Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Garden Blogger Bloom Day June 2017


Four days into an eight day heat wave is a good time to finally put together these photos taken on Bloom Day. That was five days ago so some of the blooms have since taken a hit from the triple digit days. The only gardening happening here is checking for what needs watering each morning and a bit of deadheading before hiding out and reading all afternoon. Thank goodness for AC and the library!


When the carrots started to bolt I decided to leave them for the pollinators. Plus, the blooms are pretty!


My clump of Lilium regale hadn't bloomed the last couple years. I think they were no longer getting enough sun. So last winter I dug the clump and tried the bulbs in 3 new spots...and all of them have bloomed!


June is a good time for lavender here and several varieties are attracting dozens of bees all day long.


The passiflora is blooming and the gulf fritillaries are arriving. These are also a favorite of carpenter bees.


Roma beans have started blooming as have the borlotti beans. I am hoping to have a decent crop although this heat is not helping.


The summer blooms have started on the wisteria, sparser than the spring bloom but still very welcome.


Hemerocallis backed by coreopsis and lambs ear. They can all take the heat.


Another hemerocallis, this one backed by agapanthus and lychnis.


What appears to be the one remaining gladiolus in the garden. Guess I need to remember to order some more next spring!
For more blooms elsewhere visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens and see who has joined in this month for Bloom Day! 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Garden Blogger Bloom Day May 2017




This month I decided to get up close and look at individual blooms. It's a good way to really see the parts of the flowers and notice similarities and differences.


First up is Salvia clevelandii, a native sage that is drought tolerant and has a great fragrance. That is, if you like the smell of sage as much as I do. Some people think it is a little strong.


Several aloes are blooming and attracting the hummingbirds.


Verbena bonariensis has the cutest little flowers making up each flower cluster and is a pollinator favorite.


Pomegranate blooms promising fruit next winter.


Scented geranium 'Frosted' is a citronella type with green leaves edged in white. And the blooms are pretty too!


Abutilon 'Nabob' is a real hummingbird magnet and I love how the leaves show through in the center where the petals overlap.


I never get tired of looking at the strange bloom of Passiflora caerulea. This is a huge favorite of several types of bees.


Bright yellow coreopsis is not what I was going for...I actually wanted 'Moonbeam' but this adds a nice bright spot and that is ok too!


Nigella flowers are just as strange as passiflora but in a much more delicate way. I think they are lovely.


Begonia flowers are delicate and pretty in their own right although most of mine are grown for the fantastic foliage.


Salvia Big Swing is such an intense blue and blooms a large part of the year. Another hummingbird favorite.


The tiny blooms of leopard lily, Ledebouria socialis, are so small that they are easy to miss. But the are worth the closeup because they are so very cute.



Scabiosa anthemifolia self sows and is a butterfly favorite. This may be the scabiosa I have been looking for...after one year it is a nice clump and is blooming well.

For more Garden Blogger Bloom Day posts visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens and follow the links from all over the world!



Saturday, April 29, 2017

Discovering the Lost Arbor




Many years ago...maybe 15?...my dad built an arbor in my garden. 

At that time my garden had a lot of sun and, since I was running a family child care home, I wanted some shade for the children. So I planted not one, but two Lady Banks roses, one on each side. They did a superb job of providing the shade I once wanted. 


Fast forward to April 2017. Now almost 2 years retired, the lawn is gone. Truth be told, it was disappearing slowly even before I retired. Yes, that 3 foot tall mass of blooms is all on that arbor. And it was preventing afternoon sun from getting to the tomatoes and peppers planted in the pots you see in the next photo due to the root knot nematodes that love my garden. 



At least it was, until today. What started as a big pruning job that is always done after the blooms fade and then again in late summer became something else. Now there is only one greatly reduced banksia on what is the left side here. There is also a plumbago auriculata on that left side that has grown over the years up into the top of the arbor. The evergreen rose protects it in the winter and it responds by blooming in the summer, after the rose blooms are long gone. I think I love seeing the arbor again. I reminds me of Dad and all the things he built for me. The question is now...should I paint it? I don't have unpainted trellises or posts in my garden. But I'm not sure about another big splash of purple....

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Garden Blogger Bloom Day April 2017

It has indeed been a wet winter. In fact, it has been the wettest rain season on record in 122 years of record keeping. The drought has been officially declared over...for this year anyway. Parts of the Central Valley are still low on ground water and will be for years even if the rain keeps up for the next few winters. But as far as day-to-day living, things have eased up. And the garden has responded.


