Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Bloom Day - February 2017

Here in the frost-free area of coastal Southern California the lines between winter and spring can be fuzzy.  Winter is our rainy season and, since December, we've had a lot of it - not as much as Northern California but much, much more than we'd come to expect after 5 years of drought.  Although temperatures ventured into the mid-70sF this week, more rain is expected beginning Thursday night and continuing through the weekend.  In fact, if we get the 4 to 5 inches that some forecasters are predicting from the coming storm, my tally for this location shows that our rain total for the season-to-date will be triple (!!!) what we accumulated during the entire October 2015-September 2016 season, and the long-range forecasts show the chance of still more rain at intervals into April.

So, if rain signifies winter, then it appears this is still winter but those of you in colder climates might not draw that conclusion from a look at what I've got blooming this month.  I'll start off with a look at the genera packing the biggest floral punch right now.

First, there are the African daisies, Arctotis and Osteospermum.

On the left is Arctotis 'Pink Sugar' and on the right is A. 'Opera Pink'

Clockwise from the left are Osteospermum '4DSilver', a noID Osteospermum that's planted itself in several areas of my garden, what may be a mutated form of O. 'Berry White', O. 'Violet Ice', and O. 'Summertime Sweet Kardinal'


Next up are the Grevilleas.  While some flower year-round, others have a more restricted bloom period.

Grevillea lavandulacea 'Penola' blooms mainly during the winter here.  While the shrub shown here is tied to the fence, another, larger specimen nearby has been listing badly since the January rains.  I'm not sure I have any chance of straightening it out.

Two somewhat smaller shrubs that bloom for just a portion of the year are: Grevillea rosmarinifolia x alpina (left) and G. 'Scarlet Sprite' (right)

The ever-blooming category includes the large-flowered Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream'

And Grevillea 'Superb', an even more profuse bloomer in my garden


Beyond the plants in these genera, there are a few others making bold statements right now.

Calliandra haematocephala (aka Pink Powder Puff)

Several of the Leucadendron have winter "blooms."  This one, L. 'Summer Red', is relatively new to my garden but still putting on a good late winter show.

All my rosemary are blooming but I'm a little in love with this one, Rosmarinus 'Gold Dust'


A variety of bulbs have also begun their bloom cycles.

Clockwise from the upper left: Freesia, Alstroemeria 'Inca Husky', Anemone coronaria, Ipheion uniflorum, the first daffodil bloom (noID), and Sparaxis tricolor


No, that's not it.  With Bloom Day coming on the heels of Valentine's Day, it was hard to miss all the pink and red flowers the garden has to offer.

Clockwise from upper left: Cuphea hybrid 'Starfire Pink', Aechmea fasciata, Argyranthemum frutescens, Camellia williamsii 'Taylor's Perfection', Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold', Crassula 'Springtime', Lathyrus odoratus (the first sweet pea blooms!), Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl', Rosa chinensis 'Mutabilis', and noID Viola

Red flowers include, clockwise from the left: Leucadendron salignum 'Chief', L. 'Wilson's Wonder', Gaillardia aristata 'Gallo Red', Mimulus 'Jelly Bean Red', and Ranunculus asiaticus


And, as I can't bring myself to overlook what's flowering in other colors, here are two more collages to capture the rest.

Blue and purple blooms include, from upper left: Tibouchina lepidota (new!), Felicia aethipica, Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy', Lavandula multifida, Limonium perezii, and Matthiola incana

And the rest, from the upper left: Pyrus calleryana, a perfectly mounded Argyranthemum frutescens, a self-seeded Gazania in clear yellow, noID Narcissus, Papaver nudicaule, Ranunculus asiaticus, Rhodanthemum hosmariense, and the first Nasturium (Tropaeolum majus)


I thought the current floral explosion might be attributable to all the rain we've had but, looking back at last year's February post, I found there's not really much difference.  It'll be interesting to see if the rain makes a difference in the floral output in subsequent months.  That's it for me.  Visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens to see what's blooming in her garden and other parts of the world.


All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

41 comments:

  1. Well, you are right. It's hard to think of your garden as a winter landscape. Gorgeous looking and I would be in love with that rosemary, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We generally speak in terms of a warm season and a cool season, which is perhaps a better description of our seasonal differences, Linda. The only thing that distinguishes winter here is rain, something we had precious little of for the past 5 years, hence our over-the-top reaction to this year's bounty.

