Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Bloom Day - April 2015

It's Bloom Day, when Carol of May Dreams Gardens leads gardeners all over the world in sharing what's blooming in their gardens.  Despite the heatwaves that knocked out some flowering plants prematurely in March, there's a lot going on in my Southern California garden this month.  The star of this month's parade of flowers is the climbing rose 'Joseph's Coat.'



But, in terms of the sheer volume of blooms, there are other key players jockeying for attention as well:

Pink Alstroemeria, inherited with the house

Arctotis 'Pink Sugar' continues to play a dominant role in the beds along the front walkway

3 Argyranthemum frutescens 'Butterfly' have merged into a mass of bloom

Centranthus ruber has popped up in all the drier areas of the garden

I've fallen in love with this Gazania hybrid 'Kiss Frosty White Flame' after years of snubbing my nose at the entire genus

Lavendula stoechas occupies prominent positions in both the front and back borders

The humble Limonium perezii is adding color in the drier areas on both ends of the garden

The Phlomis fruticosa shrubs in the backyard have reached their peak of bloom


Some of my favorite combinations of flowering plants right now include the following:

Arctotis 'Pink Sugar,' backed up by Euphorbia characias 'Black Pearl' and Phormium 'Maori Queen' along the front walkway

A mix of white and pink Centranthus is filling in the formerly empty areas along the back slope, mixing with Oenothera speciosa, which is just starting to bloom in the same area

Cynoglossum amabile is shown here mingling with Alstroemeria, Erigeron, and self-seeded Cerinthe major

Felicia aethiopica 'Tight & Tidy' and Gazania 'New Day Yellow'

This bed may have too much going on with Grevillea 'Superb' producing bloom after bloom in the center, accompanied by Convolvulus sabatius 'Moroccan Beauty,' Gallardia grandiflora 'Goblin,' Nandina domestica and Salvia 'Mesa Azure'

Lavandula stoechas again, accompanied by Felicia aethiopica and Gazania 'New Day Yellow'

This may be my favorite combination at the moment: Osteospermum 'Serenity Purple,' Geranium incanum and Leucadendron 'Ebony'

Cistus 'Sunset,' Limonium perezii and trailing Lantana

Hard-to-photograph Wahlenbergia 'Blue Cloud' mingling with Nierembergia  linarifolia


As this post also serves as my record of what's blooming each month, I'm going to try the reader's patience by adding a few collages of flowers organized by color.

Blue blooms include (clockwise from upper left): Lobelia mingling with blueberries, Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip,' Aquilegia 'Spring Magic,' Convolvulus 'Moroccan Beauty,' Felicia 'Tight & Tidy,' and Wahlenbergia 'Blue Cloud'

In the purple category (clockwise from upper left): Acanthus mollis 'Summer Beauty,' Iris germanica (no ID), Senecio stellata, Salvia 'Mesa Azure,' Salvia 'Mystic Spires' and Solanum xantii 'Mountain Pride'

Magenta blooms include (from left): Geranium 'Tiny Monster,' Osteospermum 'Serenity Purple,' and Pelargonium 'Oldbury Duet'

The red category includes (clockwise from upper left): Feijoa sellowiana, Fuchsia 'Windchimes Neon & White,' Hippeastrum (no ID), the last blooms of Grevillea lavandulcea 'Penola' (in flower since December), the first ever blooms of Leucadendron 'Ebony' and the first blooms of Leucadendron 'Jester'

Pink blooms include (clockwise from upper left): Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl,' Helleborus 'Phoebe,' Hoya (no ID), Oenothera speciosa, Pentas 'Kaleidoscope Appleblossom' and Schizanthus  pinnatus

Pink Pelargoniums include, top row: 2 unidentified P. peltatum; bottom row: P. 'Aurelia' and what may be P. 'Katie' 

Orange and peach blooms include (clockwise from upper left): Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream,' Anagallis 'Wildcat Mandarin,' Bignonia capreolata, Hemerocallis 'Elizabeth Salter,' Pelargonium x domesticum 'Georgia Peach, and Rosa 'Medallion'

Yellow blooms include (clockwise from upper left): Cotula lineariloba, Euphorbia 'Dean's Hybrid,' Gazania 'New Day Yellow,' Leucadendron 'Pisa,' Osteospermum 'Blue-eyed Beauty' and Narcissus 'White Lion'

White blooms include (clockwise from upper left): Carpenteria californica, Coleonema album, Nandina domestica and Trachelospermum jasminoides


Even my flowering weeds are at their peak:

Although they are virtually weeds here, I give Centranthus ruber, Erigeron karviniskianus and Geranium incanum some freedom to spread about


Okay, this post exhausted even me so, reader, if you got this far, bravo!  For even more blooming plants, please visit Carol, the host of May Dreams Gardens.


All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

31 comments:

  1. Wow so much colour in your garden Kris! We only have a few especially compared to yours but will show them later :)

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    1. April is the peak of our spring season. I can already see signs that summer is coming on. The Jacaranda have begun to bloom and my Agapanthus are suddenly producing buds.

