Monday, December 15, 2008

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day December 2008

There is not much blooming in the garden this month. The German Chamomile still puts on its very small show, the yellow button mums are still going (but the funny thing is the mature specimens are pretty much past their bloom, the cuttings planted this fall are still glowing and I don't understand that at all), pansies are hanging tough, and the sweet alyssum is also hanging, albeit a bit low.

But it is all okay, I do not normally expect anything to be blooming in the garden in December. We shall see if I can find any blooms next month. I think I will be able to since my vernal witch hazel is in full bud. If I do find blooms, then a goal of mine from many, many years ago will have been met. When I began gardening here back in 2001 or so, I had endeavored to have something in bloom every single month of the year. I am nearly there and will be ever so happy if it happens-finally! And trust me when I say having something in bloom every month of the year is not due to my gardening techniques or green thumb, we who live in this area are lucky to have weather that allows gardening all year round and that is one of the reasons I love Tennessee.

Here are a few pictures of December blooms in the garden. Begonias are in full bloom in the house, I'll showcase them later in another post. The first picture on this bloom day post is of Eleagnus pungens, aka Silverberry 'Fruitlandii'. I love this shrub as a hedge and filler and everything else in the garden too. These blooms were a surprise and had I known earlier that they were blooming, this shrub would have been my plant of the month simply because it has a larger mass of blooms; which are fragrant, and this shrub is very reliable in the garden. I am not going to say these blooms smell as good as Daphne in the winter, but they are pretty darned close and can perfume a good two acres on a still night! I think if Skeeter checks her silverberries she will find the same blooms and scent. Here are some other blooms for you. Skeeter, do check them out! The ubiquitous (thanks Rose) pansy, complete with ice (this is December after all).
Poinsettia; which was a lovely door prize at this year's Montgomery County Master Gardener Association Christmas Party.
Silica transparencii, aka Bottle tree. It always blooms, never needs watering, fertilizing or pruning. Thanks TC for the book Tough Plants for Northern Gardens by Felder Rushing that identifies the bottle tree by latin name for me:)
Kerria japonica 'Plenifora' is bravely showing a bloom or two. It must really like the cold. There are no leaves on it and it has been blooming off and on since I planted it back in April-more so once the weather cooled down.
A just for fun picture that shows the ice in the garden on this day (Saturday).
Sweet alyssum, a stalwart.

Carol at May Dreams hosts GBBD.

I will be offline for a bit, in the meantime do enjoy the regularly scheduled posts and your holidays. I'll be back as soon as I am able to, and for now I am........

in the garden....enjoying the sweet scent of silverberries.


  1. How cool the bottle tree has a latin name!

  2. Hi Tina, you have done well in your goal of year around bloom. We have to search pretty thorought to find something too. We must find the name of the yellow button! We have volunteers of the eleagnus, very invasive here! I will look for flowers on them, never even thought about it. Have a wonderful holiday!

  3. Glad you have some blooms Tina. All I have now are pansies and the lavender, but for December, that's quite a lot!

  4. Have a lovely time and I love your bottle tree!

    I have a post scheduled for tomorrow about signature plants - with a link to your original post of course :)

  5. Hi Tina, at least you have that gorgeous red and sparkling whites in your garden....but I simply LOVE your bottle tree!
    Have a lovely week!

  6. Tina--I hope you enjoy your time offline--I'll miss you! That silverberry is stunning--yet another plant you've introduced. And I love your picture of the frost covered pansy--mine are all inside frost covered deer. Beautiful bloom day, and I can't wait until you achieve your goal in January. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas. xo, Cosmo

  7. Hi Tina,

    Love the Elaeagnus ...I have a similar one in my does smell was hiding under the bush honeysuckle! We are lucky to be able to have something in bloom every month of the year! Let's see what January brings us! Have a splendid day...Gail

  8. A very appropriate name for the bottle tree! I suppose there must be some different variety names? The silverberries look good!

