Thursday, December 15, 2016

Garden Blogger Bloom Day December 2016

There are still plenty of blooms here in my Central California garden...roses, lavender, begonias (in their winter home in the nano-greenhouse), solanum, abutilon, and cannas continue to brighten the cloudy and, as of today in a big way, rainy days. But this may be the week that everything changes. 

Gomphrena Tiny Buttons is continuing to bloom although its leaves have begun to turn purple from the cold.

Cherry tomato with no hope of actually producing more tomatoes but apparently unwilling to quit blooming. All the tomatoes have been picked and are under a towel with a banana...a ripening technique that has worked well for me in the past. 

Peas are blooming and ripening well. Hopefully there will be some for Christmas!

Salvia Limelight playing host to a syrphid fly.

Salvia Wendy's Wish is another salvia that laughs at the chilly weather. I may need to protect it later this week, though, when nighttime freezing temperatures are predicted.

Loropetalum Sizzling Pink is a pretty winter bloomer.

Passalong bearded iris with that wonderful grape scent!  It is always an early bloomer (although not this early) but I think is going to be in for a shock on Saturday night. 

All in all a good Garden Blogger Bloom Day! For more Bloom Day posts visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens and follow the links to blooms around the world.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

It's a Rainy Day, It's a Rainy (Garden Blogger Bloom) Day

Everything looks different when it rains!

Rosa 'Flower Girl' pinks up after a summer of white blooms...

Passiflora sanguinolenta perks up as does...

Aster frikartii 'Monch',


and strawberries.

Abutilon 'Souvenir de Bonn' has recovered from a major pruning a few months ago and is once again making the resident hummingbirds happy.

Verbena bonariensis 'Lollipop'  balances some of those precious raindrops on each floret. 

I am hoping for more rain and more blooms as we finally head (hopefully!) into our rainy season. 
For more blooms please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens where you will find links to blooms world wide!

Friday, October 14, 2016

And So It Begins!

It might not look like much, but for my Central California garden it is the light at the end of the tunnel!
I spent yesterday touring the garden and looking for things that should be moved since the weather forecasters seemed pretty certain some sort of rain event was heading our way.  Rain is not something for which we prepare during the summer.  It has not rained here, aside from a few quick drizzles, since April 27. So cushions were brought in, bins were placed under the patio overhang in order to collect some of that precious water, the bag of concrete mix sitting in the side yard for the last few months was moved. I even skipped watering the winter garden seedlings. And all that preparation did not scare away the rain! Please let this be just the beginning!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Garden Blogger Bloom Day July 2016

When the spring abundance of blooms passes it is easy to feel that the garden is done blooming. One of the many advantages of taking photos for Bloom Day, which I do every month despite rarely managing to cobble together a post, is that I can then see that there truly are blooms all along.

The wisteria is in its summer rebloom mode. As long as I pick most of the seed pods it will keep blooming through the summer. Not as much as the spring bloom but a nice amount none the less.

All gardeners have a current passion and one of mine right now is rizomatous and cane begonias. This one, begonia 'George Morneau', is blooming for the first time. These begonias have long lived flowers and beautiful foliage. 

Penstemon 'Midnight' is not as dark as I hoped it would be but, then it matches the trellis behind it so that is something good!

A self sown sunflower is always welcome.

Borage somehow died off in my garden and this year I finally did something about it. Hopefully it will stay around this time.

Another passion this year, or maybe more correctly a sporadic passing fancy, is dahlias. If you watch Gardener's World and see Monty Don's beautiful dahlias you will understand why I am trying them...again.  This is Lauren Michelle and I think she is just lovely.

Scented geraniums are so tough and ask for so little that I love them. Once established they are very drought tolerant yet look so much more lush than many of the other common drought tolerant choices.

Tulbaghia violacea is sweet and another drought tolerant plant that asks for little care.

A new favorite! Eriogonum grande 'Red Buckwheat', a California native perennial, is just as Annie's Annuals claims. Goof proof. And a real butterfly magnet.

Many, many years ago I bought some 'pink' canna rhizomes. Which were pretty much red-orange.  I kept saying I was going to yank them out but last year I moved a lot of them to the secret garden. Lo and behold...many are now yellow. Whatever. 

Another first-timer for me...Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman'. Pretty flowers, low water needs, bee magnet. I love it!

And lastly, Gomphrena decumbens 'Airy Bachelor Buttons'. I picked this up a couple of years ago at Barrels and Branches, a wonderful nursery in Encintas very close to my daughter's house. It is a cool lush plant that doesn't look as drought tolerant as it is. And it is perennial here. That is the theme here...I am going for drought tolerant but not desiccated. I do love my succulents but they have other places in the garden to shine...mostly in containers. Which is a whole other subject for a different day.

For more gardens in bloom head over to May Dreams Gardens where Carol has been graciously hosting Garden Blogger Bloom Day for many years. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Garden Blogger Bloom Day March 2016

Spring has come to my garden in central California. The spring bulbs are either done (narcissi and crocus), almost done (muscari and leucojum), in bloom (tulips, spanish bluebells, and freesias), or still to come (scilla peruviana). Everything seems to be leaping up out of the ground and rejoicing in the recent rain.

