Bloom Day – November 2014

The world of Portland froze this week. Highly unusual, but hey – things are changing. Survival of the fittest.. right? It will be really interesting to see who makes the cut.

November saw the beginning and the hasty end of the flowering of my Mexican Salvia. This photo is from last week.

November saw the beginning and the hasty end of the flowering of my Mexican Salvia. This photo is from last week.

It seemed to weather Thursday's light dusting of snow alright...

It seemed to weather Thursday’s light dusting of snow alright…

...but after a night time temperature dip into the 20's, it looked like this. Poor thing - I doubt I will see it again. It's not supposed to be very hardy - as befits a plant from Mexico, I guess.

…but after a night time temperature dip into the 20’s, it looked like this. Poor thing – I doubt I will see it again. It’s not supposed to be very hardy – as befits a plant from Mexico, I guess.

The Fuchsia magellanica is an amazing long bloomer, for which I'm very grateful. Those icy eastern wind gusts from the Gorge gave it quite a beating, but it is still lovely - albeit a tiny bit crinkly from the cold.

The Fuchsia magellanica is an amazing long bloomer, for which I’m very grateful. Those icy eastern wind gusts from the Gorge gave it quite a beating, but it is still lovely – albeit a tiny bit crinkly from the cold. Apologies for the fuzzy photo – it is still windy out there.

A lone flower of Pennisetum 'Karley rose' catching the light. The recent election battle to label genetically engineered foods was an encouragingly close call. At last count (and they aren't done counting yet), the Nay-sayers are only up by a little over 6,000 votes. And, this is after Monsanto, Dow Chemical, DuPont, and all the rest of the Chem-Ag giants spent over $20 million to defeat the Measure - making it the most expensive one in Oregon's history. We'll get it next time - I have no doubt. My neighbor and I pledged to keep our signs up and keep educating people on the real facts until we vote again, two years from now.

A lone flower of Pennisetum ‘Karley rose’ catching the light. The recent election battle to label genetically engineered foods was an encouragingly close call. At last count (and they aren’t done counting yet), the Nay-sayers are only up by a little over 6,000 votes. And, this is after Monsanto, Dow Chemical, DuPont, and all the rest of the Chem-Ag giants spent over $20 million to defeat the Measure – making it the most expensive one in Oregon’s history. We’ll get our labels next time around – I have no doubt. My neighbor and I pledged to keep our signs up and keep educating people on the real facts until we vote again, two years from now.

Boutleya 'Blond Ambition' is in commendable shape too, as are the other grasses. If there is any take-away from recent years' dramatic temperature fluctuations, it is that grasses are the way to go. I'm beginning to really, REALLY appreciate the ones I have.

Boutleya ‘Blond Ambition’ is in commendable shape too, as are the other grasses. If there is any take-away from recent years’ dramatic temperature fluctuations, it is that grasses are the way to go. I’m beginning to really, REALLY appreciate the ones I have.

An Agastache still going strong.

An Agastache still going strong.

Here is a promise of flowers to come - Helleborus niger 'Jacob' which should be able to withstand much worse than we've had so far, for extended periods of time, should that be necessary. I'm putting my money on this one...

Here is a promise of flowers to come – Helleborus niger ‘Jacob’ which should be able to withstand much worse than we’ve had so far, for extended periods of time, should that be necessary. I’m putting my money on this one…

The buds of my Edgeworthia dusted in snow from Thursday. They still look good - we'll see how well they fare for the rest of this winter. I really do miss its fragrant, sunny yellow flowers in the spring if winter treats it too harshly.

The buds of my Edgeworthia dusted in snow from Thursday. They still look good – we’ll see how well they fare for the rest of this winter. I really do miss its fragrant, sunny yellow flowers in the spring if winter treats it too harshly.

Another winter bloomer which usually does better with cold than the aforementioned Edgeworthia - Viburnum bodnantense 'Dawn'. Fingers crossed!

Another winter bloomer which usually does better with cold than the aforementioned Edgeworthia – Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’. Fingers crossed!

I was surprised that my 'Yuletide' Camellia was already blooming. It seems about a month too early, and is probably because the summer was so darn hot. It protested the temperature drop by shriveling up its petals just a little, but I'm still happy I get to enjoy them. Last year, it froze its buds off completely, and I got nothing but freeze-dried buds.

I was surprised that my ‘Yuletide’ Camellia was already blooming. It seems about a month too early, and is probably because the summer was so darn hot. It protested the temperature drop by shriveling up its petals just a little, but I’m still happy I get to enjoy them. Last year, it froze its buds off completely, and I got nothing but freeze-dried buds.

