Thursday, November 15, 2012

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day November 2012

Another 15th of the month and another blog entry in the Garden Bloggers' Bloom day series.  It being mid November at 50degrees north there aren't a lot of flowers around in the garden.  But there are a few, some holdovers from summer, some flowering for the first time this year and in their season.

Newly in flower since last month is a quintet of plants that rarely disappoint at this time of year.  Jasminium nudiflorum, the yellow flowered Winter jasmine offers bright colour just as everything else seems to fade.  Last year it flowered early.  This year it's back to a more normal sequence, beginning at the start of November.  It's a lax shrub, usually grown against a wall and tied into a support - the way I grow it - but it can also be used as a low, ground covering scrambler.  I still remember a visit to the old cliff gardens in Torquay one winter's day in the early 80's when this plant spread a yellow carpet across and down large areas of the garden.

Jasminium nudiflorum

A true climber, Clematis cirrhosa 'Freckles' can flower intermittently for most of the year but really starts to get into its stride as the days shorten.  I've mentioned this one before, hardly surprisingly as it does have such a long period, but its worth noting that its the only Clematis that I have no difficulty with.  I've grown a fair few over the years and they've all succumbed.  It may be my acid soil or, more likely, my rapacious gastropods but they do not prosper here.

Clematis cirrhosa 'Freckles'

Fatsia japonica I grow as a large leaved, exotic looking shrub, not for its flowers.  But you can't miss them in November.  Pompom heads of pure white flowers that open to provide an abundant nectar source at a time of year when little else is in flower.  Even though the weather is getting colder there are still flies, hoverflies and even the odd red admiral butterfly on the wing during the warmer days and this - and the closely related ivy - provide sustenance.

Fatsia japonica flower heads
My fourth newcomer is more exotic.  Hedychium greenii, the most tropical looking of the relatively hardy ginger lilies.  Upright pseudostems with glossy green, maroon backed leaves would be worth a place in the garden even it never flowered.  Some years it doesn't, leaving bud formation so late that they're caught by frost before they open.  This year looks a bit less dodgy.  I've a few stems with buds ready to pop and no frost forecast for a week.  Having said that I wasn't even sure if I should include it as the first bud was due to open this morning but got eaten.  No matter, here's a shot from warmer years.

Hedychium greenii
Final flower amongst the new sprung winter set is Rosemary, Rosemarinus officianalis.  We have a plant outside the back door so I can pick fresh growth for cooking.  It's old, straggly - and flowers on and off through the winter.  Individually, the flowers are quite fascinating, but very small.  The shot below was taken at 1:1 (life size on the sensor) macro ratio and even two flowers don't quite fill the frame.  If you look closely there is even a little springtail insect on the right hand flower.

Rosemary in flower
I still have many of the earlier, summer flowers producing a display.  Passiflora caerulea is twining up the now leafless cherry, Abutilons 'Waltz' and 'Patrick Synge' continue to throw out their dangling bells, my fuchsias won't stop flowering till frost hits, Hydrangea 'Mme Emile Mouillere' is still producing white mopheads on the newest growth, and I've a couple of pelargoniums and petunias bravely defying the ever cooling nights to add a little colour.  But winter is fast approaching and their flowering days are numbered.  But in the meantime the true winter flowerers - my camellias, mahonia, Iris unguicularis, hellebores and others are showing signs that their display will brighten the darker days.  But more of that in December's Garden Bloggers Blooms Day.

As always, my thanks to May Dreams Gardens for hosting the Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day meme.  Head over there to see what's flowering in many more gardens round the world.


  1. Beautiful!
    I've never seen a speckled clematis before.
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!
    Lea's Menagerie

  2. That Clematis cirrhosa 'Freckles' looks interesting and lovely!

  3. It's certainly interesting in a non flamboyant way. Flowers are about 1.5in across so not big - but very pretty when looking up at them.

  4. You have a lovely selection, especially for this time of the year in your part of the world. The clematis is lovely, and the hedychium is a lovely colour. They grow well here in Brisbane, but you more often see the yellow version.