Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bloom Day - February 2014

Our weather in southern California couldn't be more different than the winter conditions affecting so much of the US this year.  After a couple of long-awaited rain events last week, our temperatures soared back up into the low 80s this week.  Northern California received more rain than we did and the mountain areas got some snow but, even with that, the state remains firmly entrenched in a serious drought.  In fact, one speaker on a news program last night said that a study of tree rings indicates that 2013 was California's driest in 400 years.

I've previously commented on the impact our unseasonably warm weather has had on my garden.  A number of plants, most notably the Agapanthus, are blooming considerably ahead of schedule.  Most of what was blooming in January is still blooming so, rather than publish pictures of all the same flowers, I thought I'd focus on the heaviest bloomers this month, as well as some of my newer acquisitions.

If I was to recognize one genus as the most floriferous this February, that award would go to Osteospermum.  Right now, every single member of this genus in my garden is blooming, and blooming heavily.

Osteospermum ecklonis '3D Silver'

Osteospermum 'Lemonade,' a new acquisition

Osteospermum 'Serenity Purple'

Osteospermum (no ID), white with a blue eye - some of these originally had spoon-shaped petals but they seem to have reverted to a more conventional form, which my Sunset Garden Book says is common in cooler weather.  I guess I'll have to wait until the temperature reaches 90F for the petals to snap into proper shape...

This trailing variety of Osteospermum, here when we moved in, seems happy in partial shade

Osteospermum 'Zion Copper Amethyst' - during the warmer portion of the year, all of the flowers tend to bloom a purplish color but, during cooler periods, we see this nice range of color in the blooms on the same plant



Other plants deserving recognition for heavy bloom include the following:

Alstroemeria (no ID), which comes back every year after a period of summer dormancy
A sun-saturated photo of the white Argyranthemum - all the Argyranthemum are in full bloom now too


This Bauhinia x blakeana (Hong Kong Orchid Tree) currently has more flowers than leaves

Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold' - its performance is so impressive in an out of bloom that I've added 2 more to the front border
Cuphea x ignea 'Starfire Pink,' which blooms continuously until I hack it back

Erysimum  linifolium 'Variegatum,' one of my favorites for the sunshine glow it adds to garden beds

Grevillea lavandulacea 'Penola' - those flowers make up for their tiny size in sheer number

Hebe 'Patty's Purple' - this is the 1st year it has pumped out a steady supply of blooms

Papaver nudicaule (Iceland Poppy) - the bees and I love them

Limonium perezii (aka Statice or Sea Lavender) - ordinary, perhaps, but the bright purple is welcome in my dry garden

Lavandula multifida (Fernleaf Lavender) - its photos never do it justice



Some relatively recent additions to the garden are also adding color:

Arctotis 'Pink Sugar' - how can you not love that color combination?

Geranium x cantabrigiense "Biokovo' - these created a blanket groundcover in my former garden but I've had a harder time getting them to establish here

Nemesia 'Berries & Cream' - I'm as much a sucker for these blooms as I am for pansies

Penstemon heterophyllus 'Margarita BOP,' planted in the dry garden - it died out in my backyard border in 2 years.  I'm hoping it'll be happier with drier feet.

Pericallis hybrid (aka Florist's Cineraria) - I used to grow the taller varieties of Cineraria but they're hard to find now


Pretty purple viola (no ID)


As the blooms from bulbs are so temporary, I guess I should include a few photos of those as well.  The Anemones and Freesia are among my favorites.

While I've grown quite a few of these from tubers, those pictured here were purchased in 4-inch pots last month
However, these Anemone 'Dr. Fokker' were grown from tubers


As was this pink variety

I wish I'd planted more Freesia bulbs this year - this purple one was planted last year or the year before

As was this white Freesia



Ming kept me company as I photographed blooms for this post.  It tuckered him out.

Ming relaxing during our picture-taking exercise



That's it for my February bloom report.  Please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens, our gracious host for the monthly Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day event, to see what's blooming in her garden and find links for other contributing gardeners.

22 comments:

  1. Visiting your colorful garden from upstate New York, zone 5b, where it is snowing and my garden slumbers under more snow. I enjoyed every one of your pictures. Wish I was there and not here, as we are expected to drop back to zero by Monday morning. Happy GBBD.

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    1. Each time I hear a news report of another storm headed into the northeast, I cringe a little on behalf of you and others up that way, bookworm. I hope the warmth of spring finds you soon!

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  2. Sigh! You have so many flowers, and all just the most gorgeous colors. I wouldn't want to be in the middle of your drought, but it must be so nice to have this much color out in the garden at this time of year. Of course, it also means you never get a break from the work. Still...sigh....Happy GBBD!

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    1. You're right, Alison - there's no rest for gardeners here.

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  3. Oh, your garden just kicked my spring fever into overdrive! Like Alison, I don't envy your drought but I envy your floral display. Gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks, Heather. I'm sure your spring is just around the corner.

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  4. Wow Kris, so much colour and gorgeous blooms! Your selection of what's in bloom for you February reminds us more what's summer like here!

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    1. Last week it felt like summer here too! I'm hoping for some cooler weather - and rain, of course!

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  5. Arctotis 'Pink Sugar'...wow! I think it hurt my eyes it's so bright. (but I do love it)

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    1. It certainly isn't a plant to be ignored, is it?

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  6. Amazing to see so much in bloom! I love all those daisies. I couldn't keep penstemon BOP alive at all. I really hope your rainy season finally kicks in. This has definitely been a season of extremes.

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    1. For all our sakes, I hope this winter proves to be an anomaly but I fear that it is not.

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  7. What a lot of color at your house Kris...back in the day when I was a San Diegan this would have seemed standard to me...now it is quite exotic. Happy bloom day, and best regards to Ming.

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    1. Thanks, Kathy. Ming has been doing a little better, although this hasn't been a good week for him.

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  8. Beautiful Osteospermums!
    I haven’t got any in my garden but they certainly are on my wish list after all this – so many different colours. And the Bauhinia x blakeana was very interesting, I had to look it up. Sadly, even if it might very well survive the winter in my garden, it would probably not like our wet and often cold summers.
    Happy GBBD!

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    1. I picked up yet more Osteospermum yesterday, Helene - another variety with spoon-shaped petals. It seems I just can't help myself...

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  9. Ooh, I need to find that Lemonade osteo. And that grevillea has a fantastic texture. Wonderful BD post, Kris.

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    1. Thanks, Denise. You can't see it in my photo but 'Lemonade' has a blue center when it first opens, which fades as the flower ages. Armstrong had them for awhile.

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  10. The colors on the Arctotis 'Pink Sugar' are wonderful, the sunset colors I adore. I could envy all your flowers, I used to live in S. Calif. but I don't like the drought and heat. Beautiful colors in February though!

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    1. I can't say that we much like the heat or the drought either, Hannah, but you know how it is - sometimes you just get stuck in a place.

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  11. I've been working away outside today and although sunny it was still a wee bit cold - just reading this was enough to warm me right through Kris. All wonderful of course. I do love those Anemones, and the Hong Kong Orchid Tree is amazing!!

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    1. I was afraid I'd lose the flowers on the Bauhinia with the recent tree trimming but have been pleased to find that didn't happen. Thanks for visiting, Angie!

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