2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 18,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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Earliest Blooms on Flowering Apricot

Usually our flowering apricot buds and blooms repeatedly late January and in February. Today, December 27, 2012, is the earliest date I have recorded for it to bloom. It is the cultivar ‘Peggy Clarke’ of Prunus mume. Apparently it has been blooming for several days because my husband, Jerry, asked me if I’d see the blooms. They were probably open on Christmas!

The bottom picture was taken on January 20, 2012 on a sunnier day.

Prunus mume 'Peggy Clarke' with open blooms in late December.

Prunus mume ‘Peggy Clarke’ with open blooms in late December.

'Peggy Clarke' Prunus mume

Winter Color 2012

'Pink Icicle' camellia buds

‘Pink Icicle’ camellia buds

'Warren's Red' Possumhaw deciduous holy, has never had more than 4 berries until this year.

‘Warren’s Red’ I. decidua,  another native deciduous holly, has never had more than 4 berries until this year.

Possumhaw with leaves.

‘Warren’s Red’ Possumhaw with leaves.

Winterberry, Ilex verticilata, is our newest deciduous holly.

Winterberry, Ilex verticillata, is our newest deciduous holly.

Our mature femaile yaupon, a native evergreen, has its heaviest berry crop ever.

Our mature female yaupon, Ilex vomitoria, a native evergreen holly, has its heaviest berry crop ever.

Camellia flowers in December

Camellia flowers in December

Hollies, both evergreen and deciduous, add their color to the garden. My ‘Pink Icicle’ Camellia began blooming in November and is still budding and blooming. We’ve also added Burford hollies and female yews on the new berm for their future berries.  Enjoy!

Fayetteville Square flowers offer stunning color combinations.

‘Bishop of Llandaff’ dahlia with monarch.

More beautiful combinations using coleus and purple oxalis.
‘Black Pearl’ ornamental pepper, used in several locations, was a standout among other plants.
Black Elephant Ear, zinnias and coleus are bright and beautiful.
Flame Flower Vine, Senecio confusus, has very bright orange-red flowers and attracts clouds of butterflies

A recent afternoon stroll around the Square yielded some wonderful photos of plants combinations. Also, a black-leafed ornamental pepper really caught my eye, so I’ll have to have ‘Black Pearl’ for my garden. It will have to be grown as an annual. Their use of the flame flower vine, Senecio confusus, was so beautiful. Enjoy!

What is blooming now. . . portraits of reliable fall blooming plants.

Golden Raintree, Koelreuteria bipinnata, has seed pods that are as pretty as flowers.

Obedient plant blooms bountifully.
Ivy-leaved cyclamen, C. hederifolium, is only 4 inches tall but its bright color makes it a stand-out.
Japanese anemone ‘Andrea Atkinson’ forms a large colony about 5 feet wide.
Very reliable sedum flowers change from pink to deep russet.
Narrow-leaf Sunflower is a bright exclamation point in the fall garden.
This aster is very fragrant and climbs up to 8 feet.

‘October Skies’ native aster

This toad lily, Miyazaki, shows some atypical coloration

Cooler weather helps plants and gardeners.

With temps in the 90s and a little rain, my garden seems to be breathing a sigh of relief. Many plants are blooming again. Most of my roses are in full bloom which I didn’t expect until fall. My brown turkey fig, on the patio, is bearing fruit too. They have an opening on the end which ants love to take advantage of, so I put a little plug of vaseline there and problem solved.

Brown turkey figs are my favorite because they remind of the bush that grew in my Grandmother Brockett’s yard.
Outhouse Hibiscus
Grown for its fragrance and soft velvety leaves.
Also in the patio area is a bodacious Hibiscus grandiflora or Swamp Hibiscus. It has huge velvety green leaves and pink fragrant flowers. It was often grown beside the outhouse, for obvious reasons. It was also called The Outhouse Rose.
A beautiful hibiscus from my friend, Russell Studebaker. It is very tall with 5-6″ blooms. The dark pink hibsicus is H. mutabilis ‘Rubrum’.
A favorite hibiscus for hummingbirds, Turk’s Cap Mallow, a native wildflower,  Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

What an honor. . .!

The coral orienpet (oriental x trumpet) is 4 feet tall, with flowers 10 inches across.

Thanks. I was so surprised to hear from Brenda of http://theblondegardener.wordpress.com, who nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award. The award increases readership of garden blogs and awareness.

I’m always thrilled to hear from readers who have been following my blog. I’ve heard from people in Malaysia, India, Japan and all over the US and Canada.

The requirements for accepting the nomination are to nominate 10 of my favorite blogs and notify the owners and to list 7 random facts about myself.

I like snakes and other creepy crawlies. I’ve sung in choirs since I was six years old. I speak fluent Spanish and understand Italian and French pretty well in context.  Photography has been a hobby of mine since the 70s.  I used to have my own darkroom. I am a plantaholic (is there a 12-step group for that?) Thanks to my husband, Jerry, for making this nomination possible because he is my best help in the garden.

I nominate the following garden blogs: