Wednesday, May 10, 2017

In the cusp between seasons (& Wednesday Vignette)

Spring in coastal Southern California is rapidly giving way to summer's advance.  While temperatures have temporarily returned to spring-like levels after weeks in the upper 70s and 80s, spring blooms have been giving way to those more characteristic of summer.  Last week I noticed the first Jacaranda trees coming into bloom in my area.  Yesterday I noticed these trees were blooming everywhere.  My own garden is also showing signs of summer.  Buds have appeared on Agapanthus and Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum) throughout my garden.

In December, I finally broke down and bought myself a dwarf Jacaranda, 'Bonsai Blue', despite the plant's still exorbitant price-tag.  It's easier to fit into my garden and won't create issues with neighbors under my community's "view conservation" ordinance as the full-sized version could.  It isn't quite blooming yet but it has buds!

The first bloom appeared among the large collection of Agapanthus I inherited with the garden the week before last but other buds are close to following


Achillea 'Moonshine' provided perhaps the most dramatic evidence of summer's arrival, with flowers bursting into bloom seemingly overnight in the backyard borders last week.



Just as suddenly, the first-ever blooms appeared on the Santolina I planted in November 2015.

Santolina chamaecyparissus with its gray foliage can be seen in the foreground on the right and green-leaved S. rosmarinifolia is visible in the middle of the photo


Meanwhile, after a couple of weeks of high temperatures and drying winds, my sweet peas took an abrupt nose dive.  I pulled them all out, added compost to the raised bed, and planted sunflower and Zinnia seeds to greet the summer season.

As our spring gives way to summer, I was sad to note that there's been no sign that my Itoh peony is going to bloom this year despite the gift of winter's heavier-than-usual rains.  It also seemed that my bearded Iris were destined to disappoint me again this year.  A dwarf variety bloomed on my back slope when I wasn't looking but the taller bearded Iris planted elsewhere in the garden showed no sign of doing anything.  Then, late last week, I noticed a bloom stalk on a single plant in one of my backyard borders.  And yesterday morning, I found this:

This is Iris germanica 'Haut les Voiles'.  Planted in 2012 and moved in 2015, it stopped blooming during the height of our drought, like virtually all of my bearded Iris.  Dare I hope that some of the others will bloom as well?


The Iris stands as my Wednesday Vignette, a salute to spring's performance or a nod to the incoming summer season - see it whichever way you wish.  I'm just happy to see it show up.  For more Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


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

18 comments:

  1. Hi Kris, I can't wait to see your dwarf Jacaranda tree blooming, awesome that there is now a dwarf version out there for small gardens or big gardens with obnoxious neighbors surrounding them ;-)!
    That Iris germanica 'Haut les Voiles' is so incredible beautiful! I had nice blooms on my white bearded irises this year which are in the ground for two to three years, but ones that I planted last year haven't bloomed yet and I doubt that they will this year. I noticed that irises are not as drought tolerant as I thought they would be in my garden and that they need fertilizer to grow and bloom well as everything else here.
    Wishing you a nice rest of the week!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I learned too that bearded Iris want regular water during their growing season. As the rain helped out a lot with that this year, I think my error was in not feeding mine on a timely basis.

      Delete
  2. Oh, how I wish I could grow a Jacaranda! They are so beautiful - the foliage is to die for, and the flowers.... well - lucky you! Can't wait to follow this one's development! Love the textural contrast between the iris and the soft, flowing feather grass. Just lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jacarandas are truly beautiful in flower but can be very messy, which makes the frequency with which they're planted as street trees somewhat perplexing. Although, if the goal is to stop people from parking in front of one's house, I suppose it's a brilliant selection. My dwarf variety, which should grow just 6-8 feet tall, should be very manageable.

      Delete
  3. Glad to see that at least one iris did come back. And jacaranda is worth growing for it's beautiful foliage alone :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I probably blew it in terms of my timing for fertilizing the Iris. Hopefully, I can remember to get on that next year.

      Delete
  4. You should be so proud of how your garden looks ! I have to say I have never fertilized an Iris-or any other bulb-rhizome-corm. In fact I rarely fertilize anything except containers and the Clematis. When I have had reduced blooming on Iris I just thin them out , get rid of the shriveled up stuff and throw a little compost on them. I'm going to google Haut les Voiles because I have to have one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kathy! Compost is generally my go-to to give plants a boost as well but I have no other explanation except perhaps poor nutrition for the performance of my Iris this year - the rain, supplemented by irrigation during dry spells, should have provided sufficient moisture and the bulbs are neither shriveled, nor buried too deep.

      Delete
  5. I will definitely enjoy watching your dwarf jacaranda, Kris! I, too, was scared off by the price tag; then I put another plant in the available space, so now I have even less excuse... for now ;-)
    So far I have had only one iris that went ahead and bloomed this year - I've blamed the poor showing on too little water, but I don't more than half believe that as one or two were planted in spots that got extra attention from the hose. Very disappointing. Maybe feeding is the answer... Your Haut les Voiles is scrumptious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I dithered well over a year about that dwarf Jacaranda, Amy. I stubbornly thought the price would come down but then that usually happens AFTER I break down and buy something at top price so, if history repeats itself, you may soon see it offered at a discount!

      Delete
  6. Your garden is wearing the change of seasons quite well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's less flowerful than it was a few weeks ago, Loree, but that will change when the Agapanthus arrive like stormtroopers.

      Delete
  7. The greens in your garden have that muted colour that comes with summer Kris; but you still have plenty of flowers to enjoy. My friends were pleased to hear about the Iris name when I saw them yesterday; it certainly looks exactly the same as mine. What a nice thought that we are enjoying the same plant at the same time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just wish my bearded Iris appeared in the numbers that yours have, Christina!

      Delete
  8. A dwarf jacaranda, how exciting. Your garden looks like high summer now, absolutely gorgeous. I love that iris, what a lovely colour combination. I hope this comment works Kris, I have had problems lately trying to comment on your blog, they all disappeared into the ether.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I often wonder if Blogger and Wordpress are engaged in some kind of cold war - comment problems are all too frequent, in both directions. Thanks for persevering!

      Delete
  9. Beautiful, all the yellow.

    Same thing here: the Iris stopped blooming during the drought. Perhaps they form their flower stems during a rainy winter? I don't need to fertilize much either but the iris that got fertilizer bloomed and the ones that didn't didn't.

    I was looking at those dwarf Jacs, too. Tempting, despite the price!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Based on what I've read, I understand that bearded Iris do indeed have a window when rain (or irrigation) is essential. Our heaviest rains didn't arrive until January (or was it February?) so perhaps that timing requirement was a factor. Next year, I'll focus on irrigation starting in November.

      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.