This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Friday, 21 January 2011

Best Bloomer 2010

This time of year I think about my 'worthy' & 'unworthy' plants - those that did me proud; those I feel like chopping to the ground but will probably just re-home when the weather improves (we've had hard frost most of this week). 
Thinking back over the year, I've named my Best Bloomer for 2010... an Azalea (topiary style) given to me by a friend back in May. It was in full bloom during May-June, homed in my conservatory/sun room. It then went on a little vacation outside from July to early Sept.

Below: photo taken 14 Nov 2010.
Doing a tidy up around the patio in Sept, I came across my little potted topiary azalea to discover it was covered in buds. I brought it back into the conservatory/ sun room and it began blooming from October through to the end of December - lovely giant pink flowers.

I fed it regularly in the summer with Phostrogen All Purpose Plant Food for flowers, fruit & veg.

Left: photo taken 16 Oct 2010.

Above: still blooming; photo taken 11 Dec 2010. But then....
Above: With the hustle and bustle of the holidays and new year... I hate to admit it... but I got a little careless and didn't pinch out the dead flowers and maybe forgot to water.
 So I gave my 'Best Bloomer' a little TLC and took off all the dead blooms. I'm not liking the leaf colour but will see what I can do. Photo: 9 Jan 2011.
After, I even found a few buds and will see what happens. Are more flowers to come... or does this plant need a little Winter sleep? 


  1. The azalea is just so perfectly pink. It must have been spectacular in full bloom. I like the idea of best bloomer. I think mine was an oriental lily, a pink one.

  2. The poor thing looks a little bit "under the weather" (which is understandable in the circumstances of the severe Winter you have had to endure). Let's hope the condidtion is not terminal! I agree that at its height that plant was absolutely spectacular.

  3. It definitely deserves the title of Best Bloomer. It was absolutely gorgeous in flower, I hope it manages to pull round.

  4. I think it will pull through! Think about your grandmother's azaleas (her favorite plant and flower) in Kentucky and how they withstood very bad winters to be spectacular in the Spring. Hers were planted outside in acid soil. Good luck with it!

  5. What a sad transition for this beautiful azealea. Please nurse it back to health! Such a beautiful plant must be saved!