Saturday, November 15, 2008

November Bloom Day

Bugbane has the distinction of being 2008's latest bloomer in our garden. This is the lone bloom left outside this November, and there are four of them on this plant. Last year the buds languished after the first frost, never opening.

The rest of the blooms in this post were rescued from certain death and brought in to sunny windows in our living room and dining room, or placed under our sodium light in the basement greenhouse.
A pink pelargonium overwintering in the basement greenhouse.

The ever-present double impatiens, now safely overwintering in the basement, awaiting cuttings.

A Christmas Cactus cutting overwintering in the basement. I think it deserves a more prominent spot now that it's blooming. Time to bring it upstairs.

The sodium light in the basement distorts colors. This is a peach-colored geranium, (pelargonium,) rescued at the last minute along with two other pelargoniums I forgot about until last week.

The dragon wing begonias buds and blooms have become much paler since coming in from outside. This one is in our south living room window.

A Sambac jasmine is happily overwintering and budding in the basement greenhouse. Last year there were two, but one expired over the winter. I hope the last one standing makes it through the winter.

Basil blooms in the basement greenhouse. I'm hoping for some seeds for next year, and have hand-pollinated these blooms.

Heliotrope overwintering and blooming in the basement greenhouse.

Dragon Wing begonia in the south-facing living room window. Since coming inside, the blooms have faded to a much lighter, pinker shade.

Most of the datura buds dropped off after coming inside, but this lone bud decided to grace our living room with its color and fragrance.

The datura is a double. I manually pollinated the bloom and am hoping for some seeds. Only time will tell.
Definitely not blooming, next year's veggie bed has added a second layer of pavers and several alternating layers of autumn leaves, grass clippings, and all different kinds of compost.

November's gloomy skies, although not blooms, are beautiful in their own right.

For more November blooms, please visit the hostess with the mostest, Carol at May Dreams Gardens.


  1. The bugbane looks like a caterpillar! Your blooms are lovely. Wish I had a place to overwinter some plants. No basement though here. And no place in the garage, unfortunately. But we don't get a lot of really cold weather. Today is windy and will get cold though tonight.

  2. It looks like you are taking very good care of your plants, despite the greenhouse lighting they are beautiful.. I have Datura, it's beautiful, it's in the ground and that's where it's staying.

  3. Thanks for sharing your November blooms with us! They are wonderful. I miss my basement. In NC hardly anyone has a basement. I do store somethings in my garage but I still lose some things. I always put my red mandavilla in there and it pulls through! By the way what is a sodium light? I never heard of that.

  4. The bugbane deserves an award for being such a trooper in this weather.
    Linda, you've given me some inspiration for the next bloom day post--hopefully I will have something blooming in my garage or basement by that time:)

    Your blooms are all looking so full and healthy, even if they are inside. They are probably most appreciative--I was watching a football game today, and saw part of the Northwestern game. Did you have snow today?

  5. That datura is SO gorgeous. I bet your house is smelling lovely.

  6. Linda, you were smart to bring those plants inside before the real cold weather hit. I wish I had done more to save some of my plants. I'm working on making some room for my tabletop greenhouse in my nearly completed craft room.

  7. Hi Linda...When I was visiting Frances I talked myself into buying a bugbane had chocolate colored leaves and I knew the bloom would be lovely....I hope it looks like yours! I am experiencing serious basement/greenhouse envy! A jasmine getting ready to bloom and all manner of lovely plants still blooming! I have to agree with Tina...the datura bloom is gorgeous! Have a good Sunday! Keep warm:)


  8. What a great idea to overwinter some plants downstairs. How do you avoid bringing in bugs? I thought about bringing some things in this year but was afraid we would be overwhelmed by little critters.

  9. The bugbane has not a pretty name but the flowers certainly are. Hope your beautiful double Datura will set seed for you.

    It was great to read that you are into rescuing flowers and plants too, that's one of the hallmarks of a real gardener IMO. ;-)

    Happy GBBD!

