Saturday, April 15, 2017

Bloom Day - April 2017

I thought that my blooms were plentiful in March but April is really ridiculous!  It's amazing to see what a difference real winter rain can mean to a garden.  I took a ludicrous number of photos in advance of Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day but I've done my utmost to winnow them down.  This month, I organized my photos by garden area, focusing on the plants that had the biggest impact in each.

I'll start in the front garden with a humble plant that one might even call a weed.

Erigeron karvinskianus (aka Santa Barbara Daisy and Mexican Daisy) blooms all year here but it goes crazy in spring.  Most of these planted themselves.  I probably couldn't get rid of them if I tried.  They're everywhere but I thought they looked particularly photogenic here.

Gazania 'White Flame' self-seeds freely but I can't call it a weed, unlike the sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) surrounding it.  I vaguely recall transplanting an Alstroemeria division here years ago but this is the first time I recall seeing it flower.  Rosa 'Pink Meidiland' is just beginning to flower behind the Gazanias.

Lavandula stoechas 'Silver Anouk' is happy here, tucked behind Euphorbia charcacias 'Black Pearl' and Arctotis 'Pink Sugar'

Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream' also blooms year-round but not so profusely as it's doing now (Grevillea 'Superb' can be seen blooming in the background)

Here's a closer look at Grevillea 'Superb'.  If I had to give an award to one plant for continuous flowering, it would be this one.

Echium candicans 'Star of Madiera' is just now starting its annual bloom cycle


Surrounding the front driveway, some of the few roses I have left are also coming into bloom.

From left to right are: 'California Dreamin', 'Joseph's Coat', and 'Medallion'


Past the driveway, in what used to be the vegetable garden, the raised planters now used as a cutting garden have produced a generous supply of poppies and, more recently, sweet peas.

I should have thinned my sweet peas (mixed cultivars of Lathyrus odoratus) more than I did, as they're now tumbling all over the place.  The high winds we've experienced for several nights now have loosened their hold on the metal grid intended to support them and also turned the Coriandrum sativum plants on their side.  However, somehow, the Iceland poppies (Papaver nudicaule) continue to produce more and more flowers despite the wind.


The dry garden on the north east side of the house is subdued now that the Grevillea there have bloomed out and I've cut the Osteospermum back.  The biggest splash of color there comes from the New Zealand tea trees that recently produced a new flush of bloom.

Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl', planted a little too close to a guava tree but making the best of things


A gravel path through the dry garden leads down a cement block stairway to the back slope, which is looking remarkably good at the moment, even if the upper section of the slope remains scarred by the damage caused by last year's horrific first-day-of-summer heatwave.

Clockwise from the upper left, April bloomers include: Euphorbia 'Dean's Hybrid', mingling with Pelargonium 'White Lady'; the uncontrollable Bignonia capreolata inherited with the garden; hard-to-photograph Carpenteria californica; self-seeding Centranthus ruber; Eschscholzia californica 'White Linen', grown from seed; and Oenothera speciosa, just stepping onto the stage


Back on the main level of the backyard garden, there's plenty in bloom.

Leucadendron 'Pisa' with its luminescent flower-like bracts

Cotula lineariloba 'Big Yellow Moon' is moving in to surround Echium webbii.  Felicia aethiopica echoes the blue color of the Echium on its other side.

Here the violet color of Polygala myrtifolia 'Mariposa' (left) echoes the more vibrant tone of Pelargonium cullatum 'Flore Pleno' (right).  Alyogyne huegelii adds a bluer note in the background.

Alstroemeria are blooming all over the back garden at the moment.  The white form (left) is 'Claire' and the red variety (upper right) is 'Inca Husky'.  The others are unnamed varieties that came with the garden.

Ozothamnus diosmifolius has small but plentiful white flowers


Arctotis 'Pink Sugar' isn't blooming as heartily as it did last month but Anagallis 'Wildcat Mandarin' is making up for the deficit

Ageratum corymbosum, an evergreen (or ever-purple) shrub, is at the peak of its bloom cycle


The garden on the south side of the house has a large number of succulents, none of which are delivering much in the way of floral color at the moment but there are a few blooming plants.

