I don't usually get much pleasure out of visiting my back slope but on this occasion it offered a few positive surprises.
|The lemon tree that dropped every single piece of fruit in early July when our temperature hit 110F has fully recovered|
|Ceanothus arboreus 'Cliff Schmidt', planted in 2015, is finally taking on the tree-like form I envisioned for it|
|With the rain, the calla lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica) planted decades ago by another gardener at the bottom of the arid slope have magically reappeared|
|Centranthus ruber has self-seeded generously in the same area and it looks as though the California poppy plugs I planted in December are thriving too|
On the main level of the back garden, I couldn't miss the fact that the Xylosma congestum hedge that surrounds it produced fresh new foliage.
|The garden service that maintains our hedges cut the new foliage back the day after I took these photos but, with more rain expected I don't think it'll be long before my "ring of fire" is back|
The backyard offered other surprises as well.
|I'd entirely forgotten these plants with the tiny white flowers. I think they smartly went underground last summer. This is Arabis alpina 'Variegata'.|
|This is the first flower on Isopogon anemonifolius, an Australian plant I picked up on a whim while plant shopping in November. It's interesting but it doesn't look like much like it did on the plant tag; however, I'll give it more time to develop before making any decision about whether it stays or goes.|
|Plants showing flower buds include: Ageratum corymbosum (left) and Leucospermum 'Brandi' (right). It'll be awhile yet before either will be in full bloom but it's nice to see progress in that direction.|
My discoveries weren't limited to the back garden.
|Euphorbia rigida is blooming in the succulent garden on the south side of the house|
|Leucadendron 'Safari Goldstrike' produced its luminescent flower-like bracts seemingly overnight in the front garden|
|After looking near death this summer, Aeonium 'Mardi Gras' is blushing again|
|Moss has appeared on paths, along the stairs leading down my back slope and between paving stones|
Along with the calla lilies, the first Freesia bulbs are flowering. I expect my other early spring bulbs aren't far behind.
|The blue Freesias are the first to appear this year. Ferraria crispa (upper right) has also produced fresh foliage. Leucojum aestivum, Narcissus and Sparaxis are also on their way.|
I know it's been a nasty winter for many of you in the Northern Hemisphere but spring is getting closer. Take heart!
All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party