December GBBD

Garden Bloggers bloom day is sponsored by Carol at May Dreams Gardens on the 15th of every month.

It’s easy to see how Christmas got its definitive red and green signature colors from this Nandina, or Heavenly Bamboo. It’s the last one in my yard – I’ve removed over 5 of them. Once my new plants have gained some height, this aggressive, non-native plant will be removed as well.


My Ivy Geranium still has a couple of purple blooms, surprisingly. It’s fun to see this time of year.


This Purple Heart has one bloom left.


The dwarf Pomegranite has a few small blooms left.


My favorite Bottlebrush seems to love this weather, even though it is a semi-tropical plant!


This cute little Shrimp plant was a new addition in the fall, and though the blooms are faded, it still provides a bit of color.

Again, another semi-tropical plant that hasn’t tucked tail and run in our unusually cold and windy December.


This bleeding heart vine is another fall addition to my yard. It has a few sweet purple blooms left. It appears that my yard is all purple and red!


And though it isn’t really a bloom, the Pyracanthea is still lush with berries. More green and red for the holidays!


The Plumbago, another semi-tropical that flourishes in Austin from spring to fall, has just one small bloom left.


What’s blooming in your garden in these snowy times?


13 thoughts on “December GBBD

  1. I’ve learned to like the small, dwarf fire red nandinas for evergreen color, but these huge ones that were overplanted by builders in the 60’s through the 80’s need to go the way of disco! thanks for writing.

  2. My entire north side of the yard was originally nandina. I’ve hacked some of it back but it’s hard to get rid of. Although I know it’s an evil (in the sense of being aggressive) non-native, I do appreciate that it remains green in our terrible summers without any water. I’m beginning to think that a lot of those non-natives were suggested to Central Texas gardeners in the 1950s during the 7-year drought. Nandinas. Chinaberries and the like.

    My bottlebrush refuses to bloom. It probably needs more sun. Suggestions?

  3. I know what you mean about Nandinas. They serve their purpose well. You’ve got to admire that. I have to admit, I think I’m just cluelessly lucky with my Bottlebrush. It does get all day sun, and it is on the northwest corner of my yard with no shade at all. It has never minded ice, wind, snow, sleet, hail, sun, drought, flood (in fact, last year with all the water, it bloomed prolifically all summer). I gave her a big trim this fall, and she seems happy about it, but frankly I think I just got lucky and got a good one!

  4. Your photo of the lone plumbago bloom is stunning! And I love your bottlebrush. I’ve got one clump of old nandina left in my yard. One day I’ll get rid of it; in the meantime, I admire its ability to thrive no matter what.

  5. Thanks, Renee. I do admire the Nandina’s survival instincts, and I find it pretty in the winter with the berries. Have a happy holiday!

  6. I love Bloom Day and seeing what is happening all over the country, but I never seem to make all the visits I want on GBBD itself. Fortunately, that doesn’t matter too much. I was quite taken with your bleeding heart vine.

  7. We also took out some of the Nandina that came with the yard, Robin. But a couple are too essential for privacy! I try to cut off the flowers before they turn into berries. This is probably wasted effort – a short stroll around my neighborhood reveals hundreds of mature nandinas. I love the way bottle brushes look – hope yours continues colorful and also hope the exceptional drought you mention in the following post will eventually break! Happy Christmas-

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  8. Annie, I guess I never see the flowers that you speak of, and my bush seems to have berries year round with just more in the winter. And yes, a few of them can certainly serve a purpose, I know. I had one, though, that was gangly and huge and outgrew everything else around it – it HAD to go! And I have many suckers showing up where I don’t want them – very hardy, aren’t they? Merry Christmas to you, too! Thanks for writing. Robin

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