Friday, March 15, 2019

Bloom Day - March 2019

I looked back at last year's March Bloom Day post, finding that I'd highlighted bulb blooms.   While some of the most spectacular bulbs that were in bloom last March, like Scilla peruviana, Ferraria crispa and Dutch Iris, haven't made an appearance yet, other bulbs are carrying the show for now.

Freesias are everywhere.  They're glorious even when they've been matted to the ground by one rainstorm after another.

I planted Ipheion uniflorum years before we tore out our lawn and expanded our borders.  Now they pop up here and there between plants in my backyard borders.

The fancier, named varieties of Narcissi aren't blooming yet but two noID varieties have popped up in various locations

Last March, I had a lot of Ranunculus in bloom but this was the first one to make an appearance this year

The vast majority of my Sparaxis tricolor are shades of orange but I also have a few pink ones

I'd thought that all our rain would deliver armloads of calla lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica) but thus far I've had just a few here and there.  I'm hoping warmer temperatures will bring them out in larger numbers.

When it comes to bulbs, my biggest surprise was getting a few tulips to bloom.  Granted, I purchased the bulbs pre-sprouted but I've done that before only to quickly lose the flowers to our dry Santa Ana winds.  Cooler, moister air in February and March gave them a boost this time.  Amelia of The Shrub Queen identified this variety, sold as "Two-tone Tulip", as 'Cerise Gris de Lin'.


I featured the so-called African daisies last month but the flowers are even more prolific this month so I'm showing them off again.  The Osteospermums in particular are running rampant.

Osteospermum '4D Silver' in the back border

A mass of Osteospermum '4D Violet Ice' backed up by O. 'Summertime Sweet Kardinal' in the north side garden.  The '4D Violet Ice' flowers are similar but not identical to '4D Silver'.

The noID white Osteospermum shown in another section of the same bed self-seeded from a variety with spoon-shaped petals.  The pink variety on the left is 'Serenity Pink'.

I added Osteospermum 'Spring Day' to another bed in the north side area last year

More Osteospermums are scattered throughout the garden.  Clockwise from the upper left are: '4D Purple', 'Berry White', noID pink, and 'Serenity Pink'.  The advantage of the '4D' varieties is that they remain open in low light when the single-petaled varieties close up, making them better choices for floral arrangements.


I've fewer varieties of Arctotis, another type of African daisy, but they're also blooming heavily this month.  Other than regular dead-heading to keep the clumps looking neat, they need almost no care.

Arctotis 'Opera Pink'

Arctotis 'Pink Sugar'


The Gazanias aren't putting on the same kind of show but they haven't faded into the background either.

With the exception of Gazania 'White Flame' (lower right), all of these are self-sown plants


Other plants making a strong showing this month include:

Calliandra haematocephala (aka Pink Powder Puff): It gets sheared regularly but still manages to bloom every year at this time

Bay Laurel (Laurus noblis): These shrubs form a hedge next to my neighbor's wire fence.  It usually gets sheared before it blooms but I caught it in flower this year.

Limonium perezii (aka Statice), opening its papery flowers at last

Lotus berthelotti, which I use as a groundcover.  The red variety is 'Amazon Sunset' and the other is 'Gold Flash'.


Several plants that were blooming well last month are continuing to flower well this month.

Camellia hybrid 'Taylor's Perfection' is dropping almost as many buds as it has flowers in bloom but it's still looking good

Ceanothus arboreus 'Cliff Schmidt' is still blooming and now the noID Ceanothus hedge is too

Grevilleas are the backbone of my flower collection but not all of them bloom year-round.  Grevillea 'Scarlet Sprite' is a seasonal bloomer.

Clockwise from the upper left, other Grevilleas in bloom at present include: G. alpina x rosmarinifolia, 'Peaches & Cream', 'Superb', G. lavandulacea 'Penola', G. sericea, a dwarf G. rosmarinifolia, G. lanigera 'Mount Tamboritha', and 'Ned Kelly'.


Are you satiated yet?  I'll close with my usual collages featuring plants contributing floral color on a more restrained scale.

Top row: Ageratum houstonianum, Alyogyne huegelii, and Aristea inaequalis
Middle row: Geranium 'Tiny Monster', Globularia x indubia, and Echium handiense
Bottom row: Lavandula stoechas 'Double Anouk', Pericallis hybrid, and Polygala fruticosa 'Petite Butterfly'

Top row: Arabis alpina 'Variegata', Argyranthemum ''Mega White', Auranticarpa rhombifolium, and Carpenteria californica
Middle row: Crassula multicava, Dianthus caryophyllus, Jasminium polyanthum, and Lobularia maritima
Bottom row: Nemesia 'Snow Angel', Tanacetum parthenium 'Aureum', and Coleonema album

Clockwise from the upper left: Achillea 'Moonshine', Aeonium arboreum, Agave desmettiana, Leucadendron 'Safari Goldstrike', Euryops virgineus 'Tali', Euryops chrysanthemoides 'Sonnenschien', Bulbine frutescens and, in the middle, Euphorbia rigida

Aloe striata, Cuphea 'Vermillionaire', and Leucospermum 'Brandi' (the first bloom of the season, opening VERY slowly)

Clockwise from the upper left: Helleborus 'Anna's Red', Euphorbia 'Black Pearl', Geranium sidoides, another Pericallis hybrid, Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy', and Lotus jacobeaus

Clockwise from the upper left: Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold', Cistus 'Grayswood Pink', Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl', Helleborus 'Phoebe', and Rosa chinensis 'Mutabilis'


I haven't checked but I think this post may represent my most flowerful yet.  Still, I'm hoping that April may top it.  Warmer weather is expected and it may tease out some of the blooms still holding back.  Much of the country is colder than we are but Spring is slowly creeping forward everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere despite Old Man Winter's efforts to hold it back.  Visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens to see what's happening elsewhere.


All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

32 comments:

  1. Wow! I am stunned by all that beauty!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

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  2. Freesias and sparaxis! I grew up with them. When I was young I thought sparaxis was too gaudy! I planted some last year and hoping for some blooms. When I was older I had a huge patch of freesias, all yellow. There is nothing like the aroma! You have an amazing freesia collection.

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    1. Sparaxis IS a little gaudy, Lisa, but there aren't all that many Spring bulbs that we can plant and have return year-after-year here. Freesias and Sparaxis (both originating from South Africa, a Mediterranean climate like mine) are among the exceptions.

      I couldn't find a way to comment on your Garden Adventures blog, although I'm fairly certain I've done so before. Your Crocus are beautiful. That's not a bulb that does well here. I had just 3 blooms from the 2 dozen bulbs I planted last year.

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  3. WOW! Your flowers are plentiful! Thank you for sharing them with us.

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    1. It's funny (or sad) that I always find my Bloom Day posts coming up short in one respect or another, Loree. I DO realize that I have a LOT of blooms, especially relative to many gardeners in the Northern Hemisphere.

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    1. Overkill, Denise? I can't help getting excited by my garden's spring output.

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  5. Profusion of blooms ...Freesias are always pleasure to grow with not so good smell ...loved every bit of your collages...your garden is always walk worthy.
    Happy Blooms Day.

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  6. Wow - So. Many. Blooms! And you say that some of your bulbs are late to the party this year (pun intended!!)?? Many of the plants you showcase are pretty much foreign to us here, in terms of garden plants, anyhow. Most are considered annuals or houseplants. I LOVE African daisies and yours are wonderful! Of course the one bulb you have issues with - tulips - are easy peasy here, even for bulb newbies like myself!

