Blooms? In January?
Blooms? Did somebody say blooms? Are you daft? What could possibly be blooming after weeks of sub freezing temperatures, even if it has warmed up just a little? Even in the Fairegarden, the conditions have been brutal. But it’s the special day, you say, the one where garden bloggers all over the entire planet show their flowers, thanks to the canny Carol of May Dreams. Okay. But I’m warning you, the pickin’s are slim in 2010.
Let’s go to the stalwarts under the pine trees, three little Camellia sasanqua ‘Chansonette’ that have been blooming nonstop for a few months. Well, it looks like this one was stopped in its tracks, flash frozen turning it from dark daring rosy pink to hot cocoa brown.
Also living under the tall Loblolly pines are two Edgeworthia chrysanthas in bud. The furry, fuzzy buds seem almost beyond botanical, into zoological territory, worthy of inclusion in the flora of the film Avatar, don’t you agree?
Elsewhere, the remains of blooms in the form of seed pods that have opened and spilled their precious contents to the earth still offer beauty to the January garden.The form and color of the large Lilium ‘Black Beauty’ seed cases are appreciated long after their flowering has ceased. Will there be baby Beauties perhaps?
We have seen flowers frozen mid bloom, blooms yet to come and blooms from times long ago, like these Peegee Hydrangeas that hold their petals proudly. Are there no REAL flowers in all their glory on this special day?
Well yes, there is a real flower, unfazed by the cold, the leatherleaf Mahonia, Mahonia bealei. Under those same tall pines, a microclimate of protected dry shade, there are several shrubby plants that escaped from plantings elsewhere in the neighborhood. The time of bloom and gorgeous blue berries that will appear later make the case to allow this invasive on some lists to stay, under a watchful eye.
Blooms are not necessary for an attractive winterscape. Structure, movement, light and shadows all add to the scene and please the eye. But flowers feed the soul, so let’s go inside the greenhouse/sunroom for a snack.
Joining the fun in the safety of the indoor space, primroses are added when they show up for sale at the grocers. They provide eye candy, photo ops and best of all can be planted outside when the weather permits, to be enjoyed for years to come.
Is it acceptable to buy plants and flowers just for bloom day use? Yes. Is it acceptable to buy plants and flowers that will give you happiness in having them in your environment AND be photographed for bloom day? Indubitably.