  10. Hi Brenda, you know, you're right - it does look like a caterpillar!

    Most of the stuff I overwinter here would probably be perfectly hardy for you.

    Thanks Darla - lucky you can overwinter your datura outside!

    Thank you Sherri, basements do seem to be somewhat regional. Here in tornado alley, I'm glad we have one!

    The sodium light is just a big grow light. It lights a pretty large area in the basement, and I can fit a lot of plants under it.

    Hi Rose, I'm so happy it bloomed this fall, finally!

    I hope you get some blooms too. They are messy, but I'll take whatever blooms I can get this time of year.

    We didn't have any snow yesterday, it was just windy and c-c-c-cold!

    Hi Tina, the datura is sweet, but not as fragrant as the brugmansia blooms!

    Hi Cinj, I'm glad its done! Our late frost this fall gave me some extra time, and I just two or three every day until they were all in.

    I'm glad you'll have a spot to overwinter some plants!

    Hi Gail, sure is easy to talk ourselves into plants, isn't it! The jasmine must be happier than it was last year, since it didn't bud at all while it was in the basement. I'm looking forward to enjoying that wonderful fragrance - it's got quite a few buds on it.

    It's chilly here - only 30 degrees right now - I'll try to keep warm! Hope you have a good Sunday too!

    Hi Amy, I clean the plants pretty thoroughly, get rid of any dead stuff on the plants or soil, pinch them back pretty hard, give them a strong shower, use an organic pesticide, give them another shower to wash it off, then bring them in. I do get a few fungus gnats, but keeping the soil on the dry side prevents infestations, and I use non-toxic sticky traps to get rid of them.

    Hi Yolanda, it's not a pretty name, but I kind of like it - sort of old-fashioned sounding, and much easier to say than its botanical name!

    I just can't leave all those tender perennials outside to die, and I'm really happy to have a place to overwinter them.

  11. Awwwww, the bugbane is so cute! I'm going to look into getting this type in addition to my early summer bloomer. Love the light "aura" around the heliotrope, too.
    ~ Monica

  12. I can't imagine having all that bloom in the basement. I'd spend a lot more time down there if I did. How great that your Bugbane is still blooming. All of my Bugbanes have already died down for the winter.

  13. I like the soft colour of the dragon wing begonia. Pretty blooms, even the basement ones. And your veggie bed looks very promising.

    I'm a skywatcher too and found your last photo stark and beautiful.

  14. I envy your basement and all the beauty’s you have inside hiding away from the killer Jack Frost! The Saint and I were talking today about how we would love to have one room dedicated to the plant so we would not have to loose so many to the weather. Oh well, one day maybe. You are surrounded by such beauty in your home. I bet it does smell nice in the house…

  15. Thanks Monica, I'm so glad I got to see the bugbane bloom this year! Glad you enjoyed the heliotrope - I played with Picasa on that one. I like some of the effects they have.

    Hi MMD, I'd rather have it all outside! Last year I removed all the buds and blooms since they get kind of messy in the basement and everything's in close quarters.

    This year I got rid of most of the blooms before bringing things in, but they budded and started blooming again, so I let them.

    Hi Kanak, I was really surprised to see how pale the begonias got after bringing them inside. I did notice that outside the one with more sun was darker and the one in more shade was lighter, but they were both dark pinkish-red, and now they're both very pale pink. I am enjoying their variable color!

    Hi Skeeter, I haven't always had a space like this for bringing in plants, especially not before the kids moved out and took the cats with them! Sometimes I think it would be nice to get another kitty. But besides the fact that the Lawn Man is not a cat person, I think we'll remain catless so I can keep bringing in the plants for the winter!

  16. Hi Linda, That light does make everything sort of brighter and deeper but I remember seeing some of them this summer in their natural light. I have to say, you are amazing, working so hard to keep those blooms going in the basement. I do hope you moved the Christmas cactus - it should be out now with the holidays coming up. Dragon wing- angel wing... I still get them confused (and so do some of the nurseries around here)... glad yours are still blooming, too. That trumpet plant is stunning.
    So happy for you on your new veggie plot. You are going to have so much fun getting it ready and then growing in the spring. It's looking really good!

