Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day December 2017

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.  To see what's blooming in gardens all over the world, click here.

In my western Washington zone 8 garden blooms are fewer during this darkest time of the year.

Viburnum × bodnantense ‘Dawn’ will be opening fragrant blooms all winter long.

Mahonia "Soft Caress"

Mahonia 'Charity' is a hummingbird favorite.

Sweet Alyssum with a little frost.

Crazy daisy doesn't know how cold it is outside. 

Arbutus unedo 

Winter pansies have been found by slugs. 

A brave or foolish pelargonum.

Fatsia japonica

There are still a few fuchsia blooms.

Of course, the hardy abutilons are still doing their thing.  

 Meanwhile, inside the greenhouse, the less than hardy abutilons are blooming.

The carnivorous Pinguicula 'pirouette' or Butterwort has been blooming for several months now.

The greenhouse is delightfully fragrant with the large brugmansia covering a quarter of the ceiling with booms.

The schlumbergeras are a little later than usual this year.  

Back outside, the tropaeolum speciosum planted closest to the house still has a few blooms

and some lovely blue seeds. 

Saxifraga fortunei 'Magenta' is blooming for the first time in my garden. Such a nice saturated jolt of color for fall and early winter. 

Days will soon be getting longer again even though the coldest part of the year is yet to come.  I wish you joy and happiness during this holiday season!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Suddenly Seymour

The Seymour Conservatory looked and felt particularly festive when I walked over last weekend.  Tacoma's Dickens Festival was taking place this weekend and the conservatory's costumed workers were hosting an afternoon tea. 

Revelers appreciated a performance of a bell choir.  

Longfellow's poem, "Christmas Bells"  always runs through my head on hearing  the tintinnabulation of the bells.  It's especially meaningful if you know Longfellow's story.  If not, click the link. 

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
     Their old, familiar carols play.
          And wild and sweet 
          The words repeat
     Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
     Had rolled along
     The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
     A voice, a chime,
     A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
     And with the sound
     The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
     And made forlorn
     The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And in despair I bowed my head,
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
     "For hate is strong,
     And mocks the song 
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep;
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
     The Wrong shall fail,
     The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."

During this advent season and always, I wish you peace, love and plants (lots of plants.)

I still haven't decorated for the season but since I can visit the conservatory frequently, maybe that's good enough for this year.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wednesday Vignette - Ghosts of Christmas Past

Walking toward the light. 

Speaking of celebrating light, Happy Hanukkah!
Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click on over there to see what's caught her eye this week.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Into Every Life A Little Frost Must Fall

Areas nearby have been getting frost on the ground for several days but my neighborhood avoided it until Jack arrived early on Saturday morning to scatter a bit of  glitter around.


Cotinus coggygria

Old Man winter will be joining his pal Jack soon. 

Tanacetum haradjanii

Cunninghamia lanceolata 'Glauca'

The neighbor's Juniper.

Phytolacca americana

Heuchera something or other.

Berberis 'Orange Rocket'

Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'  I'm finally comfortable pronouncing this name which is usually a signal for the taxonomists to come up with something even more difficult to pronounce.

Some cotoneaster.
It can no longer be said that I don't know Jack. (Frost.)  

Just yesterday when I left for my brief drive to work the temperature in my garden was 33 degrees; just a few miles away, it was 25 degrees at work where the following pictures were taken.


Monday, December 11, 2017

In a Vase on Monday

Interesting items are often found thrown into our parking strips.  On Saturday morning I went out to take pictures of our first frost and found this Patron Tequila bottle.  Since the goal of IAVOM is to bring things inside found in our gardens or foraged nearby, this seemed like an apt container for today's arrangement. 

Contents include several weeds, Phytolacca americana (Pokeweed)  bird planted holly, and likewise avian gardened Cotoneaster franchetii.  Non weeds are Cupressus arizonica ‘Blue Ice’ and Viburnum × bodnantense ‘Dawn’

Many birds were outside enjoying the calm and sunny day and the berries.  It seemed only fair that, since they planted a lot of what's in today's vase, some should be included.  They had some green sparkly stuff with them so it went in as well.

I heard a bird sing
in the dark of December.
A magical thing 
And Sweet to Remember.

"We are nearer to spring
Than we were in September."
I heard a bird sing 
In the dark of December. 

-Oliver Herford

In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Click over to her blog to see her vase and links to those of other participating bloggers.