Thursday, December 25, 2014

christmas "roses"

 'Jacob' has reached his full glory just in time for Christmas. Perfect timing for Helleborus niger, the "Christmas rose."

 I used to wonder why all the fuss about Helleborus niger when I was growing up in California, as there were all sorts of things blooming at that time. Here in zone 7, where there is little blooming at this time of year, this plant is a joy. It's a bit of challenge in this climate, though, since it suffers if it gets much direct sun at all, and doesn't like the heat of summer.

 'Jacob' is my best plant of the Christmas rose. 'Joseph Lemper' is also starting to bloom, but since I bought it as such a small plant, there are only a couple of flowers on it, not much in comparison to 'Jacob', and 'Nell Lewis' has hardly grown at all, with no flowers.

 'Glamis Castle' has held on to its last flowers long enough to appreciate today, thanks to being in a pot and being brought into the garage every night.

 Although starting to get blown.

The rosemaries are blooming in a scattering of sky blue. Well, not really sky blue. New Mexico skies are much more intense than this.

Not "roses," but other plants to comment upon today.

 Campanula rotundifolia still holds onto its last flowers despite 22F temperatures. Primarily because the flowers are pressed up against the glass sliding doors.

 The last bits of flowers on salvia 'May Night'

 Kale 'Red Winter' colored up a bit, with the first frost. I'm bummed that this year wasn't a good year for kale. Such a struggle getting them started in August for some reason.

The Christmas cactus was relegated to the wash room since this is the only room that is bright enough to support plant life, and doesn't get much artificial lighting at night. I didn't make the mistake of leaving the light on by accident like I did last year, which made all the flowers drop off.

Monday, December 22, 2014

landscape architect/model

Who would have guessed that a fashion company would use a landscape architect as part of their image creation?


Along with "Philanthropist Topaz Green, Ballerina Jessica Saund, Blogger and Baker Iskra, Meatball Shop Maestro Michael Chernow, Artistic Director Janet Eilber, Independent Filmaker Lucas McGowen, Yoga Guru Taura Stiles." I guess that explains it. Weird that they have people speaking in the third person. Comes off as kind of stilted and arrogant.

Which makes me a bit surprised to see that his design work is not bad.
And extra surprised to see that he's a model for J. Crew. The life that some people lead. If I'm looking a bit green, it's the all the gardening I've been doing. Really. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

glamis castle

'Glamis Castle' is a rose that I bought on reputation alone. I'd never actually seen the flowers in person, nor smelled it. Some people love the fragrance, some hate it. Passionately. When the first flower bloomed, I took a sniff and got a strong hit of mothball. The new stems that formed also were incredibly thorny. I almost tossed the plant. But because this rose is supposed to tolerate heat, I kept it, in a pot.

I've been moving the pot into the garage at night, so the last few buds have opened up. The fragrance is still odd, but it has lost the mothball fragrance, and is now enjoyable. I like the cupped flower form and soft color. I may just change my mind about 'Glamis Castle'.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


 Just as the very last of the Crocus speciosus is fading, Helleborus niger 'Jacob' is opening. Perfect!

Crocus speciosus
 'Joseph' is just about ready to open.

'Champion' is still in the bud stage. It should last until spring.