      Delete
  2. I love that Grevillea rosmarinifolia x alpina! And with that parentage, it should have a chance in Portland, if not in my slightly colder garden. Though, it also looks a lot like my Berberis x stenophylla 'Corallina Compacta', so I guess I can live without it, if only I could find more of those...

    It's wonderful to see all your beautiful flowers, what with winter just starting to loosen its grip here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I usually pass by Berberis because so many of them seem to be deciduous but I looked up 'Corallina Compacta' and see that it's not only evergreen (preferable here in the land of year-round gardening) but also suitable to zone 10. Now, why haven't I ever seen it for sale here?

      Delete
    2. I think it's hard to propagate. It's pretty scarce even up here with all our nurseries. I just learned that 'Nana' or 'Nana Compacta' are very similar, if not the same plant, so I'm going to do my best to find more this year.

      Delete
  3. Lovely to see you've got a Rosa mutabilis. I've been hankering after it for ages, ordered one and it arrived today. All twigs, no blooms expected until July!! I can always look at yours in the meantime. Sigh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I inherited the 'Mutabilis' with the house but the shrubs (there are 3) have they've never been very robust, which probably has something to do with the fact that they're planted on a slope and don't get the water they need - at least most years. I saw one on a garden tour in an area just a couple miles away, though, and it was fabulous.

      Delete
    2. The best of the best 'Mutabilis' I ever saw was in Portland Oregon--far better than any one in Southern California. Just enough winter dormancy to create a spectacular early summer bloom.

      In So Cal the flowers are constant year round, but mostly just a few at a time.

      Delete
  4. I am not sure I've ever seen a post from you with some many incredible blooms! Amazing! I appreciate the full scale pic of the grevillea...I'm just venturing into this plant group and have not been sure of what to expect. Wishing you a very Happy GBBD!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of the Grevillea are clearly more cold tolerant than others, Jenny. I was impressed to see that the 'Murray Queen' in Loree's danger garden survived both snow and ice this winter - that one may be a good one to try. I know I'll snap one up if I ever see it here.

      Delete
  5. Looks like full-on summer to me. Thanks for joining in for bloom day and showing us a very floral garden!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SoCal may have been parched for the last 5 years but it does have its advantages. Our slow period in the garden is August-September when the soil is at its driest and the sunlight is intense. Thanks for visiting and hosting, Carol!

      Delete
  6. OMG, you have an explosion of blooms. Thanks also for explaning to us the difference in California climate, i always thought it has almost the same tropical climate like ours except that it is milder with four seasons, compared to us. And i see in gardens there that the growth is always better than ours here. Just like those in Florida, i envy my friends'gardens there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're a lot drier than you are in the Philippines, I think. Our rain totals are lower (especially during the 5 years proceeding this one) and the air has less moisture. Thanks for visiting! I enjoyed seeing your lovely Hoyas too!

      Delete
    2. Oh yes yours is a lot drier, so easier for the human feelings during the dry season. We have very high humidity, and of course we have lots of typhoons that save us from being too dry.

      I love to know too there's a blogger someone who is also into hoya that reads my post. The Philippines has less than 200 documented hoya species, and i have 70sp at the moment. Those in picture are those only blooming last Saturday when i went home. LOL.

      Delete
  7. Fabulous, so many flowers! Bulbs, too, and the gold dust Rosemary. Everything looks so beautiful.

    Surely the rain will make a difference. Plants look better longer, into early summer. It's been a long time, but that's what I remember about a rainy winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was at a garden talk (on succulents) last weekend and one audience member commented on how incredible plants at the Huntington were looking after being thoroughly washed clean for the first time in years. Whether there's an increase in flowers or not, I appreciate just how the garden is glowing right now.

      Delete
  8. Wow, I'm blown away by the beautiful blooms in this post, and a lot jealous of your climate too. But you probably already knew that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, your climate has a lot to envy too, Loree - just not during the winter months. I'm sorry the PNW has taken such a thrashing this year but I have no doubt that, after carting away the dead, your garden will be reborn and will shine once again.

      Delete
  9. Wow you have a lot of beautiful blooms in your garden at this time of year!

