Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Bloom Day - November 2016

The heat has been running on high here in Southern California for the past week.  It peaked at 92F last Wednesday but it's remained in the mid-to-upper 80sF since.  We're expecting a dramatic cool-down by Wednesday and, possibly, rain next Monday.  However, in the meantime, the garden is struggling.  The fall-blooming plants here aren't adapted to extended heat in mid-November and the ongoing drought is getting downright tiresome.

The blooms of Senna bicapsularis, which made the biggest splash in my garden in October, have withered and dropped to the ground, although sulphur butterflies (Phoebis sennae) are still flitting about their host plant.  However, Barleria obtusa, which was just beginning its bloom cycle last month, is providing swaths of blue color in the garden, seemingly oblivious to the heat.

I was told that this plant blooms off and on most of the year in some gardens but, for me, it's a reliable fall bloomer


Polygala myrtifolia 'Mariposa' joined in this month, producing a healthy crop of small sweet pea-like blooms.

These shrubs are smaller than the more common Polygala fruticosa but have the same flowers


Camellia sasanqua began blooming on schedule in late October but it hasn't appreciated the heat spell at all.

I picked off all the dead blooms before snapping this photo.  I have 3 other C. sasanqua, all struggling with the heat like this one, despite their location in a shady, protected area


My four Arbutus 'Marina' trees are laden with flower clusters, although spent flowers also litter the ground.

Some fruits are beginning to form on the trees but the flowers are still more prominent


The large-flowered Grevilleas keep on giving, as do the ornamental grasses.

Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream' (left) got a boost this month when removal of a nearby hedge increased its sun exposure on the west side - the number of flowers tripled almost immediately.  G. 'Superb' (right) never seems to stop blooming.

All the Pennisetums are still blooming but I caught P. advena 'Rubrum' lit from behind so it's standing up for all of them this month


While the blue, green and white forms of Eustoma grandiflorum (Lisianthus) have given up, at least for now, the pink and yellow varieties continue to produce a small but steady supply of blooms.

I've become very dependent on these blooms to fill my vases every week and will miss them when the remaining plants shut down.  It remains to be seen whether they'll return for me next year.  The pink varieties returned in large numbers this year but the varieties in other colors did not.


Meanwhile the Gazanias appear to have gained a boost from the return of summer-like heat.

The left and middle photos feature Gazania 'Strawberry Shortcake'.  The Gazania on the right is a gray-leafed 'Yellow Flame'.


There are traces of color elsewhere in the garden but no big splashes of color.

Clockwise from the upper left, blue and purple color is offered by Symphyotrichum chiliensis, Duranta erecta 'Sapphire Showers', Eremophila hygrophana, Erigeron 'Wayne Roderick', Felicia aethiopica 'Tight & Tidy', Globularia x indubia, Hypoestes aristata (shown here next to Cuphea 'Starfire Pink'), and Verbena bonariensis

The pinks include Bauhinia x blakeana, Argyranthemum frutescens 'Angelic Giant Pink', Correa pulchella 'Pink Eyre', Crowea 'Parry's Hybrid', Cuphea 'Starfire Pink', Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl', Pelargonium peltatum 'Pink Blizzard', and Pentas 'Kaleidoscope Appleblossom'

And others of significance include Papaver nudicaule, Alstroemeria 'Claire', A. 'Inca Husky', Gaillaria 'Arizona Sun', Russelia equisetiformis 'Flamingo Park', Salvia elegans, Tagetes lemmonii, and Zinnia 'Profusion White'


I'll close this Bloom Day post with one last photo of the plant providing the biggest surprise, defying the odds to bloom a second season despite exposure to heat and drought.

This hybrid Pericallis from the 'Senetti' series was planted late last fall.  It's sold as an annual but this one has returned for a repeat performance this year.


Visit Carol of May Dreams Gardens for other Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day posts.


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

25 comments:

  1. There's still so much color in your garden from flowers! We'll all be coming here to your blog for our fix over the winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no frost to turn plants to mush here, Alison! Unfortunately, there's also little to no rain...