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    1. I can't tell you how many times I've tried to grow tulips, Margaret. Species tulips were semi-successful in my former garden, although they slowly disappeared year-by-year. Bulbs pre-chilled in my refrigerator for 3 months prior to planting were generally a bust. Even prior experiments with pre-sprouted tulips generally failed when our dry Santa Ana winds showed up on the wrong schedule. This year's experience is probably a fluke but may be enough to try again yet again next year (on a larger scale of course because I'm obsessed). Meanwhile, my Dutch Iris, Ferraria crispa and Scilla peruviana all have buds so I'm sure you'll see them in a future post.

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  7. So many flowers! It must have taken you hours to take all these photos! I used to grow Osteospermum as an annual when we lived in Massachusetts but haven't bought it here in Washington. It's a favorite, but I don't see it as often in the nurseries here.

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    1. I took photos (between rainstorms) at intervals from early March but I did end up with a LOT of photos, Alison. Osteospermums are super-successful here and self-seed readily, albeit often producing plants unlike the original hybrid varieties I planted.

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  8. Swirls of Ranunculus are beautiful and you have Aristea!

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    1. I think this is only the second year that Aristea has bloomed in my garden, Diana. I'd just about given up on it when it finally produced flowers. The plant needs to be moved as it's crowding an Echium (or vice versa) but, when I realized it was about to bloom, I wanted to wait until it finished.

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  9. Woo, that Ranunculus!! The "stained edges" is always an exciting color effect, but on a flower with such packed, overlapping petals it's particularly effective.

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    1. I think the 'Picotee' varieties make the best use of the Ranunculus's petal structure, Nell. I'll have to remember that the next time I buy the tubers.

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  10. Every year I tell myself I need to pick up more Freesia bulbs. Inexpensive, reliable, multiply and even if I rip them out when the leaves start to look tatty they come back the next year anyway. Happy Bloom Day and Happy Spring Kris-wishing you a mild one !

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    1. The temperature in nearby Torrance jumped up to 82F today, Kathy. I'm hoping that was an anomaly and we settle back into the 60s to low 70s for awhile yet.

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  11. Such a pleasure to see your Bloom Day posts, Kris! So many lovely flowers. :)

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    1. We're warming up and all those pent-up blooms are making up for lost time, Eliza. I wish you could have been here for the swarm of painted lady butterflies - it's really something!

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    2. I saw the beginning of migration when we went to Joshua Tree, then as I headed to the airport on the 5th, they were streaming past Upland like crazy. M. tells me they are still coming. There must be millions!

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    3. I'm glad you got a chance to see the butterflies. Everyone that has comments on how magical they are. I'm not seeing as many painted ladies now but the last few days we've had a flurry of hummingbird moths, my first personal sighting of these marvelous creatures. They've been hard to photograph, though - their wings are constantly moving.

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  12. I love the exuberance of your garden's blooms. So much to admire. Oohs and aahs...

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    1. I fear we may be moving from exuberant in the direction of ostentatious, Peter.

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    2. Ostentatious? Heavens no. just glorious blooms.

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    3. I don't know, Peter. Even I'm having a hard time seeing the foliage for the flowers at them moment.

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  13. Satiated? Oh, my! As satiated as I can be seeing it on line and not in person! Your bright spring blooms are a joy to behold. I particularly like all your Osteospermums. I have a Camellia 'Taylor's Perfection' growing in my woodland garden, and this year the blooms have been prettier than ever. We had several nights of temps into the 20s last week, and lots of spring blooms and new foliage were zapped. But Taylor's Perfection is still enthusiastically blooming.

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    1. 'Taylor's Perfection' seems to be a bit particular about its weather preferences here, Deb. It didn't respond well to being pummeled by rain and, at the moment, it's having a severe reaction to single digit humidity and temperatures in the high 70s/low 80s.

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  14. I doubt my 'Taylors Perfection' has ever been exposed to single digit humidity, but 100% humidity is not unusual! Today the temp made it up into the 60s. We have hit the 70s a couple times so far this year. I hope we don't see 80s at least until May, but likely we will.

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    1. I'm hoping this current spell of warm, dry weather doesn't stick yet. Our temperatures are supposed to drop again later this week with some more rain in the forecast too.

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