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For December’s Bloom Day, I turn to my houseplants.

The Crown of Thorns, Euphorbia milii,  is my Old Reliable, never bereft of its perky red blossoms:041I’ve found Crown of Thorns to be an easy plant, equally happy in filtered light, bright indirect light, and direct sunlight.  A slow-growing succulent, it is happy to be watered lightly once a week.  The thorns are scary looking, but easy to work around.  The only downside is that it tends to lose leaves from the bottom up, leaving about half the height of the plant bare-stemmed.

In the eight years I’ve had this plant, it has grown from about eight inches high to just over two feet.  It constantly bears clusters of half-inch wide light red flowers which fall cleanly off the plant when they are spent.  I think they are as sweet as sweet can be!042

In early November, as we began to have more frequent killing frosts, I brought inside a chrysanthemum that was well-budded but had not yet bloomed.  It began to flower a few weeks ago, and still looks nice for bloom day today:045I suppose I could have found a nicer place for it than the floor of the family room, right in front of the heat register, but it does get the best sunlight in the house in this spot.  I had thought I would re-pot it when I brought it in, but the soil in the box had already frozen, and there was no digging it out!  I really think moving it may have disturbed it too much to bloom this well, anyway!  (There’s always an excuse reason for laziness, yes?)

 

Two of my plants are “almosts” for this Bloom Day.  The geraniums I am overwintering under lights in the basement have plenty of buds showing color:029I won’t do it now with the house full of Christmas decor, but starting in January, I’ll rotate some of the bloomers up into the house to add some sparks of color through the dreary, gray months of winter.026

These Paperwhite Narcissus are very close to opening as well.  I potted these up just over three weeks ago, and set them under the basement light until just this morning.  037They’ll be a nice complement to the poinsettia I bought today.  032So that’s what’s blooming on the fifteenth of December at my house.  Thank you as always to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting this meme through which garden bloggers may share their own flowers as well as see what’s blooming all over the world in other bloggers’ gardens.  It’s well worth your time to visit!

Today’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day coincides with another meme, “In a Vase on Monday”, hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  I thought I would be unable to make any sort of vase in December, but the beautiful blooming chrysanthemum I showed you earlier inspired me to try!093I put on my coat and boots and trudged up the snowy hill into the woods to clip a few evergreen branches.  Then I paid a visit to the Barberry at the end of my driveway, and very carefully clipped a few of its thorny branches, choosing some with berries and some redder, newer growth as well.  When I came back to the warm house, I cut a few branches of the mum.  I put them all together in my favorite little green Venetian glass vase:082While the chrysanthemum is not a traditional Christmas color, I think this is a fitting arrangement for this week of Advent, as yesterday was the day to light the pale pink candle of joy.

The wonder of it all is that I shed not even one drop of blood while working with the Barberry!087I look forward to seeing what everyone has blooming today for Bloom Day, as well as what people may have found to put in a vase this Monday!

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