Monday, December 20, 2010

A few stalwarts still blooming

During a break in the rain I took a quick stroll through the garden and snapped a few photos of what’s still in bloom. It was good to see how much color there still is. Aside from the cold spell over Thanksgiving, our weather has been fairly mild, prolonging the flowering season of these late bloomers.

Wouldn’t it be nice it we made it through the winter without any more frost? Or is the mere act of expressing that wish asking for trouble?

101219_Butterfly-ginger
Butterfly ginger (Hedychium coronarium)
I bought 10 rhizomes from an eBay seller in Hawaii
a few years ago and this is the first year they’ve bloomed.
In fact, I didn’t see the first blossom until mid-November.
I have high hopes for next year!
101219_Bulbine-frutescens
Cape balsam (Bulbine frutescens)
This succulent native to the grasslands of South Africa does very well in our climate—almost too well. I bought three plants in 4-inch containers a few years ago and I’ve divided and re-divided them many times since then. All you have to do is break off a piece of the plant along the rhizome that grows very close to the surface (sometimes even above ground) and stick it in the soil. Like aloes, the leaves contain a gel-like substance used to alleviate burns, cuts and rashes.
101219_lavender
Lavender (Lavandula sp.)
Lavender blooms almost year round in our climate.
101219_Bog-sage
Bog sage (Salvia uliginosa)
Like most sages, an indefatigable bloomer for us.
101219_salvia_puberola_flowerhead
Rose leaf sage (Salvia involucrata var. puberula)
5 feet tall now and blooming non-stop since late summer.
101219_Aloe-Grassy-Lassie
Grass aloe hybrid (Aloe 'Grassy Lassie')
A typical winter blooming aloe.
101219_Echeveria-imbricata
Echeveria (Echeveria imbricata hybrid)
101219_farfugium-giganteum-flower1 2
Giant farfugium (Farfugium japonicum giganteum)
One of my favorite shade perennials.

In addition to these late bloomers, I spotted a few plants about to start blooming.

101219_Aloe-microstigma-flower-stalk
Flower stalk of Aloe microstigma
Another winter-blooming aloe.
101219_calla-about-to-bloom
Calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica)
We have about 10 clumps of calla lilies in our back yard that survive the summer without much supplemental water. Their foliage dies off by mid-summer and comes back in the fall. In a month, we’ll have dozens of blooming callas, provided we don’t get any hard freezes.

2 comments:

  1. We could do with some of your mild weather here :)

    Lovely photos as always! I'm especially fond of the Butterfly ginger and the beautiful scent of the flowers.

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  2. Mark and Gaz, your weather is bound to get better soon. It simply can't continue like this indefinitely!!!

    I was very surprised to see our butterfly ginger blooming so late in the year. But then, our Kahili ginger was super late this year as well. I just wish these gingers bloomed longer--like all summer and fall :-).

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