Wednesday, July 15, 2009

GBBD July 2009

Just in time for Bloom Day summer decided to make itself noticed by sending the thermometer over 102. We have been so lucky this year...the temperatures have been below average and really quite lovely. This week I remembered where I the California Central Valley where the best descriptive word for summer weather is hot! We can live with it though because it is a dry heat and because we typically get a late afternoon Delta Breeze (Shortly after noon in the Sacramento River Delta at the outlet of the Straits of Carquinez, an onshore sea-breeze circulation develops. As the afternoon progresses, and the onshore thermal gradient increases, the sea-breeze front attempts to advance, continually being mixed out at its leading edge - usually somewhere between Suisun and Davis - by the convective currents of the hot and dry valley air. If the marine layer is sufficiently deep to sustain this erosion, the sea-breeze front can advect to and through the Sacramento and Stockton metro areas. This produces not only a marked temperature decrease, but also a wind shift and enhancement known as the Delta Breeze. )
That Delta Breeze cools our nights and makes us able to get up in the morning without crying.
When I look out my window around 3:00 PM and see no leaf movement I know we are heading into a period of weather where the Delta Breeze doesn't come through, it stays hot into the evening and barely dips down into the 70s at night. The garden and gardener are unhappy and for the most part go into maintenance mode. Some parts of the garden, however,are perking up...the tomatoes, eggplant and peppers have been waiting for this. They've actually been a bit slow this year due to the cooler temps and are enjoying the heat for the moment. Prolonged heat would slow lycopene production but another thing about the Central Valley is those 100+ temps don't usually last for long.

In any case, here it is Bloom Day and I managed to go out early enough to beat the heat. At top is the narrow bed between the larger vegetable garden and small lawn area. Four-o-clocks that have reverted to all white, May Night salvia, pink pelargoniums and volunteer borage separate the two areas. Next are shastas that blooms in clumps here and there and offer homes to the d**n earwigs that eat their centers, ruining many of them. Below that is Little Pete, my new favorite agapanthus that blooms on stalks barely taller than its leaves. That white lily may not be exciting but it scents the air up to 10 feet away at times. Guess I'm glad it only has the one bloom!

One of the older agapanthus blooms on taller stalks and makes me realize (again) that I have an awful lot of this color in my garden. Something needs to change.

And here is more of that color...plumbago auriculata is being trained up into the banksia arbor to provide some color during the warmer months.

Rosa Flower Girl has lost her lovely pink in the heat and looks almost white. The first year that happened I thought I'd planted a white rose!
Hymenocallis narcissiflora (peruvian daffodil) is one of my favorite blooms of the year. I'm so happy it didn't finish blooming before I got back from vacation!
The large pot near the far bench is happy right now...two pelargoniums and a Rozanne geranium make a nice combination.
There are lots of blooms in Davis right now, in part thanks to the cooler June and early July weather. In truth, many of these bloom over half the year so while they may not seem too exciting they do add a nice amount of color...even if a bit too much of it is that light blue!

Solanum jasminoides
Solanum rantonnetii
Rosa Flower Girl
Scabiosa Butterfly Blue
Ivy geranium
Anise hyssop
Glossy Abelia
Lavender Society Garlic
Salvia greggii de Otono
Pandorea jasminoides rosea
Rosa Berries and Cream
Salvia nemerosa Blue Hill
Salvia nemerosa Caradonna
Salvia nemorosa May Night
Salvia Dancing Dolls
Salvia Mulberry Jam
Salvia Victoria Blue
Salvia sclerea
Dwarf carnation Evermore
Portulaca Sundial mix
Anisodontea Hibiscus Bits
Anisodontea Very Cranberry
Anisodontea Elegant Lady
Abutilon Pink ?
Bush mallow
Wax begonoias
Angel Wing Begonia
Marguerite Comet Pink
Felicia amelloides
Star Jasmine
Peruvian Daffodil
Nepeta Walker’s Low
Plumbago Royal Cape
Alstroemeria Regina
Rosa Demitasse
Shasta daisies
Gaura Siskiyou Pink
Gaura white
Lavandula pinnata bucchii
Lavandula Wings of Night
Agapanthus standard
Agapanthus Little Pete
Lemon Verbena
Origanum herrenhausen
Blue Lake beans
Italian green beans

Check out other bloom lists by visiting our esteemed leader Carol, at May Dreams Gardens. See what's blooming today around the world!


Carol Michel said...

Gosh there are a lot of flowers in your garden. And I like the explanation about the weather. Is a dry heat really better?

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Great post - beautiful & educational! I think you're the only gardener I've heard who complains about too much blue in the garden. LOL

Kathy said...

I was going to say the same thing: never met another gardener who thought she had too much blue.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the heat. Your garden is beautiful. I'm growing the Peruvian daff for the first time this year. It hasn't sent up a bloom stalk, but I am hopeful.~~Dee

growingagardenindavis said...

I think a dry heat is easier to live with, Carol. Especially since it goes with cooler nights it would seem.
Don't get me wrong MMD and Kathy! I love the blue or it wouldn't be here. But I'm feeling the need to mix it up more. And a big problem is that for me it never seems to photograph reflects the light too much or something.
Dee, you might have to wait till next year if you don't see a flower stalk. I divided mine last winter and lots of them don't have stalks. I'm thinking they need to be more settled first. The one I photographed has been there for 5 or 6 years and is well established. I can't remember if it bloomed the first year or not.

sweetbay said...

The Delta Breeze sounds lovely. I really like your white lily, and really love the climbing Plumbago.

donna said...

I really like the white lily with the yellow stripe. I'm always attracted to white flowers. No wonder the peruvian daffodil is your favorite, it's so pretty. The information about the Delta Breeze was interesting. Seems to me some hot weather is a small price to pay for living in beautiful California. I don't want to actually live there, but I dream about how great it would be to have a garden there.

Annie in Austin said...

Having a breeze would make a difference here, for sure, Leslie!
When garden experts & arborists talk tree problems here they remind us that even when adequately watered, when night temperatures are too hot for too long, that heat stress can kill trees & shrubs as well as perennials and annuals. Huge old trees are dying.

Your garden is so beautiful, and the blues are wonderful! I'd hate to see you change your in-person experience of the flowers just to pump up the GBBD photos ;-]

Would you mind if I copy that Plumbago idea? Right now a clematis climbs through the banksia rose - alive but not happy. Plumbago might die back over winter but it can take the heat. Great combo!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

growingagardenindavis said...

Sweet Bay...that plumbago has been a happy experiment!
You know Donna, gardening in CA is almost cheating. I certainly admire gardeners who persevere against snow and ice!
Annie...I think you would be happy if you copied the plumbago idea! Even though it loses its leaves the banksia protects it...I don't prune it and it comes back...and where it is most protected it didn't lose all its leaves. Of course we had a milder winter this year than we sometimes do. I think I need the white plumbago for the other side!

Tina said...

Love your garden. I especially love Shasta Daisies, which I first fell in love with when I visited Luther Burbank gardens in Santa Rosa several years ago.

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