Seeing Red: Seeds, Buds and Blooms

There is no shortage of red this time of year.  Nothing shouts Christmas like a rich, vibrant unadorned red.  My favorite shades of crimson come straight from the garden.

The Magnolia seed pods opened in the past few weeks revealing brilliant red seeds. They’re smooth and shiny and perfectly formed. I saw a crow perched in the Magnolia tree earlier this week. They usually prefer the much taller, denser trees in the neighborhood.  I often see them feeding on the ground, usually helping themselves to worms in the grass.  Now that I know they’re omnivores it makes sense. I hope I get a chance to take a picture of the shiny black birds with a bright red seed in their beak.

Magnolia Seed Pod

Magnolia Seed Pod

The miniature cyclamen continue to thrive in the fairy garden. Unlike me, they love the cold weather. Don’t they look happy?

Miniature Red Cyclamen

Miniature Red Cyclamen, thriving in the cooler temps

The viburnum shrubs had a rough year.  Thrips took hold, infesting the lower third of all the plants lining our front deck.  We bought lacewing eggs to help combat the problem.  I heavily pruned the damaged leaves as well. My son spotted a praying mantis on the window just above the plants last week.  It’s good to have reinforcements.

Viburnum tinus

Viburnum tinus: Tiny buds

The Abutilon are a modest red. Their heads our bowed, requiring one to look up into the skirt-like bloom to get the full effect of their beauty. Our neighborhood hummingbirds are big fans. It’s fun to see their long beaks disappear into the bent flower.

Abutilion bud

Abutilon: Today’s bud, tomorrow’s bloom

Abutilion opens up

Abutilon opens up

When it’s too cold or wet or dark to play in the garden, I’ve been keeping my hands busy making this wreath.  I bought a steel form at a craft store, but everything else is up-cycled.  I used a simple Larks Head knot to attach four layers of paper and plastic.  The outer layer uses strips of green plastic bags that come wrapped around our newspaper.  The second row includes clear dry-cleaning bags, filled in with old bits of tissue paper.  The tissue paper is on its third life: first as gift wrap, then protection for Christmas decorations and now part of the wreath. You may recognize the bow. It’s a recycled See’s Candy wrapper. It was so relaxing working on the wreath, that I’m a little sorry it’s done.

Recycled Wreath

Recycled Wreath

Recycled Wreath Closeup

Recycled Wreath Closeup

Are you seeing red this time of year?

10 thoughts on “Seeing Red: Seeds, Buds and Blooms

  1. Gee, that Magnolia seed pod is very cool looking…that’s a first for me since we can’t grow them here. They look almost alien “war of the worlds” type thing. Your Cyclamens are really putting on a good show. You definitely have the right touch. I have killed so many of them, what must I be doing wrong?
    You are so good about recycling Alys, I am in awe. I should be more conscious but the city takes a blue bag with recyclables including glass, paper, plastic and cans. We do a pretty good job of that I think.
    That looks really cute on your beautiful door. I actually haven’t got any red around at Christmas, it’s all about the pastels here…Jim loves the girlie look LOL.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Final Score: Thrips 7, Gardener 0 – Gardening Nirvana

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