Fall is the time for the Seussian blossoms of the Fatsia japonica. The other day, I grabbed a step stool and stood for a long time and watched the veritable swarm of insects that were rolling around in their midst. Didn't really get any good photos of the happy campers, but I can tell you that this plant is also a lifesaver for hummingbirds this time of year. No self-respecting hummingbird garden should be without one!

Fall is the time for the Seussian blossoms of the Fatsia japonica. The other day, I grabbed a step stool and stood for a long time and watched the veritable swarm of insects that were rolling around in their midst. Didn’t really get any good photos of the happy campers, but I can tell you that this plant is also a lifesaver for hummingbirds this time of year. No self-respecting hummingbird garden should be without one! There is one for every taste – this one happens to be a ‘Variegata’.

Cute, aren't they?

Cute, aren’t they?

Technically not flowers, but the brightly pinky-red seed heads of my Magnolia grandiflora adds much appreciated color.

Technically not flowers, but the brightly pinky-red seed heads of my Magnolia grandiflora adds much appreciated color.

Nope - not a flower either. Just a fallen leaf from a nearby Vitis vinifera 'Purpurea' that lodged itself in the Carex 'Bowles golden'. I will end this Bloom Day post on this improvisational note - if you can appreciate the innumerable forms, textures and colors of foliage, this time of year will  be a snap - even in a temperate climate. Click over to Carol at Maydreams Gardens for a peek at what else is aflower in other gardens on our planet.

Nope – not a flower either. Just a fallen leaf from a nearby Vitis vinifera ‘Purpurea’ that lodged itself in the Carex ‘Bowles golden’ – to a very striking effect. At least I thought so.

I will end this Bloom Day post with that improvisational note – if you can appreciate the innumerable forms, textures and colors of foliage, this time of year will be a snap – even in a temperate climate. Click over to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for a peek at what else is aflower in other gardens on our planet.

 

About annamadeit

Born and raised in Sweden, my aesthetics and outlook on life are strongly shaped by a culture rich in history and tradition. I care a great deal about environmental responsibility, and my aesthetic reflects the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia. I was trained as an architect at the University of Cincinnati and as a color specialist at the Scandinavian Colour Institute in Stockholm. I'm obsessed with plants and gardens, and aim to take my skill set a step further by designing gardens as well as interiors. As someone so aptly said: " Architecture is the skin that separates the exterior from the interior". So true - you can't successfully focus on one without incorporating the other. I'm also an avid cook, and I love to ski. In addition, I put time and efforts into trying to rectify things that I feel are wrong in my immediate community. As you will see, The Creative Flux will touch on all these things, and more. For sure, it's all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blog!
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12 Responses to Bloom Day – November 2014

  1. Lea says:

    Beautiful flowers! Love the last photo, too!
    Have a wonderful week-end!
    Lea

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks! Yeah, sometimes one just has to be happy with whatever’s there – whether it’s flower or leaf that brightens the day! Hope you have a fab weekend too!

  2. Nell Jean says:

    Every Bloom Day, there is some flower that seems to be a trend on many blogs. This time it is Fatsia japonica. I think I need some of those.

  3. Kris P says:

    While it’s sad to see what a dusting of snow can do in short order to a Mexican Salvia, you’ve still got a lot of color to see you through the rest of fall into winter. I love that Fatsia, which unfortunately requires too much water to be grown here under current circumstances.

    • annamadeit says:

      You know, Kris, I think it would have been okay if it had been just the snow. It was the following nights of quite a bit below freezing that did it in. With the windchill, it was pretty brutal. 😦

  4. rickii says:

    I love that arty photo of the pennisetum. That Fatsia is fabulous. And ‘Yuletide’ is truly a fitting harbinger of the season ahead.

  5. Loree says:

    One of my Fatsia japonica is right outside the window where I work, watching all the critters who visit there is just amazing.

  6. Chloris says:

    A gorgeous Camellia. Is it a variety of Camellia sasanqua?
    I am really jealous of your Edgeworthia as I keep killing them. Either that or they wilfully die.
    Great photos.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks! Yes – it is a ‘Yuletide’ sasanqua camellia. The Edgeworthia shrub itself seems to withstand quite cold temps, but I’ve lost the flower buds to ice more times than I care to remember. It’s a Daphne relative, so it likes good drainage. Keep trying – when it blooms you will think it was worth it! 🙂

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