Thursday, March 15, 2018

Bloom Day - March 2018

Last March, Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day followed a long period of heavier than usual rain and the garden was looking good.  While there's no real shortage of flowers this year, there aren't the large blocks of color I found last year.  Such is the life of a gardener.  I know I'm still luckier than gardeners in the US Northeast who are facing down their third Nor'easter.

The early spring bulbs are providing the best splashes of color at the moment.  I've featured some bulb blooms in posts over the past week so pardon me if some of this is redundant.  These blooms will be mostly gone by next month so now's the time to celebrate them.

The Dutch Iris (Iris x hollandica) I planted my first year here are continuing to naturalize

After failing to bloom for several years, Scilla peruviana has bloomed for a second year in a row despite this year's low rainfall

Ipheion uniflorum (aka starflower) has also naturalized here

I've already made a big to-do about this plant, Ferraria crispa (aka starfish lily), this month but I can't help it

Freesias are blooming in areas throughout the garden in a range of colors and both single and double forms.  No matter how many I add each year, I never feel I have enough.

Some Narcissus I planted this fall are blooming alongside those I planted in prior years.  Clockwise from the upper left are: Narcissus 'Geranium' (new this year), a noID variety, and N. 'Katie Heath'.

Prodded by our recent rain, the Ranunculus tubers I planted this fall are finally blooming.  Pretty as the red variety is, I'm still annoyed that these aren't the purple they were supposed to be.

Meanwhile, the "mixed" collections of Sparaxis I planted in beds in both the back and front gardens are still all coming up orange


Last month's Bloom Day post led off with a photo of Arctotis 'Pink Sugar' mingling with the gold form of parrot's beak and that's still the most compelling combination in the back garden but 'Pink Sugar' and other so-called African daisies are popping into bloom elsewhere in the garden too.

Arctotis 'Pink Sugar' planted with gold Lotus berthelotii in the back garden

Arctotis 'Pink Sugar' occupies the background in the front garden here with another African daisy, Gazania 'White Flame', occupying the foreground.  Cuphea 'Starfire Pink' can be seen in between them on the left.

Another African daisy, Osteospermum '4D Silver' (lower left), blooms on and off all year here.  It's shown in the photo on the upper left mingling with Echium handiense (shown in detail in the upper right) and Aristea inaequalis (lower right).

The photo in the upper left shows a slice of the front garden alongside our driveway.  Osteospermum 'Violet Ice' (upper right) and 2 forms of Pyrethropsis hosmariense (lower photos)  are in full bloom despite regular digging in the area on the part of raccoons and skunks.

After seeing Osteospermum blooming en masse at Seaside Gardens in Carpinteria on a recent shopping trip, I added more of these plants to this dry garden area on the northeast side of our house.  Osteospermum 'Summertime Sweet Kardinal' (upper left) was already in place, as was a self-seeded white variety, but I added 5 O. '4D Violet Ice' (shown lower left) a week ago.  It looks remarkably like '4D Silver' except the flowers are larger.  The plant on the lower right is Globularia x indubia (aka globe daisy).

Clockwise from the top left, here are a few more African daisies: Arctotis 'Opera Pink', Osteospermum '4D Purple', O. 'Berry White', a self-seeded Gazania, and a self-seeded Osteospermum.


Other South African and Mediterranean plants are also putting on a good show.

Coleonema album is shown in the left and middle photos and Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold' is shown on the right

Cistus x scanbergii was blooming lightly last month but the blooms are profuse now

Lotus bethelotii 'Amazon Sunset' is also taking off, shown here with the first bloom on Leucospermum 'Goldie'


I'll close as I usually do with collages capturing the best of the rest of what I've got blooming this month.

