Thursday, January 15, 2009

GBBD: Did I Mention It's COLD?

Today is the 15th of the month which means another Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day sponsored by that intrepid gardener and eternal optimist Carol of May Dreams Gardens. I am hoping when I visit Carol this morning that somebody, somewhere--anybody, please??--will have something actually blooming in their garden.

Here in the Midwest, though, we are stuck in a deep freeze. The temperature when I awoke this morning was -13 degrees (that's -25 C), but at least the winds have temporarily died down a little. The wind chill last night was predicted to be between -35 and -45 degrees (that's about a minus 1000 C, I think). Tomorrow is supposed to be even colder.

We had only a few inches of snow, but what we did have was whipped around by the high winds yesterday, drifting across roads, my long lane, and the driveway (twice--again after I had shoveled it). Even the faithful yarrow had nothing to show; any green there might be (I doubt it) is buried under the frozen tundra.

I took the photo above yesterday before the winds picked up and while it was a more "comfortable" 9 above zero. Actually, I wasn't outside sacrificing myself for this Bloom Day post; I was out to put more seed in the bird feeders before things got too bad. The birds did appreciate it; maybe one of these days I'll actually have a photo of one. Even Coconut, who normally loves to accompany me on any tours of the garden, decided it was too cold outside to play.

I call this composition "White on White."

I know Coconut isn't a "bloom," but he demanded equal time after seeing so many photos of Toby here, even though he's not very willing to pose for a photo.

OK, enough with the cold . . . let's move inside where (forget the power bills) it's cozy and warm. I'm not a houseplant person, though, and other than the agave I brought home from Arizona and the pots of tulip bulbs I'm trying to force, there isn't much in bloom inside either.

The Christmas poinsettia is still blooming, though. I've never had much luck with keeping poinsettias past one season, so this guy is staying on display until every last leaf falls off:)

An amaryllis bulb I picked up at Meijer's is slowly growing, but no signs of a bloom yet. I was late in potting up some tulips--my first attempt at forcing bulbs--so I hope they bloom before the tulips outside do.

Here are some real blooms to feast your eyes on! Last fall my local Curves was selling a promotional card for monthly flowers from a local florist. For $20 I could pick up a small bouquet every month for a year. That's less than $2 a bouquet, which is cheaper than a grocery store arrangement, plus they are much fresher. But the best part is that half of that cost went to a local charity that provides shelter for women, particularly for victims of domestic abuse. Not bad--some blooms to brighten my day each month and a way to help others at the same time!

Since these are the only real blooms I have, let's take a closer look, shall we?

There are bright-eyed pink daisies featured prominently here. Pink is one of my favorite colors in the garden.

Ooh, isn't this exquisite? A white carnation tipped in hot pink.

And for contrast, a burgundy carnation tinged in white. A few cheery yellow daisies warm up the whole arrangement.

Oh, I am feeling much better now.

Stay warm, my friends!


  1. I feel much better now too, Rose, reading about flowers for a good cause and seeing snow from a safe distance. Seriously, though, we are feeling some effect of that arctic blast blowing through your prairie. Good soup weather now. Stay inside and keep warm!

  2. No need to mention cold here. Brrrr! I like your 'White on White' composition:) And what a deal on your bouquet each month. What a wonderful thing! Stay warm!

  3. At least Coconut has a nice thick coat! You were smart to get the bird feeder efore it got so cold-I notice mine is empty, and I'm not sure I'm brave enough to go out there today.

    What a great idea for a charity! I would love to have fresh flowers like that on a routine basis.

  4. W2W, Don't you miss being in Illinois right now?:) Soup is on the menu for dinner.

    Tina, I think we just crossed paths in cyberspace:) I think it must be cold everywhere today.

    Joyce, I'm not going outside today either:) Blossom Basket is the florist, so I have to give them credit, and the money goes to A Woman's Fund. I wish now I'd bought cards for my daughters-in-law, too.

  5. Dear Rose,

    Thank you for the beautiful flower photos! I needed to see them and I am going to bundle up and purchase some today. For a minute I was expecting to see a Polar bear photo with all the tundra talk! Coconut is so much cuter. How long is this arctic deep freeze hanging around? It is too cold for humans or puppies! Take care and keep warm. Gail

  6. Rose, what lovely blooms you have. This is the type of weather that I am thankful that I have a laptop. It generates so much heat. Aaaahhh

    Your blooms are gorgeous and what a great cause to be helping.

