Tuesday, December 15, 2015

GBBD December 2015

December has been amazing for blooms this year with warmer weather and plenty of rain early in the fall.  Since many gardens in North America are dormant for a few months, it's a good time to share December blooms from my Zone 8B garden for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day.

Unnamed Hibiscus shared as a passalong plant is gorgeous and will be stashed in the garage when the weather turns colder (eventually).

Ruellia brittoniana or Mexican Petunia are reliable bloomers most of the year.  They prefer sun, shade, cold, wet, dry--in other words they never complain about whatever is thrown at them!  They are prolific spreaders and the deer love them.  This works out well to keep the deer away from other more delicate plants.

Caesalpinia mexicana or Mexican Bird of Paradise still producing bright yellow blooms.

Lantana, bright orange and yellow mixed with fuschia flowers.  I've not seen another like it.

Lantana 'Bandana' is bright red.

Very unusual Justicia carnea or pink shrimp plant is new in the garden and I would love to see it spread as most shrimp plants do.

Justicia brandegeana 'Fruit Cocktail' shrimp plant.

Looking good now that the deer have been fenced out and I see I'll need to start leaving more room for plants like this.

Mr. Moy Rose, perfect for December

Rose 'Deja Blue' is a nicely behaved container rose.

I seem to be amassing quite a Bougainvillea collection from neighbors and friends who have moved or find them difficult.

Bougainvillea must be protected from frost which can make it a pain to carry them in and out of the garage.  This year has been warm and I've simply covered them in place during the one cold night we've had so far.

Tropical Orange Bougainvillea

All blooms, no leaves, interesting effect.

I'm becoming a fan of woody lilies like Cryptbergia 'Red Burst' acquired this summer and blooming already.  A member of the bromeliad family, it's a cross between Bilbergia nutans and Cryptanthus.  Hardy to 26 degrees F, I simply cover it when a freeze is expected.

Gulf Muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris) just now sending up cotton candy tufts about six weeks later than usual.

Brugmansia 'Daybreak' responding to cool, cloudy days.

In my Zone 8B garden Brugmansia are planted outside in a protected area.  Those exposed to northerly winds have succumbed to our occasional deep freezes over the years.

Because it is December I just have to include our native Christmas Poinsettia (Euphorbia cythophora).  The top was nipped by frost before I got a good photo but I thought you would enjoy seeing it anyway.  Not nearly as showy as the imported hybrids, I like leaf shapes and subtly colored bracts.

  It is a reseeding annual that I've planted it in a good spot so looking for more next year.

Happy Holidays and be sure to check out more blooms hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.


  1. That euphorbia leaf-shape is brilliant.

  2. December in your garden is so beautiful Shirley. Is the pink color on your Bismarckia nobilis normal?

    1. The palm frond is browning and the sun gave it the pink tinge. It does take on a bit of blue or purple in cooler weather, similar to agaves and cacti.

  3. You captured the beauty of that Brugmansia perfectly, Shirley. I have to look for the Mexican Bird of Paradise - I love it!

  4. I've got a soft spot for the euphorbias - subtle but perhaps more elegant for their more muted appearance. That Brugmansia is a show-stopper - great photo! December in your garden spaces is no slouch for interest or blooms. I imagine enjoying the warm afternoons is easy with such lovely surroundings. Happy Holidays!

  5. Oh, to have lovely outdoor blooms like this in December! Especially the Lantanas. I've grown quite fond of them after planting them as annuals for several years now. They're so bright and cheery and attract the butterflies. Thanks for sharing your beautiful blooms!

  6. Oh, loved your shrimp plants! And I also loved your red bougainvillea, so much nicer than the usual magenta. I am going to try bougainvillea here in my new garden, once I have sorted out my plant ghetto, would be amazing if I could manage to grow it outside. Might kill one or two before I get it right though – but I’d like to try! And if I can get a bougainvillea to survive, maybe I can grow a brugmansia too – perhaps :-)
    Have a great Sunday!


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