Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stop and Smell the December Flowers.

Oh, the weather outside is...65 and sunny?

It's not beginning to feel much like Christmas.

Don't get me wrong. I'm enjoying this respite from the gray, South Carolina drearies immensely. After all, this former northern girl remembers many brutal days, driving to work at the publishing company in the Chicago 'burbs, with the wind chill registering -30 degrees. Or wading through the lake effect snow. Or shoveling the driveway, only to have it covered fifteen minutes later by the snow plow.

No, I will never complain about southern winters.

I will, however, admit that I was less than optimistic about my ability to participate in December's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, hosted by May Dreams Gardens. I'm terribly tardy in starting my paperwhites, which I thought would be a featured photo during bloomless December. I also haven't planted the amaryllis, which is a Christmas staple. In fact, my Christmas bulbs are lingering in the garage, along with an additional 1,200 bulbs that called my name as soon as I heard “40% off sale.”

Thank goodness for warm weather. While other folks are decking the halls this weekend, I'll be digging new beds for my tulips, peonies, iris, and fritillaria.

Although I'm an epic fail with Christmas blooms this year, I did take a break from the baking fury that's consumed me today to take a stroll outside.

And—shocking! I found blooms!

The first hellebore bloom of the season...

Our daughter's schizophrenic cherry tree. While I love this tree, because we planted it for Kristen when she was born, it is, honestly, a stupid tree. Who needs cherry blossoms in December?

I do, however, love, love, love the blooms of the fraise des bois. Somehow, the blooms of these little gems remind me that spring--and fresh strawberries--and not too far away.

Thank you, camellias, for hanging in there through December. The blooms are starting to look tired, but I found a few that were photo worthy.

A rogue calendula bloom! What in the world are you doing, little flower? Don't you know you should be dormant? Oh...maybe it's that thick layer of leaves that I never cleared out of the herb's giving you some nice insulation, huh?

A very confused viburnum. 

OK, so I'm cheating a bit. No, these aren't technically blooms...but I'm just thrilled that our potager continues to produce throughout the winter. I'm especially excited because I planted the fall garden late. To protect the produce, I've been covering the garden anytime the temperature dips into the mid-30s. So far, so good. Crossing fingers that I don't get lazy one night and forget!

And, of course, there are pansies...

...ridiculously adorable little flowers, aren't they? Honestly, look at its little face--it looks like a supermodel with false eyelashes and collagen enhanced, pouty lips.

The beauty of South Carolina--we plant our pansies in the fall to enjoy all winter and into early spring. Thank goodness for their splash of cheerfulness.

We gardeners who live in SC are pretty darn lucky. We can usually grow something year round.

Still—I have to admit, last Christmas was amazing. It snowed. On Christmas. It was a South Carolina miracle.

I'm hoping for a repeat.

Even if it means I won't have any blooms to share for January.

Happy Bloom Day, everyone!

XO ~



  1. I just happened to be in SC last Christmas visiting family when the snow came! It was a magical Christmas :-) I too am a transplant from the north now living in the south and I don't miss the northern winters at all. The snow is beautiful and romantic for a fleeting moment, but then reality hits, and it's just plain cold and I'm not quite as enamored with it after all. What would we do without pansies to brighten our winter, right? Just love 'em! Your veggie garden looks so healthy!

  2. Glad you have as many blooms as you do! They do seem confused this year (I passed a cherry tree in full bloom last month, here in MD) but it's nice to see them nonetheless.

  3. Glad you stopped baking long enough to show us your blooms. My eyes flew open when I saw the words 1200 bulbs! Girl - you must be a glutton for punishment! haha Love your hellebore. And the pretty pansies, of course.

  4. I'm the same...I definitely don't complain about our warmer winters (although a white Christmas WOULD be nice)! Love all those little blooming surprises!

  5. Your garden seems to be flourishing here in the middle of December. Love your pictures.

  6. aloha,

    beautiful pansies and calendulas, they are so happy this time of the year,

    thanks for sharing them

  7. Your little Calendula dude will keep on blooming if the snow stays away. Love all your pansies!