- Author: Betsy BUXTON
Just came back in from the backyard on a dreary, cold, and trying-to-rain day, and I'm confused! Isn't this the week before Christmas Day – in December--, or am I wrong? Out in back there are roses in full bloom (and more buds coming), a couple of gladioluses are merrily blooming away in their pot and the hydrangeas are still in bloom! The hanging fuchsias under the pergola near the squirrel ferns are also in full bloom! By the way, these are the same fuchsias which were sheltered last year under the porch roof and looked as though they were ready for the compost heap!
It's cold, people ( I mean plants), why are you going great guns as though summer was NOT a mere memory BUT actually here? Last year the ground-planted paperwhites bloomed in mid-October, now they are almost at full bloom; they look so stark up against the spent foliage at the back fence – but beautiful! Some other plants have started their displays much earlier as the sasanqua camellia near the front door decided it was time back in September-October to grow some bright red-pink flowers, while the new sasanqua under the willow tree in the backyard burst forth with a coat full of clear dark pink flowers in late November and still is covered in blossoms. I still have to dig a 5-gallon raised planter/hole for it, but with the soft wet soil, it will be a much easier (and faster) job.
The japonica camellias which were planted last year are growing their buds and soon ‘Nuccio's Pearl' (and the one whose name I've forgotten will be joining ‘Debutante' in the side yard near the ‘Blood Good' Japanese maple. I was happily surprised as that area gets shade only until 12 noon and then the sun hits it with a vengeance. Only 2 hostas left us this year because of the sun but I'll be replanting with other varieties to fill in that area; this time of the year, that area is covered by bright green moss which slowly fades as the sun gets brighter and hotter.
The ‘Christmas' cacti are also blooming away; last year I was so careful in where I placed them – they died! This year, it's out in the open without much upper story planting and they're doing well!! Go figure? Bulbs are coming up and blooming BUT so are the weeds! Last year's bumper crop of malva weeds are growing – like weeds, but the soft ground frees them like carrots.
Did any of you buy bulbs from the Bulb Guy? I did and I now have 8 inches of new green growth from my Crinum X Amaryllis belladonna bulb so I didn't spend my $29 in vain! By the way, Plants Delights Nursery.com also has them in various white and pink-white colors. I've already ordered mine.
Season's Greetings to you all – use that salutation since not all folk celebrates Christmas! Hope to see you again in the New Year at the Vallejo Farmers' Market!