Bloom Day – January, 2020

It’s been an abnormally mild winter (again), so I have more to show than I would if all was right in the world. For weeks, we have known that temperatures would drop and that – heavens forbid! – we might get some snow in January. It’s been dumping like mad on Mount Hood – our beautiful mountain, but here in the valley, we’ve been spared. A few flakes yesterday, and even fewer today. It did get windy, though, so some photos were so fuzzy they were left out altogether, and others were included because it captured just how gusty it was. I will blame it on the windchill that the birdbath froze.

Frozen birdbath with turtle

And the mossy little turtle looks like it just drowned.

Mahonia 'Hope' in wind

Here is Mahonia ‘Hope’. You see what I mean about the wind, right?

Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'

The backyard is less exposed. Here is the ‘Yuletide’ Camellia. It was blooming for Christmas too, as its name implies.

Foliage combo

No blooms here, but a pretty foliage combo just to the left of the Camellia.

Stachyurus salicifolia

The soon to be green danglies of Stachyurus salicifolia are in full bud. Love this shrub!

Abutilon 'Nabob' buds

Although the others of the same genus have closed up shop for the season, this Abutilon ‘Nabob’ is enjoying the cushiest spot in the garden on the lee spot of the house – which is probably why it’s so cavalier about winter. I couldn’t believe when I saw it is still setting buds! Crazy thing!

Acacia dealbata

A repeat from December’s Bloom Day. In the month that passed, the flower buds on Acacia dealbata haven’t done much. But, they are still there, so there is hope.

Clematis urophylla

A fuzzy, ever-moving Clematis urophylla with bells swinging in the eye of the east wind. Sorry for the crappy photo. It’s up the driveway from the Mahonia in the second photo, so it was hard to get a moment of stillness.

Rosa 'Hot Cocoa'

Same here, but this one – Rosa ‘Hot Cocoa’ is backed by a tall Italian Cypress, which helps protect it a little. Its sister, just a few feet away in the hell strip has zero blooms or buds. 

Rosa 'Snow Carpet' hips

Not exactly flowers, but begged to be included. It is the tiny, tiny, scarlet hips of Rosa ‘Snow Carpet’, and it is my latest acquisition. A bittersweet one, as I got it from yet another grower who is permanently closing its doors; Oregon Nursery Sales. I got their email with the sad news and their availability list. Near the bottom of the list, was this rose – one that I had been looking for for a while. It’s a groundcover rose, and totally adorable. In the summer, it is completely covered in the most adorable fluffy white flowers about the size of a quarter. The hips were a bonus. I had no idea they set hips!!!

Rosa 'Snow Carpet' with scale object

Here is a shot of the tiny leaves and red thorns with my lens cap for scale. Everything about this rose is diminutive, and I just totally fell for it. So darn cute!

Dianthus 'Green Trick'

This on really should be sleeping by now – Dianthus ‘Green Trick’. This was the biggest surprise out there today.

Euphorbia rigida

Euphorbia rigida is lighting up the world with its yellow-green flowers.

Okay, that’s it for the “other” plants. Are you ready for some Hellebores? Went a little crazy last year, so I have a lot of them – at various levels of development. I have a feeling I will be posting an overwhelming amount of Hellebores in the next few months.

Helleborus Black on black and Apricot Blush

This is what many of them still look like, but I will spare you those, and focus on the ones that are a little farther along. The two in this photo are a NOID pitch black one, that also has super dark, almost black foliage when it first emerges, and a lovely one with the descriptive name of ‘Apricot Blush’. More on those in a future post.

Hellebore 'Red Sapphire'

Helleborus ‘Red Sapphire’ is in a large planter on a concrete plinth. I learned from this that this is a good way to grow Hellebores – so you can actually see them at eye level. I love this one!

Hellebore white

When they’re in the ground, you can’t really see them face to face. See all those Magnolia grandiflora leaves on the ground? That’s how you know that this Hellebore is in the front yard. Even if I raked every day, I would still never have a yard free from magnolia leaves. Might as well get used to them.

Helleborus black

This one is a very dark one but not quite black. Very lovely, though.

Helleborus Double Green and Carex 'Sparkplug'

This is one of my favorites! I think it has some mundane name like ‘Double Green’ or something silly like that. Seen here with Carex ‘Sparkplug’ and a smattering of ferns.

Helleborus Double Green

Here is a close-up.

Helleborus 'Golden Lotus'

Golden Lotus – a yellow marvel I like a lot. My very best yellow is a single one, but it’s not ready for prime time yet. Definitely worth waiting for, though.

Helleborus 'Jade Star'

Green and black flowers are the best! Here is ‘Jade Star’.

Helleborus 'Painted Strain'

I like this one a lot. The tag said ‘Painted Strain’, which is such an unimaginative name. It deserves better, methinks.

Hellebore with red edge

I’ll end with this wonderful picotee that my friend Marian gave me. Can’t wait for it to open up completely!

More to come next month, but for now, mosey over to Carol at May Dreams Gardens to see what is growing in gardens all over the world.

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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15 Responses to Bloom Day – January, 2020

  1. You already have a lovely collection of hellebores – there will be more 🙂

  2. Tina says:

    Lots going on, Anna! The hellebores–swoon! I just love to see photos of those from you northern gardeners; I wouldn’t dream of trying them here, as I can’t imagine they’re more than annuals–but they’re so pretty. I like the shot of the swaying mahonia! That’s some wind! I seem to recall that (and correct me if I’m wrong), that in Portland, the area either NW or NE of the Columbia Gorge tends to be super windy. Is that correct?

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks, Tina! The northern stretch of the N/NE part of town (which is where I live, is mere blocks from the Columbia river, so yeah, it gets pretty windy at times. I live in a veritable wind tunnel!

  3. linda says:

    So many blooms ! I ‘ll have to get outside and have a look .

  4. Kris P says:

    I love those Hellebores! The few I have don’t generally bloom until spring. Your photos even look cold to me but maybe it was the frozen birdbath that set that expectation. I’ve never had a freeze here and can only imagine the damage that any extended cold snap would bring. I hope you get a chance to enjoy that snow on Mt Hood sometime this season!

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh, I’m long overdue on the mountain. Maybe I’ll go this weekend…? The snow is supposed to be excellent, according to my son who was there last weekend.
      The photos didn’t lie – it WAS cold out there yesterday. I’ll blame the windchill for most of it – it really wasn’t very nice to be out there at all. Brrr!

  5. ‘Painted Strain’ is an awful name, but it’s a beauty.

  6. tonytomeo says:

    Is Acacia dealbata considered to be an aggressively invasive exotic species there?!

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