Sunday, April 15, 2018

Bloom Fest (Bloom Day - April 2018)

I think my garden may have already reached its peak in terms of spring blooms.  At this point, it seems it'd be easier to list what's not blooming than what is.  I gave up trying to take photos of everything and I once again threw a lot of my photos into collages just to keep this post to a manageable size.

Echium webbii began blooming last week.  It's a bee magnet.

Other blue blooms include: Top row - Ajuga 'Mint Chip', Alyogyne huegelii, and 'Pink Icing' blueberries
2nd row - Ceanothus arboreus 'Cliff Schmidt', noID Delphinium, and Felicia aethiopica
3rd row - light blue and mid-blue Freesias, and Iris hollandica
Bottom row - Osteospermum '3D Silver', Scabiosa 'Fama Blue', and Wahlenbergia 'Blue Cloud'

This "ever-purple" Ageratum corymbosum has already begun to fade in response to last week's heat

Clockwise from the upper left, other purple and magenta blooms include: Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy', Geranium 'Tiny Monster', Iris douglasiana 'Santa Lucia', 2 varieties of Lathyrus odoratus, Lavandula stoechas 'Anouk Deep Rose', Limonium perezii, Osteospermum '4D Berry White', Polygala myrtifolia 'Mariposa', Salvia 'Love and Wishes', and, in the middle, Osteopermum 'Violet Ice'

All the Coleonema album are in full bloom.  Together with Erigeron karvinskianus, a weedy groundcover here, they create a sparkle of fluffy white throughout the garden.

Still more splashes of white are provided by Pyrethropsis hosmariense, which has become one of my favorite year-round groundcovers as it's beautiful in and out of bloom

Other white bloomers include: Top row - Argyranthemum 'Mega White', Centranthus ruber 'Albus', and Convolvulus cneorum
Middle row - a few Leucojum aestivum, white Freesia, and Narcissus 'British Gamble'
Bottom row - Narcissus 'White Lion', orange blossoms, and Zantedeschia aethiopica

More Erigeron karvinskianus mixes here with Gazania 'White Flame' surrounding Phormium 'Maori Queen'

Lotus berthelotii 'Amazon Sunset' is still going strong on one side of the path through the back garden.  The newer plants on the other side of the path are now caged to protect them from the bunnies that ate several small plants down to nubs.

Other plants sporting red color include: Top row - Alstroemeria 'Indian Summer', Cymbidium Sussex Court 'Not Peace', and Euphorbia characias 'Black Pearl'
Middle row - Helleborus 'Anna's Red', Lotus jacobaeus, and Oncidium 'Wildcat'
Bottom row - Pelargonium peltatum, P. 'Oldbury Duet', and Ranunculus asiaticus

Arctotis 'Pink Sugar' is STILL blooming strong with regular dead-heading

Other pink blooms include: Top row -  noID Alstroemeria, Antirrhinum majus, and Arctotis 'Opera Pink'
2nd row - Argyranthemum 'Madeira Pink', Centranthus ruber, and Cistus x skanbergii
3rd row - Cuphea 'Starfire Pink', Helleborus 'Phoebe', and Lampranthus 'Pink Kaboom'
Bottom row - Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl', Pelargonium peltatum 'Pink Blizzard', and picotee Ranunculus

Ever-blooming Grevillea 'Superb' continues to out-perform even the other large-flowered Grevilleas in my garden

Clockwise from the upper left, orange flowers include: Begonia 'Fragrant Falls Peach', Bignonia capreolata, Calendula 'Bronzed Beauty', Digitalis pupurea 'Dalmatian Peach', Narcissus 'Geranium', Metrosideros collina 'Springfire', Grevillea 'Ned Kelly', G. 'Peaches & Cream', Lantana camara 'Irene', 'Joseph's Coat' rose, and, in the middle, Fuchsia 'Gartenmeister Bonstedt'

Hunnemannia fumariifolia (aka Mexican tulip poppy) is new to my garden this year but doing well despite my sandy soil

