Monday, December 14, 2015

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - December 2015

My line-up of blooms in December looks almost exactly like my November Bloom Day post. Here we are at mid-December, still waiting for our first frost of the season. 

Maybe it's just as well that we have not had any cold weather and very little cool weather because I still have a couple of dozen of these little guys munching their way through the last of my milkweed.
Monarch butterflies have been passing through my garden on a daily basis since early spring and they've left behind a good-sized population. I am encouraged by the presence of these caterpillars to think that perhaps the beautiful butterflies that have, in recent years, been beset by loss of habitat, terrible winter weather on their wintering grounds in Mexico, and losses from the profligate use of pesticides and herbicides in the United States may actually be making a comeback.



The caterpillars are present in different sizes and different stages of their development.

These are getting close to the end of their lives as caterpillars. Soon they will begin transforming in a chrysalis.


This one is still pretty small and has a ways to grow.

As do these.

But here are some more that are getting closer to their time of transformation. 

The Copper Canyon daisy is still in full bloom.

As is the pineapple sage and the little marigolds behind it.

Several roses are putting on a show here at the end of their season. This is 'Molineux.'


Here is 'Darcy Bussell.'


The old polyantha 'Caldwell Pink.'

'Graham Thomas.'

Pink Knockout. 

Red Knockout - 'Radazz.' 

A tricycle loaded with pansies.

The violas are flourishing. Here's traditional purple.

But they come in many colors - all pretty.

The lemongrass gets knocked back when the first frost comes, but so far it is loving this extended autumn. 

And so are the red kalanchoes, still blooming on the patio table.

I do have a few new blooms this month - such as this Turk's cap.

The Fatsia japonica, or Japanese aralia, is putting forth its weird little blossoms.

As the blooms age, they attract a steady stream of pollinators, such as the tiny wasps and flies that you can see here.

The "yellowbells" or yellow Tecoma stans have finally joined their bronze sisters in putting out some blooms.
And, finally, my brugmansias have been a major disappointment this year. They normally bloom in late summer and right through our long autumn, but this year there was not even a bud showing until November. Now, in December, two of my three plants are finally sporting a few blooms.

This blush pink one has been the most prolific with its blooms.

This very pale yellow one has added a few blossoms as well, but my oldest plant, with its bright yellow blossoms, has not given me as much as a single bud this year. Wait'll next year and hope...
Thank you for visiting my garden on this December Bloom Day. As we near the end of the year, I want to wish all my readers peace and happiness for whatever holidays you celebrate at this time and may this coming year be your best one yet.

Thank you, also, to Carol of May Dreams Gardens, our hostess for this monthly meme. Happy Bloom Day!  

22 comments:

  1. How awesome to have the butterflies pay you an extended visit!! Your flowers are really pretty!

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    1. Thank you, Betty. The Monarch butterflies have been a wonderful gift from Nature.

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  2. So many blooms so late in the year, amazing. And the caterpillars...I hope those future butterflies choose to stay in your garden. Wouldn't that be lovely?

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    1. I expect they will be moving on - they are migratory creatures after all. But that's okay. I'm happy just to be their host while they are here.

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  3. Lovely. I enjoyed my visit. I learned something: didn't know that what I call leaf munchers are sometimes caterpillars who will become butterflies. I guess I will have to stop feeling so murderous towards them!

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    1. Oh, please do, Judy! They are very necessary parts of the habitat and the damage they do to plants is only temporary. The plants will survive and regrow fresh leaves.

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  4. I'd be happy with one brugmansia bloom, whenever it chose to show. I've considered trying one in the greenhouse.. except I would need a bigger greenhouse.

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    1. In most years, mine do very well, but for some reason this has been an off year. That's why I say "Wait'll next year and hope."

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    2. Waiting and hoping are so important when gardening!

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  5. I love the pictures of you blooms! You are going to be blessed with all those butterflies. That is going to be very pretty!

    Greetings, Sofie
    http://sofies-succulent-beads.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks for visiting my garden today, Sofie.

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  6. I shared your post on Facebook today; I loved the monarch catepillar pictures. And the brugmansia...another of the many plants you grow that are not hardy in upstate New York. What beautiful and unusual blooms. Happy GBBD! Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for the visit and thanks for sharing my post, Alana. Happy Bloom Day.

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  7. It is so wonderful to see all the pollinators you have in your garden and the Monarch visitors. Your roses are so beautiful as well and such a lovely sight in December!

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    1. The roses in particular are really enjoying our mild and wet autumn weather.

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  8. You have a lovely collection of English roses. It must be so rewarding to see the Monarchs living in your garden. I am planting a small butterfly garden here and I hope the monarchs will find the milkweed.

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    1. If you plant it, they will most likely come. The movement of gardeners planting milkweed right across the country has been one factor in helping their comeback.

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  9. You must be around the hill country? Your flowers are still so pretty. I'm in North Tx and haven't seen a caterpillar in weeks. It's fun to watch them eat. Which milkweed is that?

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    1. Actually, I'm about thirty miles northwest of Houston, just at the edge of zone 9a. I think y'all up "nawth" have had a bit more cool weather than we've had so far. The milkweed pictured is tropical. All of my native milkweed has gone dormant already.

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  10. Beautiful Dorothy. I've got one bloom left on my Brugmansia now, but it held on to it's blooms for a long time. You always have such a variety. even in December.

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    1. I'm just happy to have any brugmansia blooms this year. I had just about given up hope.

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