Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bloom Day - March 2010

Welcome to Bloom Day in Northern California! Since I've been sharing so much of what's going on in my garden lately, I thought I'd append my bloom-day post with some photos taken around the neighborhood. This perfect Camellia in front of my hairdresser is my favorite color and form for this flower.

And what could be a better companion for pink Camellias than blue Forget-Me-Nots?

Walking around the block I spotted this Euryops. This is one of those ubiquitous plants that people keep long after their useful life is over; but they DO give the earliest yellow daisy of the year, so I'll give them a little love today.

Pink Jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum) is a real fence-stealer, but what a lovely soft fragrance.

Blue Potato Bush (Solanum rantonnetii) is another rampant grower; around here it is often trained into lollipop standards, but what it wants to be is a big sprawling shrub.

In front of the high school is a large drought-tolerant bed that deserves to look better than it actually does. There were a few gems though, like this Grevillea...

And this Ceanothus, one of the best blue spring flowers around.

The new landscaping in front of the elementary school included some red Carpet Roses, which are growing a little wild, but still pretty!

India Hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica) is another incredibly overplanted evergreen shrub that nobody even notices, except in March and April when they are a ball of pink. Meh.

Home again to admire the lush stand of Dutch Irish growing in the park strip, the legacy of a previous owner. They always remind me of my former mother-in-law, Jane, who passed away 5 years ago this week; she particularly loved these colors.

Blueberry flowers are the cutest things...

Moonlight Nasturtiums are back and ready to rumble!

And finally, some early Abutilon blooms; I'm sure our resident hummingbird is pleased, this is one of their favorites!

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, March 7, 2010

Marching into Spring

We had English weather today, you know, those "intervals of sun and cloud" that have you taking your sweater off, then putting it back on again. Between wardrobe changes, a few pretty pictures were found, like these Fatsia japonica berries in various stages of ripeness...

Rosemary 'Majorca Pink' with its hard-to-photograph color; bloom has just about peaked, and will be more sporadic during the rest of the year.

Zaaaap! This is California Poppy time at its best, when the flowers and foliage are both perfect and fresh. The regular rain has been wonderful for them; later in the season they'll start to get dusty and weedy, and I'll just pull them out and scatter a few zillion seeds around for next year.

Thanks to the squirrels I'll be pulling up Quercus agrifolia (Coast Live Oak) seedlings all year. Amazing what could grow from this perfect little beginning, if I let it...

Let's pretend, just for a moment, that this Oxalis is one of our most treasured perennials, as sought after as a Himalayan Blue Poppy. We'll ignore the piles of yellow corpses in the green recycling bin for a moment, because, well, just look how pretty!

That's not winter light any more, it's spring. The Leucadendron is going to russet, and the centers have turned dark.

Spanish Lavender is so cool up close. I can't see this kind of detail in 'real life' so it's fun to zoom in a bit and take a better look.

Gaah! Got you again. Could there be a more perfect complement to that hot orange than this cool green?

Most of the Limonium (Sea Lavender) survived the winter, which isn't always the case. The first new sprays of flowers are just starting to open, they'll be in constant bloom until next winter.

The Diascia took a little rest, and I recently cut it back, but the happy angel babies are already returning; love this soft warm coral color.

Salvia argentea (Silver Sage) is unfurling at an alarming rate. Its furry leaves remind me of the Abominable Snowman in Rudoph the...
never mind.

Interesting how the whole color mix of the Grevillea changes as more and more of the flowers open; another beautiful foliage/flower combination.

Lemon Thyme!

The Aeoniums also did well this winter, without any protective cover; they are looking so handsome with the green Senecio and poppy foliage.

She sulked all week after being left out of my last post, how could I ignore such drama?

The sweet little blossoms on the Coleonema 'Sunset Gold' are just starting to open; perhaps not my favorite color combination in the garden, but the effect is always so fresh and friendly.

I have always liked the way regular Society Garlic looks and detested the way it smells, so it's ironic that its relative, Tulbaghia simmleri, is the loveliest smelling bloom in the garden right now. Time to put my sweater on again, thanks for visiting!