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  2. Although all your flowers are very pretty but i personally love evening primrose, french lavender and pelargoniums. I am trying to raise french lavender from seeds and hope i will be successful.

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    1. I think Pelargoniums are among the best flowering plants for hot, dry gardens. I've no experience growing lavender from seed but I wish you well with your effort.

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  3. Love the way you present the colors of Bloom Day. I see some things I need to try in my garden -- I'll let you know if they work out.

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    1. We do seem to grow some of the same things, Jean. I'd love to hear what works in your garden - your insights are always helpful.

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  4. I'm truly amazed at how much you have blooming in your gardens! Really gorgeous. It's funny, all the plants I struggle to keep looking decent, just thrive in your zone. It's nice to see what they are suppose to look like in a robust state! Happy GBBD!

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    1. If they like it hot and dry, Jennifer, SoCal is the place for them!

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  5. I'm always so stunned to see what you have flowering on Bloom Day. Such abundance, and some very pretty combos. I grew Centranthus ruber briefly a few years ago, but I removed it when I redid one of the beds. I really should try it again.

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    1. Centranthus really spreads like a weed here but as it prefers the driest areas of my garden, I've allowed it a lot of latitude. The plants on the slope started from seedlings I transplanted there from my dry garden. It works well down there, where the limited irrigation (and current lack of rain) keeps it under control.

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  6. So many flowers! While I'm not really a fan of roses in general I do love any plant that has multiple colored flowers, that 'Joseph's Coat' is pretty darn cool.

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    1. Any plant that happily crawls up a hot stone wall and flowers as well has earned its keep in my book. Other than periodic aphid infestations, 'Joseph's Coat' is relatively carefree as roses go.

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  7. Enjoying the pictures of your beautiful plants!!!
    Mariana

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  8. I'm completely smitten with the "blooms by color" organization. Your flowers look like so much candy arranged that way. I'm sorry to read it exhausted you (maybe from here on out it will be easier?) because I'm a huge fan of that presentation. And of course, a huge fan of the results of all you labors there. You must feel good about how lovely everything looks!

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    1. I think I just went overboard taking photos this month, Deb. It took a ridiculous amount of time to corral and organize them. The collages themselves are pretty quick to create.

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  9. Just amazing - there is so much to see and take in. The Joseph's coat rose, gazanias, arctosis, daffodils, the felicias, Australian natives and more - what can I say? It's amazing to look at the kaleidoscope of plants that are blooming for you and so many plants that are normally staggered are in bloom at once! The idea of grouping the flowers by colour is fantastic - I love the apricot shades - it's not a colour used much anymore (but I'm sure it will make a come-back)!

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    1. Apricot and soft peach are among my favorite colors in the garden, especially when combined with bluish lavenders and purples. I'm on the look out for more...

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  10. I have to say that Felicia sure brings me back to my Socal roots..I think your garden is coming along so nicely Kris--how I would enjoy sitting out and looking over the harbor lights at night. I left LA many years ago, but it's still my hometown for all it's blemishes, and your posts remind me of the good side !

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    1. That Felicia came from Annie's in NorCal, Kathy! You're welcome to come sit in the garden and gaze at the harbor all you'd like should you find yourself in my vicinity.

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  11. That's a lot of flower power, Kris! I love all the proteaceous plants you can grow in your garden.

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    1. Grevilleas like it here but Leucadendrons are more variable. It remains to be seen how my new Leucospermum will do - so far, so good.

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  12. As usual, an enviable array of blooms of all shapes, sizes, and colours!

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  13. So much beautiful color! Look at all the things you can grow in the ground there! Leucadendron 'Jester' is a favorite of mine and if I ever live in a climate where it's hardy, it'll be one of the first things planted. Your 'Joseph's Coat' is very handsome! Mine has only started putting out a bloom or two. Grevillea 'Peaches and Cream' is another one that always catches my eye! Love those blooms!

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    1. Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream' tops my own list at present. I now have 3 plants and I continue to take a ridiculous number of pictures (from all angles) every time one blooms.

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  14. So many gorgeous blooms and such heavenly colours!

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    1. I generally gravitate toward yellow and blue/purple plants so it always surprises me to find how much pink there is in the garden when I organize things by color.

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  15. Ah, that Southern California magic! So many things I used to see in San Diego and miss, and some that I grow here that won't be blooming for a couple of months. Centranthus does OK here. I love all your colors and nostalgia trip.

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  16. You have such a bounty of blooms! I especially love the purple and purple flowers. Well, all of them really. I love Felicia's elegant simplicity.

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  17. Beeyoutiful!! I love Joseph's Coat! I wish growing roses here was as easy as it is in CA. The centhranthus that seeds/grows so easily for you requires major soil amendment here to keep it from rotting. But it's so worth the effort. :o)

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