Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Flower Power: GBBD December 2010

On the fifteenth of every month, May Dream Gardens sponsors Garden Blogger's Bloom Day where flowering plants are the rule.  Though my temperatures have only flirted with the freezing point, blossoms are still pretty limited this time of the year in my garden.

Established Plants

The Joe Pye Shrub has a few clusters of white blooms still adorning the ends of several branches.

New Plants in the Garden

As I did not trim my Marilyn's Choice Abutilon this year, it is over six foot tall and thin, but once again putting out a small number of it's pendulous blossoms.


The intensely bright colors of the Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) continue to capture the eye.

Flower Wannabes 

As the flowers have faded, the berries have taken the stage.  The leaves of the Chile Petin (Capsicum annuum var. aviculare) have begun to fade and drop, so it's small bright red berries have begun to really stand out.

The Nandina (Nandina domestica) berries continue to transition to a more intense shade of red, really jumping out when the setting sun highlights them.

The red berries of the Possumhaw (Ilex decidua) peak out from the remaining leaves, but soon those leaves will drop and the berries will adorn the bare branches alone.

It has been a good year for berries on the Dwarf Chinese Holly (Ilex cornuta 'Rotunda') which has received additional sun due to a fallen tree.

Be sure to check out May Dream Gardens to see what is blooming around everyone's gardens.


  1. I would love to be able to grow holly around Christmas time.

  2. Looks like we have a lot of the same things...gardening wise. Your berries must ripen faster than mine....mine are still orangey green.
    Happy GBBD.
    David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston

  3. I just saw a feature on cyclamen on Central Texas Gardener. What a great little winter flower! i've gotta get some for next year.

  4. Beautiful flowers! Love the Joe Pye and the abutilon!

  5. This is my first year for Marilyns's Choice, R Bell - wasn't impressive for the first 6 months but it's really blooming now. That 6-foot height would be okay in the bed where I have it - sure hope it makes it through winter.

    Jean at Dig, Grow, Compost (used to live in Austin, now in Louisiana) has a Joe Pye type called Eupatorium viburnoides on her bloom day post ... think you are growing the same thing?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  6. Hey, Annie directed me here and yes, it looks like we're growing the same kind of shrub - Joe-Pye shrub. I haven't been able to find much info about it on the internet. I bought it from Barton Springs Nursery. Is your bush kind of floppy? Mine is so I plan on pruning it. Do you have to do that?

  7. Missy: I usually don't get holly berries, so pretty happy about that.

    David: Interesting - wonder if its the cold that makes them redden up more quickly (assuming Austin temps have dropped faster than Houston's - you never know in Texas!)

    Suzie: Me too! That's why I decided to try them (though some sites say they aren't cold hardy; which seems weird since they're only sold at this time of the year). Of course, there's "cold" and then there's Austin "cold" - usually called "cool".

    Mac: Thanks, mate!

    Eliza: Thanks, I was pleased to discover the Abutilon blossoms.

    Annie: My first year for it too; mine did best in spring. Has since gotten pretty lanky; next year I'll likely do some trimming to keep it more compact and thick. And the Joe Pye is the same as Jean's - was quite happy to see she still had the scientific name (cuz I had misplaced it - makes me quite grumpy when that happens).

    Jean: I too have not been able to find anything useful online about the plant (which I consider really strange). And I also bought mine from BSN (though my drive there was quite a bit shorter than yours from Louisiana! - Man, when you plant shop, you really plant shop!!). This is its second year in my garden (I had the sprawl last year) so this year I did some spring trimming which tightened it up quite a bit. Don't think it reduced the blossoms - but gonna have to watch that.

  8. The Abutilon blooms are beautiful, aren't they? It's a shame the plants tend to become so leggy. I've pruned both of mine (in pots) and still had lots of blooms, but the pink flowered plant refuses to branch out and become fuller. Maybe next summer it will oblige :)
    I love all your berried shrubs, especially the Holly.
    Try the Connecticut Botanical Society site (Wildflower gallery) for info on the Joe Pye Weed (I think the white version might be called Boneset). It grows wild up here in the fields surrounding us.
    I love Cyclamens. Wish I could keep them alive longer.
    Thanks for visiting and saying hello :)

  9. Hi RBell,

    It nice to see you on your blog. This berries perfect match for this coming Christmas.

    Just like to share with you a beautiful quote...

    "You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life" - Albert Camus

    You can get more quotes about happiness at