Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Bloom Day - March 2017

Spring may still officially be several days away but it's already arrived here in my area of coastal Southern California.  After an extraordinary winter rainy season, warm temperatures arrived and my garden literally exploded into bloom.  It might actually be easier to list the plants not in bloom than to show those that are.  I'll warn you now that I took a lot of photos but even so these don't capture everything.

I'll start with some of the plant combinations making the biggest splash at the moment.

Felicia aethiopica has formed a pool of blue here, surrounded by ornamental grasses.  Echium webii to the left of the Felicia is in bud. 

There are too many blooming plants to enumerate in this photo but the pink glow is provided by Freesia, Cuphea hybrid 'Starfire Pink, and Argyranthemum frutescens

Lavandula multifida takes center stage here, backed up by more Cuphea 'Starfire Pink' and Colenema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold'

Here, Limonium perezii is surrounded by succulents with self-seeded Osteopermum in the background (upper left)

NoID Narcissi backed up by Erysimum linifolium 'Variegatum' with Felicia in the distance on the upper left and Freesia bombing the shot on the lower right

Zantedeschia aethiopica and seed-grown California poppies (Eschscholzia californica 'White Linen') growing at the bottom of the back slope.  A Matilija poppy (Romneya coulteri), not yet blooming, sits in the background in front of the mass of ivy spilling down the slope).


As usual, there are a number of genera contributing to the current bloom count, including these:

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

Freesias are blooming throughout the garden

The flowers of Grevillea lavandulacea 'Penola' on the left are fading but still plentiful and covered with busy bees.  Grevilleas 'Ned Kelly' (top right), 'Peaches & Cream', and 'Superb' never stop blooming.

Two forms of Lotus berthelotii are aggressively covering ground in the back garden.  'Amazon Sunset' is shown on the left and the more common golden-flowered form is on the right, mingling with Abelia 'Kaleidoscope'.

The Osteospermums all responded well to our winter rains and cooler temperatures.  Clockwise from the left are O. '4D Silver' and a self-seeded variation of 'Berry White'; 'Sweet Summertime Kardinal'; 'Violet Ice'; a white form that has self-seeded widely throughout the garden; and 'Zion Copper Amethyst'

The Pericallis 'Senetti' hybrid on the left is blooming for its second year.  The Pericallis on the right is one of those commonly sold as "Florist's Cineraria."


Both of my Veltheimia braceteata have resurfaced and bloomed


There were also some blooms that took me by surprise for a variety of reasons:

Clockwise from the upper left are: Scilla peruviana, which fails to bloom more often than not; Iris x hollandica, which made a poor spring showing throughout our 5-year drought; Eschscholzia californica 'White Linen', which I finally succeeded in getting to bloom; Helleborus 'Anna's Red', which produced a single bloom in year #2 in the ground; Helleborus 'Phoebe', which produced a couple of blooms after 5 years in the ground; and Salvia africana-lutea, planted last April, which produced its first bloom on Monday


As has become my habit, I'll conclude with collages of other blooms, organized by color.

Top row: Alyogyne huegelii, Anemone coronaria, and Brachyscome 'Enduring Blue'
Middle row: noID Ceanothus, Erysimum  linifolium 'Variegatum', and Euphorbia characias 'Black Pearl'
Bottom row: Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy', Ipheon uniflorum, and Lantana montevidensis

Clockwise from upper left: noID Alstroemeria, Coleonema 'Sunset Gold' (with Cuphea 'Starfire Pink'), noID Dianthus, noID Lathyrus  odoratus, Pelargonium peltatum 'Pink Blizzard', and Pyrethropsis hosmarianse 'Marrakech'

Clockwise from the left: Russelia equisetiformis 'Flamingo Park', Alstroemeria 'Inca Husky', Calliandra haematocephala, noID Cymbidium, Gaillardia aristata 'Gallo Bright Red', Gazania 'White Flame', and Viola 'Pandora's Box'

From the left: Zantedeschia aethopica, Argyranthemum frutescens, Auranticarpa rhombifolia, Coleonema album, Convolvulus cneorum, Jasminum polyanthum (which actually belongs to a neighbor but hangs over our common fence), and Pyrethropsis hosmariense 

Top row: Aeonium arboreum, Bulbine frutescens, and noID Cymbidium
Middle row: Euphorbia rigida, Euryops 'Sonnenschein' and self-seeded Gazania
Bottom row: Papaver nudicaule, Phlomis fruticosa, and Sparaxis tricolor


Have I burned out your retinas?  For photos of what's blooming elsewhere in the country and around the world, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens, our Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day host.



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

39 comments:

  1. Beautiful!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

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  2. I know even in the midst of winter there will be an abundance of flowers here on GBBD! It's worth a burned-out retina or two.

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    1. It's a banner spring here, that's for certain, Alison. However, with temperatures already in the upper 80s I have to make hay now as many of the more delicate flowers are quickly frying.

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  3. My gosh but you're living in a floral fantasy land! I love the Veltheimia braceteata and that Salvia africana-lutes is one I wish was hardy here.

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    1. I'd almost forgotten about the Veltheimia as they die back completely during our extended warm/hot period. I was overjoyed to see that first flower on the Salvia!

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  4. Amazing floriferous display. That's just crazy wonderful to me, as I endure the second day in a row where temperatures have not climbed above freezing. Love that Limonium and those cool Veltheimia grabbed me right by the heart: love at first sight.

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    1. Our spring generally comes early and this year is no exception, Tim. The flowers have to show off before the heat (which has already started) takes them out.

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    1. Thanks Angie! We were VERY lucky with the rain this winter after 5 years of drought - it's given everything a boost.

