Monday, February 15, 2016

Bloom Day & In a Vase on Monday - February Floral Explosion

Although I've complained mightily about the heat and lack of rain this month, the garden seems to be no worse for either (although I'm rapidly depleting my store of collected rainwater).  Last week's warm temperatures, which are expected to continue through at least mid-week, have prompted a floral explosion.  Everywhere I look, something new is blooming or preparing to bloom.  For this month's Bloom Day post, the meme sponsored by Carol at May Dreams Gardens, I've organized my photos by garden area.  (Warning: this is a photo-heavy post.)

In the back garden, several genera are beating the drums:

All the Argyranthemum frutescens are blooming, including the pale pink number on the right I thought I'd pulled out 2 years ago

The Gazanias love the heat! Clockwise from the top: G. 'Sunbathers Otomi', G. 'Orange Flame', G. 'Gold Flame' and G. 'New Day Yellow'

Most of the Grevillea are in bloom, including G. alpina x rosmarinifolia and G. 'Ned Kelly' shown here

The Hebes are joining in, from left to right: H. 'Grace Kelly', H. 'Patty's Purple' and H. 'Wiri Blush'

The Osteospermum have also taken off, from the left: O. 'Blue-eyed Beauty', O. '3D Berry White' and O. 'Spoon Pink'

Although the heat is once again proving that Violas are a poor investment here, they're hanging on like troupers (but I'll probably pull them in March unless we get rain as they're overly thirsty plants)


A miscellaneous collection of other flowers have joined the parade:

Top row: Crocus (a surprise from a batch planted our first year here), Ipheon, and self-seeded Cerinthe major purpurascens
Middle row: Papaver nudicuale, Solanum xanti, and Verbena lilicina
Bottom row: Felicia aethiopica, Cyclamen (another foolish impulse purchase) and noID Narcissus

In the succulent category, from the left: Aloe striata, Bryophyllum manginii, and Bulbine frutescens


The front garden also has a number of attention-seeking plants:

Arctotis 'Pink Sugar' got a later start this year but is now blooming like gangbusters 

Gazania 'White Flame' continues to provide nearly year-round bloom in the front garden (where the squirrels are less likely to eat the flowers than in the backyard)

For once, Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream' (left) is flowering on Bloom Day, shown here with G. 'Superb' and G. 'Pink Midget'

Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' actually has colored bracts that just look like flowers.  I couldn't help showing it yet again as, within the space of just over a week, it underwent a significant color change.

Other flowers in bloom in the front garden include, clockwise from the left: Bauhinia x blakeana, Argyranthemum frutescens, Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold', Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy', Lavandula multifida, Pelargonium 'Vectris Glitter' and Tropaeolum major


The area next to the garage has gained a lot of new floral color since I planted it following removal of the lawn, although two plants inherited with the house are playing the starring roles right now.

Calliandra haematocephala (pink powder puff) is in full flower and the bees are happy

Pyrus calleryana (ornamental pear tree) has produced a gentle snowfall of white petals since last week.  Planted below are (clockwise from the upper right): Arctotis 'Opera Pink', 2 hybrid cultivars of Pericallis, Rhodanthemum hosmariense (Moroccan daisy), and more Viola.


Surviving on very low water diets, even the dry garden on the northeast side of the house and the slope below have flowers to offer.

The current star of my dray garden is this Osteospermum 'Summertime Sweet Kardinal'

Other blooms in the dry garden include, clockwise from the upper left, Grevillea lavandulacea 'Penola', Grevillea 'Scarlet Sprite', Lavandula 'Goodwin's Creek Grey', Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl', Leucadendron salignum 'Chief' (another plant whose bracts just look like flowers), and my neighbor's Brugmansia peeking over our fence

Down on the back slope are, clockwise from the left, Ribes viburnifolium (Catalina perfume currant), a noID dwarf bearded Iris, trailing Lantana, prostrate rosemary, and the first calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) to bloom


Not wishing to be ignored, even the south side garden, the lower level running along the street and the vegetable garden have a few blooms to offer.

The garden beds on the southeast sported blooms by, from the left, Aloe 'Johnson's Hybrid', Aloe variegata (now correctly classified as Gonialoe variegata), Euphorbia ridgida and a tiny noID Muscari

In the area on the southwest side of the garden, I found blooms on Euryops chrysanthemoides 'Sonnenschein', a self-seeded Osteospermum, and Pelargonium peltatum 'Pink Blizzard'

And in the vegetable garden there are flowering Aeonium, Camellia hybrid 'Taylor's Perfection' and some Schizanthus pinnatus (aka poor man's orchid) I planted from plugs


While many of these blooms, like the so-called African daisies (Arctotis, Gazania and Osteospermum),  don't make good cut flowers, I still have an embarrassment of riches to choose from in preparing this week's bouquet for "In a Vase on Monday," the meme sponsored by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  However, with Sunday being Valentine's Day and a wedding anniversary later in the week, I focused on traditional colors in selecting materials for my vase, which turned into 3 vases.

