Friday, May 15, 2015

Bloom Day - May 2015

It's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and it's been a surprisingly wet month here in Southern California.  Our rainy season generally runs from November through March.  We don't expect rain in May and, given that we're in the fourth year of a serious drought, the 2 storms we've had this month have been more than welcome.  They did make picture-taking a little more difficult, however.

Heatwaves in March and early May took a toll on my garden.  Spring flowers are quickly giving way to those we traditionally associate with summer.  The following flowers are making the biggest splash (excuse the pun - the rain makes me giddy!):

Agapanthus are blooming throughout the garden

Arthropodium cirratum (aka Renga Lily) is giving the Agapanthus a run for its money in terms of the sheer volume of blooms

Gaura lindheimeri 'Snow Fountain' is putting on a show in the front borders

Hemerocallis are blooming here and there throughout the garden (clockwise from upper left: H. 'Blythe Belle', H. 'For Pete's Sake', H. 'Indian Giver' and H. 'Spanish Harlem'

The Pelargoniums are continuing to make a strong showing


Flowers can be found in a range of colors:

White flowers include (clockwise from the upper left): Globularia x indubia, Abelia x grandiflora, the last few flowers of Carpenteria californica, the first flowers of Eustoma grandiflorum 'Echo White', Leucanthemum superbum, and Osteospermum fruitcosum, encouraged to rebloom by the return of cooler temperatures

Yellow flowers include (clockwise from upper left): Argyranthemum 'Butterfly', Euphorbia 'Dean's Hybrid' (shown with Osteospermum 'Zion Copper Amethyst'), Gaillardia aristata 'Gallo Peach', Gazania 'White Flame' (which looks more yellow than white at the moment), G. 'Golden Flame', Leucadendron 'Pisa', Sedum 'Lemon Ball', and Senecio cineraria (aka Dusty Miller and now classified as Jacobaea maritima)

Orange flowers include (clockwise from upper left): Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream', Bignonia capreolata, Cuphea 'Stybring Sunset', Dahlia 'XXL Hidalgo', and Leonotis leonurus

Pink and red flowers include:
Top row - Arbutus 'Marina', Arctotis 'Pink Sugar', and Centranthus ruber
Middle row - Cistus 'Sunset', Cuphea ignea 'Starfire Pink' and Fuchsia 'Swingtime'
Bottom row - Gallardia x grandiflora 'Goblin', Grevillea 'Superb' and buds of a no ID Hoya

Blue and purple flowers include (clockwise from the upper left): Senecio stellata (probably actually Pericallis), Aquilegia 'Spring Magic', Aster frikartii 'Monch', Delosperma (no ID), Duranta repens (no ID), Polygala fruticosa 'Petite Butterfly', prostrate rosemary, and Salvia 'Amistad' with Solanum xanti


Even a couple of my houseplants are blooming:

Hoya multiflora and Miltassia shelob (Note: Those droplets on the Hoya's leaves are a sticky sap produced by the flowers, not water)


There are some wonderful combinations of flowers too:

The gate between the vegetable garden and the dry garden is covered by a white trumpet vine (probably Pandorea jasminoides 'Alba') and Trachelospermum jasminoides with dark pink Pelargonium peltatum climbing up the left side

In the dry garden, lavender Lantana mixes with pink Oenothera speciosa and purple Limonium perezii

This jumble in a corner of the front garden includes Grevillea 'Superb', Nandina domestica, Gaillardia 'Goblin', Salvia 'Mesa Azure' and Agapanthus


But the best sight to my eyes this Bloom Day is this one:

160-gallon tank filled by yesterday's first rain (The 50-gallon tank is also filled and the 265-gallon tank is about 2/3rds full but we're still getting light rain)


Have a wonderful Bloom Day and don't forget to check in with Carol, our Bloom Day hostess at May Dreams Gardens.


Rainbow over the Los Angeles harbor Thursday evening - if you look closely you can see a second rainbow to the left of the one in the center of the photo


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

40 comments:

  1. Glad you're getting some rain! I always drool over that Arthropodium. I recently saw a variegated one that I may have to beg for a piece of to overwinter in the greenhouse. Carpenteria started blooming in Portland this week. Wow, my Monch asters won't start blooming until the end of summer. I'm a little amazed it even grows in your area. I wish I still had my Miltassia Shelob.

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    1. I love my Miltassia! I was hoping to find another at the OC Spring Garden Show but, alas, they dramatically reduced the vendors invited to the show and there was not a Miltassia to be found. I'm surprised that Arthropodium isn't used more, at least in areas like mine in which it can remain outside year-round - the only significant problem is snails and the raccoons at least do me the favor of keeping those under control.

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  2. Gee ... you've got a lot of flowers. But the picture I most wanted to see was the second to last one. Glad you got rewarded for your efforts here so quickly.

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    1. It's funny - until I started corralling my photos for the post, I thought I was light on flowers this month!

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  3. Love a rainbow, a double rainbow twice as much. Your Agapanthus is weeks ahead of mine, a potted seedling has buds. I will look here again and again for something new for my garden or the greenhouse. You have such wonderful plants.

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    1. I was so surprised by that double rainbow - I don't think I've ever seen one before!

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  4. The best bloom is the rain bloom in your tanks! What luck you got them installed (and the valves handled) in time to capture a tank full of rain. That'll be you... hand watering without guilt or remorse in the weeks to come. Let's hear it for unseasonably late rains!

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    1. Yay, rain! May more visit us both. Our total was just about an inch. It's amazing that relatively modest amount of rain can deliver so much water to my collection tanks. I can turn off my irrigation until at least next Friday too - more savings!