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  6. Wow, what pleasure you must get from walking around your garden. Wish I was there in person. Maybe you could do a video panoramic? :)

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    1. A video panoramic is probably beyond my skill level, Eliza. Walking through the garden is a complete joy at this time of year, though - all I need is a fairy princess dress to spin about in.

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    2. THAT I'd definitely want to see on video! ;-D

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  7. What a tremendous floral display! Russelia equisetiformis is one of those plants I drool over every time I see a photo of it. I love the Lotus groundcover, even if it is aggressive. I'd use it in my garden if it was hardy here.

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    1. The Lotus is VERY aggressive, Evan, but I love it too, especially this new-to-me 'Amazon Sunset' cultivar. However, I'm literally clipping it back each week. As to the Russelia, I think it's finally coming into its own here.

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  8. That is just crazy Kris. After not gardening in Socal for 30 years my memories of constant bloominess have faded. Back in the olden days at the garden center in San Diego florist Cineraria was all the rage in winter. Happy Bloomday !

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    1. I haven't been able to find the taller varieties of florist's Cineraria in many years, Kathy. I miss them, although the Pericallis Senetti hybrids are far tougher (and less prone to leaf miner), if regrettably smaller in stature.

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  9. Wow - what an abundance!!! A virtual cornucopia of blooms - so very lovely. Forgot all about GBBD today - it's been so gray and rainy here. But I did get a double rainbow at the end of the day. That counts for something, doesn't it?

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    1. A double rainbow would boost my mood for several days at the very least, Anna! I hope the cold fades away and the rain gives you a well-deserved break soon.

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  10. What?!? No Eustoma?!? ;^) It is the Freesias here that suffered during the drought.

    So many flowers, wonderful. I will try the Lotus berthelotii this year just for fun because yours look so pretty. Your Veltheimias look great.

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    1. Ha! Actually, I DID take a photo of buds on a Eustoma but I didn't think it worthy of inclusion in yesterday's Bloom Day post, especially as my post was already bordering on the obnoxious.

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  11. Wow. How can I pick out a combination let alone a single plant. It's all glorious Kris. A tribute not just to the rain but your selection and good planting.

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    1. In spring, I always feel that the garden is starting to come together, Jessica, but by mid-summer that no longer seems the case. I've learned a lot about what works here (and what doesn't) over the past 5 years, though. Still, I can't help experimenting with new plants and just stick with the tried and true.

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  12. It's a fabulous showing, Kris - wonderful results from all your planning and work... and plenty of rain at last :) Your Callas keep wowing me; I'm noticing the ones on your back slope are the species Zantedeschia aethiopica? I'm thinking about trying some eventually; any tips on soil and selection much appreciated...

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    1. I didn't plant any of the Callas, Amy. They came with the property and I think they've been in the ground 20+ years. They appear to be the common calla lilies, which are Z. aethiopica. Generally speaking, the soil in that area is clay. I've layered mulch over it annually for a few years now, which may have given it a boost but I haven't otherwise amended the soil. As the area is at the bottom of a relatively steep slope, it probably benefits from run-off from the upper levels but the lilies do die back completely when the temperatures soar, only to return with the rain during winter. Many of the lilies grow around the boundaries of the lemon tree, which I hand water throughout the year. The tree provides partial shade. I haven't fertilized the lilies at all. I hope that's helpful! A few bulbs might be worth a try.

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  13. Just WOW. Your garden is shouting for joy this spring. Happy GBBD.

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    1. After 5 years of drought, all the rain we got this winter has made both the garden and the gardener very happy, Lisa. The garden really is laughing in flowers.

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  14. Wow! What a spectacular display Kris. You may have tulip envy but I have envy for almost everything you can grow. But it isn't just your climate, you are very clever at putting plants together, creating beautiful combinations. All I can say is enjoy this bounty while it is still fresh from the rain this year.

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    1. It was hot and dry this past week, bringing the specter of summer all too close, Christina. We've a good chance of some rain next Tuesday-Wednesday. The last storm that passed through didn't bring us anything but spit but I'm hopeful this one will provide measurable rain - it may be our last until October!

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  15. You did take a lot of pictures! And colour co-ordinated too, that looks so effective. It's a feast for the eyes.

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    1. I'm afraid I always take rather a lot of photos for Bloom Day but this month was a little over the top - I can't help myself when spring arrives with its usual bang!

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  16. Such colour Kris both in quantity and quality and so early in the year! Your garden must have relished the rain. I wonder if that it is what prompted 'Phoebe' to flower. You must be pleased to have made her acquaintance after all this time.

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    1. The rain has made a major difference all throughout the garden, Anna. Dare I hope we'll be blessed with good rain next winter too?

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  17. A firework explosion of color! Incredible what a difference a bit of rain can make. The bright light shining from the sky seems brings back a faint memory of years past. Perhaps we'll see it here again someday. Warm temperatures too? You really live in paradise right now!

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    1. Gray skies are back this morning, Peter, and some rain is expected over the next couple of days but that's not a bad thing. The sun will soon be back here and I trust that you in the PNW will also see that bright orb again in the near future too.

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  18. Unbelievable range of blooms. Many I don't even recognize. Seems endlessly floriferous. Wow.

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    1. Even though the ball got rolling before the official start of spring, this may represent the peak of spring bloom here, Sarah. It all depends on how fast our temperatures heat up. Last week they were climbing fast but today cooler temperatures and cloudy skies are back with a good prospect of rain.

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  19. Oh my goodness, what a wonderful kaleidoscope of colour. Your garden is paradise.
    I have noticed that Scilla peruviana doesn't flower every year, I wonder what the secret is to making it bloom.

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    1. I'd have guessed that rain is the secret ingredient in getting the Scilla to bloom but, if you've also had spotty performance from it in the UK, that explanation seems less likely. Maybe, the apricot trees of my childhood, the plants needs every other year off.

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