    Coconut deserves a shot or two whether it is bloom day or not. White on white is great.

  7. So sad to see sleets of snow covering everything, but your daisies do illuminate your house indoors, don't they? They remind me of Dahlias, which I've never had luck with :(. They're so difficult for me to germinate!

  8. Wonderful cheery photos, Rose! I'm dreading the thought of running my huge list of errands today ... and continued frigid temps with more snow is on the way ... YIPPEE!

  9. That was a wonderful promo your Curves was promoting! I would love to have a beautiful bouquet every month! Can't wait to see the blooms on your Amaryllis! :)

  10. Rose that is just too cold. I am shivering just thinking about it...brrrr....

    Our temperatures are up and hey I can get a spade in the ground....I have been taking up turf. Another flower bed is in the making....bee flowers of course.....

    Indoor plants do add something to a home....I love mine....

    Your arrangement was pretty.....beautiful colours to cheer us all.

    BUT coconut gets my vote....the animals always looks so beautiful against the snow......

  11. Man oh man, don't think I could take that much cold, good grief! What a great deal with the flower card, those blooms are really pretty.

  12. Bur, that white stuff looks cold! The white fluffy one (Coconut) looks like a good snuggle bunny on such a warm day!

    I put an Am bulb in the ground a few years ago and it has returned each season. Wonder if it will return this spring with the cold in the air? Time will tell..

    A wonderful $2.00 arrangement and great gift of kindness to purchase!

    Keep your snow, we don’t want any here in GA but expecting 9-degrees Saturday morning! Honey, will you bring in some firewood please!!!

  13. Rose, I heard yesterday that we haven't had temperatures like tis in almost 10 years. No wonder we are feeling cold. The sun shinning today makes it look deceptively warm out there, but it is wonderful to see it.

    Your flowers are so springy looking- if Curves offers something like that again, let me know!

    You and Coconut try to stay warm.

  14. Oh Rose, just lovely...the flower bouquet per month is such a great idea! When I began reading your post I was shivering looking at all the snow, and seeing your doggie outside, brrr. Then I gradually warmed up and finally was rosy-cheeked and all cozy, as I looked at the pretty pink and yellow flowers in your vase.
    Thank you for such a great post:)

  15. It helps seeing all the flowers when it is so cold outside. Thanks for the blooms.

  16. Hi Rose, blogger just ate my comment so here goes another:

    Thanks for all you do for the birds, braving the cold and snow to keep them fed. We worry about them too. The bouquets are a bargain and that is a favorite charity of mine. We gave our old minivan to the shelter in Houston, they were so happy to have it, new tires and battery even and it ran great, not what they usually get, they said. Do keep warm and safe until things warm up!

  17. What a great idea for a fund raiser and morale booster. Plus you made me realize I read my temp chart wrong for the Celsius numbers!

  18. Rose I sure hope you are staying warm. Frozen tundra describes your situation well. It's suppose to get to 16 here tonight. I know that sounds like a heatwave to you.

    At least you have that beautiful bouquet to brighten your day. Thanks for sharing the pics.

  19. Hi, I found you through Joy at Earthly Garden. I thoroughly approve of your conversion of temps from Fahrenheit to Celsius. Your blooming flowers are all quite lovely, however, Coconut is the best of all! Stay warm!

  20. Dear Rose,
    Very pretty. Flowers each month for such a great cause. Wonderful. I too have my indoor flowers to keep me warm.
    Cold here...I laughed about
    the some point cold is cold...
    Coconut is a pretty dog with a pretty name...
    Stay warm,

  21. Gail, Flowers in the dead of winter are a great pick-me-up, aren't they? I wouldn't be surprised to see a polar bear in the fields next:)

    Lisa, I realized Coconut has been ignored here, but he's not quite as cooperative as Toby--too active.

    Chandramouli, I like daisies, but this was the first year I had any success with them outdoors. At this time of year, I like any flowers:)

    Joey, It must be even colder in Michigan; I'm not going anywhere today!