  17. Hi! You are my last blog for the evening, and I'll have to get to the others tomorrow! You are an excellent photographer! You should frame several of those, especially the double impatiens. I like your new vegetable bed.

  18. You should be very pleased with your offerings and lovely photos, Linda.(Especially loved the November sky).

  19. Good morning Meems! It is kind of a lot of work bringing everything in, but now that it's done, it's just a matter of watering, preening, and propagating.

    I'm very excited about having a veggie garden again!

    Thank you Sue! Blogging has definitely helped improve my photography.

    Thank you Joey. . . I'm glad you enjoyed the photos!

  20. Hi Linda, I really love the quality of that sodium light and the pinky sheen it provides for the photos. What a different in the color of the angel wing begonia in the upstairs. I am excited about your new veggie bed too. That is the way I build up the soil in mine after building the wall higher. It is fun layering, isn't it? You will have some deliciousness come of it, I'm sure.

  21. Anonymous8:32 AM

    You are lucky to have a greenhouse in your basement to keep all these plants blooming so prettily this winter Linda. That double Datura is gorgeous!

  22. I love my cats but cats and inside plants dont mix! Get another puppy instead... :)

  23. The lightning makes the flowers all the more beautiful. Yes, really. I like Jasmine sambac. Looks so ethereal. You're taking very good care of your plants. Hats off to you! The Datura photo looks awesome especially.

  24. Hi Frances, the light certainly does make things look different! I noticed a difference in the two angel wing begonias even outside - one that got a little more sun was much darker pink, almost red than the other. Both had much brighter blooms outside than inside. When I bought them they were in full shade, and had blooms brighter than they are inside, but paler than they were outside once I put them in my garden. Interesting!

    I can hardly wait to plant the veggie bed. Hopefully it will be very productive with all the good compost and shredded leaves. I also hope the raised bed will help keep the bunnies out!

    Hi Racquel, that light was an excellent investment! It paid for itself the first year. I thought I'd need a new bulb this year, but so far everything is doing well with the old one. I'm crazy for that datura! It's supposed to be strictly annual, and I hope it survives its second winter to bloom again for a third year.

    Hi Skeeter, I think it would be quite a challenge to talk the Lawn Man into getting a cat, and with all the plants I overwinter there's not much motivation to even try! We'll see about another dog - if we do get another one some day, it will definitely be a non-shedding dog. George sheds something awful.

    Welcome Chandramouli, the light definitely does change the way the plants look. I might bring the jasmine upstairs to a sunny window. Suddenly it's blooming like crazy, and it smells so wonderful! Even just one or two blooms provide strong frangrance. I love it!

  25. Oooh... my bugbane didn't bloom this year. It was hurt by the drought (and gardener's "tough love" philosophy during the drought) and seeing yours reminds me of how much I missed mine. Not to mention that lovely smell.

    And WOW. That double purple datura is drool-worthy. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you to get some seeds out of it, too.

  26. Hi Linda,
    I've been transfixed by your blog and have spent quite some time looking at your beautiful Chicago...where's it's cold! You have such a green thumb, as they say! Spending all that time getting plants ready to bring indoors, then keeping them safe and healthy all winter...that takes a lot of time and effort. I would like to attempt that someday but I don't see it happening any time soon! There were so many things I read that caught me and I wanted to comment on...but because there were 'so many' (!) it would take forever!! So, I just wanted to say hi, and I'm glad I stopped by! Jan

  27. Hi Kim, sorry you missed your bugbane blooms this year. Here's hoping for more rain next season!

    That datura is definitely droolworthy! I hope it makes it through the winter.

    Hi Jan, welcome, and thanks for visiting! I'm so glad you enjoyed reading and looking at the photos. Please feel free to stop by any time!

  28. Hi there! You have a lot overwintering and I think that's great. Right now I don't have the space, so all I overwinter are my common geraniums. But maybe I'll take over the basement??


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