Sunday, March 16

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: March

That lucky Carol. Apparently May Dreams Gardens is laughing up some flowers for her to enjoy. If any flowers are laughing out in my yard, I can't hear them--they're muffled by all of the snow that still remains!

But it is Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, and since Carol started the fun for all of us, I suppose that she's entitled to her spring symphony of garden giggling. As for me, I feel like I'm still mired in the depths of winter... but I'm trying to notice the little details of spring this year, and so I'm enjoying the fresh yellow-green new growth on my potted bay laurels.

I also gave all of my potted rosemary a good trim--the poor things were clambering over any other plants in their path, trying desperately to get just a little bit closer to the sunny South window. (Next year, I'm going to try to overwinter them all in the ground instead. I'm running out of room indoors!)

My Ides of March is not entirely bloomless, however. The abutilon megapotanicum that I replanted a month or so ago has rewarded me by flushing out a few dozen more blooms!

The blooms are very bright and cheery, but as you can see here against my hand they are also small, delicate things. En masse on the plant, they really light up the east window in my dining room--and although they are not as big and bright as some of the hybrid parlor maples, they are very handsome in a lovely quiet way.

I have come up with a few container schemes that involve planting this abutilon in my huge urn, probably with some kind of armature on which to grow and be trained. (It currently has a hoop setup in this pot, but has already been looped around it twice and is starting to make loop #3!)

I haven't quite come up with a planting idea for the urn that makes me think, "Yes! That's what I'm going to do this spring!" just yet. But with all of the snow still on the ground here... well, it's nice to still be working on planting plans, instead of having spring fever AND being anxious to start digging in the dirt to fulfill all of my grandiose plans! Right?


growingagardenindavis said...

Wow Kim! I've never seen an abutilon like that! The flowers are really something else...think I'll go check if that type lives here!

Nancy said...

Oh! I almost got one of those today at a nursery I visited. Humm....a reason to return....

Carol Michel said...

Really, you still have snow on the ground? I can hardly belive that! Sometimes snow muffles the giggles of flowers so you can't hear them, but they are there.

That abutilon is pretty. I bought some abutilon seeds after seeing everyone's blooms on them. We'll see what happens.

I'm adding you to the list of GBBD participants now!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Frances, said...

Stunning abutilon, but is it a vine? Or are you just winding a longish stem around a hoop? Surely your snow will be gone soon and you can go outside to check what has been sleeping through the winter to awaken with the spring warmth.

Frances at Faire Garden

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Oh Kim that is the prettiest abutilon ever. I have never seen this plant. I will have to try to find one around here for the garden this year.

I hope your snow melts soon and you can get out and let those garden ideas develop.

Anonymous said...

I am beginning to really like the abutilons - all of them, and I've seen that one, but don't have it. The two I have are in pots (that I keep outdoors) but I think that the time has come to plant them in the ground. This makes me a bit nervous, but I love seeing their flowers, mingled in with other things, blooming away.

I'm thrilled that you are keeping an eye out for the details. Watch those oakleaf hydrangeas closely, okay? You'll love that fuzzy white.

Unknown said...

I've never seen an abutilon like this before, Kim, and I really, REALLY like it a lot. I'll have to see if any of the greenhouses around are carrying it, as they're carrying more of the standard, flamboyant abutilons now.

garden girl said...

Love the abutilon. It's gorgeous.

Entangled said...

Nifty Abutilon! I've not seen one like it, but the top (red) part looks a lot like a seed pod I found while cleaning up the garden last week.

Hope spring comes soon for you!

Curmudgeon said...

I don't think I've ever met an abutilon1 The contrasting colors are so bright and cheery. Thanks for stopping by our blog. As for the bergenia, we didn't even know we had it the past few years we've been here. It was burried under lots of vines and such which we finally got cleared out. So have no idea what it does in the Fall. I'll be thrilled if the leaves turn purple!

Annie in Austin said...

Hi Kim,

It isn't easy to keep bay laurel and rosemary inside a northern house over winter but you're doing it!

The colors on the abutilon remind me of the native columbine's - very nice!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

lisa said...

Wow Kim, I'm really digging that abutilon! My yard is still all snow too, but my pink hyacinth forced nicely in the house and is blooming...I just can't upload the pic on my antique home computer...bummer. Great to have flowers despite the weather, eh?

