I looked for a periwinkle a few days ago, and found nothing. I didn’t know it was hiding out within the mass of ivy beneath the pines. I love these small flowers. Now I know for sure Spring is on the way in South Jersey. It’s really cold and windy today, but this tender little blossom gives me hope. My periwinkle is part of Cee’s Flower of the Day.
Phlowers – Six on Saturday/First Blooms
On a day filled with windy March bluster, I found first blooms in the 2023 garden beds. Top left to bottom right: Japonica, Crocus in three colors, hyacinths and a perky daffodil.
Phlowers – Yellow Tulips
I could interpret last week’s sixty-degree temperatures as a sign Spring is on the way, but I have lived through many seasonal changeovers, and I know that even though twilight is coming later every day, the hope of Spring arriving early is just folly and there are still weeks of Winter to live through.
Tulips are my Flower of the Day, part of Cee’s Daily Flower Challenge.
I have grown the yellow tulips from bulbs I purchased in Autumn. Past attempts at forcing them have been mixed. I have kept them bare and in a cold place, forcing them in water. This year I planted thickly in terracotta pots, about six bulbs per pot, and left them outdoors on the porch for several months. I wasn’t sure when I should bring them in, but the tulips themselves told me by thrusting leaves above the surface. I bring one in each week, and this pot is my first success. It is a bit leggy, but grand just the same. I support the overgrown stems with small twigs in the soil. I like the seasonal look they give, and even though thin, they support the leaves and stems perfectly well.
Phlowers – Longwood Conservatory Winter/Part 2
The Longwood Gardens Conservatory boasts a gorgeous display of orchids. Not only can you view hundreds of varieties, you can also gaze out upon the ongoing construction of Longwood Reimagined in the Orchid room. There are many signs on the grounds, and articles available on the web, that apprise visitors of the future gardens and buildings. It’s quite exciting to imagine myself walking in these structures in the future.
The orchids in today’s post are part of Cee’s Flower of the Day.
While the sun glare, magnified through the window, can make it difficult to take a larger photo, a close-up of these beautiful blooms in the orchid room is enhanced by the back-lighting.
There is no one dominant species of orchid in the display, but I am always drawn to the faces of the Paphiopedilums. Just like pansy blossoms, they seem to have a perky personality.
This lovely orchid almost seems artificial. The inner recesses of the labellum are sunrose yellow, the January 30th color for City Sonnet’s January Colors and Letters.
Phlowers – Six on Saturday/Longwood Conservatory Winter
Here’s a sampling of the hanging baskets in the Longwood Gardens Conservatory yesterday. It’s hard to capture the size/scale of the flower baskets. To say they are large is an understatement.
Some of the plants are: Cape-primrose (Streptocarpus), Anthuriums, Cinnamon-Wattle Acacia, Bromeliads.
My favorite walk was along the acacia passage. The Cinnamon-Wattle acacias were in bloom. The fragrance was incredible. There was definitely a feeling of enchantment present as we gazed down the corridor. Periwinkle is one of my favorite colors, and the combination of the streptocarpus with the soft yellow of the acacia was stunning. The streptocarpus are part of Cee’s Flower of the Day.
I also had some moments of inspiration. I don’t know if this is a hanging basket of some type for displaying flowers, a light fixture, or something totally unique to my imagination. I am determined to create better hanging basket arrangements this year for the porch and outdoors and this will be my artistic muse for the project.
As we walked within the walls the soft winter sun outdoors illuminated everything inside with a glow of Royal Silver. I wish I could somehow capture and copy the indescribable atmosphere in a watercolor painting.
Here’s a silly self-portrait of us in the conservatory; a visual description of our joy. It’s a little distorted, the mirror had a funhouse quality, but it still captured our happiness in being in a place filled with flowers and fragrance.
Phlower – Crown of Thorns
I love the soft pink of these dime-sized blooms on my Crown of Thorns, the color almost a copy of cotton candy. The plant lives outdoors on the screened-in porch for five months of the year. Through the Autumn and Winter it delights me with flowers when everything outdoors is dormant. No coddling needed, the plant is easy to grow and maintain. This beautiful flower is part of Cee’s Flower of the Day.
