What's Blooming in December

Posted by @LarryR on
Readers responded with an avalanche of photos to our call for blossoms from their gardens to publish in our December issue of What's Blooming. Thank you one and all! Before we take a look, though, let's hear from our Mystery Blossom Contest winner, Robin (Robynznest).

2011-12-12/LarryR/24b340

Snowy mum in Allison's (Onewish1) New Jersey garden

Robin correctly identified Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips' as November's mystery flower.

We asked her to tell us about her favorite flower, about her garden, and to offer some advice based on her years of gardening.

2011-12-13/LarryR/615b2f

 

Robin's response:

The Gladiolus callianthus, Acidanthera bicolor (Robin's photo at left) is one of my favorite summer flowers, the fragrance is as wonderful as the famous Brugmansias.   Commonly known as Abyssinian, Fragrant Glad or the Sword Lily, it is very easy to grow.

 

Reminder
If you live in a warm climate, please send us your photos for the January What's Blooming article.

Plant the bulbs in the spring about 3 inches deep and watch it take off quickly, sending up leaves that can grow up to 30 inches and more. In no time the flowers will start opening showing off the creamy white petals with a purplish center. They are beautiful when combined with daylilies and other glads. Did I forget to mention the fragrance? Pure delight.

This year I was late getting them in the ground. I put some in a pot and some in a new bed. They took off in both the ground and the pot. I figured if they don't bloom this year I can dig them up or take the container inside. They bloomed in September and continued to bloom up until Thanksgiving. The temperatures were very cool with it frosting several times. So needless to say I will continue to grow this beautiful flower.

My grandmother used to grow glads all the time. They would be everywhere and I loved to go out and pick giant handfuls when I was little. Got a good scolding and a spanking when I did it, too. Granny always said that they were there for everyone to enjoy, not just me. Then I would be sent outside to pester dad and gramps. They would take advantage of all that childish energy and set me loose in the vegetable garden to gather the vegetables for dinner and to chase out the rabbits. I still can't resist picking the glads and putting them in vases all over the house, and I still go out and gather the veggies for my family's dinner. I don't run as fast as I used to, but you can still see me chasing rabbits out of the garden.

My gardening has expanded from just glads to a variety of flowers, in the ground and in containers. I don't limit myself to just flowers in containers. I love to plant different veggies in them too. Why go all the way out to the garden for a handful of green onions or chives or a tomato, when I can reach right outside my door for some? I learned that trick from my mom.

One thing I have learned from my playing and working in those gardens long ago, is to look, listen and grow. When you don't know what you want, look at other gardens to see what grows great around your area. Listen to some of those old timers, they do have tried and true experience. Grow what ever you want. If it doesn't grow, try again, try something different. Just keep trying. If it ain't growing, your knowledge is.

Even though gardening keeps me pretty busy, most days you'll find me playing on the computer, crafting or in the kitchen, experimenting and creating different dishes that are healthy, (some turn out great and some don't). I keep trying.

Thanks for sharing a bit of your garden and your knowledge with us, Robin.  And, again, congratulations on being the first one to identify our mystery flower for November, Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips.'

Let's move on now to see what's blooming in December.  Thanks to you, our readers, for your enthusiastic response to our call for photos.  If you garden in a warm area and haven't sent us any photos of your blooming plants yet, please consider doing so for our January article.  I'll set up a thread in the forum following this article where you can upload and comment on your flower photos.

Below is the reader response for December.

Gardeners
Flowers




 

Carol
(AlohaHoya)

Hawaii

2011-12-12/LarryR/92d6c4
                     Sprekelia
2011-12-12/LarryR/3b4457                       Amaryllis


 

 

Marti
(marti)

California

 2011-12-12/LarryR/6f46db
                   Rose 'Maid Marion'
2011-12-12/LarryR/4eff09
                   Canna 'Cleopatra'

 

 

 


Marti
(marti)

California

 2011-12-12/LarryR/dfdf46
                     Jefferson Rose

2011-12-12/LarryR/73eed1
                   Princess Flower

 

 

 

Sharon
(Sharon)

Kentucky

2011-12-13/LarryR/f2ae1a
                 Amaryllis 'Alfresco'
2011-12-13/LarryR/4760bb
                 Amaryllis 'Rozetta'

 

 

 

Sharon
(Sharon)

Kentucky

2011-12-13/LarryR/3faa7c
                    Amaryllis 'Joker'
2011-12-13/LarryR/ebc4d8
L-R Alfresco, Rosetta, Harlequin

 

 


Sherry
(wcgypsy)

California

2011-12-12/LarryR/e5f4c0
               Polygala myrtifolia
2011-12-12/LarryR/e0040e
           Agastache 'Tutti Frutti'

 


 

Sherry
(wcgypsy)

California

2011-12-12/LarryR/ef3966
              Hyposestes aristata
2011-12-12/LarryR/0f9cd5
                          Pentas

 


 

Sherry
(wcgypsy)

California

2011-12-13/LarryR/84e0e9
          Salvia 'Costa Rica Blue'
2011-12-13/LarryR/69859d
                     Salvia sagitata

 



Sherry
(wcgypsy)

California

2011-12-13/LarryR/b9911a
               Salvia 'Honey Rose'
2011-12-13/LarryR/16eba0
                   Salvia madrensis




Sherry
(wcgypsy)

California

2011-12-13/LarryR/8958c1
       Salvia 'Jean's Purple Passion'
2011-12-13/LarryR/cdc0cf
     Rose 'Souvenir de la Malmaison'



Left photo:

Susan
(virginiarose)

Virginia

Right photo:
Tee
(songofjoy)

Tennessee

2011-12-13/LarryR/eb491f
           Rose (Susan's avatar
)
2011-12-13/LarryR/4b11d5
                   Gaillardia 'Moxie'

 

 

 

Tarev
(tarev)

Zone 7a

2011-12-13/LarryR/8198e9
                        Mandevilla
2011-12-13/LarryR/d5b902
          Senecio anteuphorbium

  

 

 

Tarev
(tarev)

Zone 7a

2011-12-13/LarryR/6844dc
         Gaillardia 'Mesa Yellow'
2011-12-13/LarryR/4e2b12
          Gaillardia 'Arizona Sun'




 Tarev
(tarev)

Zone 7a

2011-12-13/LarryR/e70478
                   Sedum sieboldii
2011-12-13/LarryR/65023e
                 Crassula alpestris

 



Tarev
(tarev)

Zone 7a

2011-12-13/LarryR/b3ef39
               Haworthia limifolia
2011-12-13/LarryR/d98824
      Haworthia limifolia blossoms




 ____________________

MYSTERY BLOSSOM FOR DECEMBER
2011-12-13/LarryR/38b224

This plant was collected from a prairie remnant along a railroad bed in southern Illinois and named for the man who found it there.  Flower stalks begin to form in June, often reaching five feet by flowering time in August.  Blossoms last through the end of September.

HOW TO ENTER THE NAME THAT BLOOM CONTEST

Scroll down to the forum at the end of this article.  Click on the thread, "December Contest Entries."  Enter the name of the plant, either one of its common names or its botanical name (genus and species).  It's important to include its cultivar name, which appears in single quotes when it's cited.  The contest thread should appear shortly after publication of this article. 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.

CONTEST DEADLINE IS JANUARY 5, 2011

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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., as a national heritage garden. 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.  More . . .

 
Comments and discussion:
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Greetings from zone 5 by crittergarden Dec 30, 2011 8:45 PM 6
Photos of flowers blooming in December post here by LarryR Dec 22, 2011 3:40 PM 40
December Contest Entries by LarryR Dec 18, 2011 9:08 PM 8



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