Unfurling Petals – Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day

Yesterday the second stalk of my Amaryllis finally opened – and just in time for the monthly Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day. Carol of May Dreams Gardens initiated this monthly sharing of what is blooming in gardens around the world.

Since there is still much snow in my garden, I won’t be sharing garden photographs any time soon. Instead, I’ll show you what is blooming in my house. (not much, as you can see!)

Even though I blew and blew on the buds looking about to burst open on my birthday Orchid (above), they didn’t cooperate. No doubt they’ll be in bloom for next month’s bloom day. That is, if I don’t forget to water the plant!

winter, I have been amazed at how well the Bougainvillea over-wintered
in my front east-facing window. When the bracts and some of the leaves
started falling a few months ago, I thought this spelled the deathknell
of the Bougainvillea.

Then one day, I noticed some new growth, some of it pink.
Since then, the Bougainvillea has grown amazingly – the longer hours of
sunlight seem to be spurring it on. The little white flower in the
midst of the pink bracts is the actual flower. So, I can say that my
Bougainvillea is blooming. It is pretty exciting to think that
Bougainvillea can be kept alive during the winter months here. For us
northern gardeners, it is a beautiful plant to help ease the long dark
days of winter.

2 thoughts on “Unfurling Petals – Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day

  1. Colleen said…
    Your amaryllis is just beautiful! I don’t even have any indoor plants blooming this Bloom Day. I will definitely need to get some amaryllis next winter. I’ve been envying everyone else’s 😉
    15/3/08 13:23
    Cheryl said…
    I love bougainvillea, such a stunning colour. Great that you can overwinter them.
    The amaryllis is a beautiful plant, I used to grow them every year but stopped for some reason.
    15/3/08 14:03
    GardenJoy4Me said…
    Hi Kate !
    Post Happy Birthday !
    I am going to consider either amaryllis or an orchid for next winter. They all look so gorgeous !
    The Bougainillea is awesome .. I would love to have that as well.
    Wonderful pictures ..
    Joy : )
    15/3/08 14:10
    Lisa at Greenbow said…
    Kate, you have beautiful indoor blooms. I don’t have a one. The amaryllis is one I will try next winter. The bougainvillea is gorgeous. I can’t imagine getting that to survive our hot dry house. Just seeing yours makes me want to try.
    15/3/08 14:12
    Carol said…
    Hi, Kate! So you liked my mystery flower? Guess what? Another mystery flower bloomed today so I have to do another post. Stay tuned.
    I hope your snow melts soon. In the meantime, those are great indoor plants. Beautiful flowers. I wonder if it is the fiddle music you play that makes them bloom so well?
    Carol, May Dreams Gardens
    15/3/08 14:45
    Amy said…
    Love those pink blossoms 🙂 Just this week I bought a few african violets so I have some flowers to look at while I wash the dishes.
    15/3/08 17:18
    lintys said…
    How pretty! I lusted after a pink bougainvillea last year at the greenhouse where I work but wasn’t sure how well it would overwinter. Maybe I’ll give it a try this year. I just love them.
    15/3/08 17:56
    John-Michael said…
    I don’t know of any plant hardier than the resilient Bougainvillea. It weathers so well and simply thrives here in Florida. And its contribution yo the pallet of colour is a heavenly gift. Thank you, Kate, for sharing this one.
    15/3/08 18:38
    Sparkling Red said…
    The Bougainvillea sets a good example on how to survive the winter, even if some of your leaves drop off half-way through.
    15/3/08 20:42
    Katarina i Kullavik said…
    I love the colour of your Bougainvillea! So pretty!
    /Katarina (Roses and stuff)
    15/3/08 20:45
    Curtis said…
    The Bougainvillea is very pretty as so is the Amaryllis. Very beautiful photos Kate!
    15/3/08 20:57
    teeni said…
    Oh, what a nice post and a great way for you to use the meme since you still have so much snow outside. I love seeing the blooms and it should tide me over until I start seeing some evidence of Spring here.
    15/3/08 21:01
    Willow said…
    The bouggainvillea is beautiful as always!
