Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

– Posted in: Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

As I’ve often heard it said: ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’.  My eye has always been and continues to be drawn to dead blooms in the late fall and winter garden as seen below.

My frequent visits to Israel allow me to semi-legitimately expand my plant palette when writing about ‘What’s In Bloom’. Without extolling ad nauseum the virtues of Israel’s sustainable approach to gardening , I’ve included some photos recently taken (such as the two above). The American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem has been a meeting place for international dignitaries over the past century. At right is the courtyard where the olive tree takes center stage.

Lantanas grow prolifically in Israel, usually in the form of very large, wild like bushes. They continue their parade of bloom year round. I love the outlandish, circus like color of this particular one!

Fran Sorin
The 10th Anniversary Edition of Fran's classic book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, has recently been published. Updated with a new foreword by the renowned author, Larry Dossey, M.D., it has dozens of endorsements from renowned spiritual, gardening, and personal development authors and experts in their fields. A graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology and One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, Fran is a renowned gardening expert, passionate gardener, deep ecologist, inspirational speaker, ordained interfaith minister, soul tending coach, and CBS Radio news contributor. See less Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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jodi January 16, 2008, 6:31 pm

I’m very partial to lantana, Fran, although here it’s an annual unless you’re committed to growing it indoors as a standard. and I like the subtleties of winter seedheads and foliage. I think sometimes maybe our eyes need a rest just as we need a bit of a rest from our garden labours, as much beloved as they may be.

Thanks for your note Jodi. I tend to agree with you. I do love the stillness and stark palette of winter. Yet, when I see a picture of that glorious lantana this time of year, I begin to dream about the late spring garden! fran

Frances January 16, 2008, 8:12 pm

That olive tree in the courtyard is magical. What is its story?

Frances,
I was once told the story about this special olive tree in the courtyard at The American Colony Hotel but have forgotten it. I do think that it had something to do with being given as a gift to the hotel by a neighboring country fifty some years ago. The hotel itself has a pretty phenomenal history. To learn more about it, click on: http://www.americancolony.com/History/tabid/56/Default.aspx. The hotel and courtyard are more beautiful than any picture can show….and to my eye, much more beautiful than many of the newer and fancier ones in Jerusalem. Fran

Lisa at Greenbow January 16, 2008, 8:19 pm

I like lantana in our garden but it is an annual here. It attracts butterflies and bees like crazy.

Lisa-
You are right on about it attracting a plethora of butterflies and bees …which I love. I remember less than 10 years ago when lantana was not a well known plant in our neck of the woods….now you see it everywhere. A fabulous Scottish gardening teacher of mine who recently died used to have lantana standards in the garden where he worked each season. They were stunning! fran

Carol January 16, 2008, 11:06 pm

Another ‘first’ for bloom day. We have never had anyone post pictures taken in Israel. That’s a beautiful courtyard.

Carol-
Am always glad to be a ‘first’. The courtyard at this hotel is incredible…….if it looks this good in winter, imagine what it’s like in spring and summer. Have posted a link to the history of the hotel on another query! fran

Curtis January 18, 2008, 9:33 am

I love Lantana. I even love the smell of it.

Curtis,
Me too. There is just something about them that says ‘it’s a beautiful, sunny, joyful world’! Have yet to run across a person who has negative feelings about lantana (although I’m sure there are some out there!). Fran

kate January 18, 2008, 10:20 am

I love the colour of this Lantana – I once tried over-wintering one, but it was not a blooming success.

Coming was a bright spot of sunshine in my day!

Kate,
There are just certain plants that overwinter well and others that don’t. This is the first year that I’m trying to overwinter my tender fuschias….so far, so good…..but we’ve still got some chilly months ahead of us. As far as the lantanas, they are easy enough to sow from seed and are no longer a rarity in the seed marketplace, so this is good news. I also love the buttercup yellow lantana that is showing up all over the place these past few years! Fran

Judith May 1, 2010, 6:34 pm

I wonder if you would let me have a copy of the unsized image of the American Colony courtyard. I am a family member and have not been able to visit for many years. I would like to enlarge the image for a faux window for my office. Please advise. Thanks.