Not expected, but welcome

I've mentioned a few times already that our winter here in St. Louis (like in many parts of the country) has been very mild this year. I fully expect to get the cold and snow later this month and in February, but so far it seems like Winter just isn't coming, at least for more than a couple of days at a time.

Some plants are definitely benefiting from this, taking advantage even. For instance, my variegated vinca which surrounds my large raised planting bed.     Flowering.      In January!


This is one of those "filler" plants that I sometimes think I should tear out. It's usually quite nasty-looking at this time of the year, with most of the foliage and stems dead and brown.

In fact, I remember getting a warm day in January a few years ago that I took advantage of to clean up the vinca -- got to tackle that job early rather than waiting until spring.

This year though, it's looking as good right now as it does at any time of the year, and is even flowering again!

This isn't just a case of finding a single bloom that I hungrily photographed from every angle either. No, there are several blooms right now:

This is quite an unexpected taste of beauty, when what I'm usually used to seeing in winter is more like this:

It's certainly welcome though!

(I'm really curious to see what the rest of the winter will be like. Will it be bitterly cold and cancel out the mild start, or will it stay "warm" throughout?)


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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (January 8, 2012 at 12:10 PM)  

I still like that vinca! Mine isn't blooming but the foliage looks good. Winter is definitely strange here as well. We're having one of the driest winters on record.

scottweberpdx  – (January 8, 2012 at 3:16 PM)  

Gotta like that...although, I admit, I still prefer the ascetic beauty of the Schizachyrium ;-) We are having the mildest winter ever, here too. Not only are many things still green, but I am seeing lots of plants with buds popping out of the ground. Not sure if I should be glad or worried.

Marie at the Lazy W  – (January 8, 2012 at 4:11 PM)  

Fun! Some of my flowering trees are budding out already, makes me a tad nervous...but I'd take a vinca bloom!

Casa Mariposa  – (January 8, 2012 at 5:24 PM)  

I'm adding some pink flowering vinca this spring and hope I'm as lucky to have flowers in Jan. Nothing blooming here, but several plants are pushing out more basal growth daily. Won't they be shocked when winter finally hits?

Christine  – (January 8, 2012 at 8:17 PM)  

Hi Alan, the summer here is not like a real summer either yet. It's not as hot as it usually is in january. I am guessing it's going to hit us later. The vinca is really cute in blue. If I could find the variegated version here I might get it again. I didn't care much for the plain one, it was a bit of a thug here in my garden :)

sandy lawrence –   – (January 9, 2012 at 8:30 AM)  

This plant is considered a non-native invasive where I am (zone 8b tx hill country). "Thug", as Christine calls it, is a good term for it here. I am constantly trying to get rid of it, as it overcomes and kills everything it gets near. Years later, I'm still working on digging it out by the retaining wall. Mine is the plain leaved vinca major, which isn't as nice looking as your variegated leaves.

Alan  – (January 9, 2012 at 9:26 AM)  

I totally agree this plant is a thug. I cut it down to the ground each year, and pull up many rooted vines each year. They make great filler in pots.

Anonymous –   – (July 9, 2012 at 11:30 PM)  

My variegated vinca hardly ever seems to flower. Any ideas?

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