Peppermint Stick tulips are a bit horizontal from the weekend rain but still lovely. 

Salvia Big Swing has sent up a test bloom to see if it wants to kick into gear. Such an intense blue! It is planted in with several unknown self seeded yellow columbines that I hope will look really nice together.

I love the gasteraloe bloom stalks...they look so sweet. And they must be because the hummingbirds love them.

Various heucheras are beginning to bloom.

The Italian plum tree has some nice blooms this is just coming into good production and I hope the more normal amount of rain (if that is even a thing anymore) that we are getting this year will help this year's crop.

The lavenders are beginning to bloom, here is Otto Quast and 

here, lavandula pinnata. Although for some reason pinnata decided to bloom pretty much all winter this year. Not complaining! Off to the side is Felicia 'Tight and Tidy', a shorter, better behaved version of the more commonly found Felicia.

I have Tulbaghia violacea in several places, once you have one plant they are very easy to divide, but this is the first to bloom. 

However, Tulbaghia fragrans is blooming everywhere it is planted, a bit late this year but perhaps that is because it was divided last year.

One of my favorite early iris is this passalong. It has that memorable old fashioned iris scent and for that I love it.

I do appreciate this bearded iris is so nice and early!

Freesias are blooming all around the garden and also add their wonderful scent. But the flower with the most power right now is the one I always forget about. 

Every year I catch a wonderful scent near the front door and it takes me a minute to recall that the black stem pittosporum has tiny oh-so-very-fragrant blooms. 

The wisteria will also smell wonderful...soon. Right now it is just beginning to bloom. In a week it will be at full power and smell fantastic.
I am happy as we have had a bit more rain this year and the signs are good for an easier summer. The drought is not over but perhaps we, and the garden, deserve a little sigh of relief.

For more blooms all around the world visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens and see who else is posting on this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Rats, I Guess I Need To Try Something New

Some years ago I started hanging small pots on the fence where I could see them out of the family room window. In the central valley of California small pots dry out quickly and taking the drought into consideration I opted for succulents as an easy to care for choice. I like the look of senecio rowleyanus, or string of pearls, and sedum morganianum, burro tail plant. The hanging strands made a big impact and they grew well for a couple of years. Then at some point I started finding lengths of stems that were missing leaves and big pieces of stems lying on the ground under the pots. It took me a while to figure out the culprits...rats were eating the juicy fleshy leaves.

Hanging on the strands was making them break off.

While the roof rats that are a fact of life here gross me out I am hesitant to poison them given the local raptors who would be the secondary recipients of the poison if they ate the rats. So I have ranted about them and been upset and just kept replanting the severed pieces. For some reason it has taken me over a year to step back and realize the rats don't seem to be attracted to all the is mostly the ones that drape. So I am trying something new. All the fence pots are being replanted with crassula ovata, jade plant, and a few other seemingly less attractive succulents which thus far have not been snacked on by the rats. It is worth a try and we shall see if they just move on to the new offerings when their preferred choices are not available or if I have figured out one way to have my containers and not poison innocent raptors.  And in any case, where the leaves have been nibbled off, new strands will eventually form. Just like these already are...

Monday, February 15, 2016

Garden Blogger Bloom Day February 2016

Plans to leave town for a few days, garden cleanup, and tax paperwork make for a quick, drive-by Bloom Day but since the garden is starting to really wake up I took a walk and gathered some blooms. 

Several hellebores are now blooming...I am a recent convert so only have a few that have more than a couple blooms but I do love them. And they bloom for a long time!

This month is mostly about narcissus. Lots and lots of them. Little ones.

Big ones. In yellows and whites.

They brighten up everything.

The Burgundy Plum is just bursting into bloom...I am hoping the tree will hit some sort of stride this year and produce enough for me AND the birds instead of just the birds.

And the variegated lemon tree has redeemed producing 3 lemons last year so will live to see another crop. Hopefully a little bit bigger.

Razzleberry loropetalum is such a nice jolt of pink in a fairly shady corner and is paired up with

camellia Chandleri Elegans.  Guess they shouldn't have been right next to each other but at least that spot is cheerful.

Leucojum aestivum is our answer to snowdrops (which are not happy here).  These are quite happy here and like to spread their happiness pretty much everywhere.

A scented geranium is beginning to bloom, soon to be followed by many more as spring truly arrives.

Clematis armandii blooms on the front garden arbor. Although it doesn't think much of our soil and water, and therefore ends up with brown edged or totally brown leaves by summer's end, the beautiful blossoms make it worth the cutting back and cleaning up.

Lavandula multifida is a super trouper and has bloomed all winter. This particular plant isn't even in a protected spot although a Tight and Tidy felicia aethiopica (also blooming) does run over it a bit so maybe that is all the protection it needs. Up until this year I only grew this in what I considered well protected spots.

For more blooms elsewhere around the world please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens and see who else is blogging on this Bloom Day!