Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Bloom Day - March 2016

Spring arrived in coastal Southern California weeks ago and, aided by a little rain, the garden has exploded with flowers.  It's times like these that I'm forced to acknowledge that, yes, I'm addicted to flowers.  I really should confine myself to purchasing only foliage plants for the foreseeable future but I suspect that resolution won't last long.

This month I've organized my photos by garden area.  I didn't realize that I'd done this before until I looked back at my March 2015 post.  There must be something about spring and the multitude of flowers that has me stepping back to evaluate the garden area-by-area.

There are so many flowers in the backyard garden that I had to break things down by section.  In the back border, the Osteospermums continue to dominate but they're not alone.

Osteospermum 'Blue-eyed Beauty', shown here with Geranium 'Tiny Monster' among other flowers, rules the mid-border

Other Osteospermums blooming in this long border include (clockwise from top left): O. '4D Silver', 'Pink Spoon', 'Berry White' and 'Zion Copper Amethyst'

Additional flower color is provided by Argyrantemum 'Madeira Pink', Alstroemeria (noID), Gazania 'Sunbathers Otomi', Rhodanthemum hosmariense 'Marrakech', R. 'Moondance', Hebe 'Patty's Purple', H. 'Wiri Blush', Polygala fruticosa, Verbena lilacina, Phlomis fruticosa, Scilla peruviana, and Narcissus 'White Lion'


The most impressive plant in the area surrounding the backyard fountain right now is Felicia aethiopica but it has plenty of company.

Last year I planted 2 Felicia in 4-inch pots and this year I have a beautiful mound of blue flowers

This long border running half the length of the house also contains: Arctotis 'Pink Sugar' (planted from divisions taken from plants in the front garden), Anagallis 'Wildcat Mandarin', Ajuga 'Mint Chip', Alyogyne huegelii, Bulbine  frutescens, Dutch Iris, Ranunculus californicus, and Veronica 'Waterperry Blue'


The two smaller beds on the north end of the backyard are also joining in on the show.

One bed has blooms of Grevillea 'Ned Kelly', Lobelia laxiflora, and a hot-pink flowered Callistemon (which I may have to move due to the color clash)

Closer to the house is a bed containing Cotula lineariloba, Solanum xanti and Salvia 'Amistad'


By comparison, the south side garden is relatively reserved.

One bed is dominated by a large Cistus x skanbergii (surrounded by prickly cones from the Magnolia tree to discourage the raccoons and skunks from digging)

This one has a mass of Gazania 'Gold Flame' together with Grevillea juniperina 'Molonglo' and Lotus berthelotii


The front garden is competing with the back to draw attention.

More Arctotis 'Pink Sugar'

Echium candicans just about to bloom in front of a noID Ceanothus

'Joseph's Coat' climbing rose

The planting schemes on both sides of the front walkway include (clockwise from top left): Gazania 'White Flame', Coleonema 'Sunset Gold', Coleonema album, Euphorbia characacias 'Black Pearl', Hemerocallis 'Spanish Harlem' and 'Pink Meidiland' roses

On the north end of the front garden, I have: Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream', Grevillea 'Superb', Heuchera 'Bressingham Hybrids', Helleborus 'Anna's Red', Geranium 'Biokovo', and Jacobaea maritima


Even the less-visited corners of the garden have flowers.

In the area behind the succulent bed that runs along the street, I have what I think is Prunus laurocerasus together with Auranticarpa rhombifolia, Euryops 'Sonnenschein', 2 forms of Pelargonium peltatum, and what I think is Rosa chinensis 'Mutabilis'

Osteospermums dominate my dry garden too (clockwise from the upper left): O. 'Sweet Summertime Kardinal', O. 'Purple Spoon', 2 self-seeded Osteospermums (noID), Geranium incanum (a weed in my garden), 'Goodwin Creek' lavender, Limonium perezii, and Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl'

Even the neglected back slope has some blooms to offer: an Aeonium arboreum flower, Euphorbia 'Dean's Hybrid', a noID bearded Iris, and Zantedeschia aethiopica, which disappears every summer but returns when the rain and cooler temperatures arrive in late winter


Is your head spinning?  Mine is!  For other Bloom Day posts, visit Carol, our Garden Bloggers Bloom Day host, at May Dreams Gardens.


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

23 comments:

  1. What a magnificent showing - so glad you have gotten some rain, and the plants are able to bloom like this! My eye was caught by one of your smaller plants as this is the first time I've seen Cotula actually growing in a garden. Love the foliage as well as the yellow buttons! I'm wondering how much shade it gets?
    Your lovely Dutch iris is ahead of mine; I just now have the first color showing... very pleased though as it appears they will be blooming better this year than last.
    And your grevilleas are splendid!