From left to right: Cistus x scanbergii, Phlomis fruticosa, and the delicate flowers of Wahlenbergia 'Blue Cloud' (in front of a second Echium 'Star of Madiera')


Moving back down to the partially shaded area at street level on the southwest side of the property, there are still blooms to be found.

Clockwise from the left: Pelargonium peltatum 'Pink Blizzard', backed up by Prostanthera ovalifolia and Limonium perezii; Prunus laurocerasus; noID lavender Pelargonium peltatum; and Rosa chinense 'Mutabilis'

And, along the street, masses of noID Delosperma


Finally, as the photos above didn't capture all the flowers I'm proud to flaunt this April, here are a few more I couldn't bear to leave on the cutting room floor.

Top row: Grevillea 'Ned Kelly', Heleborus 'Anna's Red', and Iochroma 'Mr. Plum'
Middle row: Ixia, Lotus berthelotii 'Amazon Sunset', and Mimulus 'Jelly Beans Crimson'
Bottom row: Pelargonium 'Oldbury Duet', Pelargonium 'Tweedle Dee', and Salvia lanceolata


Are you still in need of a floral color fix?  Visit Carol of May Dreams Gardens, our Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day host to find what's blooming elsewhere in the US and around the world this April.


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

34 comments:

  1. Geez! Your flowers! Visiting your blog is an exercise in controlling a raging case of envy. At least I can flaunt my California poppy success at you, they grow in my garden much like that first shot of your weedy Erigeron, although they're far from blooming at the moment. You should be proud of your success with your garden in the face of California's drought!

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    1. I'm stunned by the effect of the heavier than normal (even by pre-drought standards) winter rains, Alison. All but 4 counties in California are now considered officially out of drought. My area is considered "dry" but not drought-afflicted; however, there's no guarantee of good rain again next winter and, of course, we can't expect much now in terms of rain until October - we've entered our "normal" dry period. You can tell I'm trying not to get my hopes soaring...

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  2. What a plethora of blooms. Happy GBBD.

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    1. Thanks Lisa! Spring is our most floriferous season.

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  3. I'm amazed by what you have blooming. It looks like full summer would here. Many of these things we can only have as summer plants. I love those daisies though, karvinskianus, and am encouraging them around the front of our house which needs some prettying. Wonderful to look at as ever.

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    1. I'm afraid E. karvinskianus really is a weed here, Alison, albeit one with which I try to coexist. As a filler, it can't be beat but I'm already having to cut it back in places as it's swamping everything around it.

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  4. Your garden always looks amazing Kris, but you're right with some good winter rain it is a bounteous riot of colour. I love that you chose the humble Erigeron as your first featured flower. I love it and grow it here; this last winter was so cold that it completely browned and died back. But after cutting right back to new growth it is flowering here too. All the areas are equally beautiful and can't imagine that you spend any time indoors at all!

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    1. The Erigeron gets ratty here in summer, Christina, but it never, ever gives up. I cut it back at regular intervals and periodically dig up large clumps and toss them in the green bin but neither of those actions hold it back for long.

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  5. Hi Kris, your garden is truly a sea of flowers at this time of the year! As often I am taking notes what I like in your garden, with the hope to plant it one day in my own.
    I know Erigeron karvinskianus is a relatively common plant here in Southern California, but I love it very much and don't have it in my garden, yet. I think it is reasonably drought tolerant as well, so it is a must-have for my garden in the future.
    My favorite plant of this post is the Echium candicans 'Star of Madiera', it looks totally amazing in your garden. I would love to see one blooming in my garden next year, too.
    I like that you have grouped your photos the way your plants bl for what your garden really looks like in reality!
    Happy Easter, Kris!
    Christina

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    1. All I can say about Erigeron karvinskianus is that you should be very certain you like it and don't mind it spreading - because it will! Once you have it, you'll always have it. I love Echium 'Star of Madiera' too - it's a pretty easy plant to grow in our climate. I didn't have the sun or room for it in my former garden but it's a good fit in this one.

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  6. Peaches and cream is my choice - gentle medley of colours.

