Monday, December 14, 2009

December 2009 Bloom Day

Amazingly, in mid-December in Chicago's south 'burbs, we actually have a live bloom in the garden. This mini-rose bloom has survived three Garden Bloggers' Bloom Days in a row. It's broken all previous records in our garden for a single rose bloom's longevity, and this is the first time I can ever remember having anything blooming in our garden in December. This photo was taken a few days ago.

Even after several days of snow, single-digit low temperatures and gale-force winds, the rose is still holding on. Conditions have been milder for a few days, and the snow is mostly melted. The weather forecasts say we're in for another round of cold this week. I wonder how long this tough little pretty will hang on.

The rest of the December blooms were rescued from certain death and brought inside in October. Most are overwintering in the basement greenhouse, including this rose-like double impatiens.

The fuchsia was cut back hard in October, and is already blooming again. Hopefully this bodes well for it's health and survival over the winter. The fuchsia brought in last fall was already dead this time last year.

This pelargonium was cut back hard too, and has already re-bloomed.

Jasmine blooms are perfuming the basement. This plant was tiny three years ago, and really took off last winter. It seems to like the basement.

The tropical hibiscus didn't bloom outdoors at all this year. It decided to produce one bloom after it came indoors. Its rear view is just as pretty. . .

as its face.

Also blooming here this month are dragon wing and wax begonias, oxalis, a bromeliad, and Diamond Frost Euphorbia.

For more December blooms, please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Santa might just be bringing her some hoe earrings this year, if she hasn't already gotten them for herself.


  1. Linda, The rose is a wonder! What a treat to have her blooming this long.
    The hibiscus is beautiful~~I didn't have blooms from either of the ones I had outdoors either....Too much rain? So I'll have to enjoy yours. Happy Bloom Day! I hope you're doing well? gail

  2. Your hibiscus found a place where it was happy to bloom, how pretty. Mine has just about bit the dust, outside.

    Happy Bloom Day.

  3. Hello Garden Girl, so happy that these beautiful flowers brought some cheer for you. That fuchsia is a beauty. I really admire your rose though. The rose must have really fought well with the weather. Oh, your hibiscus, the flower is so pretty and the colour is just right for the season also. Happy preparing for Christmas :-D

  4. I'm amazed by the rose Gail! Our 'Christmas Rose' hellebore is too small to bloom yet, but it looks like we have a Christmas Rose anyway!

    Happy Bloom Day! I'm very well, just very busy! December is normally busy, and this year its busier than usual with K and her husband moving into their home that their renters just moved out of. Also, I kept our Little Guy's baby equipment and clothes here, saved for a future grandchild. I've been wiping down cribs, playpens, car seats, strollers, bassinets, etc., and washing baby clothes getting them ready to give to K, and helping with the mess the renters left behind in their home. This weekend I'll be helping them with the move. Hopefully they'll be all settled in time for our new granddaughter's arrival.

    And just to make sure there's never a dull moment, I've decided to go back to work full-time now that an ailing relative I was caring for has fully recovered. It's an 'interesting' time (with the economy being what it is,) to look for a job, and it's sure making life busy.

    Hi Nell Jean, I enjoy bringing the tropical plants indoors for the winter, especially when they decide to bloom and cheer up the house over the winter!

    Hello Stephanie, the flowers definitely bring cheer in cold, dark December! Glad you enjoy them too! Hope you're enjoying your holiday preparations too!

  5. I'm just amazed that this rose is still blooming, Linda! You may have to rename this your "Christmas Rose." Your hibiscus is lovely, too. I bought one for my daughter-in-law this year and told her I'd try to overwinter it for her...unfortunately, she didn't get it here in time:) Nice to see all those blooms in your basement!

  6. Love the shot of your wonder rose, Linda. What a great color, especially against that white! I like your hibiscus shots too. makes sense to shoot both ways:)

  7. Me too Rose! Every time I see this tiny bloom from the kitchen window, it makes me smile. It definitely looks Christmasey with its bright red color, and especially when it was frosted with snow.

    Sorry about the hibiscus' demise.

    It is truly a wonder Kanak! When I saw it after the snow, I just had to get out there and snap a photo. I've never paid attention to the backside of a hibiscus bloom. Since this one bloomed facing the window, I couldn't help noticing how pretty was from the back. It made me want to notice what flowers look like from the back in the future!

  8. You have some nice blooms happening in the basement. I also overwinter things in the basement with a grow light. I neglect them badly though, poor things, I bet they are hoping for spring.

  9. It's fantastic that the rose is still blooming! And it looks like your house will have lots of great flowers to get through the winter!

  10. That rose is amazing, and such a perfect color for this time of year. Your blooms all look so cheerful. Seeing them raises my spirits.

    You must have a good spot to keep them overwinter. I never have good luck bringing plants inside.

  11. Anonymous1:59 PM

    The double impatiens pic is awesome. It looks like a vintage photograph. No roses still blooming around here but I thought I'd get a few hellebore blooms since it was trying to rebloom and I thought this would be the year it finally bloomed around Christmas since we've had a mild winter so far. Looked at it yesterday and it doesn't look like it will happen. But I'm not giving up hope.

  12. I'm impressed by that rose - and by the idea of a basement greenhouse. Do the plants have to be kept any warmer than 50 degrees?

  13. Thanks Dan! I think a little benign neglect can be healthier for overwintering plants than doting on them too much. They can use the rest anyway. Fussing over them too much, especially in the way of overwatering or fertilizing, can lead to problems. The first year I overwintered plants in the basement I overwatered them and ended up with tons of fungus gnats. As long as they survive on the care you're giving them, they'll perk up once they get back outside in the spring.

    I concur Rose - it's pretty fantastic seeing a rose in a Chicago-area garden in mid-December. I do enjoy having some blooms here over the winter!

    Hi Marnie, I am truly amazed by that little rose, even if we are on the south end of the city! ;) Having blooms around this time of year raises my spirits too.

    I think the basement humidity helps keep the plants going. The light we have down there is pretty strong too, and I keep it on about 18 hours a day. I could probably drop it down to 12 hours, since we even have stuff blooming down there with 18. My aim is just to keep them alive and healthy, not necessarily blooming too. On the other hand, the blooms are a nice bonus this time of year.

    Thanks MBT! I played with the Picasa 'soft focus' feature to get that effect. I like that feature so much, I'm tempted to use it alot more than I do. I love the antique look. I like the sepia effect too.

    I hope your hellebore reblooms for you after all.

    I planted Helleborus niger (Christmas rose) this spring. I have a feeling it won't really bloom around Christmastime in this climate, although I'd love it if it did.

    CommonWeeder, I'm pretty impressed that the mini-rose is still surviving, considering how it's usually plagued by blackspot (not this year though,) let alone that it's actually blooming in December.

    Our basement is fairly warm, but I think 50 degrees would be a perfect temperature for overwintering plants. It would be a plus having our basement a bit cooler for the plants, since their growth would slow down and they'd have more rest over the winter.

  14. The snow-covered rose is beautiful! So are the plants you brought inside - nice to escape to your basement greenhouse for a blast of color in winter. Cheers!

  15. That's one tough rose! It looks so pretty with the snow. The Hibiscus is also very pretty, maybe it saved all it's flowers for indoors.

  16. The miniature roses are tough. How beautiful the red rose looks with its frosty face.

    My indoor succulent garden is thriving under my new rosy grow light, and thus far, so is the rosemary standard. I'm hoping that it'll make it until Spring.

    What an exciting time with a new granddaughter on the way. I still vividly remember my experience just a year ago last month.

    Good luck with finding a job. This should be a good time, hopefully; end of the year and beginning of a new one.

  17. Linda, that first photo is amazing! Just goes to show their resilence, those miniature roses ;)

    I can smell that jasmine! Your basement sounds like a nice place to hang out in~all those happy plants...enjoy!

  18. Hello Garden Girl, i am new here and i am from the tropics. I just stumbled on your link via a comment you put somewhere. I love your photos even the tropicals growing in your area. But i specifically adore the red rose with some snow on them, brilliant contrast and composition. I will be joining the rows of commenters here from now on. Thanks.

