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Monday, December 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - December 2014

It's nice not to have snow on the ground right now
Welcome to Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for December 2014.

Here in my USDA Hardiness Zone 6a garden in central Indiana, we are enjoying a few days of above freezing temperatures.   Out in the garden, the lawn is still green but clearly, this is the dormant season for us.

I have just one hope for outdoor blooms in December.

All eyes, all hope, all expectations rest upon the Christmas Rose, Helleborus niger.  

Since I started growing them in my garden, I have increased the number from one to six plants. This one is the original, Helleborus niger 'Josef Lemper'.
Helleborus niger
The plant alone provides a nice bit of green in a brown, winter landscape.

Nestled down under the leaves lie flower buds.
Helleborus niger 'Josef Lemper'
On a sunny day, those buds will bloom and I'll have flowers in my garden in the wintertime, which has been a goal of mine since February 2007 when I started this little meme known as Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

It's a race now to see which will bloom first.  'Josef Lemper' pictured above or Helleborus x ballardiae 'Cinnamon Snow'.
Helleborus x ballardiae 'Cinnamon Snow'
There are also four newly planted hellebores, including two plants of the variety 'Potter's Wheel' which is supposed to have bigger, whiter blooms,  and one that is an unknown variety I purchased at the grocery store last winter for Christmas. They foolishly labeled it as Lenten Rose, but I knew it was a Christmas Rose. The sixth one is another unnamed variety I purchased at the local garden center.

Other than those six hellebores, there isn't much to see outside, so let's wander inside and check out the sun room plants.

I am growing some miniature amaryllis and some big-box hardware store rescued amaryllis that are all showing their buds right now.
Assorted Amaryllis, a Christmas holiday favorite
I should have  a nice display for Christmas from the looks of those buds.

When I was out looking for amaryllis bulbs, I found a begonia to purchase and grow indoors.
Begonia benariensis Surefire™Rose
It's nice enough but hardly the 'Glorie de Lorraine' begonia I long to try to grown indoors, ever since I read Gardening on Main Street by Buckner Hollingsworth. You can't get 'Glorie de Lorraine' any more. I think it is truly lost to the past.

Here's a bloom not lost to the past, that I'm seeing more and more in indoor plants, Kalanchoe.
If this Kalanchoe could talk - "I need some light!"
I've had this one for three years now and it is not the tight compact plant it once was when we got it a planter when my mom died.  It's now a leggy stem or two reaching for the light, but I still like it, and it still blooms, so I'm keeping it.

And that pretty well sums up my bloom day flowers here in December.

With this post, I have eight years of records of what's blooming in my garden going all the way back to February 2007 when this gardening meme started.  Looking back, I can see how by paying attention to when things bloom, I've slowly added different flowers and plants to my garden to fill in gaps of low bloom activity.

I truly believe that with some effort and planning, it is as the southern garden writer Elizabeth Lawrence said, "We can have flowers nearly every month of the year".

What's blooming in your garden on this fine December day?

We'd love to have you join in for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day and show us what's blooming in your garden right now. It's easy to participate.

Just post on your blog about what's blooming in your garden today and then leave a comment below and put a link to your post in the Mr. Linky Widget. If Mr. Linky doesn't cooperate for you, send me an email, and I'll help you out as soon as I can.

Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Proof of the Existence of Garden Fairies, Once Again

Once again, I have proof of the existence of garden fairies. 

Evidence in the form of mail delivered by the postal services to one Violet Greenpea Maydreams, a garden fairy.

What further proof do you need?

And here are the little tools that were in the envelope along with a note.


Violet, clearly a garden fairy, is very grateful for both the mail and the tools, which were sent by the Hoosier Gardener.

Though, as a garden fairy, she would like it to be known that this will not in any way increase the work the garden fairies do in the garden. Not in any way at all.

Now, go believe in garden fairies. It's good for your garden, and who knows, they might get some nice tools that you can take from them and call your own.

Because yes, I took the hoe.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

How it is in my garden

I finally found a picture of how it is in my garden, or at least how I like to think it is in my garden, when I am not around.

Because we all know, of course, when we are not around our gardens, there are goings-on, as we like to say, the likes of which we probably cannot imagine.

Or maybe we can imagine them?

I was thrilled to find the picture and thankful to the artist, Molly Brett, who painted it many years ago, probably before my garden existed. In fact, yes, she did paint it before my garden existed because she died in 1990 and my current garden was established in 1997.

But no matter. I'm sure this picture accurately represents how it is in my garden when I am not around.

Here it is.

Postcard - Here we go gardening by Molly Brett
Of course, there could be a few differences between Brett's picture and my garden.

Perhaps in my garden the ducks are doing the trimming and watering and the rabbits are carrying around baskets of berries.  Or maybe the squirrel is in the wheelbarrow and a big hedgehog is pushing him around.  And where are the chipmunks?

One of the uncanny similarities between this picture and my garden is that no one is weeding.

Anyone who has seen my garden at the end of the summer knows there is not much weeding going on around here.

Yes, indeed, this is a fairly accurate depiction of how it is in my garden when I'm not around.

Isn't this how it is in your garden?

Friday, December 05, 2014

Pansies, for all seasons

Vintage Postcard
Pansies in the spring,

Pansies in the fall,

Pansies to wish seasons greetings to all.