Oklahoma is cloudy and wet on this December Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day hosted each month by Carol Michel at May Dreams Gardens. Cold is supposed to return tomorrow. Oh joy.
Each morning for the last two weeks, I woke to mostly gray skies and fog. This advection fog is an unusual phenomenon for this time of year caused by a warm and moist air mass moving over the cooling earth. Yesterday, thunderstorms rolled across the state, and even a couple of small tornadoes touched down in open fields. No one was injured, and no property damaged.
Think a moment about what I just wrote. Thunderstorms, tornadoes and fog–does this sound like winter in the central South? Do you remember last year? The only place that was warm was the greenhouse.
Still, the calendar says December, and I haven’t bought a poinsettia yet for Christmas. I’ve been terribly busy, and haven’t shopped at TLC Nursery in over a month. However, I have my bulbs to keep me happy. My paperwhites are up and growing. I have five or six different kinds, and I’m testing them to see which ones have less scent. Thus far, ‘White Nir’ and ‘Ariel’ are blooming. Of these two, I like ‘White Nir’ best.
Several of the hippeastrum (amaryllis) are also blooming. I gave away four pots of them so far. I still have six varieties left to bloom. I am clearly a hippaholic!
In the greenhouse, surprises await. In USDA Zone 7a, we never see Hibiscus acetosella ‘Haight Ashbury’ bloom outdoors. I took cuttings last fall, and several have bloomed even though they are tiny things. What a scrumptious color! All of the coleus are also trying to bloom, but I keep pinching them. I’ll do the same with the hibiscus now.
The biggest surprise was Senecio rowleyanus, string of pearls. I’ve never seen it bloom before. I have a small hanging pot in the greenhouse, and it’s blooming with abandon. I hope it doesn’t up and die afterward. I’ll research it later to see. Notice how the normally round pearls have elongated and flattened? I find nature amazing every single day.
In other news, I decided to start sweet peas in the greenhouse. I got the idea from Matt Mattus because he is doing the same thing with low-light blooming sweet peas at his home outdoors. He may be starting some in his cool greenhouse too. I don’t remember. Here’s is one of his posts about growing sweet peas as cut flowers. Pursuant to his instructions, I ordered seeds for winter-growing sweet peas from Owl’s Acre in England. It took them awhile to get here, and quite frankly, I forgot about them. I’m going to trellis them up the sides of the greenhouse so I can smell them. I hear my west coast and British friends laughing now because sweet peas are easy to grow in their climates. I have the worst time growing sweet peas in Oklahoma and only smelled them for the first time when Garden Bloggers’ Fling went to Seattle a few years ago. My surprised photo is about three down in that post. My little seeds are up and growing in the greenhouse. It’s the little things.
What else is blooming? I have a new Christmas cactus I picked up at Whole Foods yesterday. I’ll need to repot it after it blooms, but what a pretty color.
That’s all I have in Oklahoma. Happy Bloom Day everyone.