Sunday, February 28, 2010

Roll On March...

Only new stuff today...nary a Cerinthe, Loropetalum or Succulent in sight (or at least in focus). A rainy week has given way to a pristine, sunny Sunday; 70 degrees with a blue sky and a few new things blooming.
~click pictures to enlarge~

Like this plum tree in front of my sweetheart's house: probably as perfect today as it will ever be, just that right balance of blossom, bud, leaf and bee. And it will decorate your car for free!

Next in line is Crabapple 'Prairie Fire' who will be a bit of a teenager this year; can't wait to see how she's settled in with me.

The official First Poppy of the Year. She was taking her sweet time opening up, so I gave her some privacy and concentrated on the others for a bit... the purple-leafed sport on my Euphorbia 'Helena's Blush' (which I should probably remove) that is starting to bloom. I have to admit, this is one variety I prefer for the leaf, not the bloom, which isn't very graceful. Nice at this stage, though.

The Woolly Thyme is perking up; shot this close you can see how it gets its name...

Back to Miss Poppy, and there she is, still wet from the rain. There is no orange more gold than this. In case you don't know, she's Escholtzia californica, California Poppy, our state flower.

HummerWatch 2010 continues, not sure if we have hatchlings yet. Poor thing was quite thoroughly tossed around during our recent windy storms.

One last shot of spring for you. If perfect pink blooms against a bright blue sky don't cheer you up, hang in there; your own will be here soon!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Countdown To Spring...

Spring is coming, can you feel it? All kinds of exciting things happening. Like my Loropetalum. She just gets prettier every day...

Mr. Lantana, however, not so much. He had to be cut back, hard (or he'll over-run the porch by summer). Poor guy. The upside is being able to see my Jade plant (which I've had for 12 years) and my Lemon tree (the only original plant in the garden, and a gem!)

First crop of artichokes (Green Globe) should be ready to harvest soon...

I really, really love the color of the fence; look how nice it is with the bronze fennel. I agonized over this...well, maybe not agonized; but certainly changed my mind a lot!

A little more up close and personal with the Grevillea. Interesting, huh?

A slightly calmer shot of the Daffodils (shooting on a cloudy day). I love the touch of Spanish Lavender.

Last week the Leucadendron had a tinge of red; since then it has transformed (again). I love a plant that is entertaining over a long season...

...although there's also something to be said for the brief but spectacular show-stoppers. The Hardenbergia is already past its prime, and soon will revert to a pretty but rather anonymous green vine until next February. I like plants that evoke a specific time of year, and value the early spring heralds most of all. Bring it on, March!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bloom Day - February 2010

Spring is in the air for Bloom Day! A warm February weekend in Northern California meant the Hardenbergia vine was humming with honeybees... ~click pictures to enlarge~

The front porch Lantana is rallying, better cut it back soon or I'll be so, so sorry!

The lovely Loropetalum just keeps it coming; I love the way the green and purple leaves compliment the fringy flowers.

Oxalis is a major winter weed in California; it's everywhere. I have a few patches in my garden, and enjoy their seasonal contribution of fresh green-and-yellowness, for little awhile anyway. Its leaves make a juicy contribution to the compost bin later on!

I figure if I take the shot reeeaaally close, you won't notice that I'm posting yet ANOTHER Cerinthe picture. You like her, admit it...

Gaaah! The Daffodils are simply screaming out in the park strip! For me the sight of them is the official "all clear" for spring...

This little wild geranium is a common weed around here, and I let it grow for a while too (ladybugs seem to like it particularly.)

This cracks me up. My up-close vision is very poor; I had no idea that these beautiful Bronze Fennel fronds were generously sprinkled with aphids until I cropped the photo! What the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't feel, as my grandmother used to say.

Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' is living up to its name. When backlit like this it fairly glows.

My friend Ivette recently described Grevillea blossoms as a cross between a shrimp and a toothbrush (or something like that) so of course, that is forevermore what I'll see!

Another Hardenbergia shot; I so love this vine. It grows on the fence opposite my bedroom window, and is right up there with Daffodils and Oxalis in the 'Spring is Coming' department.

This Begonia bud looks like Little Shop of Horrors meets Transformers...

OK, not technically a flower, but what a work of art is a succulent...

Pink flamingo tutus, that's what Fuchsia thymifolia flowers remind me of. The kind that really bounce up and down.

Now there's a sight, this year's blueberries, getting ready to bloom.

The whole time I was taking these pictures, our neighborhood mockingbird was singing up a storm, yet another spring sound. This is his mate, keeping watch over our garden. Maybe they'll nest in one of the trees this year...

...but somebody else already has dibs on the Bamboo! Unfortunately this nest is about head high, right next to the path from the patio to the Red Umbrella. I foresee much anxious hovering in my future!

Thanks, as always, to Carol from May Dreams Gardens for being the heart of Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Visit her site for links to Bloom Day posts from all over the world.

"We can have flowers nearly every month of the year."
Elizabeth Lawrence

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Finally February

You know it's February when even a lowly dandelion looks lovely when the sun comes out. ~ click on any photo to enlarge ~

Hot pink isn't the easiest color to work with, but it goes great with 'galvanized.'

Yes, yet another Cerinthe picture. You really can't blame me...

The California Poppies seeded so nicely around the garden; filling in the bare spaces with soft winter green (and the promise of an orange sea in the very near future).

This is why you plant Leucadendron, it's one of the loveliest winter bloomers I know, and so undemanding.

The white sage I bought at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show last March is going to be a sizable shrub this year; so pretty next to Grevillea 'Coastal Gem.'

One of the Hens & Chicks has gone all broody and thrown up a flower spike; love the color against the blue fencepost...

It looks like the dwarf Pomegranate is giving deciduous a miss, and is already forming some new flower buds? Nice...

See you on Bloom Day!