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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

December 2013 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day



After our big freeze there's not a lot blooming in the garden that doesn't look a little like this.
 
 
Fortunately, Chavliness said that her stinking hellebore was budded up so I ran (who are we kidding here, I waddled) out to check on mine and sure enough, there will be blooms for next month if the weather cooperates!
 
Still teasing me with it's lovely dangly earrings of buds is garrya issaquahensis.  Not quite blooms yet but still neato!
 
 
So what is actually blooming you may ask? 
 
Arbutus unedo compacta

Someone has been busy pollinating these charming flowers as I see lots of little green fruits forming.  Perhaps it's too early to tell and these may be unfertilized but fingers crossed for more pretty red fruit next year!
 The lifesaver, tough as nails Viburnum 'Pink Dawn' that come hell or high water (or deep freeze which did slow it down a bit) blooms from November through May is perfuming the air with its sweet scent. 


These blooms and their fragrance are my reward for taking the garbage out and a special treat today was picking up the torn and strewn pages of an explicit pornographic magazine left on the steps next to the viburnum along with several beer cans and some cigarette butts, gifts from residents of the clearly understaffed group home across the alley from our home.  Hey, did you know that wine now comes in juice box-like packaging complete with a straw?  I learn all the most interesting things picking up the trash left out on my sidewalk.  You'd of course want to know that as you're planning for your holiday entertaining. Heather won't spill on your rug that way! On the bright side, there haven't been any syringes with hypodermic needles attached out there for at least a couple of years now.  Those really skeeve me out.   Also, during the rainy season, the urine often deposited out on the sidewalk washes away quickly so the fragrance doesn't linger.  Ah the joys of urban living.

Grevillea victoriae 'Murray Queen' is just opening it's first bloom of the season.  It's recovered nicely since it had its tops snapped off in August of 2012 (see images here,) is full of leaves but has very few blooms this year despite the trees shading it having been removed last winter.  We'll see what next year brings.
Meanwhile, the Schlumbergeras were incredibly full of bloom this year.  For quite a while, I've meant to take pictures of them to make them a favorite plant this week feature.  Now, they're just past their prime and nearly all of the blossoms are in decline.  It's been a busy few weeks!

These were a little late for me this year as they usually begin blooming the first couple of weeks of November and last until about now.  This year, they bloomed later, more prolifically and have lasted a little longer.  I love having rooms upstairs that are unused where these can live happily!
On the fifteenth of each month, Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts the Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day meme to celebrate what's blooming in gardens around the world.   Click over to her site to check out the floral festivities!
 
By the way, if you enjoy classical Christmas music (even some good choral stuff!)  I've been streaming classic KING FM's Christmas channel.  Yes, I know it's only advent but there's more great literature than can be enjoyed during the 12 days of Christmas!  Anyway, it's at http://www.king.org/The-Christmas-Channel/15158779.  Do you have a favorite station to stream during the holiday season?

24 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tip about the ♪.....
    And I MUST say it's good to see ANYTHING green - even if distressed by the freeze. EVERYthing here is white!

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    1. Snow would be lovely! Here they call off school and people start hoarding bottled water it there's an inch or more of snow on the ground.

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  2. Your description of urban gardening... uh, well, I need to go read some more gardening blogs to get that image out of my head. Love all your blooms and am impressed with December in your garden. Thanks for joining in for bloom day.

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    1. Sorry about the image - misery loves company and all. Thanks for hosting GBBD!

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  3. Oh dear, urban gardening sounds a bit dangerous. The biggest danger here is an angry squirrel cursing me through the window because he has run out of peanuts. They weren't for him anyway.
    I love the Arbutus and that Grevillea is gorgeous. Last winter's frost completely wrecked my Garrya Elliptica, I do miss its lovely green tassels at this time of the year.
    Chloris

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    1. I'm sorry to hear of your Garrya's demise; its tassels are fun this time of year! Urban gardening has it's perks as well. We don't have to worry about deer eating our plants.