Phlower & Quotes & Pages – Mr. Lincoln Roses
These gorgeous Mr Lincoln roses were blooming in the mid-November sun this Sunday morning. Somehow, their petals stayed intact through rather heavy rain Friday and overnight. They began to emit their compelling fragrance as they warmed up in the house. Not many roses can surpass Mr Lincoln blooms for scent and beauty.
I usually don’t expect such a perfect rose in November. These blooms are part of Cee’s Flower of the Day.
The small hymnal in the first photo, The Gospel Hymn Book, is signed and dated 1890. Surprisingly, I found it in a local library, shelved in the Books for Sale section, available for purchase for only fifty cents. Oh my! I am blessed to have it. It is very fragile, dog-eared and spotted, bound with aged string, but the wisdom within is full of strength, power, and timeless. Under a title of Sweetness of Prayer is printed the following verse:
Come, Holy Comforter, Presence Divine,
Now in our longing hearts graciously shine;
O for Thy mighty power,
O for a blessed shower,
Filling this hallowed hour with joy divine.
Here from the World We Turn
Words: Frances Jane Crosby
Music: Tryst | William Howard Doane
Phlowers – Autumn Rose
“Do not watch the petals fall from the rose with sadness, know that, like life, things sometimes must fade, before they can bloom again.” – Anonymous
The best rose of the year is blooming today in my Autumn garden. Winter Sun was a great performer all summer, covered in flowers, abundant leaves, and strong canes. Blossoms at this time of year are scarce, but this beauty is perfect and as large as the span of my hand. Winter Sun is my Flower of the Day?
Phlower – Pink Balsam
September brings an end to many of my garden flowers. If they have not gone to seed, they are falling victim to browning blossoms and leaves. I still have an outlet of admiration blooming in a side garden, a lovely pink Balsam I have named Leona’s Pink. My grandmother loved this shade, and so the name is perfect; she cultivated gentle colors in the garden, nothing brash was allowed in her flower beds.
The lovely flowers leave behind large seedpods. I’m hoping to collect many seeds in the next few days to plant next year. The seeds are large, easy to harvest and store for next year’s garden beds. The seedpods are self-scattering, and if care is not taken, can become invasive. Since the small plants have shallow roots and are easily removed, this has never been much of a problem for me. I often transplant the volunteers to new locations in early Spring.
Pink Balsam is posted in Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge.
Pheathers & Phlowers – Hummingbird Plants
If the tomato cage and bell didn’t give you a clue to actual size, this bird would appear to be just a common bird perching on a wire. Not so, the hummingbird in the photo was very annoyed with me. I disturbed its meal of delicious nectar.
Hummingbirds have visited our yard since Spring. I had a nectar feeder, but when it gets hot, and my flowers begin to bloom, I take it down. The feeder is glass, the liquid inside becomes quite hot. Besides being a possible burn problem, the heat contributes to the nectar going bad. I change the contents every 48 hours, but I don’t trust it to stay pure when the temperatures rise.
Firecracker flowers are a perfect shape for a hummingbird’s tongue.
The inner disk florets are where the hummingbird finds the nectar on a zinnia plant. This zinnia is part of Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge/Macro.
The cardinal vine flower is trumpet-shaped, another perfect feeding blossom for the hummingbird.
Cardinal vines are climbers, they wrap their quickly growing stems around anything within reach. I usually have to cut, rather than pull, them away from their support. The vines have the strength of steel filaments before the growing season is over. The vines against the sky are part of this week’s Skywatch.
Blue Salvia is another flower that draws the hummingbirds to our garden. I know, in a few weeks, they will have their last sip of nectar in my gardens, but I am already thinking of what to plant next year to bring them back again.
Phlowers – Yellow Nature
Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
The forsythia seemed to be the only sunshine as I watched the sky on this day of April showers.
I find a sense of security in the burst of color from garden perennials. I rely on the plants that green up and blossom with the warmth of the springtime sun. They give me hope that winter is truly behind us.
I planted dozens of daffodils in the Autumn. Even against an angry sky they glow.
This pale yellow hyacinth might not have strong color, but it still has the same glorious scent as the varieties that sport brighter hues. This hyacinth is my choice for Flower of the Day.
Rounding out my collection of yellow flowers are these sweet Johnny-Jump-Ups.
Phlowers – Camellia Blossoms
Camellia flowers – what a perfect way to start the week. Cee, host of Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge, posted a beautiful camellia today. Inspired by her photograph, I looked through my flower files and found a few vibrant Camellia photos taken in the Longwood Gardens Conservatory. Nothing banishes winter blues quite as well as the indelible hope and beauty of flowers in bloom.
Even the buds are beautiful.
What’s better than a perfect Camellia blossom? Why, two of course.
Phlowers – Tulips for a Valentine
Beautiful ovals, egg-shaped, the flowers open above the slender green stems into a gorgeous blossom with interesting centers. I like tulip flowers in all their stages. Even as they begin to dry and become papery, they have subtle beauty. Their vase life is well over a week in my cold winter house, and as a bonus, they grow taller as they age. I sure wish I was growing taller as I aged. 🤔
Valentine Tulips – Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge.
Phlowers – Final Bow and Wow
These beautiful petals, and spring-like fragrance they emitted in their final days, were a pleasant surprise this week. They began their display in my home, a bit disappointing being a little shorter than expected. They finished off their flowering with a bang, wowing me with streaks of pinkish red and wide open bloom. The flowers above are yellow tulips.
When I look at the unfurled petals my first impulse is to grab my watercolors and brushes. Perhaps I will do just that this week if I find the time. The tulips are bordered by spider plantlets rooting in green glass. The chartreuse leaves behind the flowers are a newly acquired philodendron called, ‘Golden Goddess.’
The tulips are part of Cee’s Flower of the Day, Floral Friday, and Floral Fotos.
Phlower & Quote – Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming
LO, HOW A ROSE E’ER BLOOMING
Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming
As men of old have sung.
It came, a flower bright,
Amid the cold of winter
When half-gone was the night.
Isaiah ’twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind:
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright
She bore to men a Savior
When half-gone was the night.
This Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness everywhere.
True man, yet very God,
From sin and death He saves us
And lightens every load
Phlowers – Amaranth/Love Lies Bleeding
Amaranthus caudatus – Love Lies Bleeding, is a beautiful annual plant. Mine self seeds and comes back every year in the same spot. It is a heavy plant, bending over in summer storms when laden with flowers.
The flower heads droop down, in a deep magenta/crimson shade. Often the strands will touch the ground.
My Love Lies Bleeding grows in full sun. When the flowers reach a good length I often cut them where they join the stem, rubber band them together, and hang them in a dark closet. Harvesting and drying them is that easy…but wait…I should have put something beneath them to capture the seeds that fall out as they dry.
I have also dried the flowers in my dehydrator.
One drawback is the inevitable chewed leaves on the plant. The lush foliage is attractive to bugs, and is also a green that can be eaten by people. The leaves can be used like spinach and sauteed. The seeds are a type of grain and can be dried, cooked, and eaten like porridge. They can be ground into flour. Amaranth is gluten free.
I love this unique, old-fashioned cottage garden annual. Love Lies Bleeding is part of Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge.
Phlowers – Deluge of Pink Flower Showers
Who would believe this gorgeous deluge of pink florets is atop the humble herb Oregano? I have quite a few Oregano plants in the front of my herb garden border. Not only flavorful, this member of the mint family is a healing herb. Oregano is a wonderful herb to use for its preventative/medicinal qualities. As with most foods and herbs, organically grown Oregano is the best choice.
Oregano florets draw pollinators by the dozens. Today, along with the honeybee, I also spotted wasps, bumblebees, cabbage white butterflies, hoverflies and sweat bees on the blossoms.
The Oregano blossoms are my entry into Cee’s Flower of the Day.
Phlowers – Friday Gems
Black-eyed Susans are a reliable flower in my gardens. They usually don’t last the whole summer, and often fall victim to downy mildew on the leaves, but the golden sunshine they display is worth growing them. I’ve never been able to eradicate the mildew once it starts, so my remedy is to plant a late-flowering annual nearby to take over when the Black-eyed Susan withers away. This Photograph is part of Skywatch Friday.
The plants are part of the sunflower family and will turn their faces to follow the sun. There are many varieties of this beautiful garden flower. The long stems make them a perfect choice for floral arrangements.
Black-eyed Susans are a reliable self-seeder. Let them go to seed and they will return every year.
Black-eyed Susans are part of Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge.