Saturday, February 15, 2020

Bloom Day - February 2020

Coastal Southern California really only has two seasons - a cool season during which we get rain (if we're lucky) and a warm-to-hot season, which seems to be getting longer with each passing year.  While our nights are still definitely on the chilly side, we're getting more and more days with temperatures in the upper 60s and lower 70s (Fahrenheit).  I can't say Spring has exploded into being yet but it's slowly creeping in.  More rain might push floral production along more quickly but it's not clear we're going to get much more of that.  In fact, yesterday I heard that California's snowpack is currently sitting at 59% of average with no rain or snow in sight, which doesn't bode well.

Despite the lower than desired rainfall, my usual February blooms appear to be right on schedule.

Ceanothus arboreous 'Cliff Schmidt' on my back slope is putting on its best display yet

Echium handiense 'Pride of Fuerteventura', a native of the Canary Islands and always the first of my Echiums to bloom, is putting on a good show

Euryops chrysanthemoides 'Sonnenschein' (left) and Euryops x virgineus 'Tali' (right) are pumping out blooms in the same color but different sizes

Pyrethropsis hosmariense (aka Moroccan daisy) is pretty in both bud and bloom

Pyrus calleryana (aka ornamental pear) is a messy tree with funky smelling flowers but it stands out at this time of year

The flowers of Ribes viburnifolium 'Catalina Perfume' are tiny but plentiful

My prostrate rosemary have been blooming for some time but the flowers are now too profuse to ignore


Cooler temperatures have given the African daisies their usual seasonal boost.

The photos on the left and the top right are Arctotis 'Opera Pink' and the one on the lower right is my favorite Arctotis 'Pink Sugar'.  I went overboard this fall pulling up scruffy 'Pink Sugar', assuming that I could get more with little problem but, despite the fact that my remaining plants are blooming, I've yet to be able to find more in my local garden centers (even though I've submitted 2 special orders for them).

Gazanias are popping up all over, although the progeny of many of the self-seeded plants haven't replicated their parental stock

Osteospermums definitely prefer temperatures on the cooler side


I was particularly delighted by the appearance of a couple of early blooms.

Anemones don't do well here, seldom surviving more than one season, and I don't plant them every year but this year I ordered some special tubers and planted them in my cutting garden in early November.  This is Anemone 'Mistral Rarity', the first to bloom.  

I often complain that hellebores are slow to bloom here.  This year Helleborus 'Blue Lady (left) and 'Phoebe' (right) are a month or so ahead of schedule.  'Phoebe's' foliage also seems to have taken on some variegation.


Certain plants can always be depended on to show up.

Bauhinia x blakeana (aka Hong Kong orchid tree) has been blooming for months

Camellia williamsii 'Taylor's Perfection' produced its first blooms before Bloom Day last month, peaked in late January, and is now on the decline

Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold' has also been blooming for months but the flowers blanket the shrubs now 

Gomphreana decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy' has recovered from the hard pruning it received in November

The large-flowered Grevilleas bloom year-round.  Clockwise from the left: Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream' in a wide shot and a close-up, 'Ned Kelly', and 'Superb'

The small-flowered  Grevilleas join in at this time of year to produce a profusion of blooms.  Clockwise from the upper left: Grevillea 'Scarlet Sprite', G. lavandulacea 'Penola', G. alpina x rosmarinifolious, G. sericea, and G. rosmarinifolious.

Leucadendrons (aka conebush) don't have flowers in the conventional sense but their bracts take on the appearance of flowers this time of year.  Clockwise from the upper left: Leucadendron 'Safari Goldstrike' in a wide shot and close-up, 'Wilson's Wonder', 'Blush', and 'Safari Sunset'.


I picked up a couple of new flowering plants this month.

In pots by the front door: Boronia crenulata 'Sharks Bay' (left) and hybrid Pericallis 'Magic Salmon' (right)


I've organized the best of the rest of the blooming plants by color for the record.

Top row: Brachyscome angustifolia 'Brasco Violet', Campanula poscharskyana, Felicia aethiopica, and Freesia
Middle row: Iris germanica in bud, Lepechinia bella, noID Muscari, and noID Violas
Bottom row: trailing Lantana and Polygala fruticosa

Clockwise from the upper left: Cyclamen, Cuphea ignea 'Starfire Pink', Eustoma grandiflorum, Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl', and Lotus jacobaeus

Clockwise from the upper left: Argyranthemum fruticosa 'Everest', Cymbidium Sussex Court 'Not Peace', Hippeastrum 'Moon Scene', Digitalis purpurea 'Dalmatian White', and Westringia 'Morning Light'

Clockwise from the upper left: Alstroemeria 'Indian Summer', Euphorbia rigida, Phylica pubescens, noID Narcissus, and Rudbeckia hirta 'Denver Daisy'

Succulent blooms, top row: Aeonium arbroeum, Aloe 'Johnson's Hybrid', and A. 'Safari Rose'
Bottom row: Crassula multicava 'Red', C. orbicularis var rosularis, and C. rupestris 'Springtime'


That's a wrap until next month.  To see what's blooming in other parts of the US and elsewhere in the world, visit the host of Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, Carol at May Dreams Gardens.


All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

34 comments:

  1. So many flowers! Ceanothus is one that I'm still trying to get established... Maybe I'll try again this year. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous flowers with us!

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    1. This particular Ceanothus took its sweet time to get established after being planted from a one-gallon container but it seems happy now on the dry back slope. I'm told that too much water is the cause of most deaths. We had a hedge of a noID variety when we moved in but, planted next to lawn (before we removed all that), it deteriorated under regular irrigation and we ended up pulling it out.

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  2. There you are with your Arctotis again! I can't have them in my zone. My prostrate rosemary has been blooming all winter too. It's amazing. I am partial to purple flowers, so your Pericallis 'Magic Salmon' has to be my favorite today. Sorry Arctotis!

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    1. That Pericallis was new to me, Lisa, although varieties with all blue or purple flowers are relatively common here. They're generally sold as annuals in this area but they're actually short-lived perennials with some protection from the sun and summer's heat.

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  3. Having always been oh so envious of your grevilleas I'm delighted that the small flowered 'Canberra Gem' is blooming prolifically for me too. Tempting to branch out and try more..
    Lotus jacobaeus looks intriguing, not come across that one before.

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    1. That Lotus is common here either, Jessica. I got mine by mail order and it lives in a large pot.

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  4. Magnificent blooms, Kris! I couldn't begin to list the ones that caught my eye. Brava!

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    1. Thanks Eliza. It's beginning to feel more like Spring here but I'm still hoping for several more doses of winter's rain.

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  5. Some I'm familiar with, many I am not, the blooms really made my upstate New York winter's day for me. Do I have a favorite? It will take me a long time to think of one. I enjoyed seeing your cyclamen - I just got one for Valentine's Day and this one I am going to try hard not to kill.

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    1. I can't pick a favorite either, Alana! What appeals to me changes day to day, if not hour to hour.

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  6. My head is spinning with all of these blooms in sight. That prostrate Rosemary is a beauty. I love rosemary but can't keep it over winter due to not enough light inside the house. I have tried growing it in various places in the garden hoping it would survive the winter but haven't found a place as yet. Happy GBBd.

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    1. We're lucky that rosemary is virtually indestructible here, Lisa. Our neighbors across the street planted their entire slope (a BIG area) in rosemary plugs several years ago. The bees are in heaven there. My own patches of it are constantly in the process of swamping everything around them.

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  7. Oh my goodness: I think I'm going to drive or fly to California tomorrow. ;-) So many beautiful blooms! I remember seeing Bauhinia trees in bloom in New Orleans and Florida--they are something special!

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    1. I was lucky to inherit the Bauhinia with the garden, Beth. It's a lovely thing.

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  8. So much to love here. The ornamental pear is really pretty. I love the 'Taylor's Perfection' camellia. I had it in my former garden in Alabama but haven't found it here in Washington state (although I haven't looked too hard). The ceanothus is spectacular. I just can't get enough of them.

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    1. That Camellia was the first plant I added to this garden after we moved in 9+ years ago. I love Camellias but this garden is tougher on them than my former garden just 15 miles away and, given our persistent drought, I've reluctantly backed off on the idea of planting any more.

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  9. Wow! what a show. Interesting how the Bahaunia flowers for so long. I don't know of any tree that blooms for more than a few weeks in the year.

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    1. I haven't actually tracked its bloom cycle but the Bauhinia seems to flower at least a couple of times a year here, Elaine. This last round has lasted for months, which I don't remember happening before.

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  10. Such lovely blooms and such variety. I need a prostrate rosemary in my garden. Wonderful plant. I have grown those little daisies before. They are winners.

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    1. Rosemary loves this climate, Dorothy. It's indestructible.

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  11. Every time you post plethora of stunning blooms ,my eyes are only stuck upon Grevilleas and leucadendrons ,they are just breathtaking beautiful.Are these hardy ,do they survive hot climates.Happy bloggers blooms day.

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    1. Grevilleas are native to Australia and Leucadendrons hail from South Africa so both can handle heat, Arun. It gets hot here too but not humid. Your monsoonal rains might be hard on them.

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  12. That is one helluva rosemary! Wow - it's massive! As always, your Leucadendrons turn me green with envy. The two grevilleas I have are still just buds. Not sure why, but I'm guessing it's a light thing. Others in town are blooming, but mine are in some shade, so not ideal. Oh well, one of these days...

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    1. I expect there are 3 plants in that massive clump of rosemary, Anna. If I recall correctly, I planted plugs from a 6-pack there and along the path down the slope, where there's another river of rosemary. I'd no idea they'd get that big...

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  13. Gosh, you have so much in bloom! Such a great variety and you can grow hellebores--sigh. And the Grevilleas are beautiful; how fortunate that they bloom year-round. Do you prune the plant at any particular time, or dead-head as needed?

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    1. The hellebores took their own sweet time getting sufficiently established to bloom, Tina. I'd pretty much given up on the first one ('Phoebe') when she finally came through.

      I tip prune the Grevilleas periodically just to keep them tidy - and I cut flowers from them off and on. My oldest plant, Grevillea 'Superb', has gotten top heavy so I'm considering a harder pruning.

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  14. Is this the same garden I visited just a couple of months ago? Amazing floral display Kris!

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    1. Spring comes early here, Loree. We're on the brink of it now.

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  15. Great flowers, disappointing rainy season.

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    1. The weather forecaster mentioned the prospect of rain next weekend but I checked the on-line forecast and it looks to be a rather narrow chance. Still - fingers crossed!

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  16. Wouldn't your Pink Sugar grow easily from cuttings?

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    1. Yes, although if I'd known I couldn't easily buy replacements I'd have started those a lot earlier than I did. Most of what I started last month is still dinky in size and I'm not sure they'll bloom this season. A few I thought I'd pulled have grown back from their roots so that's another lesson learned: when they get ratty, just cut them back to the ground.

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  17. Oh my goodness! It is always a pleasure to visit your garden, especially in February when we will have to wait another three months to get all those beautiful blooms! I especially love the color on the Ceanothus arboreous 'Cliff Schmidt', which really caught my eye. Thanks for the pick up on this 47 degree winters day!

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