    PG, Our local Curves is great about getting involved in worthwhile causes. We do several food drives during the year as well. The flowers were an extra bonus.

  22. Cheryl, Most of the US is unusually cold right now, in some cases setting records. Being able to get a spade in the ground sounds wonderful! Coconut appreciates your vote. He is Daughter's dog and will one day probably move with her...I don't want to think about that.

    Darla, It's setting records here, but I've lived in Illinois all my life, so bad winters are something I have learned to live with.

    Skeeter, That sounds awfully cold for Georgia! This is my first attempt with an amaryllis; I have my fingers crossed.

    Beckie, It almost seems warmer today than yesterday--that wind cuts right through you. I should have asked you about the flower promotion--I have to remember to pick them up each month, but it certainly is nice to have fresh flowers in the winter time.

    Jan, Coconut likes the snow--for a little while. Glad my post warmed you up!

    Daphne, Flowers in the house in the winter time certainly cheer me up.

    Frances, There are so many birds around here right now; I feel so sorry for them in the bitter cold. What a great idea to donate your minivan! That's what I should have done this fall when I traded my old one in for a new car.

  23. Ms. Wis, I was converting all these numbers into Celsius, when I realized after awhile, it doesn't matter--cold is cold:) And I apologize for complaining--Wisconsin must be even colder!

    Susie, 16 degrees sounds pretty cold here, too, let alone in Mississippi! Stay warm!

    Weeping Sore, After awhile, the numbers on the thermometer just make you feel colder. Coconut goes outside in this weather only when absolutely necessary!

    Sherry, I don't usually treat myself to fresh flowers, but this was for a good cause as well. Yes, cold is cold; hope you are staying warm as well. Coconut is Daughter's dog, but secretly I think he prefers me:)

  24. Yikes, that puts our winter weather in Seattle, even this weirdly cold and snowy (so far) year, to shame. You guys are hardy souls! You must have tough plants to survive that climate. I think your dog's tail should count as a bloom!

  25. Here too, Rose. It's decidedly frigid here, although we're grateful that so far there is no real wind to think of. I think it froze, fell into the Bay of Fundy, and became an iceberg. Or something. No blooms either, so I'm enjoying other people's stories and pictures.

  26. Stay warm, indeed. It is very, very cold out there, but that nice bouquet sure warms things up, doesn't it?

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  27. Rose I came back to tell you the good news- this kind of weather kills Japanese Beetle larva!

  28. Joyce found the silver lining in your weather, I hope - freeze those larvae!

    Winters like this are what I remember as a young mother in Illinois, but that was a long, long time ago. Your flowers are lovely, Rose - how did you get them into the house without their being nipped by the frigid air?

    Coconut is a great name for a white dog. Happy GBBD!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  29. What a great idea that Curves came up with! It's win/win for everybody. I'm glad you got those flowers home before the serious cold hit. The maroon Carnation is my favorite. We haven't had the blowing & drifting that was forecasted, thank goodness, so the snow has stayed nice & thick to protect the plants here. You know it's cold when they furry dogs don't want to be outside. Coconut is a cutie.

  30. What a great deal on bouquets--and a nice pick-me-up every month, especially in winter. It's good that Coconut has a lime green collar so you didn't lose her in the snow!!

  31. Forgot to mention, I came across "Chihuly in the Hotshop" last night on the Toledo PBS station... but it was already mostly over. It was filmed in the Tacoma glass museum and showed his staff making a bunch of his designs, and explained how his designs evolved over time. It was really interesting. Maybe your PBS station will show it soon, or your library has it. Apparently NetFlix does, but I'm not a member. And what better way to counter cold than with MOLTEN glass?!?! :)

  32. yep, cold up here too....-19 this morning...they even canceled school....I would say we are a bunch of weather wimps but I am not sure I would want to be the one walking if my car broke down today!!! Loved your post today...go here and see my Yarrow....
    my Clancy loves weather like this...he was out laying in the snow this wonder he hates the summer....

  33. Greenwalks, From what I've seen on TV, Seattle has been hit pretty hard this winter. We haven't had as much snow, but it's been unusually cold even for us Midwesterners.

