Friday, January 16, 2015

GBBD: January "Blooms"

It's time for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day once again, and even though I am late, I certainly didn't want to miss it, especially after missing it last month, the first time in nearly seven years that I didn't participate in this monthly celebration of what is blooming.  But what is a Midwestern gardener supposed to show in mid-January after a week of sub-zero temperatures and the garden buried under snow?

I know many in this region will be showing off their houseplants for this GBBD.  But I am not much of a houseplant person; I've killed more houseplants than I care to remember.  Usually I bring in a few annuals to overwinter, but I procrastinated too long on the geraniums, and the coleus cuttings I potted up mysteriously died.  Well, it really isn't a mystery--some lazy gardener forgot to water them regularly.

The only successful overwintering this year has been a dragonwing begonia that was just too pretty to leave to the cold this past fall.  Not only is it growing like crazy, but, as you can see in this not-so-great photo, it is still producing some blooms.

I usually also pot up some bulbs for forcing in the winter.  But I was so busy during the holidays that I didn't even think about it until I started seeing so many pretty amaryllis blooms on blogs and Facebook pages.  I finally remembered the amaryllis bulbs sitting in the cold garage and brought them in last week, just before we left for a week in Texas.  When we returned, I was amazed by how much they had grown already.  Last year these bulbs grew huge leaves without a single flower, however, so it remains to be seen whether they will actually bloom.  The one on the left does look promising, though.

My collection of "blooms" for this Bloom Day is obviously pretty paltry.  But that's okay.  Winter is the time when I finally get around to some indoor projects I put off during the gardening season, and it's the time when I enjoy looking through gardening books and getting new ideas for the coming season.  The garden isn't much to look at this time of year, but I do enjoy the 'Limelight' hydrangea blooms still hanging on outside my living room window.

The grasses are also pretty this time of year though most of them are weighted down by snow at the moment.

Frankly, gardening hasn't been on my mind very much for the past month.  We had a new grandson born just before Christmas, and last week we were finally able to make the 800-mile drive down to see him.  Nothing like cuddling a sweet baby for making you forget anything else!

I have not been very active with blogging in the last month or more, and here is one of the main reasons why.  I am not much of a quilter, but I do make a quilt for each of my grandchildren.  Since new Baby B arrived two weeks early, I was frantically sewing in every spare minute I could find, finishing this just days before we left.  My daughter loves elephants, so when I found this material with Dr. Seuss' Horton, I knew it would be perfect.  Among the many wishes I have for my grandson, I hope that he will grow up to love reading as much as his Grandma and Mommy do.

And so another Bloom Day passes--who knows what February may bring?  Last year we were in the midst of a snowy deep freeze, but the year before, a few crocuses were already popping up through the soil.  We'll just have to wait and see what Mother Nature has in store for us.  For more blooms across the world, be sure to check out our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens.


  1. Beautiful quilt Rose......oh how I wish I could sew. I do so envy those that can sit for hours with needle and thread and produce something so very individual. I do not have the patience.
    There is nothing like holding a baby in your arms :)

    I love hydrangea blooms when they have dried. Look lovely in a border when frosted.

    It is cold today, with lots of water lying around. The rain has been torrential.
    We are expecting snow at tomorrow, I am hoping they have got this wrong. A you probably remember I do not like the snow...........

    Have a lovely weekend Rose.

  2. Cheryl, My mother taught me to sew, and I am so grateful she was so patient with me. I've never been as good as she is, but I used to make a lot of my own clothes. She is not only an excellent seamstress, but she also quilts--by hand. You should see the quilt she made for the baby! She has slowed down quite a bit in the last year, but she hasn't lost her touch with a needle.
    I'm hoping you don't get the snow, but I would much rather have snow than rain this time of year!

  3. Hooray for your new grandson! I'm glad that you finally got to see him and sorry that you live so far away! Your quilt is beautiful!

  4. Oh, the quilt is lovely, Rose. I'm sure your grandchildren will treasure them forever! I'll bet you had a great time snuggling the new baby!

    The one amaryllis does look promising--definitely looks like a bloom stalk forming on it! I have a few of my own that are just getting started. The one I had hoped would bloom around Christmas did not do well--it already had a bud, but it shriveled up and died rather than grow after I planted it.

    On another note, I picked up The Mockingbird Next Door at my library today, and am looking forward to starting it soon. -- Kimberley

  5. We don't have snow but I have much the same in my garden. Things are trying to thaw a little today in the sun. Aahhh sunshine. I almost forgot what it felt like. I love the quilt you made. It is as gorgeous as any bloom. So glad your new little guy is healthy and Mom and Dad are doing well.

  6. I'm not very great with houseplants either, which is why I don't have any blooms for GBBD this time :) Congratulations on the grandson! What a beautiful quilt, and such a special gift. My mother made quilts for each of my kids, which I cherish so much. I hope they'll be passed on down through the years!

  7. Hello Rose, you are not the only one growing amaryllis now, I took mine inside yesterday! In my climate I have to do it this way as they only died down late November and need a resting period in a box under my garden bench for 2 months before I can take them inside and pot them up. I expect them to flower for Easter, which is what they are supposed to do, but I guess yours will have flowered by then :-)

    Congratulations on your grandson! And the quilt is beautiful, I used to make quilts many years ago but I have no time for things like that anymore – too much gardening and computer work these days!

  8. My garden and house are bloomless, too and amaryliis refuse to bloom for me thanks to my tinted windows so I've quit buying them. But I love that quilt. Congrats on the grandbaby!

  9. What a wonderful quilt. I'm sure your grandson - and your daughter - will treasure it.

  10. Lovely Quilt ! That's what I've been doing all winter , till it's time to put it all away: and get back out into the garden !

