Bloom Days January 2008

Welcome to the second Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post for Faire Garden. Following the advice of the organizer of this event, Carol at May Dreams Gardens, this little red primrose was purchased at the grocery to ensure there was some color for January’s photos.

The sunroom/greenhouse lived up to the expectations however, with several of its inhabitants in bloom. This abutilon hybrid, variety unknown, was in a mixed container planting of perennials from a big box store, marked down at the end of the season. So far the conditions indoors are to its liking.

This close up shows the darker veining well.

This impatiens is a volunteer seedling that must have blown in to the pot from the wall planting a couple of years ago. During warm weather the pot sits on a bench in the covered back doorway. It got cut way back when the pot was brought inside but still has managed to produce a flower.

div>The reason for the orchids is their winter bloom period. This oncidium “Sharry Baby’ is a workhorse plant with several blooms through the year.

The paphiopedilums offer exotic flowers, ease of care and smaller plants. Other orchids have been given the heave ho in favor of the paphs. This is P. ‘Oriental Mystique’.

The vanda alliance grows with no growing medium. There are four different plants encased in a birdola bird feeder, roots dangling. There was no tag on the one blooming now, it is referred to as the large vanda.

Blooming for over a month and starting to lose its color is this brassia ‘Fritz Boedeker’. We usually get two, sometimes three blooms from this guy per year.

We have now moved outdoors where not much is going on except the pansies. Their little faces are so sweet. Note the daffodil foliage peeking up in the background.

Previously the subject of a posting, the heaths are starting to bloom. This one is erica darleyensis ‘Mediterranean White’. It has been nearly impossible to get a decent picture of these flowers. The close ups are always out of focus and washed out. This one isn’t that great either.

More pretty violas in another bed.

I wanted you to be able to see the dark blue outline of the middle yellow petals. Sometimes we hold viola beauty contests, since each flower is slightly different than the next. This would surely be a semi finalist.

The name of this hardy geranium is not known. The brilliant red leaves had not been noticed until this year in the search for color on the fifteenth of each month.

Carolin jessamine, gelsemium sempervirens, has many buds and this one opened on cue for the bloom day.

Wrapping up with these violas in the blue pot. Next month should see many more flowers from which to choose for their portraits to be published for bloom day . But this month’s efforts by the plants to oblige were far from shabby.


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40 Responses to Bloom Days January 2008

  1. Carol says:

    I agree, this month’s showing in your garden is far from shabby. Quite impressive. I need to get some more orchids!

    Thanks for joining us for bloom day.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. Frances says:

    carol…thanks for the comment and for the idea. It really gives us something to plan for and look forward to, (how’s that for ending a sentence in a preposition)!

  3. chickenpoet says:

    The viola’s in the blue pot win first place for me. I am restraining myself from purchasing anymore of those beauts, but it is hard. Evergreen talked to me in my dreams last night. The primose is a deserving seconds. Love much.

  4. Frances says:

    chickenpoet…More violas for sure, but wait for the new arrivals, at least another month. There will be so many things you will want, you will be very glad you waited! The blue pot makes any plant look good. Thanks and love.

  5. gintoino says:

    Frances, thank you for visiting my GBBD post. I have to say your orchids are beautifull! I wish I could grow them (I’m not that good with house plants so I’m always afraid I might kill them). I was looking through the blog and loved your garden. Beautifull!

  6. Frances says:

    gintoino…welcome and thanks for commenting. About the orchids, they bloom for such a long period, you could consider them like a cut flower and just compost them after they finish blooming. That is if they are available and inexpensive enough, as they are here in the states lately.

  7. Carolyn gail says:

    My first visit to your beautiful Tennessee garden -indoors and out. I grew up in Northern Alabama and we frequently visited cousins in Tennessee.

    Your orchids are splendid. The houses are so close in the city that not many windows offer sufficient light for indoor blooms. My indoor garden is quite small but I am enjoying it in these cold dark days of winter.