Clockwise from the top left: Gardenia jasminoides, Jasminium polyanthum, Limonium perezii, Lavandula multifida, and Ocimum hybrid 'African Blue Basil'

Top row: Kumara plicatilis, Argyranthemum frutescens, Bulbine frutescens, and Calendula 'Bronzed Beauty'
Middle row: Digitalis 'Dalmatian Peach', Euryops chrysanthemoides, Hunnemannia fumariifolia, and Nemesia 'Sunshine'
Bottom row: Grevillea 'Peachs & Cream', G. 'Superb', Leucospermum 'Hybrid Spider' (new), and Lobelia laxiflora

Top row: Alstroemeria 'Indian Sunset', noID Alstroemeria, Argyrantemum frutescens, and Bauhinia x blakeana
Middle row: Calliandra haematocephala, Cymbidium Sussex Court 'Not Peace', Grevillea 'Ned Kelly' and Grevillea 'Penola'
Bottom row: Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy', Leptospermum 'Pink Pearl', Oncidium 'Wildcat', and Pyrethropsis 'Marrakech'


For more bloom Day posts, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.



All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party



37 comments:

  1. Your Scilla peruviana are perfection! And I'll just take that whole bottom row: Grevillea 'Peachs & Cream', G. 'Superb', Leucospermum 'Hybrid Spider', and Lobelia laxiflora. Well okay maybe not the Lobelia, I'll have my own blooms in a few months, hopefully.

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    1. I'm very happy that Scilla graced me with its blooms a second year. I hope this means it's settled in and I can now expect annual visits.

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  2. Yours must be one of the hardest-working bloom day blogs because of the number of blooms you record every month! That's so great that the scilla has bloomed two years in a row. I had one year of good bloom then pfffft.

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    1. I just have a hard time tossing aside photos once I download them, Denise. Believe it or not, I didn't capture each and every bloom in my garden, though. I wear my "flower floozy" badge with pride.

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  3. Oh, I don't think one can ever show Ferraria crispa too much. My Scilla peruviana haven't bloomed in the two or three years since I planted them.

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    1. That dear little Ferraria has been gamely producing 1 to 2 new blooms a day all this month. They don't last long and they aren't big but they sure are impressive. I "need" more of these bulbs!

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  4. So many fabulous blooms! I know for you the Grevillea is no big deal, but it is for me. A few closeups not in a collage would not go amiss. You can keep showing off that Ferraria as long as you like too. I planted Dutch Iris a long time ago when we lived in Massachusetts, but unlike yours, they never naturalized, just slowly faded away like tulips.

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    1. As the large-flowered Grevilleas ('Superb', 'Peaches & Cream' and 'Ned Kelly') produce flowers essentially year-round, posting their photos each month sometimes feels like the equivalent of playing a broken record, Alison. On the other hand, I love them too so I can't quite help including them even if it's in a postscript of sorts.

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  5. Your Ferraria crispa is fabulous! We have a few daffodils blooming and that's it right now. This should start moving along quickly. At least they are a nice cheerful yellow.

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    1. I wish I had some of the splashy yellow daffodils with big trumpets, Rebecca. For some unfathomable reason, I've never planted any of that type. I must remedy that omission!

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  6. 'Goldie' looks good! Hopefully even better next year.

    Your vast array of flowers is always a joy.

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    1. I'll be thrilled if 'Goldie' eventually gets even half as robust as your 'Yellow Bird', HB. 'Brandi' has tiny little buds and I'm pretty sure they are flower rather than leaf buds this time but she's going to make me wait for her blooms a while longer.

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  7. Your flowers are so glorious, Kris, I forget how many are blooming now in So. Cal. since I moved away 25 years ago. The Starfish Lilies are fantastic, so complex, and I like the little orange accents in the center. The Grevillea's are always impressive, especially the round 'G. Superb', so elegant with all the little loops and peachy accents. The Alstroemeria 'Indian Sunset' has glorious colors and patterns too, gorgeous!

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    1. Grevillea 'Superb' is a star, Hannah. That plant has bloomed essentially non-stop since I planted it. It needs very little in the way of maintenance and its flowers even hold up relatively respectably in a vase. Oh, and the hummingbirds like it!

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  8. So many blooms! a wonderful display of colors and shapes! I was never able to have so many different plants blooming in my garden. I focus on roses, water lilies, camellias and little else. I have to work on that. I've seen Ranunculus in nuseries lately I think I am going to buy some.