  9. Tina,

    I have eleagnus pungens and wrote to a plant expert in Washington, DC about concerns for invasiveness after reading his article on fragrant plants in The Washington Post.

    At this point pungens is on the 'watch' list and he told me to continue to enjoy my shrub.

    The invasive eleagnus in this area are Russian olive (E. angustifolium) and autumn olive (E. umbellata).

    Hope this helps! We love the fragrance of pungens.


  10. I do like that silica transperica:) You are lucky, Tina, to be just enough south of us to have some blooms right now. Even my alyssum has given up to the cold here.
    Thanks for the link love!

  11. Nothing blooming here on this 3-degree morning except a couple houseplants;)

  12. Tina, after reading this, I rushed to the yard to check on the Silver Berry’s but not blooms :( Hum, I wonder why not but oh well, still love the wonderful growth of them this past year. Thanks for the suggestion in planting them. In time they will hide the ugly from next door...

    I did spot some tiny White Alyssum blooms in the garden and a few loquat blooms as well.

    The Saint and I had a great time entertaining our guests over night. They seem to enjoy the hayride, hot apple cider but the highlight was the Saint and teenager playing guitar together! That kid has a smile from cheek to cheek and so did the teenager! tee hee. Soggy yard never slowed us down. Garden friends are the best! With only about 3 hours of sleep last night, I think it is time for a nap....

  13. I think your garden is still looking lovely in December with the bottle tree providing some colorful accents. Love the latin name, lol Pansies are the diehards of my garden at this time of the year, but I was lucky to have a few sporatic bloomers. Happy GBBD Tina.

  14. Love, love, love the bottle tree and its botanical Latin alter ego! I feel compelled to comment about your poll on white or multi-colored Xmas lights. I love the colored lights outdoors and everywhere indoors EXCEPT for some crazy reason on my Xmas tree, where I only use white lights. I have no idea why.
    ~ Monica

  15. How cute to include the bottle tree in the December GBBD!! I to think it very neat that it actually has a latin name.

  16. Thanks Tina, love, love, love your bottle tree. I'm going to remember that! Helen

  17. Does that Sweet Alyssium smell nice? I love flowers in winter no matter how delicate. That bottle tree looks pretty happy, too- let's make up a botanical name for it.

  18. LOL - sorry just re-read your post and I see that you DID name it. Silicia Transparencil --
    love it :-))

  19. Hi all!

    Thanks for all the nice comments. Everyone needs a bottle tree as they are so fun. You would not believe the folks who have them and the others who don't. I recently changed some of my bottles and am going to make another soon so watch for that.

    Dawn, Dave, JGH, Helen, I wish I could take credit for naming the bottle tree, but I believe Felder Rushing did? At least I got the name from there. And yes Dave, different varieties such as all blue have cultivar names according to the book. Isn't that a hoot?

    Monica, I did a whole posting on colored vs whites last year concerning Christmas lights. It was when the blog was new and not much feedback. My theory was northerners like the colored lights, southerners like the white, but my poll and your comment have pretty much thrown that theory out of whack. Sigh. I'll rerun the post at some point, it is sure to bring some interesting responses. North vs South?? Ha!

    Frances, Cameron, and Gail, You all are so right about the eleagnus. I think it may be on the watch list here, but mine has never volunteered. Usually when eleagnus is listed as invasive it is the Russian Olive, but also the pungens has gained bad attention too. It is too bad because as an evergreen, fast grower, no pests, bloom and fragrance it can't be beat!

    VP, I will for sure look for that post-I am loving the responses.

    Kanak, Helen, Jean, Racquel, Linda, Rose, and Marnie, Thanks so much and I am glad to hear there are some plants blooming-maybe the bottle tree isn't a plant-but how fun is it? I'm really trying to start a trend here in our area-bottles anyone?:)

    Marnie, Do stay warm! Brrrr!

    Cosmo, I miss the blogs too and I will be back to see you soon enough. Thanks and hugs to you too!