    I’m sending warm blowing from Willow’s Cottage to help your orchid. I can’t send warm wind because we are having ‘cold’ (to us) winds off the ocean today.
    15/3/08 21:06
    cake said…
    i completely forgot about our amaryllis!
    i can tell i am going to enjoy reading your blog.
    15/3/08 22:43
    artistsgarden said…
    Your indoor blooms are lovely – I especially enjoyed the Bougainvillea. I never manage to keep house plants alive 😦 So its nice to see them here.
    16/3/08 02:46
    Salix Tree said…
    Love the bougainvillea! What a lovely shade of pinky-red. I didn’t know they would happily grow indoors. My hubby’s grandmother lived in San Fransisco, where she had a huuuuge one growing next to her front door. It was an amazing plant.
    16/3/08 03:09
    Barbara said…
    The beautiful Bougainvilleas we also saw in Portugal (in gardens). Here in my country it would be too cold, we have to overwinter this plant inside. Besides I’m glad you mentioned Portuguese blogs…I found two of them through your links. So I hopefully will be better informed about native plants when we are going the next time to this wonderful country.
    Have a nice Sunday!
    16/3/08 03:11
    ladyluz said…
    Isn’t it great that Spring is stirring in your neck of the woods. Our two bourganvilleas are just stirring after a winter’s sleep. Seeing an amaryllis burgeon and flower I’ve always found exciting.
    Glad you liked the choice of book, Kate: have now posted your birthday one.
    16/3/08 03:36
    Layanee said…
    OOOOH Kate, you seem to have a color theme going up there and it is lovely. What a great color on that bougainvillea. I think I need to get a bougainvillea or two.
    16/3/08 05:11
    Selma said…
    I had no idea bougainvillea would continue to bloom during winter. That is amazing!
    16/3/08 06:36
    greeny said…
    Beautiful! I have loved Bougs since I first saw them but never had good luck. I am an overwaterer when my plants are inside and that didn’t work.
    I may give it another try too.
    Fingers crossed you see some real Spring weather that will make you happy, Kate!
    16/3/08 07:53
    Andrea’s Garden said…
    hi Kate, beautiful pictures as always. I have a question about your bougainville. Mine is sitting in the laundry in the basement where there is little light and cooler temperatures. So far it has overwintered well. Where are you keeping yours? Is it in a regular room at regular temperature? Maybe you could stop by my blog and answer. Thanks! Andrea
    16/3/08 08:13
    Simon Kirby said…
    Hi Kate. Amaryllis look so exotic and your is lovely. I grew some as a kid because they seed and germinate quite easily but I wasn’t able to grow them on to flower unfortunately. Our house is too dark and doggy now for any kind of house plants.
    16/3/08 12:06
    byrningbunny said…
    Happy Birthday! Was the orchid a recent gift? Never heard of the blowing technique. Doesn’t sound very effective though! lol
    I love the unfurling flower. Beautiful shot. And I’m definitely jealous of your bougainvillea.
    We had a breakthrough in the snow and nice last week, but it’s -22 this morn and the dogs don’t want to go outside. Imagine that!
    16/3/08 13:00
    gintoino said…
    I love that bougainvillea, such soft color when compared with the strong colors we find here. Strangely enough I’m not very lucky with bougainvilleas. I must be doing something wrong.
    16/3/08 13:22
    priya said…
    thank you for the photograph of the amaryllis kate. it is gorgeous. what beautiful colours.
    i haven’t forgotten the tree that you are interested in. it will be shared soon.
    meanwhile i googled saskatchewan and went through the tourism website. beautiful country.
    blogging is such a wonderful way to get a glimpse into other worlds and talk to people physically so far away.
    16/3/08 13:47
    No Rain said…
    Hi kate,
    Does blowing on an orchid bloom usually open them up? That’s fascinating.
    16/3/08 13:54
    Wurzerl said…
    Hi Kate, I can understand that it’s important for you to have Bougainvilleas blooming in Winter. In my winter garden I cultivate a lot of Orchids, Bromelias, Hibiscus and Strelitias to have flowers and colors in Winter.
    But how is your Bougainvillea in Summer???
    Have a great week Wurzerl
    16/3/08 14:48
    Crafty Gardener said…
    The bougainvillea is gorgeous.
    16/3/08 15:59
    GardenAuthor said…
    Kate – Gorgeous Amaryllis, intriguing fat orchid buds and i love the pink Bougainvillea. I like gray and brown, but enough is enough – nice to see that something, somewhere offers a broader spectrum of color than we have, at the moment. Still waiting for my first snow crocus… Deb
    (Lytton – Lucy says “Hey!”)
    16/3/08 17:17
    Gary said…
    Your photos are exquisite. Blowing on buds to open them? That’s new to me, but very interesting. Are you simulating a warm wind?
    16/3/08 18:24
    Mary said…
    Hi Kate,
    Your long, dark days of winter are offset by your sunny personality and creativeness. Your photos are so nice and cherry. Nurture them for a while…Spring will be with you soon!
    16/3/08 20:04
    chigiy at Gardeners Anonymous said…
    Nice close up of your amaryllis.
    I can’t wait to see your orchid in bloom.
    Keep us posted.
    I think it’s so wierd to see a bougainvillea inside.
    Does it have thorns? Or do the thorns soften up indoors?
    17/3/08 01:19
    Naturegirl said…
    Kate Bougainvillea grow abundantly here in Arizona everywhere!!
    I am impressed that you can overwinter one indoors..inspiration for me when I return home!!
    THANK YOU for correcting me with naming the *Anemone…I did have in the back of my mind a feeling that I identified incorrectly..since I’ve edited thanks to YOU!
    I left my book of perennials and annuals at home so I am guessing…so many blossoms to identify!!
    P.S. I will be posting Poppies and I am sure that they are.. THIS WEEK! sunkissed NG
    17/3/08 02:11
    inadvertentgardener said…
    What lovely blooms, Kate! They’re gorgeous…and make it almost OK that winter’s still gripping the outside…
    17/3/08 05:38
    Entangled said…
    Oh gosh, I was going to write something here about the bougainvillea, but I’m still giggling at Sparkling Red’s comment. I’ll just say that I tried to grow bougainvillea as an annual outdoors one summer and it quit flowering as soon as I bought it.
    17/3/08 07:03
    Ki said…
    What a pretty shade of pink on your bougainvillea. Is that a couple of flowers I see on one bract? I’ll have to try that blowing method to get some of our orchids to bloom 🙂 Sometimes plants are perverse, sometimes they surprise and at other times they are cooperative and well behaved. Just like people or we are just like plants.
    17/3/08 07:18
    Rowan said…
    Bougainvillea is so lovely, it’s one of the real delights of travelling in the Mediterranean and North Africa, there are great swathes of it everywhere and it looks quite magical. Hope your snow disappears soon so that you can see the spring flowers in your garden.
    17/3/08 07:32
    Frances, said…
    Kate, your green thumb is showing even with snow on the ground! We have nothing but failures with the bougainvillea, you are definitely doing something right. Can’t wait to see what magic you work outdoors!
    Frances at Faire Garden
    17/3/08 07:54
    Gowri said…
    The Amaryllis looks lovely …so does the Bougainvillea! Here’s wishing that your garden blossoms very soon! 🙂
    17/3/08 09:17
    nikkipolani said…
    Kate, I just love the shade of bouganvillea you have! It reminds me of the “wood apple” with its tender warm pink tones.
    17/3/08 10:29
    Mr. McGregor’s Daughter said…
    Does blowing on the buds speed their opening? Maybe I’ll try that instead of jumping up & down in front of a plant shouting “Hurry up & bloom already!”
    17/3/08 12:17
    Kerri said…
    I love your pink beauties! How cooperative of the Amaryllis to open for Bloom Day 🙂
    Your luck with overwintering the bougainvillea has inspired me to look for one. Yours is such a beautiful color.
    I’m so happy that you’re finally seeing some bare ground there. Yay spring…almost….finally!
    17/3/08 13:44
    grannyfiddler said…
    if my houseplants weren’t all desperately pathetic, (or maybe they’re pathetically desperate) i’d be tempted to get a bougainvillea. but then, i just had to check your post just to spell the thing, so it may be the better part of wisdom to resist that urge.
    17/3/08 14:12
    Karine said…
    I had a bougainvillea when we lived in Colorado, many years ago. It IS amazing how well they do indoors. I love them, in or out!
    17/3/08 15:54
    Cris Bolbosa said…
    It’s amazing how your Bougainvillea blooms in the interior of the house. I’ve one of mines plenty of flowers, with no leaves.
    The plant you have near the orchid is an Hoya?
    Today here it was very cold, it rained on the afternoon, it seemed we’ve back to the winter.
    17/3/08 16:52
    cooknkate said…
    Yesterday, as it was in the mid-40’s with ample sunshine, I ventured into the garden patch in search of signs of spring. It faces SE so most of the snow was gone, and under the scraps of leftover leaves, dried stems and leaves I saw…..
    Life. Green. Growth. There was mullein, flax and columbine coming up and tiny hints of Bleeding Heart. No sign of poppy or crocus, which are my harbingers of things to come.
    Today, it’s snowing! We should get 4-6″ of mush. *sigh* The only good thing is that this time of year, snow just doesn’t last too long.
    17/3/08 17:55
    Diana said…
    Kate – Your bougainvillea is lovely, as is your amaryllis. Our gardens are so different! My Bougainvillea is outside, I left the pot outside (I just forgot it and thought I’d let it die and replace it – it’s a small one, then this weekend I realized that green leaves are sprouting on it! We only had a few freezes. And my amaryllis that I put in the front bed 2 or 3 of them, are coming up again from last year. The deer will find them soon, though, so I’d better protect them somehow!
    17/3/08 21:26
    Nicole said…
    Lovely shots, and I admire your efforts to keep that bougainvillea-and how lovely that those efforts have been rewarded. I have loved bougainvillea since a child-all the bright and delicate colors.
    17/3/08 22:38
    Threadspider said…
    Lovely bougainvillea and orchids to keep you going for just a little longer before Spring springs outside!
    18/3/08 02:26
    Angel… said…
    You have a wonderful garden… I love it..
    18/3/08 13:46
    Annie in Austin said…
    It’s taken me ages to get around to the bloom day posts, Kate – and previous posters asked some of my questions… grown outside bougainvillea are very thorny.. does that happen when this plant is grown as a houseplant?
    And with the tremendously cold temperatures you experience are your windows triple-glazed or specially made so the plants can get light without getting too cold?
    I’m glad you have this rosy trio keeping you company while you wait for spring.
    Annie at the Transplantable Rose
    18/3/08 23:53
    Kylee said…
    I just LOVE your bougainvillea! Such a luscious shade of pink.
    We didn’t have anything blooming outside here for GBBD either. Maybe next month! I sure hope so!
    19/3/08 08:41
    kate said…
    Hi Colleen – I love having an amaryllis (or two or three) going during the winter. It gives some much-needed colour. The good thing is that they are easy to grow.
    Cheryl – Discovering that I can over-winter the Bougainvillea was one of the highlights of this past winter. I hope you get back into growing Amaryllis.
    Joy – Thank you – my birthday was in December – you should consider both the Amaryllis and an Orchid! They are both easy to grow!
    Lisa – You’ll enjoy having an Amaryllis blooming in winter. The bougainvillea will overwinter fine in a hot dry house. You should try one … I have thoroughly enjoyed having one.
    Carol – I loved your mystery flower and also your second mystery flower. I like the idea that fiddle playing is helping make them bloom … that and not forgetting to water them.
    Amy – I love African Violets for this reason – they are wonderful to look at. The blooms are so pretty.
    Lintys – You should get a Bougainvillea, because it wasn’t difficult to overwinter it. It did much better than I expected.
    John-Michael – I wish that I lived in a climate where Bougainvillea grew outside all year long. That would be wonderful. But, having it indoors is compensation.
    Sparkling Red – Those are wise words! Surviving the winter can be a tricky thing.
    Katarina – I love the colour of this Bougainvillea too. It is really pretty although it clashes a bit with my living room curtains, but in a good way.
    Curtis – Thank you. I am really happy to have some plants blooming at this time of year.
    Teeni – Come over and enjoy the pictures – maybe the Bengal Clock Vine will bloom again before it goes outside for the summer.
    Willow – I wish that you could send some of your winds this way (when they warm up, that is) . The bougainvillea is beautiful.
    Cake – You might have forgotten because you can be out in the garden now. I hope you visit again… I like both of your blogs.
    Karen – I used to think I couldn’t keep houseplants alive. Then I discovered that I watered them too much. Then I went through a period of not watering enough. Eventually I learned that I am better off with succulents and fewer tropical plants. That’s why I was worried about the Bougainvillea. The good thing about plants in winter is that most don’t like receiving lots of water. Benign neglect seems to work well with me.
    Silvia – I love the shade of the Bougainvillea – it has an almost metallic tinge to it at times. That is a good memory of your hubby’s grandmother. I’d feel as if I’d gone to heaven if I had one blooming outdoors all year long.
    Barbara – After reading several Portuguese garden blogs, it is a country that I would love to visit. I can imagine that the Bougainvillea grows amazingly well there.
    Lady Luz – I am just relieved that winter is nearing an end … the best part is that the days are growing longer – noticeably longer.
    Thank you for posting my birthday flower and poem!!
    Layanee – I definitely have a colour theme going … and it is veering toward hotter colours. I think you should add some to your collection – they look great on the porch in summer.
    Selma – I would really be happy if I could grow a Bougainvillea outdoors. This is the best substitute.
    Andrea’s Garden – My bougainvillea sits on the windowsill in my east-facing living-room window. It seems happy with the location.
    Simon – I didn’t realise that Amaryllis grew easily from seed. It’s too bad your house is too dark for houseplants.
    Byrningbunny – The orchid has been here since December – the blowing technique seems totally ineffective, but I stick with it anyway! That’s the thing about our winters, huh? It can be warm one day, and back into the deep freeze the next day.
    Gintoino – I really love the colour of this Bougainvillea, although I like them all … I would like a mauve colour one next. I wonder why you don’t have so much luck with these – they seem to like dry, hot conditions.
    Priya – I’m glad that you like the Amaryllis and I was pleased it bloomed again so you could see it. I need to get over for a visit to your blog and see if you’ve taken a picture of the tree.
    Saskatchewan is beautiful in its own way – it is flat and so most people think it’s boring. That is so true about blogging – we learn much about other people’s world and their daily lives.
    Aiyana – Oh, I wish it worked, but it doesn’t seem to have any effect. While waiting for my son to go to school this morning, I tried more blowing. It is taking a long time to open … that’s okay because it will be blooming for a good stretch.
    Wurzerl – The Bougainvillea does really well during the summer because we have a hot, sunny and dry summer which Bougainvillea seem to like. Most people seem to grow them as annuals here.
    Crafty Gardener – It is gorgeous, isn’t it?
    Deb – I am in full agreement with you – enough is enough of winter. I want to see more colour outdoors.
    Lytton is pouting because I haven’t let him on the computer to write to Lucy … he’ll sneak on one of these days.
    Gary – I suppose that’s the idea about it, but really it doesn’t work. It just makes me think that I’m hurrying the orchid buds along.
    Mary – Thank you! I hope spring does stay – today is turning into a beautiful day. There’s no snow on the horizon – at least not yet!
    Chigiy – Thank you! When the orchid blooms, I’ll be taking some pictures. It is weird seeing a Bougainvillea indoors, but does it ever add some much-needed living colour.
    Yes, it still has thorns which get caught in the curtains. The thorns don’t soften up at all.
    NatureGirl – I would so love to be in Arizona. It sounds as if you are having a wonderful trip there.
    I think the Anemones are sometimes called poppy anemones and they do have a poppy look to them. You should check out Annie in Austen’s and MSS at Zanthan Gardens blogs. They have some of these in bloom too.
    Genie – Thank you – they almost (but not quite) make it okay that winter’s still hanging on.