  19. That photo of the rose with the snow on it is simply lovely. I'm trying to overwinter a hibiscus for the first time but I think I'm doing it all wrong - they say to either keep it fully alive or let it go dormant, but dormant was looking dead so I've been watering it every two weeks. Now it just looks pathetic. Oh well, it's replaceable!

    I just toured my yard on a bloom-hunt. Nothing. Lots of fluffy milkweed seeds, though!

  20. Hi Linda, that rose sure is hanging on! I love the photo with it covered in snow. And the indoor hibiscus is just a riot of welcome, friendly color. It's like soaking up sunshine just looking at it. (I may be stopping by later, HA!)

  21. Thank you Avis! I didn't really think I'd enjoy hanging out with the plants in the basement at first, but you're right - it's a nice escape. I can pretend it's summer, and it smells so nice, especially with the jasmine blooming.

    It sure is Catherine - toughest I've ever seen! Maybe it's because it's growing so close to the ground and benefiting from the soil being warmer than the air temperature. It is in kind of a protected spot near a big maple and some yews and junipers.

    I can hardly believe that little rose is still hanging on Carolyn, especially as cold as it's been in these parts! Glad you're enjoying your new grow light - wish mine was a rosier color - it's kind of yellow. I guess that's ok too - yellow like the sun, which I miss on these short December days.

    I've been having so much fun getting ready for the new baby! And lucky me - this time I don't have to deal with swollen ankles and heartburn! I can hardly wait for February.

    Thanks for the well-wishes on the job hunt - I hope you're right about this time of year. It's a pretty tough job market out there these days.

    Thanks Lynn - I'm glad I thought to grab the camera while the snow was still so fresh and fluffy!

    Ah, the jasmine. . . heavenly! I love its scent almost as much as angel's trumpet blooms. I've been hanging out in the basement alot lately, digging out baby clothes and gear - such fun!

    Hi Andrea, thanks so much for visiting! You have a very nice blog - I really enjoyed all those mushroom photos - very cool!

    Glad you enjoyed the rose photo, and glad I was there to capture that moment!

    Thank you Diane - sometimes (er. . . often. . .) photos don't seem to capture what the photographer sees. This time I was very pleased.

    I'm sorry your hibiscus isn't doing as well as you'd hoped. I hope it makes it through the winter. If not, chalk it up to experience, and as you say, it's replaceable. They grow so fast!

    It's not often we can find actual blooms in December around here - glad you're enjoying the milkweed seeds - hope you get plenty of volunteers for the butterflies next summer.

    Hi Monica, isn't it something else! It's so much fun when something surprising like a fresh, bright red rose covered in snow happens in the garden!

    Wish the hibiscus blooms lasted as long as that little rose! Come on by . . . we'd love to see you! George seconds the idea! :)

  22. Wow! That is amazing to have that rose in December especially in your climate.

  23. Bless that little rose. What a treat for December. Your blooms are so pretty.

  24. Sure is Teresa, and it's still hanging in there!

    I never imagined a rose blooming in December Balisha! Glad you enjoyed the blooms.

  25. I'm impressed! Roses in December!

  26. The red rose seem to look fresh eventhough it is covered with snow. I thought the petals would look more wet and transparent, especially so after seeing how my vegetables become after left in the wrong fridge chamber. Your hibiscus is doing fine too and the colour is almost coral red. Have a blessed Christmas, Garden Girl!

  27. Frosty roses... sweet indeed. ~banghcik

  28. It's definitely a fluke Victoria, and I hope it repeats next year!

    That's the interesting thing to me about it too Autumn Belle - it's so fresh-looking! I love the color of the hibiscus. Hope you have a blessed Christmas too.

    How true Bankchik!

  29. I will be offline til after Christmas so I wanted to stop by and wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

  30. Your mini-rose was quite a trooper! Let hope we all can survive the winter as well. Christmas Blessings, Linda, and a Happy New Year!


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