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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!


43 comments:

Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening said...

Thank you for hosting this wonderful meme Carol. It is such a great way of looking back and comparing each year in the garden. I love the first photo of your two chairs...just waiting for spring...and your indoor plants too!

Rebecca Newcomb said...

Wow - you really are going to have a spectacular amaryllis display! I can't wait to see what all of those pots look like in blooms. Thanks, as always, for hosting this great meme!

Sand for Soil said...

Wow! You're right ~ looked up the Glorie de Lorraine ~ I want one!

patientgardener said...

Thanks for hosting this meme Carol its one of the few I do.


Your Amarylis are so much further ahead than mine although I was a little late in potting mine up;

VP said...

Like you, I was expecting to write about winter flowers this month. However, there are still some summer flowers around, despite December's chills!

Season's greeting to you dear Carol and all Blooms Day contributors. Looking forward to seeing you in Toronto next year :)

Hetty said...

Dear Carol, I am surprised to see how many flowers are in my garden at the moment. It is indeed good to pay attention on that! Groetjes from Holland, Hetty

HELENE said...

Thanks Carol for hosting, I have done the GBBD for 3 years and will certainly continue as it is such a great way of looking back at how the garden develops. Hellebores are a big feature in my winter garden too, but I have flowers every single week of the year in my London garden – never without flowers :-)

Les said...

I made #11 this month, and I am not sure I have ever been this close to the top. That could either mean I'm early, or it's a slow month. Either way, happy GBBD to you Carol, and merry Christmas to you as well.

Yang Saya Suka said...

Dear Carol,
You will have beautiful hellebores in the winter. I am glad to see your amarilys and kalanchoe, they are so cute! Happy GBBD and many thanks, Carol. :)

Donna said...

I have been wanting Christmas rose in the garden for that winter bloom, but I have not added them yet. I think I will have to next year finally as I have that dream too of flowers all year. I have amaryllis but they will bloom in mid winter now. And I love the few more ideas you have given me here Carol for all year bloom. Now that I am home retired, I need more flowers in winter.

I have prepared a winter dream of flowers long gone for now. Thanks for hosting and all the ideas.

Jean Campbell said...

Kalanchoe is a great indoor bloomer. Break off a little rosette of leaves with a short stem. It will root easily like any succulent and give you a compact plant.

Thank you for continuing to host Bloom Day even in this busy time.

mygardenersays.com said...

Lovely indoor display for the upcoming holidays. I especially like the photos of the little kolanchoe spray, leeaaning toward the window. Happy Bloom Day and thanks for hosting!

Pauline said...

Your hellebores are further on than ours, ours will be flowering in February which makes them Lenten Roses where we are. I too had to resort to indoor flowers as there isn't much flowering outdoors at the moment.

Ann said...

My viburnum is loaded with blooms this month, more than I've ever seen before. Love it.

Nina said...

It was quite a treat to go outside and really look at the garden. It looks utterly bleak out there, and quite untidy, but when I looked closely there were so many brave little flowers battling on. By the way, I uploaded them to Instagram, don't know if you do that, but I used #gardenbloggersbloomday. Instagram tried to change it to #GardenersLoofahs. I suppose we could do a gardener's loofahs linky....one day....

John Willis said...

One of the things I enjoy most about Garden Blogger's Bloom Day is reflecting on the similarities and differences between the years and between the gardens. As one tracks back through past postings you can see old friends from the garden and surprising new additions. For me, camellias are a mainstay in December...

outlawgardener said...

Hellebores are such wonderful plants, blooming as they do at this darkest time of the year. Your amaryllis display will be spectacular this year! I got three but have left them in the greenhouse where it's a little cooler than they'd like so they're being fairly slow in growing. Thanks for hosting this wonderful meme!

Helen Gazeley said...

You can always rely on hellebores, and their leaves are such a lovely statement too. You're absolutely right. I've only being joining in GBBD a short time in comparies but it's really made me think harder about what flowers when. And if I think it'll be worth a mention on GBBD, then it's worth a try in the garden.

Kris Peterson said...

I hope my Amaryllis do as well! The outdoor garden in Southern California is very different as fall is our "second spring." With the recent addition of rain (at last!), things are on the upswing here. Thanks for hosting, Carol!

danger garden said...

Wow, your hellebores are way ahead of mine! Happy Holidays Carol.

Anna said...

