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My official last day of work 2015

December 18, 2015
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I spent the week wrapping up loose ends, writing columns, going over needs for early in 2016, and today completed the first draft of the registration forms and program for the 2016 state MG conference and sent it for proofing and to get the website started. It is hard to remember to type 2016 in the dateline for columns and programs. This year has flown by. The office is still open next Monday through Wednesday but I am using up some leave and taking off. I will still check email, but officially I am off until January 4! Exciting!

Even though it has definitely been cooler the past couple of days–and it is nippy outside now, I have seen so many plants blooming today. Just in my neighborhood I have seen flowering quince, winter jasmine, and Bradford pears with blooms. I did not stop to take pictures because the light was getting low. In my yard I still have blooms on many summer annuals including petunias, marigolds,sweet alyssumsweet allyssum.dec15 and dragonwing begonia, but I really like the look of the new orange bidens Campfire Fireburst that I trialed this summer. bidens orange dec18 (1)

bidens orange dec18 (2) It bloomed ok most of the summer but it has really taken off in the fall landscape and has not been touched by the cold so far.
Encore azaleas are blooming better than ever, and later than ever this year all over central Arkansas and I have seen quite a few non-rebloomers blooming again. I saw several George Tabors in bloom today. Plants don’t realize it is December 18! azaleas encore dec18 (1)
I still have roses blooming, and what is more, I have some setting more flower buds. roses dec18, (1)

roses dec18, (2) My tropical milkweed is blooming, setting buds milkweed tropical dec15and seed pods still and the pineapple sage is gorgeous still. pineapple sage dec18.15

Two plants that are supposed to be blooming now are in their prime–camellia sasanqua camellia dec18.15and Hellebore niger (Christmas rose)hellebores dec18 (1)

hellebores dec18 (2) Hellebores blooms last a long time. The flowers change color as they get pollinated. The Josef Lemper has pure white petals when it opens, and then the flowers turn green, after fertilization. In many flowers after pollination, the petals fall off and the seeds are all that remain. The petals and sepals (referred to technically as the perianth) of a hellebore stay attached after pollination and remain showy until the seed ripens. This gives you color for quite a long period of time. With the unusual weather our gardens are lasting quite nicely and we have had a pretty fall and now heading into an early pretty winter. Although people are worried about these early blooms, or blooms out of season, there isn’t much we can do but enjoy them while they last and wait and see what the result is next spring.

To celebrate the beginning of my holiday break I met Chris at the Capital Hotel for a late lunch and visit. capital hotel dec15 (2)

capital hotel dec15 (4) As we were leaving we ran into our friend who tends bar there every weekend. Go see Randy, and tell him I sent you! capital hotel dec15 (1)

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