Late December Miscellany


A boy and his toy

Late December miscellany.  A good time for blessing-counting and garden gratitude.  For dogs, those wonderful creatures...

For December roses, with their richer color and their longer life in this month's cool weather. 

This flower ('The Prince') is two weeks old.  It is lucky to have one last two days in August.  

Yes, roses can be lollipops on bare sticks, yet I am grateful for them.  No plant is perfect. 

Why are you blooming, daylily?  It's December.  To surprise?  It's fun when plants ignore the calendar. 

Grevillea 'Superb' blooms so constantly I often ignore it, its usual cloud of honeybees, and the hummingbird battles that take place about it.  Time to take the time to appreciate it again. 

Exotic Kalanchoe beharensis failed in an oven-hot spot out front.  A fallen leaf produced a new plant, which has thrived with afternoon shade.  A chunk of concrete keeps it from falling over.  I'm grateful it survived my initial error. 
Black Phoebe,
Sayornis nigricans, gratitude for your beauty, charm, and for your constant fly-catching!
Last Spring a guy in Pennsylvania sent me a few very nice plants in exchange for an Agave of mine.  Thank you, Stan, again.  Grateful for all the kind people I've met (often only on line) because of plants.

Echeveria 'Paul Bunyan'

Sanseveria trifasciata 'Asahi'

Grateful to be able to garden.  The Agaves out, replanting the empty area.  Aloe x capitata, a sibling to the plant about to flower for the first time, grown from seed.  Just visible from the street, at the feet of mighty Yuccas.

And Aloe lukeana (another gift from another plant-buddy) on the far left.  A tiny Agave havardiana to the right of x capitata in the center:
Should I leave the access path dug to drag out the Agave carcasses?  It's nicely hidden from the street behind one of the Yuccas.

What are your garden gratitudes this time of year?   It could very well be rest and time to think and plan, if your garden is under snow. 


  1. The Prince is such a gorgeous purple color. I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like Echeveria 'Paul Bunyan' before. It looks like a plant from a Star Trek episode.

    I’d leave the access path if you think it’ll make gardening easier. The Black Phoebe is adorable.

    1. 'The Prince' has a beautiful fragrance, too. It finally got a place where it was happy, after three tries.

      The bumps are water storage--if I let it go super dry, the bumps go away. Fun plant.

  2. Oh goodness, there's no way I could ignore 'Superb'! I'd be spending my entire day, or days, just salivating over it. Ha. Yes, it is fun when plants ignore the calendar, and I agree with your assessment of doggos.

    1. I feel really fortunate that Grevillea will grow so well here. It feeds so many bees and birds, besides being so pretty.

  3. I am grateful for the seed heads of the Rudbekia in my garden. I often think of them as weeds because they pop up here and there. When I see the goldfinches rummaging through the seed heads for the seeds I am happy for them.
    Right now I am just awaiting the time when I can get out and do something in the garden besides walk the paths. It is 25F this morning and it isn't supposed to warm up much. Brrrrrrrrr
    It makes it all the more fun to read your blog to see what is going on in your winter garden.
    Even Annie (our dog) won't stay outside long today. Seeing your dogs enjoy the out of doors is always a treat. Cheers.

    1. The Ruds are a wonderful thing to be grateful for--here the goldfinches eats seeds of the Rosemary, Lavenders, and Gaillardias, though I think they love taking baths just as much.

      25F, oh, yikes. I would be in the house under a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa.

      Cheers, Lisa!

  4. This is a great post about garden gratitude. Thanks for the reminder. Have a good Christmas and an even better 2021.

    1. The same to you Barbara, and to us all. 2020 was not so good for the world.

  5. Any post starting with the dogs is a GOOD post :-)

    Aloe capitata and lukeana will make a great combo!

    I'd leave the access path, especially if it's not readily visible.

    Have a wonderful Christmas, the four of you!

    1. That lukeana is vigorous! It was in a raised bed where it could get water, and it had sent roots a foot long out of the bottom of the pot and into the soil. And it's grown a lot, 24" wide now. Looking forward to seeing how it does here.

      That x capitata is 42".

      The same to you and Heather and family.

  6. I find those access paths ... disappear - I know I used to be able to walk thru here??

  7. I somehow missed this post until now Today, I'm grateful for another look at your beautiful garden and a spit of rain despite a humidity reading of 20%. Best wishes for a joyful, if subdued, Christmas, HB!

    1. We got some showery and blustery periods today that sent me indoors. Chance of showers for Monday, apparently. Anything will help.

      I'm behind on blogging/blog reading because of the Agave removal project. Quite an effort! Got the last one off the slope this morning, now waiting for a spot in next week's green waste.

      Best wishes for a happy Christmas for you, husband, and kitty. A tough one for your nephew. :(

      Your decorations are so beautiful, enjoy them for us. Did not do a thing this year, not even the usual photo of the puppies wearing/trying to eat Santa hats. Next year, hopefully.

  8. Your dogs are simply wonderful! I love when you include photos of them. I just wrestled a big smokebush out of the ground this afternoon. A little sad, because it was beautiful before it caught this nasty wilt, which made its leaves crisp up. Now I have a big hole to fill with something pretty - whatever that will be - and that's always exciting! If I were you, I would leave the pathway - they tend to come in handy. Those three yuccas are fabulous!

    1. Smokebush get pretty big, so that must have been a tough job. Yes, the empty space left behind will be fun to fill up again. Enjoy!

      I will leave the path--whatever I would plant there would go unseen anyway, hidden by the Yucca. Until things change yet again, ha ha!


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