The mercury rose unseasonably high in February here in northwest Ohio, Zone 6, and I feared for some of my earliest risers. In what I’ve dubbed the Early Spring Border, where I can see muscari and daffodils and hyacinths and alliums from my kitchen window, things are definitely moving along earlier than usual — but, thankfully, in this border, only one very early blooming dwarf iris felt the wilty brunt of this week’s snow.
This is what it looked like on February 25. Today, it’s a sad, floppy thing.
While my Zone 6 garden hasn’t quite awakened from its mild winter slumber quite yet, I have plenty of blooms indoors to keep me company.
I got this African violet as a birthday present from a co-worker some ten years ago — actually, probably more like twelve, now that I think about it. It’s still going strong, which pleases me.
I potted up this Ragtime amaryllis in hopes of a Christmas bloom, which it just barely missed. (Luckily, the second bloom stalk of the Christmas Star amaryllis filled in quite nicely.) This is the second bloom of Ragtime, much later than I would have expected. But I’ll take it!
This is my first year forcing hyacinths. I decided to do them in rounds, partially because I bought half a dozen bulbs and only have three forcing vases, but also so I could do some trial-and-error to see how they bloom best in my house. I managed to rot the first two bulbs, but this third one is the charm.
Finally — and this one might be the one I’m most excited about — this is the first bloom of this particular kalanchoe that I got as a cutting nearly three years ago. My friend and co-worker gave me four cuttings of three colors (I think), and so far I’ve seen shades of orange and pink. This is the first yellow bloom.
Looking forward to seeing a few outdoor blooms by this time next month — crocuses, if nothing else.
As always, thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting this meme every month!
Despite my best intentions, nothing is truly in bloom today. The ‘Ragtime’ Amaryllis just finished blooming last week, and I haven’t potted up any other bulbs quite yet. The ‘Pink Pearl’ Hyacinths i’m forcing haven’t done much more than peek an inch of green out of their bulbs, and the kalanchoes are just kind of chilling with no intention of blooming anytime soon.
I do have a bit of color in the house, at least. The poinsettia is hanging in there from the Christmas season.
The African Violet is showing signs of a bloom in the Very Near Future.
I have hope that there will be more blooms next month!
File under Better Late Than Never, I suppose… This month’s Bloom Day finds me with three indoor blooms and about 7 inches of snow on the ground outside.
My husband bought me this for some extra holiday cheer in the house. My five-year-old was much more observant than I would have expected — he pointed out the red leaves at the top, said they were really cool, and asked if it was going to bloom. That’s my boy.
My Thanksgiving cactus is sporting a late show of color this year — but, honestly, it’s pretty much on time for its usual bloom. This plant started as a cutting from my husband’s grandmother some fifteen years ago, at which time she told me it was a Christmas cactus. The only reason I know differently now is that I researched the shape of the leaves. This particular plant sometimes also blooms around Easter.
Also, I am NOT going to be pinching off any spent blooms this year. Every time I pinch off the first bloom once it fades, the other growing flower buds just dry up and fall right off.
Finally, some winter color I planned intentionally this year! I bought small, medium, and large Amaryllis bulbs this year, so I could get a grasp on what kind I like best for future years. This one (Christmas Star) started to sprout early, due to me storing it for a few days in too warm of a temperature. It may still be in bloom by Christmas, but this is the second of two stalks — the first, taller one finished blooming last week.
Behind Christmas Star, you can see Ragtime getting ready to bloom. I’m really hoping that one will be open by Christmas.
I didn’t pot up the three miniature Trentino in time, so I’m going to try to time them for Valentine’s Day blooms.
Hoping for some more winter bulb forcing fun for January and February’s Bloom Days — we really can have flowers every month of the year (if we plan it right)!
Most of my borders look something like this one right now:
Mostly cleared out and ready for a long winter’s nap.
Our first hard freeze a few days ago (pretty late for Zone 6a / 6b) finally stopped the Cosmos in their tracks.
I’d kept deadheading them through the fall, just to see how long I could keep them blooming. They really put on a good show this year, with minimal fuss — they may be my new favorite annual.
In the front garden, though, the snapdragons and foxgloves are both keeping on, despite a night or two just below freezing.
I know I’d said that I probably wouldn’t grow the Potomac Apple Blossom snapdragons again, just because I can’t keep up with their need for staking… but this reblooming habit in late fall might just change my mind about them.
So ends another year of outdoor gardening in my NW Ohio home. The remainder of the fall and the winter will be spent indoors, enjoying the blooms of forced bulbs and houseplants, and making plans to extend the bloom season out-of-doors next year.
As always, many thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day on the 15th of each month, all year ’round.
I took photos of my blooms on October 1st, just because I expected them to fade by the time bloom day arrived. Surprisingly enough, all the blooms were still blooming — plus some more!
The red hardy hibiscus is still kicking out flowers! The white ones have long since been done.
The daylight hours are shortening, and here in my NW Ohio Zone 6a/6b garden, things are starting to wind down in preparation for autumn.
This chrysanthemum hasn’t been happy or healthy for the past couple of years. Two years ago, she was full of blooms; this year, she put out a scant few while trying to battle whatever disease or insect is skeletonizing her leaves.
The Nikko Blue hydrangeas (I found a Nikko Blue tag in the dirt, so I’m guessing most if not all of my mophead hydrangeas are Nikko Blues) are reblooming in the cooler weather.
This month’s Bloom Day in Zone 6 features many more daylilies than I ever realized I had — so, about four, spread all about the property in unexpected places, as the previous owner was wont to do. Perhaps the deer repellant is working, or perhaps the mild winter helped coax some more blooms out?
Here in Zone 6, the late May / early June blooms have all but faded, and the summer blooms are just beginning. At first glance, things look sparse — no wide expanses of color like I saw a couple weeks ago — but there are still plenty of blooms. More so than usual, actually, and I’m assuming I have our mild winter to thank for that.