It's time for the December GBBD -our traditional monthly roundup of what's in flower, started by MayDreams Carol almost four years ago. I took time off from baking and shopping to take a few pictures because December has been pretty nice here in Austin! The photos may show you how different the light is now with most pecan leaves down in back, and with the leaves of the Arizona ash trees in front now turning from green to gold. (Many of the photos will expand if clicked.)
Repeated light freezes have killed off many of the October and November flowers - the Blackfoot daisies and cosmos, the peppers and basil, the mistflowers and moonflowers, the evolvolus and Mexican Mint marigolds, the Blue Butterfly clerodendron, the tips and leaves of 'Pam's Pink' turkscap and all but two species of salvia are done. Most of the view seems green, brown and straw-colored.
The larger showy flowers are gone, but if you go in closer there are small delights scattered over front and back and side gardens. 'Marilyn's Choice' Abutilon lost a few flowers to freezes, but the plant has new buds developing
The Camellia sasanqua 'Shishi Gashira' that was beginning to open a month ago is now reaching the end - but what a show it put on!
The pink camellia was a 1-gallon starter plant in 2005. Next to it is another camellia - a japonica called 'Morning Glow'. It's been in this container just over a year, bought November 2009 all budded and ready to go. 'Morning Glow' is budded again - today opening the first flower of 2010.
Around the corner in the Secret Garden is the shrimp plant seen last month, with even more flowers. I tried to take a photo that would show you where the name came from:
Now back to the patio where the Loquat still blooms against a blue sky
And the Pineapple sage has somehow remained unharmed and in bloom after at least 5 nights with temperatures well below 32°F. The summer flowers are gone from the hanging basket on the patio, along with the coir liner - picked to pieces by birds. To plant these black pansies, I had to improvise with plastic screening and old pieces of artificial pine garland. The Rosemary Birdbath Fountain has two Rosemarys blooming around it.. the upright which blooms whiteAnd the prostrate rosemary which blooms blueOne of the nearby patio containers has a 'Mutabilis' rose - not exactly in bloom, but definitely in bud
In another nearby container a 'Provence' lavender defies the frosts with a few flowers, the tallest wand seen here with the triangle beds and long fence bed in the background. The long fence bed has a few blooms - one bud on the 'Julia Child' roseAnd a trio of colorful blossoms closer to the gate: yellow Salvia madrensis, orange flowers on the fresh green-leaved Mexican Honeysuckle, and more orange from the cuphea, its leaves turned bronze with coldA glance at the Tropical milkweed with blue plumbago at its feet and we're out the gate, walking over to the bright pink Gaura in full bloom and the pink skullcaps with a few flowers brightening the Pink Entrance Garden. The central butterfly bed in front is pretty quiet from the sidewalk side, right now - but from the house side it's very colorful Purple creeping lantana and a few unfrozen Blackfoot daisies combine well with the finally-in-bloom Lion's Tail plant. Here's a closer look at the flowers- it's only marginal in my far NW Austin area so each look may be the last! Let's go to the front door - a couple of plants have flowers inside, too. I've had four plants of Schlumbergera/Holiday cactus for quite awhile. This year the peachy pink one is already in bloom near the dining room window. Two more plants in other colors are budded but the fourth plant is having an off-year. This window gets some light... but no real sun.
Five florist Cyclamen look quite content in a brass planter on the tabletop.
The breakfast room window gets the strongest sun so it's jammed full of overwintering plants. The four-year-old 'Fantasia Salmon' geranium blooms next to a 'Black Pearl' pepper popped out of the triangle bed before the first frost a couple of weeks ago. Mother of Thousands, a plant in the Kalanchoe family, grows in pots on the patio for summer. The bigger plants often freeze and die but a few babies live over to keep the strain going. If a plant has buds it gets a space inside before the first frost Here's this year's winner of the Bay Window lottery.
Carol's post and links to many garden blogs is found here at the May Dreams garden Blog.
Better get back to baking... some day the complete list of what's in bloom (with botanical names) will appear on Annie's Addendum. Hope your December is going well!
Edited Dec 19 - List of all in bloom in December is up on Annie's Addendum.
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