Saturday, March 2, 2013

More Blooms!

We've had a spot of very warm weather due to a high pressure system hanging over our area and another onslaught of Santa Ana winds.  Temperatures have been in the mid-80s for 2 days and the humidity is near zero.  The good news is that new blooms are popping up all over.  The bad news is that they also wither quickly with exposure to the wind and low humidity.

As I'm not sure what will last until Bloom Day, I thought I'd feature some of the new blooms, starting with the bulbs.  I inherited the Calla Lilies with the property - they pop up here and there at the start of spring when the weather is still relatively cool and generally disappear as temperatures rise.

Zantedeschia aethiopica (Common Calla Lily)

I put in a large number of Dutch Crocus last year, hoping to duplicate the purple, white and yellow mix shown in the catalog I ordered from; however, the yellow Crocus consistently bloom ahead of the others and are usually gone by the time the purple and white varieties show up.

Crocus vernus

Freesia do exceptionally well here and they're easy to grow from bulbs.  I put in dozens in shades of yellow, purple, pink and white.  Only the pink ones have yet to make an appearance.


Freesia (with hitchhiker)

Freesia complemented by Violas

Sparaxis tricolor, commonly called Harlequin Flower, also do well here and naturalize freely.
Sparaxis tricolor

Another Sparaxis tricolor

Other recent bloomers include Alstroemeria, commonly known as Peruvian Lily.  These plants are solid performers in Southern California.  They die back during the heat of summer but reemerge in spring.  This one is the first to bloom for me this year.
Alstroemeria - No ID

I love true geraniums.  Most of mine die back, becoming almost invisible during the fall/winter months, but Geranium hybrid 'Tiny Monster' kept its foliage throughout the winter months, some of it taking on a red color.  This one stays low, growing only 6-12 inches high, but spreading up to 2 feet.
Geranium hybrid 'Tiny Monster'

My Sweet Pea shrubs are also beginning to bloom.  I currently have just the dwarf variety, Polygala fruticosa 'Petite Butterfly', which grows just 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide.
Polygala fruticosa 'Petite Butterfly'

Our weather is supposed to turn cooler tomorrow, dropping to the upper 60s, and rain is predicted for mid-week so maybe I'll hang onto these new blooms for awhile yet.


  1. Enjoyed your bloom show. The calla lily is just gorgeous. And I've had the same problem with my crocus - they bloom at different times! I've been thinking of adding some geraniums to my garden. I will be looking into 'tiny monster' since it has done so well for you and kept its foliage all winter.

  2. You can grow crocus? Do they come back each year? That might mean they could work in the desert too... Thanks for the gorgeous pictures!

    1. We've been in this house a little over 2 years. I put the crocus in the fall of the 1st year and they bloomed that 1st spring. They returned again this year. I didn't dig them up at the end of the last season so they weren't artificially chilled. I had some at my prior house, 15 miles away (still zone 10), and they returned there as well, although, over the course of the years there were fewer and fewer. However, I can't say whether the diminished bloom count at that location was due to die out or the side effect of regular bed overall. Good luck in making a go of them!