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

Ooooh. Beautiful albutilon. Mine has been in solitary confinement for what seems like forever because of bugs. I just can't seem to get rid of them and am starting to think I'll have to resort to drastic measures.

As for urns, I have seen some stunning arrangements was elephant ears. Of course, that takes a mighty big urn.

Robin at Bumblebee

Anonymous said...

Your garden may not be laughing, Kim, but I suspect it may be snickering quietly. ("Ha, Ha, Kim, I'm going to wait until we're well past Bloom Day, then thaw suddenly. Oh yes, you'll have flowers, but it'll be too late then to show them off!") Maybe we'll need an interim Bloom Day on April 1 for those of you who are currently still snow-covered, so you can have your turn too!

Unknown said...

Leslie, I couldn't resist it--the flowers look like little balloons, or like puff sleeves of some sort. :)

Nancy, I thought about this one for a while, and then one day I walked into one of my favorite local nurseries and found it on the clearance table since it was almost done blooming! I was already considering buying it at full price, so at half price it was a no-brainer. lol.

Carol, we do. *sigh* Still. *sigh* Have snow on the ground. *SIGH* :)

Let me know how those abutilon seeds do for you, please. I looked at some for a few of the bigger-flowered varieties, but I wasn't sure how easy they would be from seed so I passed.

Frances, no, it isn't a vine... I've heard that it makes a good hanging basket plant, in fact, and that you can let it drape down. I just don't have room for that, so I've been confining it by winding a long, flexible stem around the hoop that came with the original pot. I was thinking it might be cool to have an orb of it in the urn, though, so I would need a different armiture for that.

Lisa, I hope so too! And I love this abutilon... Of course, I do enjoy the other ones as well, though. This one is handsome, and it's hard to not like something that blooms its fool head off when everything else is grey, anyway! lol.

Pam, I like all of them, too... the ones with the bigger flowers just remind me of hibiscus somehow. (Maybe the flower shape?)

I am happy to report that the tips of my oakleaf hydrangea are out of the snow... but no sign of white fuzziness just yet. I keep looking. :)

Jodi, I like the flamboyant ones, too! The first time I saw this was in Plant Delights' catalog, I think, and then when I saw it at a local garden center I found that it was even nicer in person.

Thanks, lintys! Appreciate you stopping by and chiming in. :)

Entangled, it does kind of look like it could be a seed pod! Sometimes I think it looks like puffed sleeves from old dresses, and other times I think it looks like some fantastical hot air balloon in flight.

Weed Whackin' Wenches, thanks for coming by to visit me, too! (And I still love your username!) Some of the bergenias have good color in the winter, and others don't show off too much... but if yours do turn dark it's a great foil for light-colored bulbs, I've found. :)

Annie in Austin, THAT'S IT! The color combo reminded me of something, and that's what it is, aquilegia canadensis! Thank you for jogging my memory.

The bay laurels haven't given me any trouble yet, thank goodness, but I have heard that they're prone to mealybugs and such. I am not sure whether I'll still have these rosemary in time for spring planting, though... it seems like the end of March or beginning of April is when they decide to die on me, if they aren't going to make it through the winter. The next month will be crucial. :)

Thanks, Lisa! You know, I have bulbs that I didn't force like I had planned... so I'm jealous of your pink hyacinth. :) It is definitely nice to have a taste of spring indoors.

Bumblebee Robin, thanks! Bugs, eh? Shhhhh... don't tell mine, it hasn't picked up any of those yet. lol.

I had a nice arrangement last year with 'Lime Zinger' elephant ear, some dark reddish New Guinea impatiens, etc. I love using the elephant ears, but I'm not sure where I would put the abutilon if I don't use it in the urn!

Nan Ondra, it probably is snickering at me... I think you're right! I'm afraid that it will wait until I go home to my parents' house in a couple of weeks and burst into bloom while I'm away.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I can't believe that your garden is still snowed under. It's got to re-emerge soon. Very soon. Hang in there!

Jenn said...

I've been eyeing that abutilon too.

The photo of the one at Plant Delights Nursery is pure garden porn:


kate said...