Clockwise from the upper left, other yellow blooms include: noID Argyranthemum frutescens, Bulbine frutescens, noID Carpobrotos, Gazania 'Gold Flame', Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow', E. 'Deans Hybrid', E. rigida, Euryops chrysanthemoides 'Sonnenschien' Euryops virgineus, Nemesia fruticans 'Sunshine', Osteospermum 'Spring Day', Phlomis fruticosa. and, in the middle, Leucospermum 'Goldie'


When I checked last April's Bloom Day post, I discovered that most everything is blooming on schedule, despite the stretch of higher-than-average temperatures we've had recently.  However, many of the flowers on my April bloomers are less profuse this year than they were last year, which I attribute to the substantially lower rain levels this past winter.  Our "normal" annual rain total is about 14 inches, most if not all of which falls during the winter months.  During the 2016-2017 rain year (calculated from October 1st 2016 through September 30th 2017), our rain totaled just over 24 inches and the garden celebrated the bounty.  This past winter (since October 1st 2017), our roof-top weather station recorded 3.59 inches, just 26% of "normal" and 15% of the prior year's total.  I can only hope that the summer will be punctuated by some tropical rainstorms.

Visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens, our Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day host, to see what's blooming elsewhere this April.


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

36 comments:

  1. The rain situation is worrying. But to have a garden looking so lush with so little moisture.. it just goes to show how wise your plant choices have been. It looks fabulous Kris. As always I can only gaze in amazement!

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    1. Well, I'm still able to irrigate regularly, if with some restrictions, Jessica. I fear the day the irrigation is cut to bare bones, although that'll probably see me picking up and moving...

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  2. Your Bloom Day posts are always such an orgy for the eyes! That Lotus! I've seen it sold here as an annual, but I doubt it would get as big in a year here as yours are.

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    1. According to my records, I planted one 6-pack of Lotus 'Amazon Sunset' plugs in May 2016. Even I'm amazed that the plants, also sold as annuals here, continue to grow and bloom. They had a relatively long bloom period in 2016 and 2017 and they don't look bad even after they're cut back. However, the young plants apparently can't hold up to bunnies without protection even though the furry ones leave the mature plants alone.

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  3. I had to laugh at your first sentence - your garden has reached its spring peak and it feels ours hasn't even started. Miles apart! :)
    You have so many wonderful flowers! I love the combination of Erigeron karvinskianus, Gazania 'White Flame' and Phormium 'Maori Queen' - very nice! Lotus are amazing to see - what a plant!

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    1. Spring is early - and short - in SoCal, Eliza. Summer's hot breath is already breathing down our necks!

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  4. It’s very enjoyable to stroll through your garden with you Kris. I loved seeing the photos so cleverly colour coordinated and recognising some familiar plants as well as ones I’d like to try in my garden. I have purchased and planted a lotus: will have to wait now to see what happens!

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    1. I hope the Lotus performs well for you, Jane! It frankly surprised me here. I've usually seen it grown in pots or hanging baskets. I only planted in the ground on the fly because I needed a groundcover in that particular area. I was surprised both at its vigor and that the flowers still show up so well when it's grown that way.

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  5. Oh my gosh, this is a flower paluzza. Wonderful. Happy GBBD.

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    1. April and May are usually the most floriferous months here, Lisa. Our long, hot, dry summers take the wind out of our sails.

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  6. OMG you have a lot! And i love the collages grouped into colors. It would be very nice if your garden can be open to visitors, your garden seems like a park, very big, well-maintained and very beautiful. Thanks for the delightful tour!

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    1. I make all my visitors tour the garden (which is just over half an acre) whether they want to or not, Kalantikan!

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  7. Wow, look at all that blue...and orange...and purple! Loveliness! Happy GBBD!

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    1. There's a lot of color at this time of year, Beth. Late summer is our somber period.

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  8. Kris, again I am impressed with your botanical wonders! Do garden clubs or other groups ever tour your garden? I imagine they could learn a lot from you and would surely be inspired! I wish I could share some of our rain with you. It has been cold and very wet here. We have had over 5 inches of rain since yesterday afternoon, and it is still drizzling. Weather should be nice this coming week.