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    1. That Grevillea is really coming into its own this year, Diana. It hasn't surpassed G. 'Superb' in size or volume of bloom but it's working on the challenge.

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  7. Good grief Kris, could it get any better than this for you? Lots of cool stuff here but that Lavandula 'Silver Anouk' just stopped me in my tracks.

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    1. It's hard to believe this is the same garden I acquired 6 years ago, Sue. Of course, the rain made a terrific difference this year.

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  8. Well you clearly weren't exaggerating about the bloom-fest going on your garden ! Editing Erigeron can be a full time job, but sometimes you just have to let things happen. I've tried Ageratum corymbosum twice and have come to the conclusion that I need warmer nights to grow it-I'll admire it in your garden instead !

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    1. I'm trying the Ageratum in a new spot this year but the plants are having difficulty adjusting - our Santa Ana winds can take out new plants in spring in no time. I think my original plants are in the perfect spot - they get morning sun and protection being close to the house.

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  9. I love the Iochroma 'Mr. Plum' and Mimulus 'Jelly Beans Crimson'. I do sort of like that Erigeron, but it is a weed that's hard to remove. I made the mistake of planting some too close to a small native penstemon and have been pulling it for several years lest it smother the smaller plants. Good plant, wrong place. You may be trying not to get your hopes up now that you've entered the dry season, but at least you can enjoy the bumper crop of blooms that all that rain brought while it lasts.

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    1. That Erigeron is very opportunistic, Evan. I can't bring to mind an area of my garden it hasn't infiltrated. I probably spend more time cutting it back than any other plant in the garden but, as you noted, it's virtually impossible to get rid of once established.

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  10. It's a jungle!!! Wow, Kris, just wow. That Echium candicans 'Star of Madiera' has me dreaming of living in a warmer climate, once again. And the color of the Iochroma 'Mr. Plum'...so dramatic!

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    1. I haven't previously had much luck with Iochroma but Hoover Boo's success with the plant at "Piece of Eden" led me to try it again. This one's in a pot, gets shade during the hottest part of the day, and has the firewood structure my husband built to lean against if it shoots to the moon as HB's did.

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  11. Wow, simply wonderful. All your work is paying off big time. Well done!

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    1. At least half the credit goes to our winter rains! Dare we hope for a repeat next winter?

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  12. Your blooms are as dense and rich as a tapestry or a flourless chocolate torte. Glorious!

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    1. If only the garden was as tasty as a chocolate torte!

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  13. The Santa Barbara daisy with phormium is lovely -- great solution to hot dry sites, even if the erigeron can be pesty. And so jealous you got some Silver Anouk lavender to thrive. I admire that ozothamnus too -- just a dreamscape, Kris!

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    1. I'd mixed feelings about Spanish lavender until I found 'Silver Anouk', Denise - it's gorgeous in the garden and even photographs well.

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  14. Oh, my, I go away from the internet for a few days and look what I miss! Simply astounding how much beauty you have in your garden, Kris. You've outdone yourself! :)

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    1. None of this would have been possible without Mother Nature's generous application of rain, Eliza. The last storm passed us by and it appears today's will as well but I'm holding out hope that the next winter's rainy season will also be kind.

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  15. The only thing to say is OMG for both your bloom and foliage offerings! My garden is still just beginning to come to life so yours is a thrill to see. I remember the first time I saw Echium in a front garden in Berkeley nearly 40 years ago. I still have a photo of it but it was years before I ever discovered the name of it. Love that fluffy Artemesia. I need to see if it's anything I could grow. And I was smitten with that grid of red flowers.

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    1. Echium is just the ticket for the climate here, Linda, and I'm glad I have the space for it. (Or, in the interest of full disclosure, for 3 species/5 plants!)

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  16. Wowser. You've done it again Kris. Fabulous.
    Erigeron is becoming a pest even here. I do love it though, it'll be a while before I start weeding it out.

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    1. I was talking to friends at lunch today about the "effervescent" Erigeron. Everyone seems to agree that it's an attractive plant, if just a bit too enthusiastic. Mine, planted by prior owners of the property, is EVERYWHERE.

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  17. All of that color in your garden is stunning. The Ageratum corymbosum is so pretty :)

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