every Bloom Day - such an inspiration.

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Hello Elisabeth Yolanda I say your flowers from your garden looks great! I've have non :( .Thank you for telling me about 'thegrowspot' I new that because they contacted me about it and I've answered that they are NOT permitted to reblog/syndicate anything from my blogs. I was furious. I will look into it again. I would like to look at the site but then I have to registrate??? I don't know what to do :( .About the candles, yes they are real but Emma is wearing a small'hat' to protect the hair. Have a nice weekend/Tyra

lenie said...

doe ik ook altijd , violen in de bakken ;)) en heel verrassend kwam ik een mand met crocussen tegen in de knop !!!! had ik na de bloei buiten gezet , hebben nu een ere plekkie ;))
meis weer genoten van je tuin en foto's een fijn weekend ;)

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss!

* Marie: thanks! And have a nice weekend too!

* Lis: the winterjasmin is lovely isn't it? I like it a lot and what I also like is cutting a few sprigs of it and putting it in a vase. It's so nice to have a bit of sunshine inside.

* Debi: LOL, you're not the only one who wants to move in. ;-) But feel free to come and visit whenever you like!

* Kris: buckets of snow eh? Can't remember when we had that last over here. But it is getting colder so many of my blooms will turn to mush now too. Glad you enjoyed the virtual blooms!

* Entangled: your kind words made my day!!!!

* Tyra: well, where you live is a bit colder. ;-) I've answered your questions about that site on your blog, I hope it helps!
I'm glad your niece Emma is wearing a protective hat, we wouldn't want her lovely hair to catch fire!!!

* Lenie: violen zijn altijd prima in elk jaargetijde. Wat grappig dat je een mand vol krokussen in de knop vond. Zo zie je maar, je tuin zit vol verrrassingen! Ook jij een fijn weekend!

Brimstone said...

Heerlijk wat je allemaal nog in bloei vindt in de tuin.
Ik zag vandaag dat de bollen in mijn potterie alweer hun kopjes laten zien.

kate said...

Oh Yolanda,

I am glad that I came for a visit. I can't believe how many plants are in bloom. There is such a great variety that I don't know where to start ... well, how about with the Rasa magenta or the lavatera? And then there are the grape hyacinths. What a treat they were to see - I like hearing about plants forgotten about and then bring a surprise.

And it's never quite a good visit here until I've said hello to the cats. Vita always makes me smile ...well, they all do!

Happy weekend to you! I wish you lived closer and could have tasted the carrot cake! And I wished I lived closer so that I could tour your garden.

Rosehaven Cottage said...

Your climate must be a lot like ours because I'm recognizing the same plants in bloom in your garden as in our garden. Isn't that interesting that half a world away, we still share something like that. I recognize the fennel, the periwinkle, the Jupiter's beard... so much. And pansies are a favorite winter flower here in our area. I always associate them with December in the garden. By the way, Erm is a little cutie with that white bib! Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

shirl said...

Hi there, Yolanda :-)

Wow what colour you have both in your garden and inside your house! I too love orchids but alas non are in flower at the moment :-D

Best wishes for 2008 :-D

snappy said...

Wow, what a lovely selection of flowers you have in December!I have some primulas in flower only, but the garden was bare before so thats not a suprise.
I hope my Camelia grows as well as yours. I love their delicate flowers!
I have as many plants indoors too, many streptocarpus, and some xmas cactus.Im trying to make my Moth Orchid rebloom fingers crossed,
Your photos are delicious for december :)

rusty in miami said...

You did well Yolanda, winter has been kind to you this year. I will be going out to my garden tomorrow morning with camera on hand for my December bloom day posting. Stay tune.

SchneiderHein said...

Ja, in diesem Jahr erscheint mir der Dezember noch extremer als im letzten Winter zu sein. Ich war auf meinem Fotorundgang auch ganz erstaunt, was bei uns noch blüht. Es wird wirklich Zeit, dass ich unsere Posts vom Sonntag & Mittwoch fertig bekomme. Zur Zeit scheinen unsere Gärten vom Klima sehr ähnlich zu sein.
Liebe Grüße

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss!

* Brimstone: ik sta er van te kijken dat het nog zoveel is. Fijn dat je bolletjes alweer een eerste teken van leven geven!

