december surprise

winter jasmine blossom

I got this winter jasmine from Janet’s sale a couple of years ago. It has been growing lickity split, but this is the first blossom, and at a totally unexpected time of year.

more jasmine to come

With more to come, I have visions of a fence smothered in bloom in the not too distant future.

Ceanothus impressus ‘Victoria’

I’ve never before been able to capture the color of Ceanothus impressus ‘Victoria’. Next I must figure out how to get it in focus. Blue blossoms in December? I’ll take them, blurry or not.

grass plumes

Passalong plants often travel incognito, but can star in the garden all the same.

‘Heavy Metal’

When I stopped by a plant/garage sale and asked if they had any ‘Heavy Metal’, I got some strange looks…guess I don’t seem the type. Then I explained that I was looking for grass. Oops…another opportunity for miscasting. See why we should stick to Latin names when seeking out plants?

Mahomia ‘Arthur Mezies’

Cheating here, but gotta act fast, before these promising buds get slammed by frost. I have bubble wrap at the ready, but you never know. Oh, it’s Mahonia ‘Arthur Menzies’, and it gets about this far every year, but no further. You can see how the tips are already beginning to blacken.


Do berries count? My neighbor planted one of these upright Cotoneasters years ago and they crop up here and there compliments of the birds.

berberis thunbergii purpureus

Raindrops are almost as decorative as the berries on Berberis thunbergii purpurea

I was surprised to find so much happening despite the monsoons. For more surprises go to May Dreams Gardens.

12 thoughts on “december surprise

  1. Your winter jasmine is so cheery at this dark time of the year! I’ve never seen a mahonia do that thing with the black tips before. Do you have any idea why it’s doing that? Heavy Metal Grass – You sure know how to party!

  2. Peter~We had one frosty night, and that seemed to do it. We’re a little colder than downtown (where they forecast) so we were taken by surprise.
    Am I getting a “reputation”?

  3. I am having winter blooms that are unusual. I am worried that when we get our first real cold snap that I will loose those plants because they are not ready. I have two Jasmine plants which grew very slowly the first two years and now are growing at a very rapid rate. I am using them to cover an arbor on my porch.

    Thanks for posting, love the pictures.

  4. Loree~If there is a secret, it has to be neglect.

    Charlie~Or maybe there will be no cold snap, in which case we can look forward to a very “BUGGY” year.

    Heather~The ceanothus always puts out a few random blossoms in the dead of winter…not to be confused with the real deal, which arrives at the proper time (at least before the onslaught of wacky weather patterns).

  5. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Arthur can bloom this year although with the coming snow, maybe not. I recently saw a few buds on my Ceanothus too. Stay warm.

  6. I have thought about planting winter jasmine on our slope down to the water. Such a bright cheery color in the dreary winter. I have ‘Heavy Metal’ and ‘Shenandoah’ and ‘Dallas Blues’, really like them all. Panicum is a great grass…asking for some grass eh? hahaaha

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *