Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - Jan. 2013

It's the 15th of the month again. One of the  reasons I like the Garden bloggers' bloom day challenge so much is that it has made me more aware of exactly what blooms when. My aim is have flowers in winter in every corner of my garden. After all, this is the Algarve and even on a grey winter's day like today, the temperatures are expected to range between 6 and 14 degrees Celsius.

Aloe arborescens

Aloe arborescens does very well in this region. Mine is in a pot (not the best place for it) and has produced a flower. The close-up was taken 4 days' ago.

Aloe arborescens close-up

The grass (in the background) has a common weed for company but I won't panic as I did before because my friendly gardener told me not to worry about it: "The frost and spring weather will make it wither," he said. The grass needs mowing but it's cold (at least I think it is) and unpleasantly windy and I'm ill.


The orchids haven't flowered yet but this yellow one looks promising. As I was taking photos this morning, guess what I discovered on my more fragile red orchid - a couple of locusts - yuck - I didn't invite them!

Locusts on orchid
Locusts enjoying the morning sun

 Still blooming

Yellow hibiscus

Red hibiscus

I am amazed that the hibiscus still have some blooms - not looking their best but who can blame them.

Pink geranium

This geranium seems to like living by the wall.

"You can count on me" section


This lavender flowers all year round!


These lavenders are looking good. One is starting to bloom now and the one behind it has beautiful grey foliage.

Rosemary and lamb's ear

Some more "shades of grey" - groundcovering rosemary and lamb's ear.

Blue potato bush

I've discovered the name of this dependable bush - it's a blue potato bush (Lycianthes rantonnetii). 

Potato vine and jasmine

My potato vine flowers all year long, too. Pushing through is some jasminum polyanthum that is ready to bloom and scent the air next month.

Now for some firsts:

Natural mosquito repellant

This is supposed to keep away mosquitoes. I can't remember its name but I am used to seeing it flower in summer. Well, it's decided to flower now, which is a nice surprise.

Orange blossom

These are the first orange blossoms and there are lots of oranges still on the tree!

White crocus

This is my first crocus flower this year!


Indoors, my poinsettias are still looking quite good. I can't believe that they even survived being left alone in the cold house while I travelled north. I don't usually have luck with them so the fact they are still looking OK after spending a month in my home is indeed a pleasant surprise.

Now I'm off to May Dream Gardens, where Carol hosts this challenge, to visit some wonderful gardens. Why don't you join me?


  1. It's amazing what a lovely selection of flowers wwe have in January Mara. It certainly is not like this in the UK. I've not seen my locust for a while, looks like he may have found himself a new home!

    1. Yes, and most of them are very easy to grow. I really should put up a notice for passing locusts - it would read, "Enter at your own peril!"

  2. Hi Mara...Your flowers are so beautiful!! I knew I saw oranges in the backround of the first picture...don't you just love the small of the blossoms! Your orchids and algarve are wonderful. The algarve is such a burst of color!! I look forward to following your blog and hope you visit mine again!

    1. Thank you. You can be sure I'll be visiting again.

  3. I can never see enough flowers...lovely.

    1. Thank you. I hope you visit again. I can guarantee more flowers.

  4. You must have a beautiful garden. Do you have pictures showing the garden as a whole? Your photographs of your city and surroundings are also very lovely!

    Mara, I had to chuckle when I read your bio. I too loved teaching and hated the paperwork. Why must there be so much of it? It seems to be a growing problem!

    (Thank you for visiting me yesterday!)

    1. Hi, there. I do have pictures showing the whole garden but I don't publish them for 2 reasons: a) it would easily identify where I live, and b) its design is quite boring.

  5. 'You can count on me' section, hehe. I love that. And those locusts, Mara, you caught them in a compromising position! :D


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