    Greetings, Sofie #26
    http://sofiecreates.blogspot.be/2017/02/garden-bloggers-bloom-day-february-2017.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sofie. Winter is Southern California is VERY different than winter in Belgium!

      Delete
  10. I doubt if most gardens have as many blooms in summer Kris; no wonder your Monday vases are so amazing, you always have such a fabulous choice of flowers and foliage. I like your Rosemary, I must look out for some different varieties as they do very well for me too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bought that 'God Dust' rosemary on the fly, Christina. It took awhile to get established but I'm impressed by its contribution to the garden now. That glow to the foliage is a product of slight variegation in the leaves.

      Delete
  11. Incredible show, Kris. I didn't know cupheas performed like that in February! And I wonder how your new tibouchina differs from heteromalla.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cuphea 'Starfire' blooms year-round if you let it but the shrubs look best with a good haircut in early fall. They usually take a bit longer to get back in the swing but I expect all the rain gave them an extra boost this year. This Tibouchina is new to me - I previously grew T. urvilleana but found that it needed near constant pruning to keep it from getting leggy.

      Delete
  12. Looks like spring and summer to these Ohio eyes. Delightful. Those Osteospermum are quite spectactular. The color combination on 'Pink Sugar' is the stuff dreams are made of, at least in my dreams. So glad to know you continue to get rain, but no major flooding. Perhaps things will return to somewhat normal (he said, not really believing it...)
    :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've no illusions that global warming isn't going to continue to exaggerate weather extremes here but I'm hoping that the drought we've had the last 5 years is mainly attributable to what was called the "ridiculously resilient ridge" (of high pressure) that prevented storms from coming ashore here. Maybe that ridge isn't part of the global warming process? I can wish that anyway. That persistent ridge moved this year and that's made all the difference. As to flooding, the "monster" storm on its way here now will show whether or not our luck there will hold out. Northern California has already taken a beating.

      Delete
    2. I hope all goes well with the approaching storm. It's hard to separate weather from climate because the two are so related. Still, weather is definitely out of whack and the climate trends look dire.....

      Delete
    3. I fear for the polar bears, Tim. Our storm hit with force just after noon today. I'd foolishly elected to believe that I could get out to meet friends for lunch and get back before things got difficult but I misjudged...

      Delete
  13. Marvelous riot of what seems like summer to me. Love those African Daisies!! I'm closely watching my poor Grevillea 'Scarlet Sprite'. There is still some green on it, but most of it is brown, or almost gray. And the flower buds which were abundant and were starting to bloom back in early December are shriveled up and gone. I do hope it recovers, but am bracing for the worst. I really love that plant. And, after seeing yours, my eyes are peeled for one of those Gold Dust rosemary's, too. It is lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, your poor 'Scarlet Sprite'! I hope it surprises you. As to 'Gold Dust', I've always liked rosemary but I love this one!

      Delete
  14. What a lovely show, Kris!You seem to have all types of flowers all year around!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's Southern California for you, Anca! The climate is why we're so densely populated and get so many tourists ;)

      Delete
  15. Winter bloomers hey? Your garden is a dream at any time of the year but right now you have such an abundance of gorgeous flowers, it is sheer joy to look at.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know we're lucky. Is it greedy of me to still want to grow plants (like herbaceous peonies and snowdrops) that aren't suited to this wonderful climate?

      Delete
  16. your nameless Osteospermum may be the garden hybrids seed reverting true to the original species. Dimorphotheca jucunda (white, purple or pink)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've seen references to the Dimorphotheca genus and wondered about the distinctions between it and Osteospermum. (My brother grows plants he's placed in the former genus.) According to an exchange on GardenWeb, only the annual African daisies are now classified as Dimorphotheca. My US western garden guide makes the same distinction. Even the self-seeded varieties here are perennial but, you're right that the self-seeded plants here appear to be reverting to the genes of their parents.

      Delete
  17. I always grow osteospermum as annuals in containers, but I wasn't familiar with Arctotis. Very pretty. -Jean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even here, many people grow Arctotis as annuals. 'Pink Sugar' can look ratty in summer but, after a little clean-up, it's good to go for another year, although it can use regular division.

      Delete
  18. Your post has awoken my green-eyed monster. ;) So many lovely flowers, I'm a tad envious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your time will come, Eliza! Your summer garden is beautiful, while mine is usually very sad.

      Delete

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.