Your Abutilon is gorgeous ... I love the colour and the little dangly bits.

We're still covered with snow too, although the forecast is for some above-freezing temperatures.

I imagine you will come up with a great planting idea for the urn!

Rurality said...

How pretty! I love those delicate little blooms.

Ki said...

Wow, that's quite a flower on your abutilon. They look like little Chinese lanterns. I must admit I've never liked the look of the leaves and plant so was never inclined to get one. But the flower on yours is a beaut. I always wondered why they call it a flowering maple when it belongs to the same family as cotton, okra, hibiscus etc?

Anonymous said...

despite the snow, you have some amazing weather. Everything here is still frozen solid. Won't even have a fresh blade of grass for at least a month or more. That's the beauty of the web though, isn't it? I can see what others have blooming (even if with a tad bit of envy). Mind you, on St Patrick's Day, being green with envy just may be the right thing!


Anonymous said...

I like that aubutilon also! So bright and cheery and in great contrast to all that SNOW outside your windows. Hope it is now melting! I'm looking forward to seeing your garden start its' march toward spring.

Shady Gardener said...

I thought I'd left a post. Sorry. I've never heard of abutilon. I look forward to learning more about them. Are they an indoors garden plant only, or can you take it outdoors in the Summer? Obviously it must vine. Beautiful flowers... what a nice reward for your kind, loving treatment. :-)

Colleen Vanderlinden said...

Oh, great. Now I'll have to give in and buy some of those abutilon seeds I keep passing up :-)

Our snow just melted here, so I'm still waiting for blooms, too. I don't even have any houseplants blooming---the African violets just aren't cooperating the way I'd hoped they would...

Unknown said...

Mr. McGregor's Daughter, I hope so... we have two days of rain and 50 degrees in the forecast tomorrow and Wednesday, so that may help.

Jenn, you're so right. Plant porn indeed! *grin*

kate, the dangly bits are quite pretty. :) In the face of what you have to deal with each winter... I feel like I ought to stop my complaining now! lol.

Rurality, thanks! Hey, these might be hardy down by you, no?

Ki, that's it... Chinese lanterns! That's what I was thinking when someone above mentioned that they looked like seedpods. Now, my abutilon doesn't have very maple-y leaves, but if you look at some of the others (like the one on Kylee's blog at Our Little Acre) you'll see a definite maple shape. Maybe they called them "parlor maples" first, and then that evolved into "flowering maple?"

Diane, very good point. I like to see what others have blooming (and laughing) in their gardens, too, even when mine is quite bereft. (And green with envy is fitting for St. Patrick's Day!)

Layanee, thanks! It's starting to melt... just not quite as fast as I'd like, I admit. *grin*

Shady Gardener, you can definitely take them outdoors in the summer. I've read that they make good subjects for hanging baskets, so I'm thinking about trying that... we'll see. I'll give you the full report on "oversummering abutilon outdoors" later in the fall! :)

Colleen, wanna split a seed pack?! lol. I have absolutely NO LUCK with African violets, myself. And I've tried a few times... I'm thinking I just need to give up on those altogether.

Do you have any bulb foliage pushing up now that the snow has melted?

Kerri said...

Your Abutilon is adorable! The shape of the blooms, the colors...just gorgeous. Yes, the bigger flowers look very much like hibiscus to me too, and are of course related.
The bright sunshine here today made it look like spring outside, but it was still pretty chilly. Soon Kim, soon!

Colleen Vanderlinden said...

LOL sounds good to me :-) My crocus foliage is a couple of inches tall, and my daffs are just starting to poke their tips out of the soil. It's still freezing here--the high today is supposed to be 40. Winter certainly seems to be lingering this year :-(

Muum said...

Snow here, too! It is fun to see your abuliton/abliton/ oh, I am too lazy to look it up. Nice plant!

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

I like Nan's idea of the interim GBBD for those of you whose gardens are still coverd with snow. Good job on the bay laurel and rosemary, it can't be easy to keep those two alive and well inside.

Lovely Abutilon! My dad has one just like that but his isn't flowering at the mo so well done Kim!

BTW we're having a GBBD riot at Bliss. :-D

A wildlife gardener said...

Beautiful abutilon! Absolutely stunning :)

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