Sunday, May 15, 2016

Bloom Day - Floral Overload

I really had planned to skinny down my Bloom Day posts but it's May!  Drought-stricken or not, there's a surprising amount in bloom in my Southern California garden this month.  Here are the plants making the biggest impact:

Achillea 'Moonshine' has splashed its sunny blooms all across the back garden (shown on the right with Salvia 'Marine Blue')

Anagallis 'Wildcat Mandarin' is at its peak

Argyranthemum frutescens (shown here with Hebe 'Wiri Blush' on the upper left)

Arthropodium cirratum (aka Renga Lilies) are brightening dry shade areas throughout the garden

Bignonia capreolata is giving a color lift to the back slope

Common borage, sprouted from seed, is filling in the empty spaces I had left after removing the last of my lawn

I'm coming to realize that Cotula lineariloba 'Big Yellow Moon' (left) is something of a thug here.  Although not evident in my photos, Cotula 'Tiffendell Gold' (right) is a daintier specimen that forms a nice evergreen mat but isn't intent on world domination.

Cuphea ignea 'Starfire Pink' is back in full force after the severe haircut it received in late winter

Euphorbia characias 'Black Pearl' (shown here attempting to swallow up a Phormium), planted in various areas of the front and back gardens, has taken off

Gaura lindheimeri has a big presence in the front garden

The Grevilleas continue to be mainstays of my garden (clockwise from the top: G. 'Peaches & Cream', 'Ned Kelly', 'Superb' and 'Pink Midget')

The silver cones on Leucadendron 'Pisa' continue to get larger

Limonium perezii (aka sea lavender) is as common as dirt in SoCal for a reason: it produces a mass of long-lived paper-like flowers with very little water

Phlomis fruticosa is finishing up its bloom cycle but no one told this particular shrub


A few other plants are just beginning to make their floral presence known:

The first of the Agapanthus have just opened for business

Two of my tall Anigozanthos have made return appearances 

Phylica pubescens, a relatively new addition, is sporting its first flowers


And, because I can't seem to help myself, here are some other lower-profile bloomers, organized by color:

Top row: Brachyscome, Erigeron 'Wayne Roderick' with Geranium 'Tiny Monster', Erysimum linifolium, and Globularia x indubia
Second row: Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy', Lathyrus odoratus, Lobelia valida, and Lupinus propinquus
Third row: Melaleuca thymifolia, Nierembergia linarifolia, Osteospermum 'Serenity Purple', and Pelargonium 'Rembrandt'
Fourth row: 2 Pericallis hybrids, Salvia leucantha 'Santa Barbara', and Violas

Clockwise from upper left: Leucadendron 'Blush', Arbutus 'Marina', Arctotis 'Pink Sugar', Bougainvillea (noID), Dorycnium hirsutum, seedpods of Cercis occidentalis, Feijoa sellowiana, Oenothera speciosa, Rosa 'Pink Meidiland', and Salvia lanceolata

Top row: Aeonium 'Kiwi', Alstroemeria 'Princess Claire', and white and yellow Argyranthemum frutescens
Second row: Euphorbia 'Dean's Hybrid', Hemerocallis 'Barbara Mitchell', Hoya multiflora, and Jacobaea maritima
Third row: Leonotis leonurus, Leucanthemum x superbum, Lonicera (noID), and
Magnolia grandiflora
Fourth row: Myoporum parvifolium, Pelargonium 'Georgia Peach', Tanacetum niveum, and Tagetes lemmonii


I also had a visit from a colorful character late yesterday afternoon.  I'd left the side gate open and he strode right in.

The side gate, festooned with Pelargonium peltatum and Trachelospermum jasminoides

I looked up from my computer and found this fellow, a juvenile male peacock, probably recently kicked out of the family nest, staring in at me.  He turned away and ducked under a hedge along the upper ridge of the slope soon after I stood up with my camera.  Peacocks were brought to our peninsula in the early 1900s as exotic pets and are now widespread here, although uncommon in my our neighborhood (probably due to the active presence of coyotes). 


You can find other posts dedicated to May's floral bounty by visiting Carol of May Dreams Gardens, the host of Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.


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

34 comments:

  1. the cry of the peacocks is a sound I'm grateful to associate with holidays, not home. We sometimes hear one in the distance here.
    It is useful to have a record of colours by month - helps me work out what to add where.

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    1. This is only the second time in the 5 years we've been here that a peacock has shown up and, with the coyotes a constant presence in the immediate area, I expect he either moved on or became dinner. They're more prevalent on the other side of the peninsula and, you're right, they're VERY noisy.

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  2. So many flowers! Whenever I read one of your bloom day posts, I figure out a new plant or two to try...

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    1. I hope the ones that piqued your interest work for you, Renee!

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  3. That is a 'proper' garden you have there. So full of interesting nooks and crannies.Masses of different plants. That'll keep you very busy I would think.

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    1. The garden has been a lot of work, Joanna. I keep thinking that, once I get all the big projects done, it'll get by on its own for longer periods. But then there's always another project...

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  4. Gorgeous! There are so many beautiful specimens in your garden and May is truly a great month for you. The peacock visitor is a hoot. I can't imagine having them roaming around my neighborhood, and like you, we periodically have coyotes. I really love your grevillias - I don't think they would make it here. Happy GBBD!

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    1. After checking my records, I found that my last (and only other) visit from a peacock occurred in May 2014 so I can't say they're regular visitors. They're much more common on the west side of the peninsula. The residents are fairly divided on them - there are enough people that hate them that an ordinance was required to protect them. The coyotes in our area seem to keep them out of here, which is probably a good thing, although I do enjoy the occasional visit.