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    1. Although Ranunculus can take heat, they need a surprising amount of water to bloom so they may well love your climate, MDN! I have to grow them in the raised planters in my cutting garden just to ensure they get all the extra irrigation they need.

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  9. I feel like I just perused a garden catalog! So many wonderful specimens you have, Kris. A real pleasure to see all your blooms. Love all the many African daisies, the brown-eyed Pyrethropsis is nice, as are the ranunculus, which I'd grow if my climate allowed it.

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    1. Could you treat the Ranunculus as summer annuals in your climate, Eliza? The tubers don't come back well here either so essentially I treat them as spring annuals. I love the Pyrethopsis - the foliage makes an attractive groundcover even when the plants aren't blooming.

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  10. A stunning array of blooms for bloom day. Wow. It's amazing what all that nice weather will produce.

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    1. Well, without irrigation my garden would be a sorry sight, especially this year, Shirley. I'd give up some of our warm, sunny days for a bit more rain. March has been a vast improvement over December-February at least.

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  11. Such a wealth of glorious blooms! Makes me do a little California dreamin' on such a winter's day!

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    1. The skies are sunny at the moment, Peter, but the clouds are moving in and more rain is expected late this afternoon.

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  12. There is such a wide colour range here! We are very much early spring, with lots of pale yellows and blues, which are lovely, but I can’t wait for richer colours! Thank you for sharing!

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  13. That looks like a lot of beautiful bloom, Kris! Your picture has me hankering after Ferraria crispa, which is an achievement as I've always buzzed right past it in gardening books... My Dutch irises are really holding off, like so many other things right now - I can only hope they bloom this beautifully!

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    1. The Dutch Iris I planted this fall in another area of the garden appear unlikely to bloom at all this year but those that bloomed in the back garden, planted in 2011 I think, seem much more vigorous. Be prepared to give them time!

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    2. Thanks for the info! I've been discouraged getting mine to flower!

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  14. Glad you featured Ferraria crispa again. I love it! I also really like the long shot of the front garden by the drive. How I wish I could explore your garden; there is so much to see.

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    1. You'd be welcome for a tour any time travel might bring you to this part of the country, Deb.

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  15. Oh, be still my beating heart! So many glorious blooms I don't know where to start. Do you know how you are torturing us here in the UK, living in the country that spring forgot? The Beast from the East is back in the land of eternal winter. Actually it was spring-like yesterday just to remind us of what we are missing.
    I am intrigued by the Ferraria crispa, what an exotic bloom.Is it free flowering?

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    1. I don't think I've enough information to answer that question definitively, Chloris. I planted it in late December 2016 and it bloomed very briefly the following March. This time, it's produced one or 2 blooms every day since I noticed the first bloom at the end of February. Each bloom lasts just a day.

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  16. I'm drooling over all those flowers, many of which I have never heard before. I think I am living in the wrong place! I need to go back and check out that starfish lily that you say you talked about. What a gorgeous flower. Nature is just amazing. Time has not been on my side when it comes to reading blogs and I have had a hard time even writing about my own garden. We need a rainy day so I can catch up.

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    1. Rainy days really do help, Jenny. That's why my house got cleaned last weekend!

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  17. Kris-your abundance of blooms is breathtaking and I just keep going back to take it all in. I feel like I am looking through a gardening magazine! The Starfish Lily is absolutely amazing and a show stopper!

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    1. Southern California does offer some growing advantages, Lee, especially in early spring (no snow!), but we could seriously use more rain.

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  18. I'm not sure how I missed your Bloom Day post Kris; I'm so glad I didn't miss it altogether. What a wonderful profusion of colour in your garden it makes mine feel very bleak. I also have Cistus x scanbergii which grew hugely last year but now has large portions that look dead. Have you had a similar experience with Cistus.

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    1. I experienced die-back in the case of one Cistus 'Sunset' but haven't had problems with any others (thus far), Christina. I usually give C. x skanbergii a light pruning after its bloom season, which seems to perk it up.

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