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    1. The Cotula lineariloba likes full sun here, although it did die back during the height of the summer heat last year. But it was very easy to start over with cuttings - perhaps too easy! It produces roots along its stem so I just cut pieces with small roots and planted them, with at least a 75% success rate. Cotula 'Tiffindell Gold', which has much smaller flowers and daintier foliage, handled full sun conditions ever better without the die-back. It blooms later in the year here.

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  2. It's a bountiful spring we're having, isn't it?

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    1. It just goes to show the value of carefully timed rain. If only we could program it, Jane!

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  3. Kris, it really amazes me how many different flowering plant you have growing in your garden right now!
    Osteospermum '4D Silver' catches my attention, again. I think it is one of the prettiest Osteospermums bred up to today!
    I also especially love your Narcissus 'White Lion', Scilla peruviana, Salvia 'Amistad', the dark blue bearded Iris and the Calla Lily.
    I have some Calla Lilies as well, but they are not blooming and they don't look too good in the moment.
    Besides the Calla Lilies, the only plant that is growing and blooming in the garden, too, is geranium 'Biokovo'. I have to plants, one is doing exceptionally well and blooming and the other one just planted a few feet away is declining. Go figure...
    It is such a joy to be out in the garden in the moment, isn't it? Spring just makes me happy!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. The only issue I have with Osteospermum '4D Silver' is that its stems are very short but I'm hoping longer stems may came as the plant grows. Scilla peruviana is an absolutely beautiful plant but an utterly unreliable bloomer - I think this is only the second times it's bloomed in 4 years. I've been very surprised by the Calla Lilies, which I inherited with the house - the plants melt away in the heat but they come back reliably with the rain and, down at the bottom of my back slope, they don't get much, if any, supplemental irrigation. As to Geranium 'Biokovo', I had to move mine out of all full sun locations - they seem to need at least partial shade here.

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  4. Now that is a stunning presentation. I remember one year having some osteospermums. They came from a friend's garden in Fallbrook.You are truly having a magnificent Spring and Bloom day.

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    1. The African daisies in general have proven to be good performers in my garden and the Osteospermum genus has supplied some of my favorites.

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  5. So beautiful, Kris. You've created yourself a private park - you could charge admission!

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    1. It's funny you say that, Eliza. A neighbor stopped by earlier today and asked me if she could paint my garden some time!

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    2. You could have Open Days like they have in England. :)

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  6. Good lord!!! I knew you had a lot of flowers (as evidenced by your "in a vase" posts) but wow! Of course there are the ones you know appeal to me (like the Grevilleas) but the Arctotis 'Pink Sugar' and 'Joseph's Coat' continue to fascinate me too.

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    1. That Arctotis is surprisingly vigorous. It does take a hit from the peak temperatures in late summer but it springs back when it cools down (no pun intended).

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  7. You have so much in bloom, the garden looks beautiful! I love the Osteospurmums as well as Felicia and A. 'Madeira Pink'. So many different shades of pink in that last one.

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    1. That Felicia surprised me. I got this variety (called 'Tight & Tidy' by the grower) by mail order and wasn't particularly impressed with it in it's first year but now I'm thinking I need more!

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  8. So many flowers, it's wonderful. I like how your organized your post, too.

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    1. I thought that organization might help me as I step back to consider whether some things should be moved.

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  9. Do you think there is room for one more gardener in Southern California? Perhaps just in spring? And might that gardener be me please? Oh to have so much in bloom at this time of year! How wonderful!

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    1. Help is always appreciated throughout our busy "cool season' (late fall through early spring), Sarah. I expect our winter weather is a bit sunnier than yours too. You're welcome to come lend a hand any time!

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  10. I felt like I was paging through a plant catalog! The sheer variety of flowering plants you have is mind-boggling.

    How easy is it to divide an Arctotis? Just take a spade to it and replant the divisions? I think I have two that look big enough to be divided. You can't ever have enough Arctotis. (Well, maybe after a while you can.)

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    1. As I recall, I pulled pieces of the Arctotis apart but a spade would work too. As I divided the plants in the heat of late summer when all were looking a bit ragged, I gave the divisions a little time (and extra water) in pots in partial shade, then planted them out in November. Left undivided, the plants can get huge - the ones I didn't divide last year are already crowding their neighbors.

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  11. Wow! What a floral bounty! I wonder if Osteospermum 4D Silver will be available in my area (we grow them as annuals); it's a beauty. -Jean

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    1. Osteospermum '4D Silver' appears to be an improved form of '3D Silver', which it seems to have supplanted in the garden centers here. If '3D Silver' was sold in your area, my bet is you'll see '4D' this year.

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