I wonder which hellebore will run that race Carol - it's certainly going to be close. Thanks for another year of hosting GBBD - I've been posting for five years now although I've missed the odd month here and there :) It's always a source of inspiration to see what other people have blooming in their gardens especially in the bleaker winter months. Happy GBBD to you Carol and season's greetings.

Dee Nash said...

Hey Carol,

Thanks so much for starting this meme. I've been doing it a long time with you, and I appreciate how it has also changed my garden. The only thing I have blooming outside is a couple of pansies. Inside is a different story.~~Dee

DeniseinVA said...

I am so happy to see another flower meme, as I love visiting different places and enjoy learning from those who have more knowledge than I do. Your post is great and I love this meme also. Thank you so much for hosting. I have linked in.

bookworm said...

I hear you when you talk about your kalanchoe. Mine is leggy, and has whiteflies, and also several buds. I will fight to save it. I failed with the Christmas Rose I bought last year-I waited too long to plant it. One of these days, maybe. Happy GBBD.

Jean McWeeney said...

Gosh, I didn't even think to look at my hellebores for some hidden blooms. Thanks for doing this meme for so long Carol. It has indeed been helpful to me as well.

Christopher C. NC said...

I didn't bother to look at all my hellebores. To soon. If they even think of budding now, they will be turned to frozen mush. At times I don't see how I can even be considered the same zone as you Carol. Winter's predation on my shrubberies is in zone 4 territory. I do have a pretty if somewhat tangential Bloom Day to share. And an orchid.

Hoover Boo said...

Well, Mr. Linky doesn't like me, so no link, but congratulations on eight years of bloom days! Bravo!

Lovely begonia...we won't have hellebores until spring here, so I'll be enjoying yours via the internet long before then. :)

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

Happy Bloom Day, sadly mine does not have much to show but I am glad that you host this to give us a schedule to remind us of what is blooming and that the earth sleeps......

MulchMaid said...

Your hellebores are way ahead of ours. Do you think it's because you get cold earlier than we in zone 8 do? Thank you as always for hosting, Carol. I'm so pleased to see we will finally meet face to face at the Fling this summer!

ramblinginthegarden said...

Intriguing to see all your different H nigers... Thanks for hosting - it's always appreciated

Amy Crumbs said...

Happy Bloom Day! Your winter certainly looks bright with all the plants in your sun room.

Rose said...

I hope the Christmas hellebores bloom for you in time, Carol--those buds look promising! Thank you for hosting this meme all this time, too. I haven't missed a month yet since I started blogging, but I'm still looking for something...anything..to post about this month. Looks like I'll be late to the party once again.

jeansgarden said...

Carol, I love seeing your hellebore buds. This is the time of year when the difference between your zone and mine is most dramatic. We have been under snow since the day before Thanksgiving, and it is very likely that we won't see bare ground again until April. I wish I had your knack for getting amaryllis bulbs to form flower buds. (I think if I raised my thermostats about 10 degrees, it would do the trick!) Thanks again for hosting this joyous monthly event. -Jean

Ruth @ Camellia Rose said...

Phew, just made it this month! Lots of flowers but not too much time for posting lately. Hellebores are one of my winter joys, hope you enjoy them for the next couple of months!

WashingtonGardener said...

A day late - but I made it! Looks like my Hellebores are at about the same point as yours. Happy Holiday to all and Happy Gardening 2015!

transmutationalgarden said...

Wonderful meme! Your amaryllis look just amazing.

flutterandhum said...

As a relative newcomer, congratulations on 8 years! That's impressive! I'm a Hellebore lover too, but right now only one is blooming. Happy belated Bloom Day - here's to another good gardening year!

queerbychoice said...

Leggy or not, that kalanchoe is beautiful!

Laurin Lindsey said...

It is so much fun seeing the variety across the country! Merry Christmas dear gardeners!

chloris said...

Thanks for hosting this great meme Carol. Helleborus Niger ' Potter's Wheel' is wonderful with huge flowers if you can get the genuine article. Here, there are a lot of seed grown ones for sale, which can then out to be disappointing.

Danielle Bedics, The Magic Garden said...

Loving all of your indoor plants. So wonderful to see so many gardens from all over the world!

Lady of the Woods said...

I just discovered your garden blog and love it. I linked up and thank you. I garden alot, it is my life. I look forward to seeing your posts! :D

Erin Vaganos said...

The amaryllis plants are beautiful...I love seeing what people have going during the wintertime!