Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bloom Day Revelation

It's Garden Blogger's Bloom Day - for December!  Bloom Day is usually a time of joy, pride, and abundance, but December strikes fear into the gardener's heart.  Will anything be blooming?  Most of the time, that answer depends entirely upon your gardening zone.

I live in Texas, zone 8.  We get freezing temperatures.  But I still think that (most years) here, a garden planned well should be able to have blooms throughout most of the year.

Busy preparing for Christmas company, I haven't been out in the garden much.  So, I didn't know what, or if, anything was blooming when I ventured outside to take photos for Bloom Day.

I was relieved to see that there were quite a few blooms.

But then I realized - Something was wrong!

Sure, there were blooms here and there, but these blooms were spaced too far apart for any real impact.  

I thought about this for some time.  I've heard of gardeners that have "a spring garden", "a summer garden", "a fall garden", and "a winter garden", each in different areas of the garden.  But that concept has never been particularly appealing to me.

But I'm beginning to reconsider  - at least for winter.  These blooms would look so much better if they were placed near each other.  Now I see that, with just a little tweaking, my garden could have an entire area that was truly beautiful in the winter.

I have one part of the garden that is fairly empty.  Finding enough winter blooming plants to fill in and have a true "winter garden" would not be too difficult.  And it could still look beautiful in summer.

I'm going to work on that concept.

Thanks, Bloom Day.

Because of you, I quit cooking, cleaning, decorating, painting, shopping, wrapping, and baking long enough to go outside and really see my garden, and how it could be even better.

My Bloom Day revelation?  I live in a great zone.  I should have a true garden in winter (or at least one area), not just a few scattered blooms!


  1. I like your thinking - What a brilliant insight - simple as most truly great insights are. Good luck with weaving your winter garden!

  2. Great garden thoughts, one I never really thought about. GBBD does make you think about the garden through the seasons. I do that as a designer, but 'it really is a good thing', like Martha would say, to have a reason and reminder to rethink and plan. Happy GBBD!

  3. A moment of Eureka that you live in a zone that it's possible to have a winter garden (with plenty of blooms!) :) Something to work on to in the near future!

  4. Yes, the gardens do get neglected when we are so busy this time of year. I do like your concept of a winter garden though...We are TOO cold up here to do that --but I love seeing winter blooms in other places.... Just add that new concept to your 'list' --in JANUARY.. ha

  5. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden
    Happy GBBD! It is mostly brown here. Not a flower to be found anywhere! I think that you are right to plan for the garden to have some interest even in winter. It is a long season here and so very year I try to add a few more evergreen shrubs and cold-hardy garden ornaments that can stay out year round.

  6. However scattered your blooms may be, they're lovely all the same! Happy Bloom Day!

  7. Holly - You're writing about sparse blooms in winter. My garden is like that all year round. I remember you wrote a post once, I think it was called Abundance - it was about flower beds packed full of plants. That's what I hope for.

  8. I agree with Garden Girl that your garden is beautiful even if the winter blooms are a bit scattered, but I too like the idea of an area as a winter garden.
    Happy GBBD :)

  9. Country Mouse - Thank you. I think it will be fun planning a garden that peaks - or at least looks nice - in winter.

    GWGT - I would normally look at only the evergreens in my garden at this time, but I'm glad to have had an excuse to search for blooms, and then realize I could lump them together for a much bigger impact.

    Mark and Gaz - Funny how those "eureka" moments come to us, isn't it?

    Betsy - hahaha Yes, it will be on the long "list" waaaay after Christmas is over! :)

    Jennifer - I think evergreens are much more important for gardens that have long, hard winters. I do love evergreens, but they don't always stand out as much as they would if covered in beautiful snow!

    garden girl - I was pleasantly surprised that I had so many!

    b-a-g - I had to go back and look at that post - I had forgotten it. Yes, I want Abundance in winter! I wonder if I will ever achieve it. I bet we both will if we try!

    GardeningBlog - The more I think about it, the more excited I get about a 'winter garden'. Like I need another project! :)

  10. You have A LOT still it!

  11. Excellent post on a great idea. Having something beautiful to admire in winter is perhaps even more precious than when everything is going wild in springtime.

  12. Hi Holley, A true gardener! I love it when inspiration strikes and you get that adrenaline rush and that thrill of creating something new. I hope you'll share photos when you get your winter garden in order.

  13. How lovely to see your blooms! I have not one thing blooming today, but it is raining as I write this, so I am hopeful that we will have wildflower blooms in the spring!

  14. My apologies - I do have several yellow violas blooming cheerily!

  15. Hi Holley, I didn't know about the 'Garden Blogger's Bloom Day' never heard about that until I read about it here and on several other posts, but I always go on about what's flowering in my garden anyway! My fuchsias are still lovely :-)

    A winter garden sounds great, think I will plan for something similar, my flowering plants are spread all over the garden at the moment. Won't be a whole 'garden' though, more like a small corner!
    Take care

  16. I've heard of having gardens for different seasons as well. What an interesting idea, although I've never seen it done. I can imagine how it would make a difference in impact though as you describe it.