  8. Nan Ondra says:

    Thank you, thank you, Frances, for those vibrant reds. What a great way to start the day! The orchids are gorgeous too, and how great that you were able to find some outdoor beauties as well.

  9. Frances says:

    Caroline gail…welcome and thanks for visiting. We do need sunlight in the short days of winter. I have to keep the indoor plants in a room of their own, my cat Hazel eats everything green, so I cannot enjoy them as often as I would like. They still give much pleasure though.

  10. Frances says:

    nan…you are more than welcome. How wonderful this bloom day idea is. We get to see wonderful photos from diverse gardens, indoors and out.

  11. Annie in Austin says:

    Hi Frances – what a nice post from a fellow pansy/viola fan! I planted my red abutilon outside and have a frozen stick… if another one shows up on the bargain table it might be designated a houseplant instead.

    You have so many lovely plants blooming inside that you might not have needed the primrose but who could say no to Carol?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  12. Frances says:

    Annie…Thanks. There will always be funds for violas no matter what. Abutilon has wintered over here, barely, and blooming so late the following year it was zapped so the decision was made to bring it in. Now to look for the more interesting variegated ones. And we would not dream of saying no to Carol!

  13. brokenbeat says:

    i am completely loving life right now. for i have your january bloom day magic staring me in the face, purposefully smiling. also i’m rocking out in the office to some good ole death metal, letting the pleasurably harsh pangs of my favorite musical genre inspire. to some, flowers and death metal might seem to send contrasting messages, but in my opinion everything complements metal, especially those pansy beauty contestants. much love.

  14. Frances says:

    brokenbeat…thanks. maye you would like to be a judge this year in the viola beauty pageant.

  15. Nicole says:

    That’s a very impressive “winter” post-the orchids, ablutilon and pansies are lovely. I’ve been meaning to try growing an ablutilon for some time.

  16. Frances says:

    nicole…thanks. Checking out your site, all I can say is WOW! I have added you in my sidebar…A Caribbean Garden. Love the abutilon.

  17. Green thumb says:

    A very intersting GBBD post indeed!! The Primrose looks gorgeous and the orchids lend a magical touch to your indoor garden. Thanx for sharing.

  18. Jim/ArtofGardening says:

    At least YOU have some colors – in plants that are alive!

    Had I thought in advance I might have found some color (though not blooming) outside last week, when it was warm. But I don’t think that far in advance.

    Thanks for the comment on my site, I’m an art director/graphic designer, so I have Photoshop skills of which mere mortals dream. That is how I was able to “cut out” or silhouette the image on my post. Thanks for visiting!

  19. Frances says:

    green thumb…welcome and thanks. I have added your link to my sidebar.

  20. Frances says:

    jim…Ha, no wonder your site is so graphically gorgeous! It seems the bloom day posts involve some PRE bloom day scouting with the camera, even for those planningly challenged.

  21. Mr. McGregor's Daughter says:

    Frances – I have to agree with Annie that you didn’t need to buy that primrose. You have plenty going on inside & out. I love all your pansies & violas. Here’s a trick you might try to photograph that Heath/Heather/ericaceous thing I can’t grow. Try holding a piece of cardboard behind the plant, autofocus the camera on the plant, remove the cardboard without moving the camera (having an assistant helps), then snap the picture. That should make the shot be in focus.

  22. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Hi Frances, your blooms are magnificent…especially that boom of color at the beginning.

    I just love orchids but they don’t rebloom in my possession. I have given up on them.

    I grew abutilon this summer and had success with them in pots on my patio. I read where they are good candidates to come inside but I didn’t bring mine in. I just don’t have a lot of room…now I wish I had since yours are doing so well. Maybe next year.

    And those sweet little pansies and violas. I buy them every year in hopes that the violas will take. Not in my garden…sigh…

  23. Christa says:

    Your orchids are amazing. Such a great variety you have! And I love your primrose. Such deep and rich, vibrant color to liven up the bland days of January.

  24. Frances says:

    MMD…Thanks, for the comment and the photo tip! I will try that out since there are many ericas blooming that I would love to shoot.

    Lisa…thanks. This is my first abutilon indoors and it would get a high recommendation. The trick to growing the pansies and violas here is to plant them in October. It has cooled enough for them not to fry and they struggle through the cold season then go crazy in spring, but die in the summer. Really a winter annual.

    Christa…welcome and thanks. Red does appeal to the eye this time of year.

  25. rusty in miami says:

    Hi Frances, welcome to bloom day, I like your selection of flowers, specially that Oriental Mystique very cool flower. The abutilon hybrid looks like a hibiscus may be they are related.
    Thanks for visiting my blog, and I will be coming back to yours.

  26. Frances says:

    rusty in miami…thanks. The Southern Living Garden Book, my go to for info says the abutilon is a malvaceae, as is the hibiscus. Good family identification there.

  27. Entangled says:

    Such pretty violas! If I was judging the beauty contest, the last one would win.

    I had the same white Mediterranean Heath all last winter in a container on the front steps, but it didn’t survive the heat and drought of the summer when planted in the ground.

  28. Frances says:

    entangled…welcome and thanks. There have been deaths among the ericas along the way. It seems they are more drought tolerant after they are established, but less so they first couple of years, actually needing more water. I keep on trying though until a few take hold.

  29. Meems says:

    frances: thanks for stopping by hoe and shovel and leaving a comment. I am so jealous of all your orchids… they have done a marvelous job blooming for you and your entire GBBD display is full of brightness and color. congrats!

  30. Layanee says:

    Only your second bloom day and so much to see! Thanks!

  31. Yolanda Elizabet says:

    What a lovely and colourfull contribution to GBBD. Well done Frances! Love that pretty abutilon, I have a pink one, also with lovely veining.

    Primroses are one of my favourite plants, you can never have enough of them. 😉

    Your orchid oncidium looks stunning, the flowers are gorgeous.

    And hurray for the violas and pansies!!! What would our winter gardens be without them!

    BTW I noticed that you love Merry Hall by Beverley Nichols. I love the books he wrote about gardening and cats and have them all.

  32. Frances says:

    meems…welcome and thanks. The orchids were especially well behaved this bloom day, they know if they don’t bloom, they go to the compost!

    layanee…thanks. It will be fun to see the increase in bloom photos for everyone as spring enters 2008.

    Yolanda Elizabet…thanks so much. I want to try more abutilons, they have been rewarding. After reading Merry Hall I bought the rest of Nichol’s garden and cat books also, but to me Merry Hall is far superior.

  33. Bonnie says:

    Hi Frances, thanks for visiting my post. We are similar to you in that we have to plant cool season crops quickly to get a crop before the warm weather gets to be too much for them. I put my peas in the ground in December, after we got some good solid cool weather. This month, I’ll plant beets to get them going and get a good crop.

    I love your abutilon. I saw one at a nursery here, but decided not to buy as it would be an outdoor and was listed as tender, which I could not stomach having it die on me right after buying.

  34. Frances says:

    Bonnie…thanks for those helpful hints about vegetable growing. A plate of fresh peas with a dab of unsalted butter..yummmm.

  35. Pam/Digging says:

    Love those cheerful violas in the blue pot! You have a lot in bloom indoors, and a good deal going on outside too.

  36. Frances says:

    pam…thanks, we feel very fortunate here with all the cheerful blooms. Looking forward to seeing you and your garden!

  37. Robin's Nesting Place says:

    I’ve been working this week and still catching up on bloom day posts. I too am very impressed with your January blooms, you even have impatiens blooming. Great job!

  38. Frances says:

    robin’s nesting place…thanks. the impatiens is so unexpected, but helps with the flower count this time of year.

  39. Kylee says:

    Beautiful blooms, Frances! Love the orchids! I’ve got a hardy geranium that looks exactly like yours and I don’t know the identity of it, either, but I love the reddish tint to its leaves.

  40. Frances says:

    Kylee…Thanks and welcome. That geranium is a staple in my front bed, making a good weaving evergreen filler. It would be helpful if you could find the name of it, wouldn’t it?

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