December Blooms – Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day

Firecracker Penstemon

Today was a beautiful, crisp day.  Temps are in the upper 50’s and there are still flowers present in the garden.

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Firecracker Penstemon

Hummingbirds just love the flowers.  Blooms will continue until late April.

**I will have some seeds available this spring.  Click here to see if this perennial will grow where you garden.

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Flowering in my children’s pool garden.See

earlier post about planting this garden.

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Angelita Daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis)

This bright perennial will bloom all year.

This particular flower is from my neighbor’s garden.

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Valentine (Eremophila maculata ‘Valentine’) (Tetraneuris acaulis)

My Valentine shrub is really starting to bloom.  

Blooming peaks in February, but continues into late April.

Rio Bravo Sage

Rio Bravo Sage (Leucophyllum langmaniae ‘Rio Bravo’)

Surprisingly, my Sage is still blooming, although there are not many left.

**Look closely at the little hairs covering the flower…this helps to protect the flower from the intense heat and sunlight in the summer months. 

Whirling Butterflies

Whirling Butterflies (Gaura lindheimeri ‘Siskiyou Pink’)

This perennial blooms spring through fall.  It is slowing down, but I was able to get some pictures of the last blooms.

yellow rose

My neighbor’s yellow rose.Roses

continue blooming through December and into January. 

 We actually have to cut them back severely in January to force dormancy.  It just kills me to prune off the beautiful rose blooms of my roses….

Purple Violas

My Purple Violas are blooming beautifully.

Goodding's Verbena

Goodding’s Verbena (Glandularia gooddingii)

A few blooms remain.

Next to the flowers is a volunteer Victoria Agave that has sprouted from the parent plant.

Globe Mallow

Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)

Blooms fall through the spring.

Unfortunately, they do self-seed prolifically and I have to do a bit of weeding.

**If any of you are interested in seeds, I should have quite a few available this spring.

Click here to see if Globe Mallow will grow in your area. 

Purple Lantana

Purple Lantana (Lantana montividensis)

A few blooms remain, but a lot of Lantana has been burned by frost.
This one is located underneath a tree, which gives some protection from the frost.



The colorful ‘petals’ are actually not the flower.  They are called ‘brachts’.

The actual flowers are the tiny cream colored flowers in the center.

*I realize I include photos of my bougainvillea often, but it has done very well. Most Bougainvillea have been damaged by the frost, but this one is located underneath a tree in my backyard, which has protected it from the cold.

Thank you for joining me for December’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  Please visit May Dreams Gardens for more sites to visit.

Coming up soon…..A Desert Christmas Celebration.  More specifically, how we decorate our homes and gardens for Christmas.   You may be surprised at what we cover with lights…..

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
24 replies
  1. Carol
    Carol says:

    Drool… A treat to see so many colorful blooms … such a contrast to our monochromatic icy landscape. Lovely photographs! Your home must be filled with roses just when you are forced to cut back the stems. Carol

  2. Gail
    Gail says:

    Noelle, Your garden is filled with luscious flowers and great photos! I clicked on your Firecracker Penstemon post and saw the best bee shot! I suspect that the penstemon would survive our summers and fall but the wet winters might be a real challenge. But it is a wonderful plant. I have completely fallen for penstemons~~Can you ever have too many! Have a fun day. gail

  3. Grace Peterson
    Grace Peterson says:

    Hi Noelle, I am definitely interested in the Globe Mallow Spir… ambigua seed! I've got seeds of 'Lauren's Grape' Poppy I'd be willing to trade if you're interested. There's a photo 'Lauren' on my blog's sidebar. If this doesn't work, I could either pay you or look through my seeds to see if something piques your interest… My adrenaline is on high after reading about the Globe Mallow–a must have!! Thanks.

  4. Les
    Les says:

    You had a few things I was not familiar with, and I was especially taken with the Emu shrub. A quick google confirmed my suspicions that we may get a little too cold here and definately too wet for it to grow. Happy GBBD!

  5. Catherine@AGardenerinProgress
    Catherine@AGardenerinProgress says:

    Look at all your flowers! I had to search high and low to find two, I knew you'd have lots of color there. I think the Firecracker Penstemon would grow here. My Penstemons look great even after the terrible freezing weather we had. I almost think they might bloom again.
    Show the Bougainvillea as often as possible, I love seeing it!

  6. Helen
    Helen says:

    A cornucopia of colour! I admire all the things you can grow, even though it must be from afar.

    The one thing I do recognize and can grow here are stocks. They're one of our grandmother's garden standards, and the perfume always transports me back in time. Some stocks are more fragrant than others. Yours looks very velvety.

  7. Kathleen
    Kathleen says:

    It looks like summer in your garden Noelle. The photo of the 'Firecracker' penstemon is stunning. It's so hard for me to photograph red sometimes but you've done it exceptionally well here. Your Valentine shrub is really interesting too. I'm not familiar with it at all. Is that 2nd photo a "stock??" If so, they are cool weather annuals here ~ planted in April tho (not this cold!) I always forget GBBD ~ don't ask me why. I need to tape a sticky note to my computer!

  8. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    Hi, my first time here, just followed the link from Autumn Belle. You are the landscape professional and the photos are professionally done too. They are all beautiful. Dessert plants are not common for me but i saw most of your photos here are also tropical. It is my first time to see there is Lantana mont., only know L.camara. I will definitely be a follower of your beautiful blogsite.

  9. T Opdycke
    T Opdycke says:

    What lovely blooms. It's hard to remember that there are places where flowers bloom in bright colors when it's 20 degrees outside my window. I especially love the container of violas, they remind me of spring.

  10. Rose
    Rose says:

    Noelle, all your photos have made me want to immediately jump on a plane to Arizona! I was in Phoenix about this time last year and remember enjoying all the lovely blooms, especially the bougainvillea–it was gorgeous last year. You can show as many photos of it as you want:) The "Firecracker" Penstemon is a beauty; I will definitely have to add this to my garden; thanks for recommending it.

  11. Kanak Hagjer
    Kanak Hagjer says:

    Love the violas in the container. And so many cheerful blooms in your garden. The bougainvillea photo is stunning! I've not seen lantana in that colour either.

    Looking forward to your next post!:-)

  12. VW
    VW says:

    That photo of stock is so lucious that I want to just take a bite out of it! And the bouganvillea . . . how I miss seeing it along the California freeways. At least we had pretty snow this week, and now it's melting before it turns ugly grey.

  13. says:

    Hello All,

    Thank you very much for your comments! Now, for those of you who may be jealous of our weather right now, remember that I will be jealous of yours come summertime :0).

    Grace & Catherine,
    I would love to share some of my seeds. I will email you in a couple of months when they are ready.


  14. fairegarden
    fairegarden says:

    Each flower more beautiful than the next, Noelle! How wonderful to have that color during winter. Thanks for perking us up with those lovelies. You are so sweet to offer your extras. We are far too wet for them to do well here. I have tried ordering from High Country Gardens, but have given up on the more desert type plants. I will enjoy yours growing so happily instead and be pleased just to see you gorgeous images of them. 🙂

  15. Jim Groble
    Jim Groble says:

    Every time I visit I start writing plant and flower names down in my "gotta have" list. When I show Pat, she reminds me of what I guess you would call the zonel differential. Remember, she says, that we are in zone 5b. well, I can always try and maybe we dig the plants out in the winter and move to the sun room.

    Merry christmas.

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