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  4. I was thrilled to have my Thanksgiving/Christmas cactus bloom last week, but it was nowhere near as pretty as yours! Come Spring I'm going to re-pot them all (All sounds like a lot, but really it is only 3 or 4).
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!
    Lea

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    1. This year my Thanksgiving/Christmas cacti were especially floriferous. They haven't been repotted in at least 15 years and their soil is awful after all of this time. I've heard that they like to be pot bound. Happy GBBD Lea!

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  5. You could be an Urban Life writer, Peter! Such colorful virtual images!
    You have more blooms in your garden than I! Viburnum is gorgeous!
    As for the music, the Pink Martini + Seattle symphony concert in Seattle was my music life highlight this week. Have a wonderful Sunday!

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    1. Thanks Tatyana! I also love Pink Martini and am glad you got to hear them live! Happy new week!

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  6. Happy GBBD, Peter! I don't have your trashy incentive to get out there and take a look at my decrepit, needs-to-be-cut-back garden. I'm not sure whether to be glad about that or not.... I saw hummers at my Arbutus unedo compacta before the freeze, so if something has been pollinating it, it's probably them. That Grevillea flower is really beautiful. One more plant to add to my list.

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    1. I'd admired Jerry's at Jungle Fever blooming through the winter for years before I got mine. It's grown like a weed and I love its cheerful orange blooms during the gloomy time of the year! Happy GBBD pal!

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  7. Even in decline those Schlumbergeras still looks pretty good!

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    1. They're so easy and their blooms so vibrant.

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  8. I found one tiny Cyclemen bloom this morning …thankfully no syringes, or beer bottles !

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    1. Hooray for your Cyclamen! I'm happy that you don't find the same kinds of treasures that I do out on your street!

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  9. I'm surprised that your nocturnal visitors want to hang out in the shrubbery under the arctic weather conditions you've been facing - the opportunity to imbibe that illicit boxed boxed wine must present an incredible incentive. Maybe the beauty of the surroundings will lead to some kind of epiphany for them - or maybe you need to take a lesson from Loree and install more prickly foliage.

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    1. Prickly foliage may be the answer. They're not allowed to drink on the grounds of the home as most of them are on medications that are not supposed to be combined with alcohol so, they take a few steps away from the place and drink on a concrete staircase that leads from the sidewalk to my back gate. Fun!

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  10. You sure can make city gardening sound exciting, Peter! What really excites me is your Viburnum. I rely on Daphne to reward winter trips to the recycling, but it doesn't begin this early. Maybe Viburnum should be in my garden. I KNOW the Grevillea should be but alas, I have no room. Happy Bloom Day!

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    1. The viburnum is gorgeous this time of year but from late June through mid October it's just a green bush with nice foliage.

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  11. You are once again giving me plant lust, for your Viburnum Pink Dawn, blooming so faithfully in the winter and smelling so divine. Your Christmas cacti look great too, I've been managing to slowly kill mine by stages so have to take them off my list of houseplants I can't kill. The suggestion for some prickly vegetation where the wanton derelicts hang out sounds like a great idea, some of those cacti with the tiny spines or Agaves with the big spines... It makes my isolated yard with the background of yipping coyotes seem cheery.

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  12. Peter, you have such nice blooms of Viburnum 'Pink Dawn' !
    It's a pleasure to see green and some flowers in your garden/ Have a nice week!

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  13. You really underestimate me. I could spill wine on a rug even if it was hermetically sealed in an indestructible vessel made by NASA scientists. ;) When I tore out the arborvitae in front of my house I found a bunch of empty 40 oz malt liquor bottles. Apparently they provided enough privacy to make the area in front of my hour quite the hot spot. I feel your pain.

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  14. I was seeing hummingbirds sipping nectar from my Arbutus flowers so I think they can be credited for pollinating them. And yes, Viburnum 'Pink Dawn' is such a stalwart, isn't it?

    Great post. Hope the needles don't return.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.