Thursday, February 14

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - Valentine's Day Style

My difficult relationship with the color pink has been pretty well chronicled in this blog over the past couple of years. You can imagine my dismay when I downloaded all of my February Bloom Day pictures of things in bloom and flower, and found that they all contained... pink!

Some are more pink than others, but I'll show them all here anyway. This first is a temporary pink, as the little "lanterns" start out green, change to white and then pink (as you can see on the lower branches of this plant), and finally turn bright red and drop a little yellow "bell" when in full flower. This flowering maple is abutilon megapotamicum and you can click the link to see it in full flower on Plant Delights' website:

Also in dark pink is my fancy poinsettia from Christmas. The green leaves below are splotched with inky variegation, and so I am going to plant it outside in the spring and see what kind of interesting greenery it gives me for the summer and fall:

This is not technically a flower (nor is the color on the poinsettia above) but it fooled me into thinking it was, for a while... because crown of thorns does have salmon-pink flowers when it blooms.
I'm glad to see this plant, euphorbia milii, putting out new leaves whatever the color. It had been stressed over the winter--I had bought it in the fall, pot-bound and on clearance--and so I gave in and repotted it a few weeks ago, even though I had wanted to wait until spring. As you can imagine, moving it to a new pot was an adventure, but one made a whole lot easier with the assistance of basic kitchen tongs.

Last but not least, the promise of flowers to come! I had to scoop away the snow to show this tiny pink bud on my 'Ivory Prince' hellebore, and you can barely make out its existence between my middle and ring fingers. There are eight buds in total on my 3 'Ivory Princes' and they are all probably weeks away from bloom yet. So I covered the plant back up with snow after snapping this shot:
That's all from my NE Ohio garden for now. Got something in flower, bloom, bud, or winter color? Head on over to May Dreams Gardens and share your post with all the rest of us color-starved northern gardeners, please!


Carol Michel said...

Wouldn't you know it? As soon as I read your post I realized I had ignored the poinsettias still blooming and Crown of Thorns, which has a few blooms, in my own post. I need to go back and add them.

I'm looking forward to seeing your Hellobores bloom.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Unknown said...

Yes I look forward to your hellebores blooming, just like I'm salivating over all those who already have them in blom. They're just so lovely...and they hate me! I hadn't read your pink post from 2006 before, I don't think, so I got a real good chuckle out of it. This is definitely a day of pink and red around the blogosphere, but I don't mind for one day...;-)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your hellebores are way ahead of mine even with or possibly becasue of the snow cover.

I too laughed at your pink post. I don't mind pink. I don't really want to decorate inside with it but outside on flowers it is just lovely to my eye.

Christopher C. NC said...

At least you have buds on your Helleborus under the snow. I've looked at the one here repeatedly in between snows. Nada.

Muum said...

Oh, I'll have to see if I can get to my hellebore plant! thanks for the great reminder. I laughed at your pink aversion - I posted earlier today about my pink suit that I'm wearing tomorrow night (a date with the DH!!) Pink is not so bad, y'know, just think of it as a mellow red.

dlyn said...

I am not sure, but I think this is my first visit to your blog, but it will not be my last. Look forward to more great gardening here!

Bob said...

Hi Kim, Thanks for the best wishes, my hand is mending well thanks to light duties, I'm not sure if my left hand is happy about all the extra work though LOL! The Hellebores are flowering here now. By the way if you wanted an invite to the 'Secret Garden' you would be welcome but you would need to let me have your email address so I have somewhere to send the invite too. My email address can be found in my profile page. Best wishes, Bob.

Frances, said...

A fellow hellebore lover here too. They are truly amazing in what they can withstand and still bloom so early in the year, some kind of antifreeze in the sap?

Frances at Faire Garden

Anonymous said...

I understand your difficulty with pink - I have similar trouble with purple. My recommended cure is orange. (orange changes those colors from pretty to hmmm - interesting!) I want that abutilon btw - it's gorgeous. I can't keep them from getting leggy, buggy, and weird. What's your secret?

Silvia Hoefnagels . Salix Tree said...

I used to not like pink, but I've grown to admire the soft blush pinks.
The poinsettia is lovely!

Anonymous said...

At this time of year, there's nothing wrong with a bit of pink here and there, you know? The blooms you've shared are beautiful, and wow, love the wicked stems of that crown of thorns. I'm glad I'm not the one to be repotting it, though.

chuck b. said...

Ah, don't harsh on pink. Pink's alright. My problem is with red. Your crown of thorns looks especially thorny!!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I really like pink, but as I think I mentioned b4, it needs the right partner. Kris has the right idea (but I hate orange). Like your Hellebore, mine have buds, but they are all buried under the snow. It's OK cause I'm far away from the snow & cold right now!

Annie in Austin said...

We are an opinionated bunch, aren't we, Kim! I can take some pink, just get sick of the hot pink colors en masse... but a hellobore could be any color it wanted to be if it would live here!

Very clever way to combine GBBD and the Valentine post - Happy Blooming Day!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Shady Gardener said...

I like some pink. I don't want a lot of it, but it adds a light sort of variety. I had to laugh at your post about your sedum. :-) I miss having a Thorn of Crowns. And tomorrow I'm headed out back to dig in the snow for hellobores. Happy day!

chuck b. said...

Kim, honey, you need to think pink.

Kerri said...

Kim, good for you combining the two days! I wanted to but couldn't think of a way...what with my yellow palm flower cluster. It's not what you could call romantic :)
I love the's pretty through all the stages.
Your Poinsettia is looking lovely. I keep mine outside all through the summer too.
My Hellebore isn't showing any signs of growth yet. Soon, I hope....

growingagardenindavis said...

