Gardeners in Warmer Climates
Send me a Tree-mail and show us what you've got blooming in December. I'll post as many photos as we have room for.
What's Still Blooming Outside
Expecting to find nothing in bloom in our gardens today, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the two stalwart plants below with several blossoms still holding on for dear life. This after nighttime temperatures had dipped as low as 16 degrees Fahrenheit (-9 degrees Celsius). Both plants are versatile, longtime bloomers.
Hardy in: Zones 5-7
Height: 1-1.5 feet
Spread: 1-1.5 feet
Bloom Time: May-September
Bloom Color: Yellow
Light: Part sun to full shade
Tolerates: Dense Shade
Uses: Drifts/borders; will naturalize
Native range: Europe
| Corydalis lutea (Yellow Corydalis)
Hardy in: Zones 3-8
Height: 0.5-0.75 feet
Spread: 2-3 feet
Bloom time: May to July
Bloom color: Pinkish lavender
Light: Part shade to full shade
Tolerates: Dry soil/dense shade
Uses: Groundcover/border; will naturalize
Native range: Europe
| Lamium maculatum (Spotted Dead Nettle)
Congratulations to Moby, the winner of last month's Mystery Blossom Contest! October's mystery flower was Hemerocallis 'Cherry Cheeks.' Moby is a charter member of ATP and one of the first contributors to our comprehensive plant database. Here is how she responded to my interview questions:
How did you come to be a gardener?
I really don't know how I became a gardener—maybe it's just my love of being outdoors. My parents had a vegetable garden for our family of seven.
How long have you been gardening?
I've always gardened some; even while living in rentals I'd plant a few tulips or some annuals for color. The first garden of my own (veggies) was when I was newly married, nearly 30 years ago. I've gotten serious about flowers in the last 15 years.
If you had a chance to give just one piece of advice to a beginning gardener, what would it be?
Grow what you love! Then you won't mind a little effort to care for it. If there is a type of plant that you know will grow in your area, then jump in with both feet.
Why did you choose this particular photo for publication?
This is what made me jump in! I wanted a Clematis and had been doing a lot of research to find the one that was right for me and where I wanted it to grow. My Mom wanted a couple of Irises so we went to a local nursery. I found the Clematis that I wanted and noticed a potted Stargazer lily. I asked the clerk if they grew here in zone 5. She gave me an odd look and said 'yes'. "Really?" I asked, with heart palpitations. I'd always loved Oriental lilies but thought something so big, beautiful, and fragrant must surely be tropical.
|Moby's favorite flower photo: Her artful arrangement of Stargazer lilies framed with clematis vines
Do you have a favorite flower?
I now have lilies of every sort, shape, color and size but Oriental lilies are my true love.
Do you grow vegetables as well?
I do grow veggies as well, though these days it is limited to tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic and horseradish.
Do you have any other hobbies?
I have a vast and ever-changing array of hobbies. From pounding flowers to casting leaves of concrete. My next adventure is going to be dyeing silk scarves with plant materials. Perhaps my favorite hobby is learning something new!
|MYSTERY BLOSSOM FOR NOVEMBER
DEADLINE FOR IDENTIFYING THIS FLOWER IS
December 8, 2012
This interesting perennial blooms the first year from seed and is hardy to zone 4. Its unusual blooms are available in shades of pink, light purple, and white (occasionally with a purple center as in the photo). A hybrid, it produces very little seed. Any seed produced does not come true.
HOW TO ENTER THE NAME THAT BLOOM CONTEST
Scroll down to the forum at the end of this article. Click on the thread, "November Contest Entries." (The thread may not appear immediately after the article is published. If there is no thread by that name, please start one titled "November Contest Entries" if you'd like to identify the mystery flower.) Enter the genus and the cultivar names of the plant pictured at left. The winner gets to select a photo of a blooming plant from her/his garden, to be published in next month's What's Blooming article, along with a brief interview.
Check back often to see if the bloom has been identified. If readers are having difficulty, I may provide a hint.
ABOUT COTTAGE-IN-THE-MEADOW GARDENS
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens, owned by Larry and Wilma Rettig, South Amana, Iowa, has been featured in local and national publications, on the Internet, and is listed with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., in its Archives of American Gardens. Larry and Wilma grow over 300 varieties of flowers, trees, shrubs, and vegetables. Since 1986, they have maintained a seed bank that preserves vegetable varieties brought from Germany to the Amana Villages during the 1850s