December – flowers & Christmas trees

Funny, it doesn’t feel like December yet.

Even though we had a pretty hard frost Sunday morning here’s a quick list of plants I’ve seen flowering within a 2 minute walk of my house:


Clematis ‘Rebecca’

NOID Red Carpet Rose

Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’

Gaillardia grandiflora ‘Arizona Sun’

Calamintha nepeta (Dwarf Calamint)

NOID Red Carpet Rose
NOID Red Carpet Rose


Chrysanthemum cv. (Fall mums)

Bacopa sp.

Antirrhinum sp. (Snapdragons)

Not in flower but still looking fantastic are the various Coral Bells (Heuchera) varieties I’ve planted around including ‘Obsidian’, ‘Caramel’ & ‘Green Spice’ to name a few.

Consider that even finding a tree with leaves is fairly tricky by now and we usually have at least some snow accumulation the fact that there’s anything flowering nevermind this many things is pretty amazing!

Going in the completely opposite direction now!

“Yo Fraser Fir, I’m real happy for ya and I’ma let ya finish, but the Nordman Fir has the best needle retention OF ALL TIME!!”
— Not an actual quote

Christmas tree sales are starting to pick up now, last weekend being the first weekend I’d describe as “busy” though we did sell some before that. Now about 80% of our trees are Fraser & Balsam Firs. Maybe 10% will be made up of pines, the other 10% are oddballs (this is growing by the year). Last year we had a handfull of Nordman Firs (that were stunning if a little short and stubby) and Noble Firs (nice but not a huge fan of their color – be careful of massive trunk diameters on fairly small trees). This year we have two sizes of Nordman Fir and at least 3 times as many as last year, probably similar numbers of Noble Fir and four Concolor Firs (which might make a nice tree for someone who is used to the needle length of a Scots Pine but wants the needle retention of a fir.

Anyway the Nordman Fir is probably my favourite tree I’ve never seen alive. The needles are dark green with a silvery underside that’s clearly visible due to the curve of the needles with light green tips where the newest growth was (usually to a max of 3″ around the outside of a branch. It may be the way these have been grown but they also have absolutely perfect shapes though they’re a little thin on branches in the top third of the tree. If it weren’t for our cats and the price of the trees I’d be all over them.

Oh, I’ve also taken a few more Gesneriad pictures that I just need to edit and upload and I should have a post on them soon.


About Andrew

Plant lover living in Toronto, Canada where I grow a wide range of plants in a very small space.
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