* Kate: the grape hyacinths made my day, it was so lovely to find their blooms as they are supposed to flower in March.
That's one of the very few drawbacks of garden blogging: most of your garden blogging friends live too far away to come for a visit! Grumble!

* Cindy: what fun that what's in flower over here is also in flower in your garden. It's a small world after all, isn't it?
You're right Kadootje is such a cutie.

* Shirl: hi there, Shirl! It rather surprised me too those outdoor blooms and I'm very happy with my indoor ones as you can imagine. Hope your orchids start flowering soon!

* Snappy: how nice to have primula's in flower, they're one of my favorite plants. Camelia's are wonderful, aren't they? I hope yours will do well too! Good luck with your Moth Orchid!!!

* Rusty: yes, December has been surprisingly generous with blooms this year. I'm looking forward to see your contribution to garden bloggers blooms day!

* Silke: yes, it is very surprising how much is still in flower when you go out into the garden and look for blooms. I'm looking forward to seeing all the flowers of your garden this month!

No Rain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
No Rain said...

I guess I need to bone up on my geography. I am surprised you have so many plants in bloom, and then you commented you live in a temperate climate. For some reason, I thought the Netherlands would be under 4 feet of snow this time of year!

guild-rez said...

Hello nice to see your flowers this morning. It is very cold -13C and we expect the first big winterstorm over the weekend with a lot of snow. Well it is winter in Canada.
Thank you for your comment on my blog. The birdfeeder is quite cute, I'll will make one, but place the cup and saucer between my spring flowers and fill with water. The birds can come and drink in style.
cheers Gisela

Carolyn gail said...

Visiting your garden lifts my spirits as we are in the grip of a cold Chicago winter.

It's amazing what you found still blooming. Your indoor garden is very beautiful. I love the orchids especially.

Thanks for sharing.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I really enjoyed looking at the pics of your flowers, as my garden is buried under snow & ice. I love violets too! Maybe because violet is 1 of my favorite colors. I love the basket with the Muscari. They are such awkward things in the garden with their leaves sprouting in Fall & looking all straggly when the flowers finally bloom in Spring. I think I should dig some up (when the ground finally thaws) & pot them up. Pots seem to be the best way to enjoy them.

Matron said...

You certainly have an eye for colour! You have inspired me to go make a Winter hedgerow table decoration. 32 Comments on one blog? amazing!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

What lovely blooms for December! Your Kalanchoe is covered in little blossoms.

Leslie said...

What a wonderful list...and so many blooming houseplants! I love your grape hyacinth story!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Wow, what a great lot of blooms you have there! I especially love the curling leaves on that hanging houseplant...

Bonnie said...

That rose is just breathtaking. I just love the color! Thanks for sharing.

Kylee said...

Wow!! What loveliness abounds in your little corner of The Netherlands! I want to live in your "zone." ;-)

Salix Tree said...

Your orchids are magnificent! I have only one, and it's doing quite well, it just started a new flower stalk earlier this month.
I adore the yellow jasmine. I have some too.. but didn't notice it when I was out shooting my pics yesterday. Maybe not flowering yet.

MonkeyDragon said...

Lovely post, I plan to take my camera hunting tomorrow with this inspiration. I just cut back my roses today finally and posted photos of the last bud I salvaged to a vase.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss!

* Aiyana: LOL I don't think we ever had 4 feet of snow over here. ;-) One of the reasons I started blogging in English was that I could learn more about how other people all over the world garden. In what kind of climate, pestered by what kind of creatures, what kind of soil they have, etc.
Here we have a temperate climate and as we are near to the North sea that means winters that are usually not very cold and summers that are not very hot and rain in every season of the year (mostly too much rain if you ask me ;-)).

* Gisela: Brrrrr, it is cold at your place at the mo. During the day we have temperatures between 2 and 5 C and light frosts at night.
I hope to see your new birdfeeder on your blog one day!

* Carolyn gail: I'm happy to read that a visit to Bliss lifted your spirit! I have some knowledge of what kind of climate you have in Chicago, simply by watching ER. ;-)

* MMD: we share a love for the colour violet and we agree on Muscari in pots and baskets too. Every spring I buy them like that as I like to bring a bit of spring inside my home too.

* Matron: This is the kind of comment I love to read; when people tell me that they have been inspired to ..... So good for you Matron, and please put a pic of your winter hedgerow table decoration on your blog so that it can be admired properly!

