One of the things I like best about living near the Mississippi Gulf Coast are the mild Decembers. Today our high is in the mid-70’s and while that doesn’t feel at all like Christmas weather, I much prefer it over ice storms and blizzards and slick roads.
Yesterday when I went out to gather the laundry off of the clothesline, I realized that there were a ton of things blooming that I hadn’t photographed this fall. So after collecting the laundry, I grabbed my camera and began snapping away.
All I could think was, wow, there really is a lot of exciting flowers this week. Plus the weather has been amazing and the soft afternoon light just felt like “winter light” even though the day was beautiful. As I took photos I realized that I also have a lot of seed that I need to collect and get started indoors in the coming weeks.
The real show-stoppers right now are my camellias, but even the azaleas are tooting their horns, just a little. Although my impatiens have been put to bed till spring (I overwinter them indoors and take cuttings that I root in water to replace any that bit the dust before I could protect them), the vinca (Catharanthus) and begonias are still going strong.
It is hard to beat marigolds for brilliant fall color and I’m excited to collect a lot of seed from them which will save me money in the spring too. The yellows, oranges and burnt reds make them an excellent choice for fall and Halloween color.
As far as fragrance goes, I love to stop and smell my banana shrubs (Michelia figo) and sweet olive (Osmanthus spp.). My sad, little Osmanthus is still surviving and trying to grow.
I have to get back to work and my doxies are begging for a walk, so here is a slideshow of everything I took a photo of that was blooming in my yard yesterday. It includes the above mentioned and azaleas, celosia, Mexican shrimp plant (Justicia brandegeeana), Lantana spp., zinnias and more.
At work right now I am planting hundreds of rooted blueberry cuttings propagated by my boss in summer. The greenhouse is a great place to crank up the holiday music. If you think singing in the shower is great, try singing in a greenhouse!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2016
Yours in Gardening,
The Garden Maiden
All images and text copyright 2015 The Garden Maiden