Thursday, December 15, 2016

Bloom Day December 2016

Above, 'Windermere'

Aloe flowers are slow to open this year because of seasonal temperatures--we may suffer another dry winter, but we're at  seasonal averages instead of enduring one wretched heat wave after another.  Refreshing, and a relief.
'Cinco de Mayo'
 While looking forward to Aloe flowers, I'm enjoying the roses.
'Evelyn' 
 'The Poet's Wife'
 'Munstead Wood':
 The Gomphrena 'Fireworks' flowers last and last.  I debate nearly every day whether or not it's time to to cut it back or pull it.  A jarring combination with Euphorbia turicallii--so jarring it makes me laugh. 
 'Snowbird'
 Ah, there's an Aloe!  This is 'Grassy Lassy', a Kelly Griffin hybrid that a neighbor gave me because it would not bloom.  For several years, it didn't bloom for me, either.  Then it suddenly started and has been at it ever since.  Plants:  they do what they do. 

'The Ambridge Rose'
  'Easy Does It', with a touch of drizzle:
Tired of 'Firefighter'?  Sorry, I'm not.
 Aloe ferox is sending up flowers.  They'll be open in a few weeks.  The Agave marmorata in front of the Aloe will flower soon--spring, perhaps.  Observe how the center of the plant is beginning to display smaller, shorter leaves.  It indicates the plant is shutting down foliage production and preparing to bloom.
Also anticipating spring is the new Leucospermum, 'Spider'.  A single slightly misshapen flower on a baby plant, just preparing to open--a few days yet until the orange pollen presenters appear--but still worth examining.   Diane of the excellent blog Elephant's Eye on False Bay, who has the privilege of gardening in the Fynbos where Leucospermums are native, commented that fuzzy foliaged Leucospermums are to be found on the sunny side of Table Mountain, the north(!) side, with smooth foliage plants on the shady (south) side. 
'Bishop's Castle's flowers are larger and fuller in these cooler days than they are in summer heat.
Autumn color, California style--the neighbor's Bougainvillea forming the bokeh background.
A non-rose, South African shrub Pycnostachys urticifolia.  It's something like a cross between a Salvia and a Plectranthus, though it is neither.  
Also with striking blue flowers, the California native Tricostemna lanatum.  I did not know Hummingbirds feed from the flowers until I saw a pair of male birds fighting over the plant.   
 Aloe thraskii flowers, seemed imminent for weeks, but just now opened--bees quickly surround the flowers.    Slower to open is fine; seasonal temperatures are wonderful.  No need to rush. 







May Dreams hosts Bloom Day on the 15th of every month.

20 comments:

  1. I watched a malachite sunbird defending his huge orange pincushion in our neighbour's garden across the road. Our aloes are still tiddlers, but I have a Haworthia with spikes of flowers.

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    1. That must have been a stunning sight to to see! Judging by the photos on the internet, those birds are incredibly beautiful and must have made a picture with a bright orange pincushion flower.

      Here two hummers were fighting over the neighbor's Aloe arborescens flowers as I checked the culvert.

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  2. That aloe is spectacular as are all the roses. Is "Firefighter" a newer introduction? I was not familiar with it. Your photos give me a sense of warmth on this brutally cold day.

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    1. 'Firefighter' is an older florist rose with fragrance, originally named 'Red n Fragrant'. Another previous name was 'Hacienda'. Named and sold in US in 2005 in honor of the firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11. It has an outstanding strong fragrance that endures until the flower falls apart. Excellent productivity and good health. Drawback is slow to establish--it takes 3-4 years to really get going, but once it does, wow!

      Stay warm! Hope your garden doesn't sustain too much cold damage.

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  3. It's wonderful to see your beautiful roses again! I'm envious of the Leucospermum flower - my one and only plant has shown no signs of flowering in the near future but, after losing 2 others, I'm just grateful that it's survived. I look forward to seeing more of your lovely aloes as we move into the new year.

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    1. I'm glad you like the roses. I have many buds on the 'Yellow Bird' and a few on 'High Gold'--they are still tiny and will be so for another few months. This 'Spider' which we got at the Ruth Bancroft Garden nursery having a flower so early is a surprise.

      There will be Aloes soon! :)

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  4. You always seem to point your camera at things that have reached their peak of perfection. 'Windermere' is heart-meltingly beautiful.

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    1. Well, the diseased and chewed up stuff isn't as pretty. 'Windermere' is indeed a heart-melter. And the fragrance is as heavenly as the looks--double whammy!

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  5. Oh the beautiful roses, but Aloe thraskii is my fave in this post. Gomphrena 'Fireworks' -I had to nod in agreement. It seems to bounce back from any treatment, including frost.

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    1. I didn't realize 'Fireworks' would be that...vigorous. Thraskii is quite the thrill, and marlothii, vanbalenii, and more yet to come. Wheee! It's raining right this moment, so I'm giddy. Looks like most of the state got some rain, even here. It's raining! Wheeeeeeeeeee!!!!

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  6. Not only your roses are gorgeous but also the aloe's. Your lovely photo's are brithening my day.
    Have a wonderful day Hoover Boo.

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    1. Thank you Marijke. I'm happy you liked the photos. I hope your day is a good one!

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  7. Those Aloe flowers just kill me! Wish I could grow things like that outside - they are so cool! I have one overwintering in my shed, and it has one single flower bud. I'm ecstatic!

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    1. We are lucky to be able to enjoy Aloes here. They are wonderful plants. Congrats on the flower! Next year, maybe there will be more.

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  8. Everything is beautiful in your garden! Your lovely blooms brightened my cold morning 30 degrees and windy with a low of 19 (F not C) predicted. Roses in December - sigh. Love that "jarring" combination!

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    1. Thanks, Peter. I do love December roses.

      30F--whoa! (I guess that is a California thing to say.)

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  9. What a feast this post is in the middle of winter. You must be so satisfied being able to walk out and enjoy this display. Love it!

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    1. Thanks! We feel very fortunate to have a garden.

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  10. Wow, what an incredible selection of roses! Beautiful! Lucky you to have all these blooms in December.

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    1. Thank you! December roses are even more precious than those of June.

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