    Entangled – Sparkling Red’s comment made me laugh. I wonder if you had a dud Bougainvillea … maybe another try might work!
    Ki – Yes, there are some bracts that have several flowers opening. The flowers certainly don’t last for long. I noticed one bract had two flowers this morning that it didn’t have yesterday.
    So true – plants are like people or vice versa. I like the way you characterised them.
    Rowan – I would love to visit the Mediterranean one day and be able to see such a sight. More snow will be disappearing today, which is pretty exciting!
    Frances – I am surprised to hear you say that, considering your amazing plant collection. I wonder if humidity is the problem … here we have very, very low levels, which has a downside for our skin. I can’t wait to get outside and see how the garden fared this winter.
    19/3/08 11:05
    kate said…
    Gowri – Thank you! I hope the garden starts blooming soon too. I will also be happy to take all the houseplants out too. They do so much better outside during the summer than they do inside.
    Nikkipolani – I love this shade too … it is pretty.
    Mr. McGregor’s Daughter – Oh I wish it would help to blow on them, but I suspect your method of jumping up and down works equally as well…
    Kerri – I was most pleased that the Amaryllis opened up for Bloom Day, even if the Orchid didn’t. It seemed to be teasing me! Yesterday was great for melting lots of snow and hopefully we’ll see more melting today and tomorrow.
    Grannyfiddler – I think you’ve been far too busy this winter to be keeping many houseplants going there. Bougainvillea are pretty forgiving since they seem to do well in winter without much water at all!
    Karine – I’m glad to hear that you had good luck with Bougainvillea indoors too. I wonder why we seem to think that they don’t do so well.
    Cris Bolbosa – Your Bougainvillea must be beautiful with lots of flowers. Yes, the plant underneath the Orchid is a Hoya (Crimson Queen with variegated leaves). It sounds as if you are getting a late winter. That is odd!
    Kate – I am really glad to hear that you saw some signs of spring there. It is wonderful seeing our harbingers of spring … it makes up for those bitterly cold and long stretches during the winter. That is the only good thing about receiving more snow now – it is short-lived.
    Diana – You are so lucky to see your Bougainvillea return. It is hard to imagine growing Amaryllis outdoors … I hope you find a good way to protect them from the deer. It would be sad to find the big buds of an Amaryllis chomped off by a hungry deer.
    Nicole – I love visiting your blog because you often show photographs of Bougainvillea. I am amazed by how big they grow. The colours are simply amazing.
    Threadspider – Just a bit longer until we can be outdoors here. You can see the excitement of having a few warm days in peoples’ faces. It is wonderful. Spring is a big event here.
    Angel – Thank you!
    Annie in Austin – There were so many Bloom Day posts that I still haven’t finished visiting all of them. The Bougainvillea is thorny and I have to be careful when I’m doing anything around it. Because it is just a few vines, it is okay. I will likely keep it in a smaller pot, just so it doesn’t get as unwieldy.
    I checked my window this morning and it is double glazed. I was certain the Bougainvillea would suffer when the temperatures were down in the -30c range, but it didn’t seem to mind them. I also lower the indoor temperature quite a bit a night but that seems to be okay for the plants. There are mostly succulents and cactus along this windowsill – they do fine.
    19/3/08 11:29
    kate said…
    Kylee – Thank you! I love this shade of pink too.
    Hopefully, next month we will see some blooms outdoors.
    19/3/08 11:55
    Yolanda Elizabet said…
    What a lovely display of indoor blooms for GBBD, Kate. Your bougainvillea keeps on flowering, isn’t it wonderful?
    Thanks Yolanda Elizabeth – I am really pleased with the Bougainvillea … it doesn’t stop blooming. I’m looking forward to seeing how well it does this summer.

  2. Glad you switched to typepad. I always get spy alerts when I go to BlogSpot. I enjoy your blog and love the pics. Am impressed w/your overwintering of plants. Wonder if I could do that with my Wisteria. hmmmm. Great pics. Thanks.
    (I am really pleased with Typepad… I wonder if Wisteria would over-winter indoors. It probably would!!)

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