Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Blooms in Winter

Crazy Challenge Connection discussion on goodreads

December 1, 2016 - February 28, 2017

Wishing for some hints of summer in the dead of winter? There are a surprising number of plants and flowers hardy enough to weather though cold temperatures and snow. Read on!

**A huge 'shout out' to Barb who formatted the photographs so that I could post them in this challenge!

Amaryllis: Legend has it that the stunning red flower we've come to associate with the holidays - began as a shy, timid nymph. Amaryllis fell deeply in love with Alteo, a shepherd, but her affections were unrequited. Amaryllis sought advice from the oracle of Delphi. Following his instructions, Amaryllis dressed in maiden's white and appeared at Alteo's door for 30 nights, each time piercing her heart with a golden arrow. When at last Alteo opened his door, there before him was a striking crimson flower, sprung from the blood of Amaryllis's heart. It's not surprising that today the amaryllis has come to symbolize pride, determination and radiant beauty.
Read a book marked “Romance” OR read book #30 on your TBR (sorted any way you choose) OR read a book with any type of arrow on its cover.
Rustler's Moon Jodi Thomas 12/7/16

Camellia: One of the most popular winter plants is the Camellia which blooms from fall to early spring. Its brightly colored rose-like flowers offer a striking contrast to a dull winter landscape. Like an unexpected gift, some varieties of camellia will ‘arrive’ with a showy display of rose-like blossoms in the middle of January. Evergreen camellias have thick green leaves, will easily grow 10 feet tall, and can live 50-100 years.
Read a book with a bleak landscape on its cover (bonus for bleak, winter landscape!) OR read a book in which a main character receives a pleasant surprise (tell us what) OR read a book whose total number of pages is evenly divisible by 10 (tell us how many pages).
Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14) by Jim Butcher Cold Days Jim Butcher 12/10/16

Christmas Rose: This beautiful flower is actually a member of the buttercup family. Plant Christmas roses in shady spots along your walkways and this winter-loving plant will blossom from late December through early spring on stout stems that rise above modest snowfalls. Blooms are usually white although there are some pink varieties.
Read a book in which there is some kind of significant misconception (tell us what) OR read a book that occurs over Christmas OR read a book with a “shady” character.
Hiding From Danger Olivia Jaymes 12/12/16

Firethorn: This hardy perennial is an attractive sight all year round. It has small clusters of sparkling white flowers in spring and bright glossy green leaves the rest of the year. The small pea like berries, which can be either orange or yellow, remain long after fall is over. 
Read a book whose cover is mostly orange or yellow OR read a book whose plot duration is at least one year OR read a book in which the author’s first and last initial may be found in FIRETHORN.
A Death in Summer (Quirke, #4) by Benjamin Black A Death in Summer Benjamin Black 12/14/16

Flowering Quince: If you’ve got a black thumb, flowering quince is a good choice. Virtually indestructible, flowering quince tolerates climate extremes and neglect. This deciduous thorny shrub can stretch up to 8 feet wide, makes great natural fencing, and puts on a big show of blossoms in winter.
Read a book whose cover shows a shrub and/or a fence OR read a book whose publication year includes an “8” (tell us the year published) OR read a book in which a character is inept at something (tell us what).
The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer The Guest Cottage Nancy Thayer 12/16/16

Holly: Often called “Christ’s thorn,” the European holly is commonly associated with Christmas. Since the Middle Ages the plant has carried a Christian symbolism, as expressed in the well-known Christian Christmas carol "The Holly and the Ivy," in which the holly represents Jesus and the ivy represents the Virgin Mary. The sharpness of the leaves help to recall the crown of thorns worn by Jesus; the red berries serve as a reminder of the drops of blood that were shed for salvation; and the shape of the leaves, which resemble flames, can serve to reveal God's burning love for His people. 
Read a book whose title fits into the following format: The _____ and the ______; OR read a book with any type of berry on its cover OR read a book with a character or author whose name is HOLLY (reasonable variations accepted; last names may be use, as well as first – no compound words).
Seduction and Snacks (Chocolate Lovers, #1) by Tara Sivec Seduction and Snacks Tara Sivec 12/1/16

Ivy: Ivies may creep on level ground or climb on any suitable surface, reaching heights of 30m. The flowers are greenish-yellow with five small petals; they bloom in autumn to early winter and are very rich in nectar. The fruit is a greenish-black or dark purple berry with one to five seeds, ripening in late winter to mid-spring. Ivy leaves symbolize eternity and resurrection.
Read a book with either a very dark green or deep purple cover OR read a book that is anywhere between first and fifth in a series OR read a book whose primary theme is redemption or resurrection.
Quick Trick (Rough Riders Hockey, #1) by Skye Jordan Quick Trick Skye Jordan 12/1/16

Mistletoe: In medieval times mistletoe symbolized fertility and vitality. The serving class of Victorian England is credited with the tradition stating a man was allowed to kiss any woman standing underneath mistletoe, and that bad luck would befall any woman who refused the kiss. One variation on the tradition stated that with each kiss a berry was to be plucked from the mistletoe, and the kissing must stop after all the berries had been removed.
Read a book that takes place in Victorian England (1837 - 1901) OR read a book with a significant kissing scene OR read a book in which a character has domestic help.
Victoria Daisy Goodwin 12/11/16

Poinsettia: Indigenous to Mexico, it derives its common English name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who introduced the plant to the US in 1825. The plant's association with Christmas began in 16th-century Mexico, where legend tells of a girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus' birthday and was inspired by an angel to gather weeds and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson blossoms sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias. The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrifice through the crucifixion of Jesus. In the United States, December 12 is National Poinsettia Day.
Read a book that takes place in Mexico OR read a book that has a very poor character OR read a book with an intact “12” its total page count.
Snow Belle Jackie Castle 12/3/16

Snowdrop: When most other plants are hiding away from winter’s chill, snowdrop is eager to shine. One of the first blossoms of late winter, snowdrops are still shy, preferring to hide away in rock gardens and under taller shrubs. Plant these bulbs in fall.
Read a book with a shy character OR read a book whose location begins with a letter in SNOWDROP (tell us the location) OR read a book with a primarily white cover (remember to post the cover).
 (Seattle, Washington) 
When All The Girls Have Gone Jayne Ann Krentz 12/6/16

Winterberry: is a cousin of holly but loses its leaves in the fall so that the bright red berries come into their own. This plant is a staple of winter landscaping and if you like birds, those that come out in winter will thank you for the berries you provide them. The seeds must be sown in the fall in a cold frame and should be transplanted to rich moist soil in the spring. This is a slow growing plant and germination can take 2 to 3 years. 
Read a book which features at least two characters who are cousins OR read a book whose cover is bright red (remember to post the cover) OR read a book that has any bird name in its title or author’s name (compound words are okay).
Lucy & Gabe
Cowboy, It's Cold Outside Katherine Garbera 12/9/16

Witch Hazel: Fragrant in summer, witch hazel puts out clusters of spidery red-and-yellow flowers that blaze like little suns in the midst of winter. You’ll want to find the right place in your garden for this sizable shrub — it can grow up to 15 feet tall and nearly as wide. Plant witch hazel in the fall.
Read a book with an obvious summer or winter scene on the cover OR read a book whose title contains a synonym of red or yellow (i.e. crimson, mustard) OR read a book whose main character is “sunny” (i.e. optimistic, outgoing; tell us the name of the character).
A Werewolf in Manhattan (Wild About You, #1) by Vicki Lewis Thompson A Werewolf in Manhattan Vicki Lewis Thompson 12/12/16

Sources: - 9 Winter Garden Plants That Dazzle (Even When It Snows)


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