Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bloom Day - April 2014

Our winter and spring temperatures have been "unseasonably warm" according to weather forecasters, although much the same thing was said last year.  I wonder when these conditions cease being termed "unseasonable" and instead become the new normal?  Our spring got off to an early start, especially in relation to the parts of the country hit by the miserable "polar vortex" but, when I looked back at last April's post, I find that most of the flowers blooming now were also blooming then.

For a change of pace, in collecting photos for this month's Bloom Day post, I focused more on plant combinations and less on individual flowers.

Acanthus mollis "Summer Beauty, backed by Osteospermum ecklonis '3D Silver,' a staple in my garden, and white Argyranthemum

A lone Adenophora potaninii is surrounded by Euphorbia 'Dean's Hybrid' and self-sown Alyssum - more Adenophora have seeded in the vicinity of this one but none of these seedlings have formed flower spikes

Alstroemeria (no ID) with Osteospermum '3D Silver' make a strong showing in the backyard

Aquilegia 'Spring Magic' with unnamed Violas and Osteospermum '3D Silver'

Arctotis 'Pink Sugar, surrounded by Convolvulus sabatius 'Moroccan Beauty,' is clashing with the early blooms of self-sown Gaillardia 'Arizona Sun' 

Centranthus ruber, a weed here, blooming on the slope with Oenothera speciosa, another weed, Euphorbia 'Dean's Hybrid' and self-sown Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)

Cuphea x ignea 'Starfire Pink' is paired with Geranium 'Tiny Monster' here

Erysimum linifolium 'Variegatum' with Osteospermum 'Lemonade'

Another Erysimum, this time accompanied by Osteospermum '3D Silver' and Tulbaghia violacea

Sun-tolerant Fuchsia 'Mrs. J.D. Fredricks' with pink Argyranthemum and Cuphea 'Starfire Pink'

Eeek!  An early-blooming orange Hemerocallis (no ID) clashes with the pink Alstroemeria, which has yet to make its seasonal exit



This unnamed Iris germanica, blooming almost a month earlier this year than last, doesn't mix especially well with the bright pink Alstroemeria nearby 

Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl' got the only solo shot in this post, although, if you have a discerning eye, you might notice the white Centranthus peaking out from behind

Limonium perezii backed by Lavandula dentata in the dry garden

Unidentified Pelargonium peltatum with pinkish California poppies, photographed in full sun, the only time to catch the poppies with open petals

Unidentified Pelargonium (originally mislabeled as 'Katie') and more Cuphea 'Starfire Pink'

Assorted Pelargoniums blooming on the slope alongside pale pink Oenothera speciosa, bleached out even when photographed on a cloudy morning

A sea of Phlomis fruticosa with yellow Argyranthemum and a few Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' in the background

'Ebb Tide' rose, producing its first blooms, with annual Linaria

Sisrynchium bellum 'North Coast' and a sunburned Pericallis, which has not enjoyed our excessively warm temperatures

Salvia 'Mystic Spires' with Lobelia and one of the few remaining Anemones

Dainty Wahlenbergia 'Blue Cloud' with Erigeron karvinskianus, another weed-like plant here, and Geranium 'Tiny Monster'

Sweet peas (Lathyrus Odoratus 'Perfume Delight') fill one of the planters in my vegetable garden (with some snapdragons tucked in behind) 



Hemerocallis and Iris are producing blooms here and there - the heaviest bloom periods for these plants are still to come.  They, and the Arthropodium cirratum and Agapanthus, both already gearing up for what is usually a late spring appearance, will probably dominate my garden during the next month.  For what's currently on display in gardens throughout the US and elsewhere in the world, please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens by clicking here.

29 comments:

  1. This is what I like to see, rather than individual blooms, great combinations. Pairings? You certainly have some! Such imagination and creativity. I particularly like the acanthus and osteospermum, the wahlenbergia (new to me) and the foliage plant, columbine and pansies, pink cuphea with pink pelargonium. I think I gotta make a trip to the nursery. Right now. Today. Yes, yellow osteopermum with yellow phlomis, that'll work.

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    1. The Osteospermum '3D Silver' has become one of my go-to plants - it blooms pretty much year-round and, other than some dead-heading and a severe trim 1-2x per year, it needs little care here (less than my other Osteospermum). The 'Starfire Pink' Cuphea is also a low-care staple for me. And the Acanthus, which I think must be 'Summer Beauty' even though it wasn't labeled as such, does well even in the sun, which in my experience is unusual in our climate.

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  2. Lovely, all. I enjoy seeing combinations. The German Iris with its companions is superb.

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    1. Thanks, Jean. I wish I knew which Iris that is but I believe I inherited it with the garden.

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  3. Wowzers! You have a lot blooming! We're have a record breaking cold snap tonight after hitting 83 the other day. Weird is the new normal. Your classification of centrathus as a weed cracks me up. It has taken me so long to figure out how to grow that here. I finally made it happy last summer and I think it died when we hit -2. One of my favorite online nurseries has some that is pesticide-free so I just ordered a new "weed". :o) I really love the variegated wallflowers with the silver daisies! Fabulous!

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    1. Well, one woman's weed is another's treasure! Despite the dismissive tone I took in referencing it, I do like the plant, especially the white ones; however, it borders on invasive here. It's a profuse self-seeder and not easy to pull out once it's taken hold.

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  4. You do it so well with your vase arrangements, even better in the garden! Love your plants in bloom and your planting combinations!

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    1. Thanks! Rearranging the plants is an ongoing exercise - my fingers are already itching to dig up and move some of my spring bloomers.