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  5. My goodness Kris that is a lot a flowers....love the Anagallis. I just planted borage last week....it will grow fast once it gets warmer.

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    1. It's amazing how fast borage grows once the seedlings come up. That makes it a great filler in my book.

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  6. You spooky us for choice Kris, great selection of blooms!

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    1. April and May do tend to be a little ridiculous here!

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  7. I feel like I've had an education in plants looking through this post! So many wonderful colors and textures and of course...blooms! Leucadendron 'Blush' really stood out! Happy GBBD!

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    1. I've accumulated quite a lot of Leucadendrons since acquiring this garden 5 years ago, Jenni. 'Blush' has been planted for just over a year but, after a slow start, it seems to be reaching its stride - I was delighted by this month's "blooms."

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  8. Maybe you need to open a roadside flower stand Kris--it could help finance future plant purchases! Happy Bloom Day !

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    1. Ha! I wonder how that would go over with the neighbors? There's one that almost surely would call the sheriff's department to report me.

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  9. Your garden is a mass of marvels! The one that really caught my eye is Leucadendron 'Blush.' Gorgeous! There is so much to see in your garden. And a peacock! I have only seen these in the zoo. Amazingly, I recently saw sea lavender for sale at a local nursery here. I can't imagine that it will do well in my humid climate, especially since it does so well in your environment. I passed on it, but I was definitely tempted!

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    1. Sea lavender handles dry soil well, Deb, but I can't speak to how it handles plentiful water (!) or humidity. If you could find it in a 6-pack, it might be worth trying but, if the nursery is selling it in 1-gallon containers, I'd definitely take a pass.

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  10. Oh my - the abundance!!! Phlomis is such a cool plant - I have started to see it more and more up here, which makes me happy. If only I had room - I seem to be on a yellow kick this year. Another standout which has been mentioned by several before me was the Leucadendron. Wish it grew here...

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    1. I've been on a yellow kick for a long time, Anna - in fact, I think I have a serious problem there so I'm trying to avoid yellow-flowered plants for awhile. We'll see how long that lasts! The Phlomis isn't a huge shrub so you might be able to fit one in. I don't know how cold tolerant it is, though.

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  11. Overload is good! Your garden continues fabulous. I also found 'Big Yellow Moon' thuggish, and pulled it.

    A word of warning on Cercis occidentalis: it reseeds like crazy, and seedlings once over a few inches tall are hard to pull. I'm still pulling seedlings 5 years after I got rid of the trees.

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    1. Thanks for the warning on the Cercis. I inherited two of these trees. They seem to sucker quite a bit but I haven't noticed any seedlings to date. However, this is the largest display of seedpods I've seen in the five years we've been here so I'll watch out.

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  12. May abundance is grand and your garden wears it in such an elegant way - with a peacock no less. Oh those Grevilleas and Leucadendrons... I'll need a moment.

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    1. I can't even imagine this garden without the Leucadendrons or Grevilleas now, Peter. To think, the garden had none of these when we moved in and I only had one lonely Leucadendron in a pot at our old place.

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  13. Wow, you really have a lot of beautiful flowers this time! I have always loved seeing photos of Gaura lindheimeri, but I think it would need a space just like you have given it – on its own – to look its best, and I don’t have the space for that. And as always I have to look up a few new plants I am not familiar with and my plant wish-list gets longer and longer!
    I have seen peacocks in Kew Botanical Gardens on many occasions back when I used to go there, the peacocks are very used to people and would follow you around hoping you would sit down on a bench and have a sandwich - and share with them :-)

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    1. Gaura does like room to spread out, although there are some dwarf varieties available here that might work for you if you can find them there.

      I wonder what my cat would think if a peacock moved in with us! They're actually very noisy (at least in groups) and they can devastate a garden as well as any rabbit. In fact, the local community has published a list of "peacock resistant" plants for people in areas occupied by lots of them.

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  14. Stunning Kris, simply stunning! I've never seen a Pelargonium peltatum growing as a climber. I'm sure it wouldn't be hardy here but Wow! what a beautiful sight.

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    1. That Pelargonium's climb wasn't planned, Christina. It happened when I wasn't watching but I do like the effect so I've let it do its thing. I hope I don't live to regret it!

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  15. You're allowed to go a bit mad in May! But what a magnificent sight your garden is. Euphorbia 'Black Pearl' gets huge! I bought one last year so now I know what I'm in for. I may need to shift it. I hope your new feathery friend manages to avoid the coyotes. There is someone near here who keeps peacocks. Yep, noisy!

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  16. I was surprised at just how big that Euphorbia gets too, Jessica. As to the peacock, while I enjoy their infrequent visits, I wouldn't want to have them living here - I understand they're rough on gardens and I'e heard their piercing screams.

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  17. May is looking wonderful, Kris! Complete with a peacock... Like Christina, I'm fascinated by the Pelargonium peltatum climbing. It looks perfect, so I hope it works out long-term! My latest Anigozanthos and my Leonotis are both getting munched as rabbits get bolder (actually I'm afraid we must be raising cottontails). I don't know why they like the Anigozanthos so much! And your borage gives me ideas... ;-)

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    1. It's a sad thing that something as cute as a rabbit can do so much damage...Of course, the same could be said for "my" raccoons.

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  18. You have so many beautiful flowers. I esp. loved Leucadendron 'Blush' among the many others. How cool to see a peacock strolling through the yard! They remind me of our turkeys.

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    1. Even though we've had one prior visit, seeing a peacock poking its head up to look in the office window at me was quite a surprise! It's too bad he didn't stay around for a better photo shoot.

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