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    1. Five inches of rain! I know you're probably feeling very soggy but I'm so envious, Deb. We didn't get that much during our entire rainy season this year. I haven't done any formal tours of my garden but I do inflict informal excursions on just about anyone who visits!

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  9. Okay that’s it, a spring fling in LA for sure! That way we can all enjoy this amazing show in person. I don’t know how you even chose where to cut for your Monday vases. Oh the riches!!!

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    1. Every time I get a little crazy and think of cutting everything in sight, I remind myself there's a new opportunity every week, Loree.

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  10. Such bounty; Kris your garden is truly amazing, it must give you so much joy (along with some hard work I know). If I were to visit your garden I don't think I'd know where to look first.

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    1. I'd happily guide you on a tour, Christina! As my local friends have discovered, I can't shut up when it comes to showing off my garden.

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  11. A floral fiesta indeed! How wonderful it must be to walk through surrounded by all those blooms. I also enjoyed seeing some of your wider shots showing the flowers in context.

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    1. I'm still doing wide shot posts, Shirley, albeit on a quarterly rather than a monthly basis. My last one was published earlier this month, although I may add a few more shots in May to capture the full floral-polozza.

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  12. Oh what a treat for my depressed eyes! I am in lower middle Tennessee, 50 miles south of Nashville and winter will not let go here. Just a few minutes ago my husband called me to the kitchen while he was making coffee (he is the coffee maker in the house because I can't do it right, fine with me, tee hee hee) and said it is snowing outside! Nooooo! He was right, as always (I butter him up so he will keep making my coffee). Winter will just not go away!

    Thank you for cheering up my gloomy, gray day.

    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry.

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    1. Our weather woes are deepening too, Jeannie. Our winter was a problem in that it brought us very little rain during what is usually our one and only rainy season. Now, with spring barely getting started, we're already feeling summer's hot breath as he mounts an early takeover.

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  13. Love that echium shot against the windows. What a bloomfest!

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    1. Echium webbii is such a well-behaved plant (at least so far)! Echium candicans is a bit late to the party this year but the flower spikes are in their pre-party primp phase.

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  14. Such a feast of bloom! I'm admiring that Hunnemannia especially, Kris. And, as always, the lotus! Sorry to see you've been having difficulties with rabbits too. Probably, as in my garden, they view it as generous human provision in the middle of drought...

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    1. I've long known there were bunnies in the area as I've seen large numbers of them in a park just a mile away. I can only guess at the changes that brought them here after 7 years of peace. My theory is that, with the mounting coyote problem, more people are keeping their dogs inside (as my immediate neighbors now do), giving the bunnies the opportunity to expand their territory. One might expect the coyotes to take care of the bunnies but, as our most recent coyote visitor focused on collecting our newspapers, maybe they have other interests.

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  15. Oh hey, Goldie' delivered! Congratulations!

    I'm still looking for that Lotus 'Amazon Sunset'.

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    1. Yes, 'Goldie' is a keeper! I hope she'll look half as good as your 'Yellow Bird' one day. 'Brandi' and 'Spider' have buds too! Lotus 'Amazon Sunset' seems to appear at periodic but unpredictable intervals at Armstrong.

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  16. Wow, just wow! Your garden is so full of blooms beautifully combined and so well grown! Looks like summer here.
    PLEASE take some of our rain! We had record-breaking amounts of rainfall over the weekend and it's still falling.

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    1. If I send you some empty rain barrels, maybe you can fill them up and ship them back ;) Alternatively, maybe you can sweet talk Mother Nature - she's not paying any attention to my pleas.

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  17. Wow, not only do you have a huge quantity of blooms, but you manage to name them. Very impressive!

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    1. I've worked at learning their names, John - and I keep halfway decent records of what I planted, which helps a lot.

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  18. Your purple flowers are blooming in my garden, in the opposite season.

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    1. Like yours, ours in coastal Southern California is also a Mediterranean climate. I can't grow a lot of what populates gardens in other areas of the US, or the UK for that matter.

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