I love the photo of you peeking at the hellebore, although it made my fingers cold! I'm not sure that I would have the patience to garden in the snow...I'd want to 'unwrap' all the treasures hiding there.

WiseAcre said...

You will never see me wearing pink.
But my gardens would not be the same without it. While I like red and purple more, the shade garden needs a lighter touch. And I can't imagine a sunny area with out pink roses. Besides I don't think any colors clash when they're flowers.

Sue Swift said...

I've just got back from impulse buying summer bulbs and corms at the garden centre, and the first thought I had when I got home was - whyever did I buy all this pink stuff? Whatever am I going to mix with it? I'd never have thought of orange.

Unknown said...

Carol, that makes me feel better--that usually happens to me after I post a GBBD list. :)

Jodi, me too. Both on looking forward to the hellebores and not minding the pink for just one day!

Lisa at Greenbow, it may honestly just be this particular type. My 'Pine Knot Strain' hellebores are showing no signs of budding in the backyard. (So you can blame it on the cultivar, not feel like you're behind!)

Christopher C., that surprises me. It always feels like you all in NC are so far ahead of us northern gardeners. :)

Muum, maybe that's why I don't like pink--because I can't wear it, either! lol. (By the way, I may steal that phrase... from now on, I may not admit to having pink in my garden, just "mellow red!")

dlyn, thanks for taking the time to stop by and visit. :) I look forward to getting acquainted with your blog, too!

UKBob, I figured you would be ahead of us on the hellebores. :) Glad to hear that your hand is mending well... and I'm intrigued by the Secret Garden, so of course I had to email you.

Frances, you're so right--they are amazing little plants. So tough, but with such delicate-looking flowers that make you think otherwise. And yes, they must have the plant version of antifreeze! I wonder if some botanist can come along and explain that to us? Hmm.

Kris, I completely agree with you on orange, although I know some people don't like it. Interesting that you have trouble with purple, because that's something I never have trouble working into the garden. Maybe it's an either/or thing? Pink or purple, but not both? ;)

As far as the abutilon goes, I chalk up my success to dumb beginner's luck. The house is pretty drafty, old girl that she is (built in 1919) so maybe that helps keep the bugs down? It's also trained over some hoops, so that may help keep it from "looking" as leggy as it might have otherwise been.

Salix Tree, I do like a blush pink every now and again. And I so love that poinsettia, with the interesting leaf shape and all that variegation.

Nan, you work pink into your garden so wonderfully, with the muhly grass and amsonia fall combos, etc.! Maybe if I could figure out how to achieve that in mine, I'd be okay. :)

chuck b., I almost choked watching that... I think this might be the song that will be playing over and over again if I end up in hell!!! lol. (Although I was amused by the rhyming of "plum abuse" with "chartreuse," I must admit!)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter, you were one of the orange-haters I thought of when I saw Kris's comment! lol. Hope your hellebores bloom soon for you, when you get back to your snowy, cold home. :)

Annie in Austin, we are... and it's all good. :) And I happen to agree with you re: the hellebores... although I would love to have some of the dark-flowering beauties that came out of heronswood, I admit.

Shady Gardener, I hope you find some hellebores on your dig! :) I have never had the Crown of Thorns before, but I really dig the architecture it adds. Watering it, even, is a trick, though! lol.

Kerri, I don't know... a fan palm cluster sounds kind of romantic to me, in an exotic, tropical kind of way! *grin* Can you give me some hints on keeping the poinsettia outside in the summer?

Leslie, it wasn't too cold, actually, but I did hurry out to do that and then came back in fairly quickly to thaw out! (And I love the idea of "unwrapping" all of the treasures under the snow... you make me want to go out and dig around some more.)

WiseAcre, well said! "I don't think any colors clash when they're flowers." I like that. :)

Sue Swift, oooh... I'll have to pop over to your blog here soon and check out what you bought. You always have the interesting meme-type posts over there, too--and I need to catch up with them!

Ki said...

I like the new formatting and the great header. We hardly had any snow this winter but our hellebores don't show any signs of buds. ;(

Anonymous said...

Kim, you have some unique ones here this month. That crown of thorns must have been a bit tricky to repot. I remember doing something similar years ago with a huge cactus.

Hey, I consider you a southern gardener but that's coming from north of the 55th parallel :)

Happy gardening!
Alberta Postcards
Diane's Flickr photos

mightymatt1313 said...

I'm really enjoying reading your blog!

Meagan said...

The spikey things look sweet but I think my favorite is actually the lantern thingies.

Tracy said...

Lately you have had me very intrigued about these hellebores. I really am taking a liking to them.

lisa said...

Nice post for a wintry Bloom Day! My "sideways life" got the best of me, and I completely missed it! I actually had a bloom, too...maybe I'll post it late, anyhow. My new hellebores are under 2 feet of snow, but I hope there are buds under there...maybe I'll find out in a month or so. :(

Unknown said...

Thanks, Ki! Hmm, maybe our winter snows did insulate the hellebores enough to start them budding more quickly.

Diane, I'm grinning at the thought of being a southern gardener--although I'm sure that I am, to you! lol. The kitchen tongs really did help out with the crown of thorns, I admit. I thought it would be trickier than it was.

mightymatt1313, thanks! I appreciate you stopping by and taking time to leave a comment.

Meagan, I'm surprised. I really thought you'd like the spikey things the best... given how you want to booby-trap my front yard and all. *grin*

Tracy, thanks. I just love how the hellebores look so delicate in flower but are tough enough to bloom all winter long. :)

lisa, "sideways life" is a good way to describe it, I think! I definitely hope you post the bloom--the more blooms we can see in the winter, the merrier.

(And don't expect me to feel sorry for you with your 2 feet of snow and your unsmiley face... I know how much you really love the weather there!)

lisa said...


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