    Skeeter, You hit the nail on the head!

    Who put that word verification on here? Ha!

  20. Lovely post Tina you are so good finding all those 'in bloom' things for Decembers GBBD. Well done/ Tyra

  21. My garden is still limping along. I so hate to see the blooms go!

  22. I have no blooms in my yard for this months GBBD so I opted out.

    What month does helaboris bloom in your state?

  23. I should try a bottle tree. The college students certainly chuck enough them in our yard. Nothing is blooming in Maine but ice. A bloom every month sounds like paradise. You must be happy.

    Have a wonderful holiday!

  24. Amazing to see that you're still sporting blooms - most enjoyable post. We can almost smell the Eleagnus from here.

    You have a great holiday season!/Deb

  25. Oh I hope you will have something blooming next month. It will be several months for us here in PA. Your bottle tree does provide a lot of nice color too.

  26. Nice blooms, even for December.

    Is the bottle tree mainly an eastern species? We don't seem to get them here on our coast. I'm surprised more people don't plant them here, though, since they're so colorful!

  27. looks like your bottle tree is growing with more blooms.

  28. You have an amazing amount of color for December...even the pansy with the ice on it is pretty! The bottle tree gets my vote for best in show:) Jan

  29. Tyra, Thanks! We are lucky to have fairly mild weather here.

    Brenda, It is quite cold for sure.

    Dan, The hellebores usually start in February or so. They are coming on strong too.

    Sarah, You mean those ivy leagued college students throw their bottles in your yard? Shame on them!:) Yes, do pick them up and make a bottle tree-within view of their houses too! You could start a trend with everyone around there. Just tell them your southern friend talked you into it.

    Deb, Thanks! That eleagnus does smell really good too.

    Cindy, Bottle trees are the best!

    Lostlandscape, You bet it is an eastern species, with a bit of southern beer drinking thrown in (courtesy of my neighbor-not me!). You must get some planted in your neck of the woods. I like your signature plant post. So unique!

    Marmee, That ole tree constantly changes as the gardeners adds to it and takes away. A simple process too:)

    Jan, Thanks! I am so partial to that bottle tree and I appreciate your vote.

  30. Hi Tina,
    I am off today, because school is closed due to slick roads. I can do some more baby proofing, as our grandson is spending the night tonight, and catch up on my blog reading.

    I remember when my pansies were hanging on like yours, but we've had such cold, they are finished. Your bottle tree is pretty!

  31. Thanks Sue. Have a great day off! They cancelled school on Tuesday (when we were out of town) so the poor Jimster didn't miss much, but has to make up exams today due to the schools being closed on Tuesday. I wanted to tell you from the other comment that answering comments is pretty easy when I subscribe via email to the comments. I just do it from there and it has become habit. Just wait, you'll see. You do a good job of responding. Even responding on another's blog is perfectly acceptable too. I don't remember seeing a bottle tree in your garden but I could see a lovely one right out front somewhere protected by that maple? What do you say? Aren't they great for color?

  32. LOL Tina, I just got finished eating lunch, and am part way through cleaning out my email mailbox. Now, I will go back to my baby proofing and dusting in the living room.

    I do subscribe to the comments of the blogs I leave comments on, and then try to unsubscribe after the person has replied to my comment, unless there is a discussion I'm interested in following. Sometimes I don't delete email after reading it because I think I want to go back later and visit the person who made a comment. :o)

    I'm glad you had a fun trip.

  33. Hey, Tina, that's one thing I don't do, is post right from the email, but I'm doing it now. That is pretty handy.

    I don't know if I'm organized enough to gather the things I'd need for a bottle tree. My tree is too tall, so I'd have to come up with something else to put the bottles on.

  34. Stay tuned Sue, I have some special posting of new types of bottle trees that you might be able to fit in.

    You do exactly like me! Unsubscribe once the blogger has responded. If not, gee the email box can get full. Urgh! Glad the tip works for you.