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  5. I love the rainbows of color, in the sky and in your garden! So glad you got some rain and filled your tanks. I just planted agapanthus, and I hope it will bloom this year. I suspect it will take time to settle in, as it was a transplant from a friend's garden. I actually have two, one in full sun and one in partial shade. It will be interesting to see which does better.

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    1. You may be surprised by the Agapanthis, Deb. The Agapanthus bulbs we lifted from our back border in March when our tree was removed (to accommodate my neighbor's issues with her view of the harbor) have already produced blooms where I transplanted them in a somewhat inhospitable area on our back slope.

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  6. You'd never guess yours was a low water garden. Everything looks so lush and beautiful!

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    1. Ah, the test will be what the garden looks like in August when the heat peaks and the new water regulations permit little wiggle room with respect to supplemental irrigation.

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  7. You're so good with your flower arrangements Kris. It helps you have so many fab materials to play with :)

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    1. My monthly Bloom Day posts surprise even me with the number of flowers I actually have.

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  8. The rain was fabulous, wasn't it?

    Enjoyed seeing all your many flowers.

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    1. The rain was unbelievable! Like you, I tend to put little faith in the forecasts until they're realized. We got about an inch of rain! The LA Times also featured an article today stating that NOAA has significantly boosted the likelihood that we'll get a wet El Nino event this coming winter.

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  9. What a lot of wonderful flowers - your agapanthus are so early - they don't normally flower here until late summer. It's amazing to see so many winter/spring/summer/autumn flowers all together at once. If only it weren't in drought, SoCal really does have the most benign climate :-)

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    1. The Agapanthus arrived in force at least a couple of weeks early this year, Matt, possibly prompted by those heatwaves we had in March.

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  10. Fabulous blooms and fabulous rain. Water tanks just in time! But what I'm really taken with is Miltassia shelob, never seen anything like it!

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    1. I love that orchid - the photo didn't do it justice. The installation of the rain tanks was pure serendipity. We didn't have any reason to expect rain until late October - rain in May is extraordinary!

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  11. Who knew there'd be rain in May to fill the new water tank? Great timing, Kris.

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    1. I certainly didn't expect the rain when I ordered the tanks. In speaking to the salesperson when I placed the order I even rued the fact that they were unlikely to get any use until winter. Amazing luck!

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  12. Beautiful rainbow of flowers. I sure do like that Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream.
    So many things blooming for you. My bucket list has a rain barrel or two on it, would be so nice to have a place to hold onto a lot of the rain water.

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    1. I love all Grevillea but G. 'Peaches & Cream' is one of my favorite plants. I've had my 50-gallon rain tank for many years and it's always been useful - now, with our drought, I feel rain collection is essential.

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  13. You have so many beautiful flowers! I'm hoping with the rain you've had lately, that many of these will still be blooming next week, so I can see them in person. Great shot of the double rainbow!

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    1. I hope the flowers are still plentiful for your visit too, Alison. I look forward to seeing you!

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  14. It seems like our Norcal spring rains headed south this year ! You must be thrilled with you rain collection-I'll be interested to see how long it takes you to use it up. And what blooms you have !

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    1. I am thrilled with the stored rain. I hope you get some moisture up your way soon too, Kathy!

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  15. I do think you've got more rain than we have, I am so happy for your plants! Also I never cease to be amazed at how many beautiful blooms you have. No wonder you keep producing lush Monday bouquets.

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    1. The Monday bouquets will get tougher once summer gets going in earnest...

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  16. Fabulous selection of plants Kris; the full tanks are a great sight on just an inch of rain. Probably most people don't realise that the run off from a roof can be so great.

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    1. Even my husband was a bit surprised about how quickly the rain tanks filled - and he ran the numbers beforehand!

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  17. Hi Kris, isn't the rain wonderful? I still can't believe that it has rained that much and that late in the year...
    Your garden looks absolutely lovely at this time of the year. I truly admire the great variety of plants that your growing in your garden. There hardly goes a new post of yours that I don't discover a new plant that I like. My favorite this time is Arthropodium cirratum and the Senecio stellata. I am about to have a stroll in my own garden to see how it has been responding to the rain...
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Both the Arthropodium and the "Senecio stellata" are great plants for the shade, Christina. Should you be interested, I got these plants by mail order from Annie's Annuals & Perennials.* The Arthropodium propagates easily by division.

      *I have no relationship with Annie's, other than as a customer.

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  18. The rain dancing worked then? :)
    As usual it's been a sheer delight to see what you've got in bloom Kris and even better when I saw your rain announcement. I was so pleased for you (and everyone else there, obviously) that you got some at last.
    Not only a rainbow of colours in your garden, the double rainbow in the sky is the perfect way to end your post.

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    1. Dancing and fervent prayers may have done it, Deb!

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  19. Your flowers are wonderful, and that rain barrel...? Awesome :~)))

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    1. I'm pretty excited about the rain tanks. You should be the 265-gallon one - it's a behemoth.

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  20. I'm commenting rather late this time, Kris, but I was so happy to see you've had some rain :D The rainbow shot was wonderful in every way... You have a beautiful showing of flowers for May; it looks like I will have to limit myself to enjoying grevillea only from your pictures, as it seems they're not expected to survive here. I'm hoping to get some agapanthus in when I start the north bed next fall. They're such beauties...!

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  21. Hooray for rain!! I'm so happy to see that tank filled with precious water. Everything looks incredible, as usual. :o)

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