This one is made up of just 2 plants: Leptospermum 'Pink Pearl' and Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey'

I cut a stem of the noID dwarf purple Iris for this one and added Coleonema album, Coprosma 'Plum Hussey', trailing Lantana, Rhodanthemum hosmariense, Schizanthus and Solanum xanti

I copied another vase I created for "IAVOM" last year here with Grevillea 'Penola' and Jacobaea maritima (commonly known here as dusty miller)


If you made it through the entire post, congratulations!  Visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens to see what's blooming in her garden and elsewhere in the world and visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what she and other gardeners have used in their vases this week.


All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

54 comments:

  1. So many flowers!!! Happy (almost) Anniversary!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh Kris what I wouldn't give for a floral explosion...all those African daisies are amazing and how lucky you can grow them easily. I especially love the colors in G. 'Sunbathers Otomi'. And all the vases are fabulous especially the pinks and purples!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, the 'Sunbathers Otomi' Gazania has been one of the squirrels' favorite delicacies. However, since the border was expanded through removal of the lawn and other plants have been placed in front of those Gazania, the squirrels seem to have a harder time finding them, much to my pleasure.

      Delete
  3. Swooning here over your bright blooms inside and out. Great and creative vases Kris.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Susie! Spring has come early (again), although it feels as though we're fast-forwarding into summer.

      Delete
  4. That's a splendid explosion of color! Your wonderful Osteospermums encourage me to try again this year with hopes of finding a way to nurse them through summer (I lost last year's, but still think there should be a way...). Speaking of which, I have seen the recommendation here is to pot cyclamen and carry it over the summer that way, perhaps even indoors (pelargoniums the same!). Obviously, not something you can do with a lot of them, but it would be a way to save a favorite color...
    I love the Schizanthus; any info on growing it in the heat? For some reason I thought it was a cool-climate plant, but yours looks quite satisfied with the weather! Beautiful!
    And happy anniversary :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Osteospermum in my dry garden get quite a bit of afternoon shade under the guava tree and they still bloom well so perhaps you might try them in a partially shaded location, Amy. Like gardeners in colder climates that push their zones by hauling cold-tender plants in for the winter, I suppose we could try similar protection in the summer for our heat-sensitive plants. As to the Schizanthus, they DO need cooler temperatures. I planted them well before this current heatwave began, when I still thought we were in for cooler temperatures and rain. They've hung on through the heat thus far but the raised bed they're in gets shade in the late afternoon this time of year and I've been giving them regular infusions from my rain barrels (which are now very low).

      Delete
  5. Quite amazing. I'm wondering what it's going to look like when all those new plantings mature as well. You'll be visible from space.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The question is: will the plants survive to mature, Jessica? They've hung on through a week of very hot, dry conditions with limited water but, if the heat continues and we don't get more rain, I'm afraid I'm going to lose some of the more heat-sensitive plants, especially those that aren't well-established yet. I was really counting on El Nino's help there.

      Delete
  6. So many flowers in bloom, Kris! Quite impressive!And very creative vases, as usual!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your flowers look wonderful and healthy with so many blooms on everything. I think I need to go work in my garden now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you had a good afternoon in the garden, Marti!

      Delete
  8. So many beauties! The Osteospermums have always been a favorite of mine, and you have a nice variety. Your gardens must be a lovely riot of color.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been working at making the colors flow but I'm rather afraid they do riot in spring!

      Delete
  9. Garden is looking great. You may convince me to plant some Gazanias!
    I think the blue vase is my favorite, but all are beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you plant Gazanias, watch out for the squirrels! They seem to consider them a delicacy.

      Delete
  10. Gosh, we needed that warning! All those photos, all that colour! What a bright start to your Monday! I was wondering which you would choose for your vase with all that material to make a decision about and am not surprise you produced three - my favourite is the first one with the leptospermum. Thanks for sharing Kris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The simple vase with the Leptospermum is my favorite this week too, Cathy! As always, thanks for hosting IAVOM!

      Delete
  11. Like everyone else said, so many flowers. A delight to see so many. My fav might be G. 'Sunbathers Otomi'. Wowza! Happy GBBD.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Hoover Boo. I love that 'Sunbathers Otomi' Gazania too. I may one day try it in a vase as its double+ blooms don't seem to close up in lower light conditions as the other Gazania do.

