Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day-December 2009

Well, it has been one year since I first participated in Carol's beloved Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! I figured this would be a good time to do a "Then and Now" post. You can go back and see what my Euphorbia Leucocephala looked like one year ago today, or you can just wait because you know I'll post it for you here now, right?

December 15, 2008

December 15, 2009

For one thing, they appear to have become much brighter and clearer. This could be because I was actually outside today and not shooting through my dirty window on a rainy day. Also, last year they were collapsing under the weight of all the rain that we'd had. This year hasn't been quite as monsoon-y yet, so they are holding up a little better.

Oaky, so that wasn't very exciting, but now I will show you our front yard last year:

December 8, 2008

And this year:

December 15, 2009

That's much more exciting, no? No? OK, how about more dramatic? And didn't Mocha do a good job of helping me stage today's picture to try to match last year's picture? See those little plants that are just nubbins on top of our wall in last year's picture? I told you a little bit more about them back in June. Here is a closer view from today. They are all about 6-8 feet tall now.

OK, that's really all I have for "then" and "now" pictures, so I guess I will resume my normal GBBD activities and just show you what's blooming in my yard.

This is a closer-up picture of my white bushes from the very beginning of this post. The north side is completely white like you see here, but the south side still has a lot of green left on it. Since we had had some light rain earlier this morning, I was having fun playing with all the water droplets that were left in the garden.

When I was taking this picture of my Thai basil, I noticed my Sweet Alyssum in the background all decorated with dew drops, like a little Christmas tree .

Potted miniature rose.

Red ginger (Alpinia purpurata). You can see some good pictures of other members of the Zingiberaceae family here. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge. If you click on the red ginger picture, you will see that the actual flower is a delicate little white thing that pokes its head up out of the red bracts, similar to the way the white flowers pop out of my orange shrimp plant (Pachystachys lutea), below.

Another flower with similar blooming habits is this Pink Quill (Tillandsia cyanea). In October, it was all pink, but now you can just see the tips of the purple flowers starting to form in between each of the pink sections. Hopefully by next month I'll have a more impressive display!

My cousin received this mum as a potted plant, and she passed it along to me when she went on vacation. I repotted it, and after a couple of worrisome months, it has made a nice recovery.

And, finally, on to my trusted and true orchids:

Here are some buds on Den. Pam Tajima (atroviolaceum 'Pygmy' x eximium) (a.k.a. "Pam") preparing to take over for some of the older blooms that are beginning to fade.

Inside, are some blooms that I cut off of Nameless Bob, Pam's outdoor companion.

Since my last post in October,Dgmra. Memoria Jay Yamada 'Hawaii' has bloomed, dropped its flowers and put on a new set of blooms, which you see here.

That's all for today, folks! As always, thanks for visiting, and please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens to see what other blooms can be found outside today.


Ginger said...

Hello! Thanks for visiting my blog and Happy GBBD!

Love the ginger and the yellow shrimp plant (I have one, too, but it's not nearly as lush!).

I always enjoy seeing year-to-year photos of bloggers' gardens. Your yard is looking great! So manicured!!

Melody said...

Great changes since last year. The Euphorbia is spectacular!

Wendy said...

blooms sure are great in your part of the world! The orchids are so cool. I love those then and now photos of the yard. That shrub has really grown and taken shape!

Dreamybee said...

Ginger-Thanks for stopping by! The year-to-year photos are some of my favorite. I have a lime tree that I take a picture of every April, and I'm always blown away by how fast everything grows out here.

Melody-Thanks! I love the Euphorbia-it's about the closest that we got to a white Christmas every year.

Wendy-The Euphorbia gets chopped back pretty hard every year and it always makes a pretty good comeback, although this year a couple died out because of too much water. :( Luckily, the ones that are left are filling in the empty spots pretty well. The shrubs along the top of the wall get left alone, but I think we might have to start trimming them back before they turn into full-on trees.

Mike said...

So colorful! It's nice to see that when everything here in Chicago is dead or dormant. Not to mention temperatures in th single digits. Thanks for making me feel warm today. :)

Dreamybee said...

Mike-Glad I could help!

Jeanne said...

I agree with Mike. I love seeing your tropical plants when it's dead winter here.

Dreamybee said...

Thanks, Jeanne!

MThompson said...

Wow, What beautiful blossoms there! Awe....I'm very jealous as I have a long long time before blooms are sprouting here. Nothing but 20 degree weather in IN. Thanks for taking those photos though, it's nice to know that there's still beauty flourishing in December outside of my little bubble of a life :)

Awesome pics, thanks for sharing, much appreciation!!

Dreamybee said...

MThompson-Glad I could add some color to your cold Indiana day. Thanks for stopping by!

Marie said...

Thank you for a beautiful post. Last year at this time I was packing for a trip to Hawaii. You brought back wonderful memories of the exquisite beauty of the islands.

Dreamybee said...

Thank you, Marie. I hope you had fun in Hawaii!