  11. Congratulations on your grandson...
    Stay warm and have agreat weekend, Hari.

  12. Congrats on your new grandson! Your quilt is beautiful.

  13. Oh what a lovely gift - a quilt manifesting all the love and anticipation of an expectant grand-ma! I'd say that you are more than forgiven for forgetting about your garden for a while. Congratulations on the new family member! :)

  14. Congratulations on your new grandchild. I can see that a grandchild would take precedence over blogging. Horton the Elephant is an excellent theme for a quilt.

  15. You had a long drive but well worth it! The quilt is adorable and you did a great job with it.

  16. Congrats on your grandson, Rose! I love your quilt, nice colors and elephants:))
    I saw that your amaryllis are growing well although you forgot them. Mine is not pleased me - it doesn't bloom growing leaves only.

  17. Rose i can't tell you how great it is to have color in the livingroom at a moment that the garden is a sleep. The phalaenopsis is really easy to grow. I've read that you have to give the orchid once a week a bath in handwarm water. Well I don't. I don't give them any vertilizer or anything. But the flowers are coming back every year. I think this kind of orchid is made for people like me. As soon as the flowers in the garden start to bloom I forget every plant that's growing inside. But still the orchids are showing theire beauty.
    Have a wonderful sunday. And all the best wishes for your grandson.
    Warm wishes and a beautiful sunday.

  18. What a beautiful quilt. I'm sure Baby B will be a reader with people to encourage him. (having said that Elder Son has never been enthusiastic even though Daughter and younger Son are.)

    Also encouraging that you kill houseplants. I thought it was just me.

  19. Outlaw/Peter, Thanks; this is a new experience for me--all my other grandkids live close by so I can see them often.

    Kimberley, Glad you are going to read "Mockingbird Next Door"--hope you enjoy it!

    Lisa, It's thawing here, too, which makes everything look a mess. Enjoyed our time with Daughter and SIL as well as the baby.

    Indie, I should have posted the quilt my mother made--all embroidered and hand quilted. I know her quilts are going to be passed down for generations, for sure.

    Helene, I worried that I had left my amaryllis in the garage too long and that they might have gotten too cold. But apparently not. Now we'll see if they flower.

    Casa, Thanks. I was so disappointed last year when none of my amaryllis bloomed that I did some research on them. They need fertilization over the summer...but of course, I forgot to do that:)

    Dorothy, Thank you; my quilts aren't perfect, but they are definitely made with love.

    Linda, We have another two months of winter here, so I should get more sewing done!

  20. Lovely photos and the bulbs look promising!
    Love your quilt! Great idea to give all the grandchildren one each!
    Maggie x

  21. Yang, Thank you for the good wishes.

    Laura, Thanks; I was hoping you would see the photo I posted on Facebook of Bear, my daughter's Mastiff. I'm guessing he's about Barnaby's size.

    Anna, Thank you; can you tell I'm a proud grandma?:) About the only gardening that can be done this time of year in Illinois is dreaming and planning.

    Jason, Thank you; I bought the book to go along with the quilt. I used to love reading Dr. Seuss to my kids when they were small.

    Sweetbay, I don't recommend driving for 13 hours in one day, but knowing what waited for us at the end of the road kept us going.

    Nadezda, Thank you; I've had the same problem with amaryllis in the past. I read up on them last year, and they need fertilizing over the summer...which of course, I forgot:)

  22. Marijke, Thanks for the tips on orchids. I've heard others say that the phalaenopsis isn't difficult to grow, so perhaps if I can find one for a reasonable price, I might get one this year.

    Liz, I read to all my children from the time they were very young, but my youngest never was much of a reader, either. Baby B's mother, though, devoured books, so that's promising for him. Yes, I may have a green thumb outdoors, but indoors, it is black:)

    Maggie, I enjoy making these quilts, but if I made one more often, I might get better at quilting:)

  23. Wow! What an amazing quilt! I just love how bright and cheerful it is, and you can't get better than Horton :-) I have never quilted, although I've thought about it. My sister used to quilt, and I have a lovely quilt she made for me, plus a quilt she made for Emma. Both are very treasured. Maybe someday . . .

    I don't have any indoor blooms, but I did set up my Aerogarden for the first time in a long while. I had purchased cherry tomato seeds, but it was so long ago, I worry they won't germinate. So I also just purchased some herbs pods. By the time they arrive, we should know whether the tomatoes were still viable.

  24. Rose: Your quilty is gorgeous! Congrats on your sweet new grandbaby! I always say that special people are flowers in the garden of life. So you have many flowers to share this bloom day! I'm not much of a houseplant person, either, but I'm having surprising luck with one Cyclamen plant. Oh, and a potted Hyacinth that I placed in the corner in the sunroom. It's just about ready to bloom. Much to look forward to in February! Cheers!

  25. The quilt is gorgeous. Great job and congratulations on the new bundle of joy. I like your outdoor 'blooms'. I love hydrangea simply for the reason that they look good all year round. Even in mid-winter they are very elegant.

  26. "But I am not much of a houseplant person " - me too Rose - kindred spirits :) There's definitely signs of an amaryllis flower there so maybe next month you will be sharing a fabulous flower with us. Your quilt is glorious and I'm sure that the new born babe will have nothing but sweet dreams when he is nestled under it.

  27. Congrats on the new addition to your family. You must be very happy and proud. I love the quilt. It is so beautiful and will be a wonderful keepsake when the child grows up. I too don't really have gardening on my mind either, yet with garden walks coming, the planning starts now. The only time I am out in my garden is to fill the feeders!

  28. Congratulations! How wonderful to have a grandson. What a beautiful quilt.
    I am delighted to find your blog and I would like to follow it but I can't work out how to.


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