      Delete
  12. What a wealth of plants you have to choose from!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lordy Kris, you must have been out taking photos for a very long time! All those flowers must pack a punch in the garden. We are expecting rain on Wednesday-maybe it will roam down your way ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I spread the photos at intervals over a week, Kathy, snapping when I had time and sun conditions seemed favorable. "They" say we've a "slight" chance of rain late Wednesday night into Thursday, although the prediction is less than 1/4th of an inch but, still, it would be something. My rain tanks are almost empty.

      Delete
  14. What a wealth of blooms! So much to look at! I do hope you get more rain, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The forecast is for maybe 1/4 of an inch tomorrow night but I'm still holding out a modicum of hope for a March miracle like the one California experienced in 1991.

      Delete
  15. Floral explosion is right! You have Euphorbia rigida too.. I've just commented on how stunning Loree's is. Wonder if I'd find it on my side of the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Euphorbia rigida isn't nearly as well developed as Loree's but I hope it'll get there one day.

      Delete
  16. Your post covering not only vases and garden is so ample...that I shall return to admire the wealth of plants and flowers, like a good magazine article so much to enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spring usually comes early here in Southern California, Noelle, and this year it seems we already have a jump start on summer as well.

      Delete
  17. Wow, you have some fab plants in your garden, Kris, quite a few from South Africa as it happens. I envy you -yet once again- your mild climate that allows you to grow such a wide range of plants. All vases are delightful! Enjoy the sun :), best wishes, Annette from Annette's Garden

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Plants from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand are quickly becoming mainstays of my garden, Annette. They're well-adapted to our climate here.

      Delete
  18. I can feel that marvelous California floral paradise atmosphere oozing through my computer screen as I look at all your fabulous flowers, Kris! I'm having major climate envy, be sure to tell me about the drought and heat later. At least enough heat is coming my way to finally grow some eggplants in the ground. You have so much to choose from, your vases are all lovely. I'm torn between the purple, white, and pink and the rose pink and silvery grey foliage. I get more and more impressed with your Grevilleas, and the Calliandra is so lovely in vine, Kris.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The drought continues to be a major issue, Hannah, even if NorCal has received better than average rain and snow - SoCal's rain totals remain very low. And the heat is unbelievable for February!

      Delete
  19. So many beautiful flowers to greet you every day. Do you do the morning rounds, coffee/tea cup in hand, saying hello to all your babies? I know I would - or perhaps it might be later in the day with a glass of wine! ;-)
    My favorites this week are Grevillea penola and the pink Leptospermum again - I just love that plant!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! My morning rounds are usually focused on checking the garden for raccoon intrusions, of which there have already been 2 this week! The evening rounds, time permitted, are focused on dead-heading and water transfusions. I was rather counting on the El Nino rains to perform the watering chore for me this winter but it appears that such is not to be!

      Delete
  20. I love the collage with the pear! Also your Argyranthemum frutescens, Osteospermum, and dark purple iris.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That ornamental pear tree was lovely for the few days it took for those snowflake-like flower petals to fall. The heat, as expected, wiped them out fairly quickly. Amazingly, the tree is already well leafed-out. Next year, I need to set up a time lapse camera - the transformation is remarkable!

      Delete
  21. I do hope you will get some significant rains soon. I saw a feature on the news tonight about how this strong El Nino has pushed the gulf stream much further north than usual, keeping southern California on the dry side.
    Thanks for bringing so much wonderful color to my white winter world. -Jean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the current theory seems to be that the El Nino is so big that it pushed the rain northward. At least one forecaster contends that, as El Nino weakens, SoCal may well get its rain in the March-April timeframe. But, as all the talk appears to be just speculation, I'm trying to keep my expectations in perspective.

      Delete
  22. Replies
    1. We're already fast-forwarding through spring into summer, Peter.

      Delete
  23. So many flowers! And all your grevilleas are beautiful. The color change on Wilson's Wonder is very dramatic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grevilleas and Leucadendron are 2 of my favorite genera, Renee.

      Delete
  24. What a lovely post, and lovely vases. You have so many gorgeous flowers! I really love that last vase - such a romantic combination. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cathy! It seems we have an early start on spring - and maybe summer too.

      Delete
  25. Even the light makes your garden look more like high summer than February! The grevilleas are especially lovely probably because they seem so exotic to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Grevillea flowers are unusual, Christina. As you're growing the one, some of the others may work for you as well.

      Delete
  26. So many lovely, summery blooms Kris. Your garden is amazing. I love all the colour. I particularly love your grevilleas. Gorgeous vases too.

    ReplyDelete
  27. So many beautiful flowers - love all of the colors as I look out on a mostly white, brown and green landscape.

    ReplyDelete
  28. But you've got precipitation, Vicki, even if it is the cold variety!

    ReplyDelete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions. However, with apologies to bona-fide commentators, due to a significant increase in spam, I've eliminated the option to post comments anonymously.