In spite of this relatively mild climate, I have had trouble with a Camellia I had high expectations for. I purchased Yuletide (Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide') almost ten years ago, and it has always been reluctant to set any buds, although it has grown well otherwise. So this summer I put a little triple phosphate around it hoping to get more blooms. Now it is covered with more buds than ever before, lots of tight, unopened, reluctant buds. I guess I need to tell it that next week is Christmas and it was named Yuletide not only for its color, but it is supposed to bloom in December. Out of hundreds of buds, I have only one open flower and only two buds showing any color.
My other Sasanquas are in a shadier location on the north side of the house and are not as shy as Yuletide. My Show-No-Sake (Camellia sasanqua 'Showa-No-Sake) was pictured last month.
Mine-No-Yuki (Camellia sasanqua 'Mine-No-Yuki') is also sold as 'White Doves' and is a low growing, sprawling variety.My most vigorous Sasanqua is Kanjiro (Camellia sasanqua 'Kanjiro'), and it is very upright and a reliable bloomer each year. Right now it is the star of the side garden.
My Quince is confused with one early bloom. I am also confused as I do not know which species this is. I was told that this cultivar was 'Ore Hime' when it was given to me, but I can only find a reference to a variety named 'Hime'. My free Knockout (Rosa 'Radrazz') is still blooming and producing buds, even in a pot on the exposed front steps. I got this compliments of Jackson and Perkins and like a lot of the trial roses I get, it ended up in a pot. I have to really like a rose to commit it to the garden. In the back yard Mahonia (Mahonia x 'Winter Sun') has started blooming.
Creeping Ornamental Raspberry (Rubus calycinoides) has been evergreen for me in mild winters. During the past two summers the dry conditions have kept it in bounds, otherwise it can be a thug. The white flowers are not that showy, but the fall and winter foliage is nice and it is thick enough to choke out weeds, but not so thick that spring bulbs can't come through it.
Tetrapanax papyriferus is also known as Rice Paper Plant and is indeed used in China to make a paper from the stem. I grow it for the tropical foliage effect it gives my garden, and this particular one is a larger leaf form. I am not sure it has a cultivar name, but Plant Delights sells one they call 'Steroidal Giant' which sounds awfully similar. I put a pint sized plant in the garden this spring, and it is now over 6' tall with individual leaves 2' across. The foliage has been damaged by the cold, but it brought out some interesting colors.
Loretta seemed to be enjoying the Tetrapanax as well.
Several news outlets this week were reporting "new" findings about dogs. It seems it is now recognized that dogs have the ability to know when they were being treated differently from other dogs and will act out, sulk or generally feel bad when this occurs. This is not news to multiple dog owners, so in the spirit of equal opportunity, here is a picture of Patsy. As of last Sunday, she is now 14 years old. She can be lovingly hard headed, and is now hard of hearing as well, though just as sweet as ever.
Now matter what or how you celebrate - Happy Holidays! Please stop by Carol at May Dreams Gardens to wish her Season's Greetings and to thank her for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.