Nigella, backed by lavandula Otto Quast, is just beginning to bloom. This year I will be even more vigilant in removing seed heads before the seeds ripen. No one needs this many nigella. They are everywhere. A lovely thing but one that might need to be tempered in the future.


I am so excited that aquilegia yabeana, a Japanese species, is blooming. It is a pretty addition to all the yellow aquilegia chrysantha which has spread itself around. I am hoping the yabeana feels just as welcome.


I just love borage. To nibble, in salads, and the way it looks in photos. There is something about that fuzz that I really like.


Alstroemeria is beginning to bloom, and no...those leaves do not go with these blooms. They belong to another alstroemeria that is not yet blooming.



Felicia Tight and Tidy is a prolific bloomer and provides a swath of blue for months.


The bearded iris are the happiest they have been in years. I guess they really do need a little winter water. 




Scabiosa backed by candytuft with a few of those nigella coming up in their midst.


Pelargonium graveolens, rose scented geranium, is blooming along the driveway. It does well in what will be a hot spot someday. When the rain stops. (not complaining)


The first of the passiflora blooms have opened and I am hoping to see some gulf fritillaries soon. They are always here in the summer in varying numbers; some years there are clouds of them, some just a decent turnout. I am not sure what determines that.


My first eschscholtzia californica Rose Chiffon bloom. I am hoping to have them spread and return yearly. With a rainy winter all things seem possible.


A passalong geum as well as several other geums have added a warmer tone to the pinks and purples that are more pronounced right now.


Digiplexis Illumination Raspberry seems to have decided it likes it here and has returned exuberantly. 


Next winter's limes are just beginning.


Freesia laxa has begun to make a nice little colony along the front path. Thanks to Cindy from My Corner of Katy for giving me these and forgiving me for asking multiple times what the name is.  I promise to try to remember this time!



Rosa Flower Girl is one of the oldest plants in my garden and just keeps going. I love the pink spring blooms...the summer blooms bleach out and are almost white. Pretty too, but the pink is the best!


I was so disappointed that the orthrosanthus multiflorus have each sent up just one bloom stalk. Until I went back and checked and realized it is a summer bloomer. So there is hope of many more of these!



Strawberry blooms and babies...can't wait!



This honeybee is enjoying the loganberries and I hope to enjoy some this summer. Last year they dried out almost as soon as they began to ripen.


Last but not least...the beginnings of the spring fig crop with its hidden-inside inverted flower.

Elsewhere all the abutilons, the couple other climbing roses, allysum, heucheras, some salvias, hardy geraniums, pelargoniums, and more are blooming. This really is our big Central Valley bloom time as many of the spring/early summer bloomers overlap. For blooms elsewhere head over to May Dreams Gardens where you can find links to many gardens also celebrating spring! 





Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Garden Blogger Bloom Day March 2017


Today is Garden Blogger Bloom Day and my garden is participating wholeheartedly. The winter rains have encouraged plants and gardener to come out and enjoy a "normal" spring and all are taking advantage of that encouragement.



Two pots of tulips opened their blooms for the first time today. These pots are easy to move into view when they are in bloom and will be moved back to the side yard afterwards to be stored unwatered until next winter's rain has them return for another round. This routine has worked for several years and has given the best tulip results in my garden.


My cymbidium orchid 'Ivy Fung' began blooming a week ago...I am so happy that it has a bloom and that I did not snap it off before it opened as I may have done last year. It was carefully moved from the nanogreenhouse to the patio table and I have been very cautious this time!


Several of the begonias, also newly freed from the nanogreenhouse, have opened their small blooms. I grow these more for the foliage but appreciate the blooms as well.



This loropetalum has bloomed for several weeks and coordinates well with its neighbor...


camellia 'Chandler Elegans'.


This scabiosa hybrid has bloomed a bit all winter and continues to do so as the weather warms up.


Leucojum aestivum is tucked here and there in the garden and so there have been blooms for weeks; as one area fades another begins. 


The favas with their pretty blossoms are in full bloom promising a yummy pasta dinner in the future.



Verbena lilacena De La Mina is coming into bloom. It is supposed to be a favorite of pollinators so I am happy that it has settled in since last year.


Here and there little muscari have popped up. I need to remember to get some more and increase them more quickly than they seem to be doing on their own.


The nectarine tree has lots of blooms this year, just like the plum, 



peach, and pear. Hoping the winter rain means lots of fruit! 


However, we will have strawberries long before we see the stone fruit.


Antirrhinum majus Chantilly Peach is just starting to open. Supposedly an annual it has stick around now for over a year and looks like it plans to stay a bit longer



Freesias of many hues have just started blooming this week too. They smell so good!


For more beautiful blooms visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens where you can also see more about her brand new book!