Saturday, April 29, 2017

Discovering the Lost Arbor

Many years ago...maybe 15? 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!