    Jodi, Lucky you, that the wind fell into the Bay:) Here it just blows and blows across the flat prairie.

    Carol, Yes, I needed something to perk me up this week!

    Joyce, That's the best news I've heard all week! I can stand a few more days of this if it means no Japanese beetles next summer.

    Annie, I remember the winters in the late 70's, which were just awful. At least I can get out of the house...I just don't want to:) I picked up the flowers before the temps dropped quite so low.

    MMD, I'm glad you didn't get as much snow; it seems like Chicagoland has gotten much more than we have this year. Coconut thanks you for the compliment!

    Monica, Coconut is harder to spot in the snow if he runs away from me:) Someone else mentioned a special on PBS about Chihuly, but I haven't seen it broadcast here yet. I'd love to see it!

    Neva, Most schools have been cancelled here the last two days as well--no need to worry about younger ones, especially having to wait for buses in this cold. Our late Roco loved the snow, too, but then he was part Husky.

  34. Sorry I though Coconut was a she--I guess I should have taken the "nut" part of his name more literally, hyuck hyuck. (Sorry.)

  35. I don't envy you that cold weather, but it did make a lovely picture with Coconut!

  36. The tilted pots on my blog are easy to do. Just put a piece of rebar in the ground slide the first pot on and fill it with dirt. just keep stacking the other size pots and tilting them as you go. fill with flowers and they are beautiful.You can see them better here:

  37. What an amazing offer! I'd have bought it for sure. Your flowers really do cheer us up today. It is sooooooo cold everywhere!
    Coconut really does look sweet in the snow. Like frosting on a cake.

  38. I love your fresh flowers! How great that your local florist was willing to run such a promotion. And what a lovely Coconut you have in your yard!

    LOL-word verification is "outin" That seems appropriate for today, as in, "I'm OUT, now I wanna go IN!"

  39. We've had lots of single digits, too, but I don't remember if it got below 0. I was kind of avoiding the weather forecasts a few days. Right now, it is a warm 36 in SE Nebraska. I don't remember how long it's supposed to last.

    I like your pics, including the white on white. I also enjoyed scrolling down your blog, and love those zinnias! That art is sure amazing.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

  40. I forgot to tell you thanks for the laugh about what you said about keeping your poinsettia until the last leaf falls off. That's what will happen with mine, too, I imagine.

  41. Monica, Coconut already has a gender identity problem--Daughter loves pink accessories for him:)

    Suburbia, I'm sure no one is envious of our cold. Coconut usually won't stand still long enough for a photo.

    Lynn, Thanks for the info! I thought that was such an original way of using containers.

    Wendy, Normally I don't spend money on flowers for myself, but this was for a worthy cause. Coconut would appreciate the analogy--he has quite a sweet tooth:)

    Dreamybee, Thanks for stopping by! This particular florist often runs promotions to benefit charities or to encourage acts of kindness. I haven't been OUT in three days:)

    Sue, I thought it would be colder in Nebraska than here. I don't throw flowers out until they're way past their prime:)

  42. Beautiful color you've got inside, Rose! And your dog is just gorgeous! Between yours and Yolanda Elizabet's Tara, it almost makes me want one. But we've got our hands full with all the kitties and I'm not really a dog person anyway.

    What amaryllis is yours? Some of them put up flowers before the foliage and some do foliage before the flowers. Whichever yours is, I'm sure it will be worth the wait!

  43. You have so many comments on this post, that I cannot stop to read them all, today, so I hope that I'm not repeating anything!

    I love the photos. Coconut is gorgeous and your close up photos are so SHARP! Excellent. I like the carnation, in particular.

    I heard on the radio that poinsettas really are intended to be 'just for Christmas'. It's not supposed to be possible to hang onto them, so now you can relax about that!

  44. Kylee, I can't find the tag now for the amaryllis, and I don't remember what kind it is. I think it's supposed to be pink:)

    Mean Mom, Thanks for the compliments on the photos--my hands must have been steadier than usual:) That's a relief about the poinsettia; I won't feel so guilty about throwing it out eventually:)

  45. I'm feeling better, too! Coconut is adorable. The arctic blast is so severe...stay warm inside and enjoy the colorful fragrances you have there.



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