  17. Hey Holley, I am always impressed with those that manage to pull off a winter 'look'. I have this same conversation with myself making sure all the other three seasons are showing good form, but for winter I just let it all go. If you aren't a camellia in my garden, you're a dead looking husk!

  18. Your winter garden has beautiful color, especially the red. A small corner of color sounds like a good plan for a time when there isn't typically a whole lot in bloom.

  19. Great blooms! We're so spoiled here in CA with all of our winter blooming options.

  20. I am in zone 9 but my garden in winter is sadly lacking in color. I, too, have the scattered blooms, and those are the ones I posted for this Bloom Day. But I miss the exuberance of blooms of spring and summer. Next year I will plan for some winter color! Happy Bloom Day! (And aren't those sasanqua camellias great for some winter cheer?)

  21. Your garden still looks very pretty, and I love the berries. That's the great thing about GBBD. When I'm scratching my head in June, our winter, about what to find for 'show and tell', your garden will be picture perfect.

  22. Lovely post as always. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

  23. Scott - Our winter really hasn't hit yet - at least not very hard. I love winters like this!

    Hoover Boo - I agree that these blooms are much more precious. I guess we appreciate blooms more because they are not with us forever.

    Grace - So nice to have all winter to plan it, too! You know I'll be sharing photos, probably before, during and after!

    Cynthia - I love the little violas - such cheerful little things and so appreciated when nothing else is blooming.

    Helene - Where I plan to put my "winter garden" is really just a corner, too. In fact, right now I call it my corner garden! You should join in on GBBD - just go to the link and add your post. It's open for a few more days, and then again every month.

    Marguerite - I don't think I've ever seen it done, either, or if I have, I didn't realize it. I do hope I can come up with enough plants to make a beautiful area.

    Jess - haha I have a few of those dead husks, too!

    Bumble Lush - I don't typically go out if it's cold, so just going to one area will be nicer for me to visit, anyway!

    Megan - Yes, you live in the perfect zone!

    dorothy - Oh, I love camellias. I suppose no matter where you live, there's just nothing like spring and summer in the garden!

    Marisa - Isn't it nice to be able to visit blogs all over the world and get a summer 'fix' in the winter?

    Marcia - Happy holidays to you, too!

  24. Pretty flowers, pretty holly! I've never been good at grouping for blooms. Your garden photos always look great, but I hope the rearrangements for winter turn out to your liking!

  25. This is a perfect time to be planning a winter garden--either now or July, when it's too hot to enjoy thinking about much else! By spring I'd have a head full of tulips and would forget all about December... If we don't catch each other between now and then, Merry Christmas to you and yours, Holley!

  26. I'm okay with little color in the winter as long as the bones still look good. With all of the evergreens you have, I imagine that is the case with your garden -- good bones. But looking forward to the creation of your winter garden area.

  27. The camellia is stunning. Even with this strange weather ours won't be out for some time....I think!
    Good luck with your tweaking. Merry Christmas!

  28. How absolutely exciting when we discover those eureka moments for our gardens...I can't wait to hear more and see what you plan...I would love to have blooms all year, but it is a lot of work as well...sometimes we need a break from the garden...

  29. charlie b - Grouping for blooms is usually a nice accident for me! It may take me several years to complete my winter garden!

    Stacy - Merry Christmas to you, too! I'll tell you a secret - I'll actually be glad when it's over - I'm looking forward to jumping back into gardening!

    Toni - I do have a lot of evergreens, which helps. It just seemed a little silly to me to have a bloom here and there. If nothing was blooming, I actually think it might have looked better!

    Janet - Camellias are such wonderful plants. I am hoping to eventually gather enough of them to bloom through most of the winter. Doesn't that sound like a great goal?

    Donna - Oh, I agree that a break from the garden is always necessary. I imagine I will be enjoying my winter garden mostly from the window!

  30. Oh I didn't know there are plants that can withstand or still bloom in winter. All i see are photos with thick snow. We don't have your 4 seasons so snow is alien to me, much more the blooms in winter.

  31. Happy GBBD! Such a JOY to see blooms still...

  32. Your plants must be very hardy type! They really doing well in winter!

  33. Andrea - We rarely get snow here. We do have four seasons, and our plants go into dormancy, but our winters are very mild. I'm thankful for that!

    redneckrosarian - Yes, it's always nice to find blooms in the garden!

    Malar - We have had a few freezes, but it hasn't been cold enough to stop some of them! These are the blooms I appreciate the most!

  34. Interesting idea. For some of us if we ignore the assumption that nothing much is blooming in winter and stop to think about it, it is achievable.

  35. Mac - I think you're absolutely right. We just assume nothing is blooming out there, but I've realized that's not exactly true (at least for my zone).


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