An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

January 15, 2012

Bloom Day: A Few New and a Few Déjà Vu

Like much of the country, winter has been reluctant here in Tidewater. It has made several quick appearances, but has yet to unleash its full potential, keeping a few plants in a state of confusion and causing others to swell up a little early. I never thought I would say anything like this, but I do wish winter would get here for real and stick around a while, not because I like winter, I don't, but to keep the plants on schedule.

Perhaps the most confused plant I have is one of my Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea). It almost opened in time for December's Bloom Day. I know it looks a little haggard, but you must play the hand you're dealt.

Echinacea purpurea

Underneath the Coneflower are blooms more typical for January, some yellow Violas (Viola x 'Sorbet Yellow Delight).

Viola x 'Sorbet Yellow Delight'

The very satisfying Viola x 'Delta Tapestry was also planted again this year.

Viola x 'Delta Tapestry'

I also tried a new Pansy variety, Viola x 'Persian Medley'.

Viola x 'Persian Medley'  (2)

Viola x 'Persian Medley'

Viola x 'Persian Medley'  (3)

Most of my Camellia sasanqua varieties have finished for the year, however, the 'Yuletide' is still going quite strong. I regret ever speaking ill of it for being bloom-stingy the first few years I had it. Certainly it has made up for its initial slowness.

Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'

'Les Marbury' is the only one of the Camellia japonica cultivars I have that opened early, but the rest are nicely budded, and I hope they stay that way a little while. I am sure its been mentioned here before, but 'Les Marbury' is supposed to be pink and white stripes, however, mine is not. The star-in-star flower form makes it worth keeping, even with a color I don't like.

Camellia japonica 'Les Marbury'

Also falling in the Déjà vu category is Chaenomeles x 'Hime' which has now had flowers on it for 3 months.

Chaenomeles x 'Hime'

Last week I noticed the first of my Hellebores (Helleborus orientalis) had opened. Just about all of mine were unknown seedlings given to me by a good friend, and I can't say enough nice things about her or Hellebores.

Helleborus orientalis

Lastly, a Narcissus that always opens too early for its own good.  This is 'Grand Soleil d'Or' which has really looked nice this year with our lack of severe winter weather.

Narcissus 'Grand Soleil d'Or'

Has your garden had winter yet? Or like me, are you in a late fall limbo?  Share what you have, and see what others have for the first Garden Bloggers Bloom Day of 2012, hosted by Carol at May Dreams Garden.


  1. Beautiful blooms. Those Pansies look bright and cheerful.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. A true festival of intense colors, what a beauties! Unfortunately I don't have a garden but here in The Netherlands winter is still going on although low temperatures are still absent. Nature is confused and I see the first new tree leaves appearing.

  3. Good morning Les, what a great bunch of blooms you have for this winter's day. I think you have had milder temps than we have had. My coneflowers are all done and have been for a while.
    Can't wait for my Quince to be mature enough to be blooming now, same for my 'Yuletide', though she has one more little bloom.

  4. I forgot, the Grand Soleil d'Or according to my friends at Marlboro Bulbs is a yellow of course it would be blooming now.
    I planted 50 of next year I will let you know!!

  5. The garden plants all finally went to sleep for winter, but it still is not very winter like. Last week we had some very spring-like weather and the weeds were growing. Your blooms today really brighten this snowy day. Happy GBBD.

  6. Les,
    Oh my that Chaenomeles x 'Hime' camellia is stunning and I never heard of it before. I want one. The hellebore is beautiful, we have several like it I'm sure.

  7. I was astonished when one of my German irises blossomed earlier this month. I'm sure I'll miss that spot of color later this spring when it should be in bloom. My plants are as discombobulated as I am!

  8. I'm with you about hellebores. There's something about their blossoms in winter that I find so exotic.

  9. A echinacea bloom?! Amazing. Beautiful pansies, and love your camellia! I'm a bit jealous that your narcissus is blooming already!

  10. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous blooms. You inspire me to consider more camellias.

  11. They're all wonderful. Violas are my fav. Miss Billie said to always plant yellow. I should have listened; yours are grand.

  12. I love your pansies and your Camillas (sigh). You make me want to come down and visit - what a lovely bunch of blooms. I have camellia envy (can't grow them here in upstate NY zone 5). We finally got snow several days ago - up to now it was mostly a milder than normal winter.

  13. Quince in lower Cape Fear area was going strong then petered out, but is now swollen w. buds. I had Passiaflora subpeltata bloom a month ago. We did not get a hard frost until early January.

  14. must be pleased to see blooms you don't normally seed. But I understand . Last time we had this kind of winter many growth points were blown out on trees and shrubs with a late spring freeze.

  15. Dear Les, An amazing collection of blooms in your January garden. In spite of the mild winter so far, I don't have any flowers so I really enjoyed yours. Happy GBBD! P. x

  16. Les, I love the persian Medley series of violas~the colors are intensely beautiful. Do we thank winter's mia for Chaenomeles x 'Hime' or is this a long blooming shrub that we must all get? gail

  17. Helleborus in bloom already? Only my H. foetidus is blooming. Gorgeous flower color on yours!

  18. I can't wait for my hellebore to open, they're just not quite there yet.

    Happy Gardening!

  19. I am missing winter snow but not the cold. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. I swore last fall that I would plant pansies but once again I didn't so jealous of yours. All my hellebores in my post in full bloom did fine with the 15 degree weather the night before last. I was worried.

  20. I needed to see some color from the garden because I now live in a black and white world. Thanks!

  21. Lovely, lovely photos, Les (the hellebore is especially dreamy)! I'm going to research your Chaenomeles and see if it might work here in Denver - I don't see why not. A sadly underused genus here, in my opinion!

  22. Winter is here at the moment. It comes and goes for a change.

  23. NO! While we are much colder than you, I have columbine with new growth on it. My jonquils are pretty high but that isn't a problem. What I worry about, like you is that stuff will get off track, budding early then freezing, leaving the garden without their presence in spring/summer.