December 15, 2023

December Berries and Blooms

Winter pot

As we near holiday festivities at the end of the month, I'm celebrating small highlights of color on these short days. 

Oxalis flowers 2

Oxalis vulcanicola 'Zinfandel' is blooming in the sunroom. While the landscape outdoors is brown and gray (not much snow yet), the foliage and flowers of this plant brighten our days.

Oxalis flowers

Such a beautiful combination.

Salvia flowers

The Salvia I'm overwintering in a pot with other plants has a few fading flowers. I think it's a variety of S. sylvestris, but I can't find the tag. I wonder if it will bloom off and on all winter.

Fuchsia berries 2

While blooms are sparse this month, berries are plentiful. Just a couple examples include Fuchsia 'Marinka,' which had blooms recently and has been prolific in forming berries.

Fuchsia berries

Did you know they're edible? Generally, we don't have enough berries from our few plants to bake or prepare them, but the fishman enjoys them. So I eat a few and he gets the rest. They have a slightly sweet, peppery flavor that's fun for nibbling.

Viburnum berries

Also, the Cranberrybush Viburnums (V. trilobum) in the pots in the first photo, on the shrubs, and in my previous post are bright and long-lasting. Apparently, they're mildly toxic to humans but edible in small quantities, and can be used for preserves and syrups. They certainly lend a bright cheer to any scene.

I'm linking this post to Carol's May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Head on over to see more December blooms. Happy Holidays!

December 04, 2023

A Garden Bloom in December?

vase 1

Can you believe it? After multiple frosts and freezes and snows and ices, there's still a bloom surviving from my garden?!

OK, I'll admit it's from cuttings I brought in a couple of weeks ago...but it's still blooming! So, I plopped it in a vase with several other elements for display. I'm joining in with Cathy's meme In a Vase on Monday.

mum flower

The bloom is an unknown hybrid, I believe derived from Chrysanthemum morifolium. This little flower is graceful and colorful, and deserves some kudos.

dusty miller

Along with the bloom, I added some Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria​) foliage that was hanging out in pots on the porch. Talk about a sturdy plant!

viburnum berries

Also the lovely, vibrant berries from Cranberrybush Viburnum (V. trilobum). They really add zing!

mum foliage

Finally, I included foliage from the Mum; I love the way it's variegated after several freeze/thaw cycles.

vase 2

It's a happy little vase. :)

Head on over to Cathy's Rambling in the Garden blog to see other entries for the meme. I hope our American friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving. And Happy Holidays to all in the weeks ahead!

November 15, 2023

Celebrating the Survivors


For this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, the outdoor blooms are few and far between. I admit I cheated a little, and took these photos a few days ago. However, these particular plants are still in roughly these same stages today and we're having a warming trend, with winds from the southwest.

Shown above, my Mums (Chrysanthemum x. morifolium) continue to bloom, despite several rounds of frosts and freezes. They're such cheery, hardy plants.


These Fuchsias (Fuchsia 'Dark Eyes') have paused as buds, while most of their neighbors closer to the earlier cold winds have succumbed to the elements.


Lesser Calamint (Calamintha nepeta) always amazes me this time of year--frequently sporting a few tiny blooms until the weather is consistently brutal for several days. It probably helps that they're growing as a patch of groundcovers near a corner of the house.


This is a former "bloom." However, the seedheads of Sedum 'Autumn Joy' (S. spectabile) are stunning as they age to a bright mauve. They brighten the landscape in various garden locations for weeks on end.


Finally, the 'Ozawa' Allium (A. thunbergii) I celebrated recently remains regal as the blooms close and fade.

Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! And thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting!

November 13, 2023

Single Blooms in a Vase on Monday


I don't have much to show for this event (ooops, I also missed todays' theme), but I wanted to honor Cathy at Rambling in the Garden on her 10th anniversary of hosting "In a Vase on Monday." Cheers!

The tiny, partially opened Zinnia (Z. elegans 'State Fair Mix'), shown above, has been sitting on my kitchen counter since the end of October. It's fading, but I'm holding on to the last bits of freshness while I can.


I also plopped a colorful, drying Hydrangea bloom (H. macrophylla) in a vase, to enjoy as it fades slowly over the next few months.

Autumn 2023 in Southern Wisconsin is taking its time to concede to winter, and I'm OK with that. However, vases in the next few weeks and months will feature non-blooming garden elements, store-purchased flowers, or combinations of both. Congratulations, Cathy, on a wonderful meme!

November 01, 2023

Wordless Wednesday:
A Few Dahlias From the Philly Fling

















Chanticleer arrangement
A lovely arrangement at Chanticleer showcasing Dahlias
[Dahlias presented mostly in the order I saw them; various Philadelphia gardens. Most cultivars weren't marked.]

October 23, 2023

In a Vase on Monday: Late-Season Lovelies

sans mums

At this point in October, I always wonder when the garden's fresh flower gifts will end. Still no frost here, so the cut flowers continue...but next week's forecast looks cold.


The first photo in this post shows my arrangement without Mums, but I added some. These Mums are hybrids of several varieties that have been on-site here for years. They are likely some hybrid of Daisy Mum (Chrysanthemum x. morifolium). The next photo shows the same arrangement as in the first photo, but with the Mums added.

with mums

I don't know if I prefer the arrangement with the Mums or not, but I kept them in.


The grouping also includes a few cuttings of Hubricht's Bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii), a  clump-forming perennial that becomes quite golden after the first frost. 


Sedum 'Autumn Joy' (S. spectable) adds some bulk and structure.


The Hostas throughout the garden are slowly yellowing, although they're still erect. It's nice to have an extended season in this stage. This large-leaved Hosta variety was here when we moved in and not marked, so I don't know the variety.


'State Fair Mix' Zinnias (Z. elegans) just keep on giving until a hard frost. I grow them from seed and they're such a joy from late May through October.


In addition to the larger arrangement, I had a few Cosmos (C. bipinnatus), also grown from seed, from a previous grouping, which I plopped in a bud vase.


And finally, 'Zowie! Yellow Flame' Zinnias keep me smiling. How can a person be sad looking at these cheery blooms?

That's it for now. Will I have more fresh cut flowers this season? Time will tell. Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this lovely meme.