Thursday, December 17, 2015

Garden Blogger Bloom Day December 2015

A few cold nights, even dipping below freezing a couple times, have not ended the blooms in my Zone 9b Central California garden. Here and there wax begonias, alyssum, pansies, plumbago, salvias and more are still blooming, at least a little. 

 Lavandula pinnata is a brighter blue and a bit less floriferous but brightens the view out my window.

One of the benefits of managing to occasionally post for Bloom Day is it makes me check on some things I otherwise might miss.  The osmanthus heterophyllus has such tiny blooms they don't draw your eye, but the scent when you get up close is such a treat it is worth wandering over to check closely.

I definitely need more Aster novae-angliae had bloomed steadily since June and while not at all as tall as I expected it is perfect all the same.

I wish I knew what I did to make crassula ovata bloom. They rarely do and this year there are several with a multitude of blooms. I will assume, as I have about many things this year, that it is drought related. They are in containers and got watered about once every two weeks this summer. Guess they liked that!

Salvia Wendy's Wish is a favorite of many and now I know has bloomed for a couple months and is still pretty. It will be difficult to cut back if it keeps this up!

One in every crowd...not sure if this columbine is early or late or just terribly confused.

 Since I am late posting you will find many other links waiting for you over at May Dreams Gardens where Carol has been hosting this lovely gathering for quite some time. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Garden Blogger Bloom Day November 2015

November! And...rain! Certainly not enough (yet) to put an end to the drought but at least enough to let gardener and garden breathe a sigh of relief. For some reason, either due to the drought or to being divided, the tulbaghia has decided to bloom early instead of during its more common January bloom time. A happy thing since it is not unusual for the almost open buds to be zapped by a night's frost and turned to mush. 

Several abutilons are still blooming and I love the way the sepals peek through the petals of this one.  I also love that there are raindrops here and on a few other blooms this month.

Chrysanthemums continue to bloom...and for the first time in a long time the centers are not eaten by earwigs. I wonder if that is a gift from the drought?

This sasanqua camellia has also started blooming a tad early. 

Felicia amelloides, blue marguerite, is back in bloom. It often slows down in the heat of late summer and picks back up when things cool off.

Another abutilon...this one with lovely veining on the petals.

Scented geraniums also like the cooling weather.

Rosa 'Flower Girl' is back to her pretty pink color after a season of white blooms caused by the summer heat. 

San Miguel Island buckwheat, eriogonum grande rubescens, blooms in the redone front garden. It is one of the plants I am trying out to see what can survive in this new area with very minimal watering. 

Although it has been a long dry summer there are still enough blooms to gladden the gardener as well as the local pollinators. Here's hoping for more rain! 

Visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens to get links to many more gardens, gardeners, and blooms!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sandbox to Potting Bench

I have always wanted a dedicated potting bench, not just the patio table or the small stand on which I have propped pots next to the potting soil bin. 

Therefore...the second garden job I took on after retirement, 
was the transformation of the sandbox Dad built about 17 years ago for the day care kids into that longed for potting bench.

Some new wood was required. 2 8 foot redwood 4x4s were cut for the legs and a couple of 2x4s were needed for the table top supports. The table top itself came from the sides of the sandbox and the lower shelf was made from the bottom of the sandbox.  Looking through my wood stash I found a double-thick fence board that I had been saving for just the right project; that became the narrow cross shelf at the top.  I painted much of the wood but left the weathered table top boards as-is. I love seeing them as I work; they are a sweet reminder of all the wonderful things Dad built for me over the years and I think he would be pretty pleased with how they continue to bring me joy, just as he himself always did.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Garden Blogger Bloom Day August 2015

One would think that a recently retired person would have all sorts of leisure time and have prepared a fitting Bloom Day post considering all the Bloom Day photos taken over the last year that never made it to a post...due to the fact that no Bloom Day posts have happened for quite a while. However, I have had no time to relax, instead spending most of 2 weeks in Ohio cleaning out my aunt's house then hosting house guests then working on organizing the items shipped from Ohio to be divided between my siblings and then...well you get the idea.

This evening I decided that I would make a quick foray into the 100ยบ garden and see what I could see. First up, passiflora with the reason I grow it...a fritillary caterpillar. I never realized they eat the flowers as well as the leaves!

Next, wisteria with one of its biggest fans, the carpenter bee. The wisteria has its main bloom in early spring (see header photo!) but by removing the majority of the seed pods it continues to bloom lightly all summer.

Lastly, the plumbago which is grown up into one of the arbors along with a banksia rose. The rose blooms first in early spring and then by  midsummer the plumbago takes over the floriferous job.

While there are other blooms out there this recently retired person has decided to be happy with a few shots and go from there. Maybe next month I can post 4 photos! 

Now, everyone go throw away one box of papers. Or some out of focus photos. Or broken bits of something. Your heirs will thank you.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Going Down a New Path

 There is a new path in my garden, as well as a new path in my life. After 32+ years of providing child care in my home I have retired. New paths beckon but I am taking time before I go down any of the life paths.  I wasted no time, however, removing the last of the grass that I had kept for the children to run on and in its place is a new garden path. After all the years of play there was a fairly worn path already but I wanted a brick path for getting to the compost bin during the rainy (pleasepleaseplease) winter to come. 

I then expanded the two beds that bordered the grass area opening up new areas to plant some of the things I have been starting in anticipation of retirement. I also have some items on my Annie's Annuals wish list for purchase when summer winds down.

 The remaining area is currently covered in wood chips; they are serving as a place holder and also to add some organic matter to areas that have been trampled for years. 

I am loving the view from here that for the first time in many years does not include a Little Tikes climbing structure!

At the far end of the path is the compost bin...and beyond that the next item on my garden redo! Which I am saving for next time. Let me just say it is something I have wanted for years and can't believe I never got around to building. Retirement opens up time for all kinds of things!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Garden Blogger Bloom Day January 2015

January in Central California. It is often nice this time of year, making the gardener feel that spring is right around the corner. But by the end of the month winter often returns with rain and fog and chilly nights. At least we HOPE winter returns with rain at the very least. Here are a few of the blooms I found big swaths but a few blossoms here and there. 

A gifted mini-rose that has bloomed in this spot year round for about 7 years. Tiny blooms but right outside the front door so a nice treat when coming and going.

Unknown abutilon that also blooms pretty much year round. The Cecile Brunner rambler that usually protects it took a big hit during a fall wind storm so I am hoping it makes it through this winter unscathed. By next winter its protective rose will be back on line.

One of the first Narcissus Grand Primo to bloom this year.

Rosa Lady Banks on the fence is just starting to put out a few blooms. It will be another 6 to 8 weeks before the big show.

Pansies tucked in with beets, chard and bok choi brighten up foggy days. Just a few blooms but welcome all the same!

If you want to see even more blooms head to May Dreams Gardens and see what is happening elsewhere on this month's Garden Blogger Bloom Day!