* Robin: I was very happy when I found this pretty Kalanchoe in the shop. I love it double pink flowers and, as you know, Kalanchoe's flower for a very long time.

* Leslie: I love it when my garden gives me such wonderful little unexpected gifts.

*Kim: so far the weather has been very mild which explains why there were still quite a lot of blooms outside (relatively speaking). It has been quite a while since we last had a real winter over here. For us the litmus test is a winter when we can do a spot of ice skating on real ice on lakes, canals and brooks and such.
This century we haven't had such a winter yet but real cold weather mostly happens in January/February. So we just have to wait and see for this winter.
I'm rather chuffed with this hanging plant I bought it earlier this year at vast expense but it's doing great so it was worth it.

* Bonnie: Magenta is a lovely colour and I've designed my whole border around this rose. Wish you could smell its scent too!

* Kylee: honey we are in the same "zone" ....... mentally!

* Sylvia: I like orchids and have found that some of them are actually easy to grow always a plus if you know how many houseplants I've managed to kill off over the years. ;-) The winter Jasmin reminds me of Forsythia that flowers in spring, also a favorite of mine.

* MonkeyDragon: happy camera hunting, I hope there's still lots for you to discover!

Crafty Gardener said...

You found so many beautiful blooms for December. The garden is asleep under its white blanket of snow. I did find an unusual bloom for Bloggers Bloom Day. Stop by The Gardener Side and see.

Diane said...

Yolanda, I'm envious of where you live and how much gardening (indoors & out) you can do! It's been winter here for a couple months already so my few indoor plants are all I have to offer up blooms. I've never seen a Streptocarpus before but it's lovely, as are all your plants and blooms -- the cats too.

I've been to Amsterdam twice and both times was in awe at all the plants everyone grows.

From chilly Alberta - Canada
Diane, Sand to Glass

marga said...

Je hebt nog veel moois in je tuin Yolanda.

Was er al weinig de laatste tijd en wil je ff laten weten dat ik er voorlopig helemaal niet ben. Schoonzus overleden aan kanker, maandag mijn verjaardag die hierdoor dus écht niet leuk word en dan is het weer kerst en oud en nieuw. Je ziet me wel weer verschijnen.
Hele fijne kerstdagen en een gezegend 2008.

Groetjes Marga

Anonymous said...

Gardener’s Anonymous
You have an amaizing amount of blooming going on where you are.
It was wonderful to look through your pics.

WashingtonGardener said...

Beautiful plants AND cats! My DC-area Winter Jasmine is abouta month behind yours.

David in Greensboro, NC said...

Great photos, Yolanda. Your garden does look alive! Love the winter Jasmin--is this its normal bloom time for you, or is it a bit early?

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss!

* Crafty Gardener: yes, it was nice to find all those blooms, some of which where rather unexpected!

* Diane: I read on your blog that you've ben having snow for two months already so it's small wonder that there hasn't been any gardening for you to do outside. Streptocarpus are great, you should give them a try as they are very easy to grow and flower for a long time which is exactly what you need at this time of year.
We Dutch have a great love of plants and most windowsills in my country are completely covered in plants.

* Marga: ja, er was nog aardig wat te vinden in sommige hoekjes en gaatjes.
Wat akelig allemaal! Ik wens je veel sterkte!!!!

* GA: I was pleasantly surprised too with all those blooms and I'm glad you enjoyed the pics!

* WG: the kittycats are gorgeous too, you are right about that. ;-)
The Winter Jasmin flowers during December/January over here.

* David: It is normal for the winter Jasmin to flower now. It started flowering in November with just the odd bloom here and there but it's covered with flowers right now.

gintoino said...

Yolanda Elizabet, there are still lots of beautiful blooms in your garden! I love your roses (never hed the courage to try them in my garden). Thank you so much for dropping a comment on my GBBD post

Ki said...

You always amaze me with the number and different kinds of blooming plants you have. The Lavatera and your orchids look especially wonderful.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi Gintoino and Ki, welcome to Bliss!

*Gintoino: well I still have some blooms but not as many as you have. ;-) Roses are not all that difficult to grow, why don't you try some next year?

* Ki: the lavatera is gone now as we've had many nights of frost lately. However the orchids are still going strong and cheer up my house with their lovely blooms.

MrBrownThumb said...

I haven't seen mondo grass on a garden blog before. I love that plant.