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  5. Your spring flowers will not flower here until early summer eg it will be June before we see sweet peas. I really enjoyed gazing at your April blooms and as always one or two for the wish list.

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    1. Your summers are cooler than ours. The sweet peas would fry in our summer heat, where temperatures can reach 38C and stay there for a week or more. There are many plants that thrive in your area that can't survive here even during our "cool" season.

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  6. I love your garden Kris. You have some amazing colour combinations put together with an artist's eye.
    I love the dainty Wahlenbergia, I have never seen it before. Is it a perennial?

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    1. The Wahlenbergia is perennial in my climate, Chloris, but I can't say that would be the case for you. It's a South African native. I bought it from a nearby nursery but the grower is in northern California. The grower offers more details here: http://www.anniesannuals.com/plt_lst/lists/search/lst.srch.asp?prodid=1132&srch_term=wahlenbergia

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  7. You have some gorgeous combinations. And I'm surprised to hear your garden's blooming the same time as last year - we are a couple weeks behind. I looked back through, but I can't pick out a favorite. They are all wonderful. But the acanthus in the first pic is so exciting to me - I planted one last fall, and it's just beginning to leaf out. I hope mine turns out as beautiful as yours!

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    1. This particular Acanthus is more resilient in handling summer temperatures than any I've previously grown. Although it was labeled as A. mollis, the leaf shape, long bloom period and heat/sun tolerance suggests to me that it may be 'Summer Beauty,' which is thought to be a mollis-spinosus hybrid.

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  8. My goodness, things are far along at your digs Kris ! Do you actually have that Cuphea in full sun? Since I'm inland I have never dared put it in sun, and it has never done well for me in the shade. Maybe I need to give it another go ... Happy Bloom Day !

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    1. I have Cuphea 'Starfire Pink' in 3 locations, 2 of which get full sun. It's done well for me in all locations. I cut it back hard in winter with a lighter trim mid-year and that's pretty much it. Although I live within sight of the ocean, it gets very hot here in the summer - our temperatures tend to mirror those of downtown LA. We sit on a peninsula over LA harbor facing southeast so we don't get the benefit of the ocean breezes characteristic of the western side of the peninsula. Annie's carries the Cuphea if you want to try it.

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  9. I actually love pink and orange together, those are going to be signature colors in my new front beds. I really enjoyed seeing your combinations of flowers. I normally think only in terms of combining foliage. Happy GBBD!

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    1. I like some pink/orange combinations, like that shown in the flowers of Arctotis 'Pink Sugar,' which contains both colors. It's the combination of red/orange with pink that jolts me, like the orange/red daylily with the pink Alstroemeria or the Arctotis 'Pink Sugar' with Gaillaridia 'Arizona Sun.'

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  10. Oh those acanthus flowers have me yearning. My foliage was cut back completely this winter (the cold), I wonder if I will see flowers? Yours are such lovely dark hues.

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    1. I've no experience with Acanthus in your kind of cold but I harbor the belief that Acanthus mollis is unkillable. If it has a downside, it's that, once planted, it stays put. I moved a couple of them and, even though the plants had been in their original locations less than a year and I thought I got all the roots, they keep coming back. I'll cross my fingers that yours is just as tenacious, Loree.

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  11. You have many great combinations I particularly like the Wahlenbergia 'Blue Cloud' with Erigeron karvinskianus, and Geranium 'Tiny Monster'. I have the latter two here. I love the way the Erigeron spreads and flowers for ever, I don’t think of it as a weed at all. Interesting that we both decided not just to show individual blooms this month.

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    1. After we moved into this house, Christina, I joked that the Erigeron was going to strangle us in our sleep. Given an opening, it spreads rapidly here and is virtually impossible to pull out. I didn't have this problem with it in my former shady garden 15 miles to the north of our current location so the "weed" status appears to be situational.

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  12. You have a great garden with such a wide variety of plants. Do I need that Adenophora potaninii? Are you pleased with it?

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    1. I'm trying to curb my collector orientation to gain more continuity in the garden but I still get caught up in "trialing" plants. I've had the Adenophora just over a year so this is the 1st time it has come back on its own. I like it - it has the height of a Delphinium (which I haven't a prayer of growing here), although the flower is more akin to a Campanula. I was surprised to see it spread itself about but it doesn't appear that it's invasive. I got mine at Rogers but they're Annie's plants so you can find more information here: http://www.anniesannuals.com/plt_lst/lists/search/lst.srch.asp?prodid=9&srch_term=adenophora . Since we trimmed our trees, mine get more sun than Annie's recommends but it seems to be doing fine (at least for now).

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  13. Well, a month ago I was so wishing I were in Southern CA but now that things are popping I am a bit more content even though it snowed this morning. Drats! Love that Acanthus!

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    1. I hope this crazy, endless winter thing comes to a swift conclusion, Layanee. SoCal has its minuses, as well as its pluses - I expect you wouldn't be too pleases with our severe drought conditions.

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  14. Your plant assemblages are delightful, I think my favorite is the Aquilegia Spring Magic and other purples, though all your flowers are so lovely, Gardening in SF is a dream.

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  15. Your spring flowers are a delight, and you grow them in so many beautiful combinations. I love the clear golden light in your pictures too.

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  16. I love the pink Alstromeria Kris - it's gorgeous. I've been hunting here for a similar coloured Aquilegia but not luck yet! I grow the pink/ivory spring magic here and it's just getting ready to flower. The bearded Iris....Wow!! I need to know though - why do you have such pretty weeds? ;)

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