Thursday, December 14, 2017

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - December 2017

For the first seven days of December, my garden was still full of blooms and butterflies.



Blooms like these brugmansias.



And the Cape honeysuckle.



The bright marigolds.



And butterflies like this Tropical Checkered Skipper.

Then, last Friday morning, we woke up to this:  




The snow was just a memory by mid-day, but the next night temperatures dropped below freezing. That put paid to about 99% of the flowers in my garden and I've hardly seen a butterfly since. 

Here is what is left:



A few late chrysanthemums.



Some orphan marigold blossoms that were in a somewhat protected spot.



More orphans.



Of course, my antique rose bush, 'Old Blush,' can always be counted on to have a few blossoms.



As can the 'Darcy Bussell' rose.



The blossoms of the shrimp plant got a bit bitten but survived the freeze.


As did a few stray wedelia blossoms. This one was growing next to one of my rain barrels and got some protection from that.



And in the wildflower bed, this plant never missed a beat. It has been in bloom for several weeks and I've tried repeatedly to identify it, but I've been unsuccessful. It grew from a packet of mixed wildflower seeds that I planted. It's a low-growing, sprawling plant. The leaves and the flowers look as though it might be a member of the milkweed family, but that's just a guess.  



Here's a closer look. What do you think?



The loquat had just started to bloom and was unaffected by the freeze.



But, truthfully, much of my garden looks like this black and shriveled Hamelia shrub now.
  

But there is hope. The Carolina jessamine is full of buds and they'll be opening over the next several weeks to brighten my winter.

I hope your winter and your holidays are bright. Thank you for visiting my garden today and thank you, Carol of May Dreams Gardens, for hosting this monthly meme.

Happy holidays and happy gardening. 

16 comments:

  1. I was surprised that it snowed south of us, but not here in north Mississippi.
    Glad you had some survivors!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

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    1. Weather has officially jumped the tracks and become certifiably weird.

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  2. Your mystery plant looks like a type of alyssum and the frost hardiness would lead me in that direction (they can take down to 28 or so) but I think you would have known alyssum. I'm sorry for your losses but it is still 100% more outdoor flowers than we have in upstate New York and, hence, an enjoyable post to read. That snow picture, of course, would be normal for us (it's 7 above right now). Happy GBBD, Dorothy!

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    1. I believe alyssum is correct, although this one is more sprawly and the leaves narrower and more pointed than I'm used to. I just never considered it a "native wildflower" which the plants in this bed are supposed to be. Yes, Southeast Texas definitely looked like Upstate New York for about five minutes last Friday!

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  3. I'm completely surprised to still see some blooms in your garden after that sudden freeze. Happy news, I guess, because if they can survive that, what won't they?! :-)

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    1. There are a few things in the garden, like the old roses, that are just never daunted.

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  4. It's sad to see most of summer's glory cut down by freezing weather but the brave winter bloomers all budded up give us hope. I think your little white mystery plant might be Lobularia maritima (Sweet Alyssum.) Happy GBBD!

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    1. I had considered and abandoned alyssum because I hadn't expected it in a packet of native wildflower seeds, but, looking at the pictures online again, I believe you are correct!

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  5. I also think your "wild" flower is alyssum, at least by looking at the flowers. It is a great volunteer flower. Does it smell like honey when the sun shines on it?

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  6. I was surprised when I got half way through your post and saw snow! I think we got our first snow on Saturday from the same storm. It was warm and almost springlike throughout all of November and into December, then the snow came with temperatures in the 20’s and 30’s. It is nice that you still have blooms to enjoy and I especially love the roses!

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    1. That was a big system that swept all across the country, leaving snow in some very strange places. It was kinda fun while it lasted, but thank goodness that wasn't very long!

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  7. I think Peter Outlaw is right with regards to the Alyssum. I had no idea that Shrimp plants are that tough - very cool to know! Happy GBBD!

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    1. Yep, it's definitely the plant he referenced. It confused me, I think, because it doesn't really look like the cultivated varieties I've grown in the past. Shrimp plants are pretty tough, although if it get down well into the 20s, they will die back to the roots. That happened to mine last January when we had a hard freeze.

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  8. I didn't know that those tropicals that we have here can stand that cold! And i love that butterfly, chasing and photographing them is my current addiction!

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    1. I love photographing butterflies, too, although I haven't had many to photograph lately. I did see a few around the garden yesterday.

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