      Delete
  2. I always enjoy seeing the variety of blooms in your garden, Kris. Even more now that we're heading into dormancy.
    I was reading an article about the increase of extreme weather in recent decades with little expectation of an abatement. Your comment of being tired of drought prompts this question: What IF the heat and drought don't abate for you - do you have adaptive plans in place and if so, what are they?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since we moved here almost 6 years ago, and more intensively in the past 3 years, I've eliminated all the lawn and the thirstiest of the plants I inherited with the garden. I've added lots of stone and rock that doesn't mind heat and doesn't need water. I've come a long way in embracing succulents and I've added lots of drought-tolerant species originating from dry areas of the world. (Interestingly, some of my biggest failures have been so-called native plants but perhaps that's further indication as to how much the climate is changing.) I'm conserving water, collecting rainwater, and stepped up mulching to limit evaporation. (I'd add more trees to provide plants with additional protection if it wasn't for that blasted local "view conservation" ordinance.) I don't see myself transitioning to 100% cactus and rock, however. If things get worse and, once established, my plants still can't cope with the conditions here, in all probability I'll reactivate plans to move to a more hospitable environment and leave this property to people who care more about a clear view of the ocean than the future of the environment.

      Delete
    2. That is a solid answer - thank you! I expect you're looking at Australian and South African plants, among others? It is troubling to think of the impact of climate change and we are all seeing it to some degree. Along our eastern MA coastline we are seeing higher tides already, where roads are covered. The weather is changing and we have to adapt.

      Delete
    3. Yes, unlike our President-elect, I don't question the validity of climate change. I've invested heavily in Australian and South African plants. My beloved Grevilleas, Agonis and Acacia are Australian in origin and my Leucadendrons are South African in origin. I have more South African bulbs than Dutch bulbs.

      Delete
    4. Barleria, Felicia, Polygala, Hypoestes, Gazania, Pelargonium ... I feel quite at home!

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. A wide variety, yes, but not a lot of floral mass, Anca.

      Delete
  4. I know your climate is hard Kris, but really you have an amazing amount of blooms in your garden (always). I can see why your vases are always so fabulous, you have so much material to choose from. The Pennisetum is a beautiful grass, I must try harder to get some other varieties; P. advena 'Rubrum' is spectacular.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My guess is that 'Rubrum' (also sold as species P. setaceum) would do well in your climate, Christina!

      Delete
  5. Whenever I see your bloom day posts, I want to come and live there and enjoy such floral abundance. And 92 degrees! I wouldn' t mind a bit of that. I have a Pericallis senetti too, so it seems they can cope with extremes of temperature. Last year I left it outside all winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have to cut the Pericallis some slack at the end of our cool season to see if I can "over-summer" more of them here.

      Delete
  6. So many beauties! If I ruled the planet, some of our rain which has fallen nearly every day for the last month and a half, would be shared with California! Perhaps your adaptive plan should be to move here. (broken record aka nag - sorry.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I DO wish you could share your excess rainwater with us, Peter. Twenty-five percent of California (i.e. the northern region) is said to no longer be in drought but the rest of the state could use the help. The PNW is my number one prospect for a move if we pull up stakes - the choice would be Portland, Seattle or, maybe, British Vancouver.

      Delete
  7. Clearly I need to find Barleria obtusa... what a beauty! It's hard to feel there's not a lot of color in your garden with all the wonderful pictures, but I know how you feel with plants just not able to respond with normal bloom. Not sure whether we'll get good winter rains here this year, but we really need them after this last summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can collect some seed for you this winter, Amy, if you're interested in giving the Barleria a try.

      Delete
    2. I'd be thrilled, Kris - not that I'm much good at starting things from seed, but I'd love to give it a try!

      Delete
    3. I'll contact you via your blog when I have seeds to share then!

      Delete
  8. The gazanias may be happy, but I feel sorry for you and the rest of the garden. I hope that cooler weather arrives and brings rain with it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The forecasters seem to be fairly convinced we're going to get rain Sunday night/Monday morning so I'm hopeful. It won't be a deluge but every little bit helps.

      Delete
  9. Your temperatures are insane. A good 10 degrees higher than here. I hope things have cooled off now.

    I was surprised by the variety of flowers in the middle of November. That's cool. I echo what your said about the grevilleas.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The temperature dropped dramatically mid-week. We're expecting temperatures to remain semi-normal into next week and there just may be rain on Sunday!

    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.