Friday, March 20, 2020

Spring Blooms to the Rescue!

It's been a surreal and very turbulent week.  Trying to fill gaps in the pantry as grocery store shelves go bare.  One activity after another abruptly cancelled.  Limited to talking to friends by phone or text rather than seeing them in person.  Required to sit a the parking lot while my cat is unloaded from my car and taken inside the veterinary clinic for chemotherapy.  Then, last night, receiving notice from California State and Los Angeles County government officials directing the majority of residents to stay home, leaving only for essential tasks like grocery shopping and medical services.

My garden provides the only real sense of normalcy at the moment.  I collected another round of photos to share with those of you who are also seeking distraction.  I'll start with the blooms I missed when I put together my mid-month Bloom Day post less than a week ago.

How did I forget to show you a view of my California poppies?

The bed adjacent to the small patio on the south side of our house contains not only orange California poppies (Eschscholzia californica, top row), but also Leucospermum 'Goldie' and Sparaxis tricolor (bottom row).  Hard pruning the  Agonis flexuosa 'Nana' shrubs that had dominated this bed provided the space and the sun that allowed the poppies to bloom here.

Euphorbia x martinii 'Ascot Rainbow' echoes the colors of the in Yucca 'Bright Star' behind it

Narcissus tazetta 'Geranium' is making a statement in the front garden

Pelargonium hybrid 'White Lady' gets around on the back slope

Clockwise from the upper left, other flowers that were left out of my Bloom Day post include: Cuphea hybrid 'Starfire Pink', white and pink Ranunculus, a noID Antirrhinum majus, a noID spoon-petaled Osteospermum, Ajuga 'Mint Chip', and Veronica 'Waterperry Blue'.  I pruned most of my Cuphea back hard 2 months ago but I left one mostly intact because I didn't want to disappoint the hummingbirds.  The Ranunculus, planted as tubers in late November, have been disappointing thus far but perhaps conditions have been too cool and water too limited to allow them to do their best.


All sorts of flowers made their first appearance this week.

Iris douglasiana 'Santa Lucia' unfolds new blooms daily

Two more Leucospermums, 'Brandi' (left) and 'Spider' (right) are on their way

My first rose of the season bloomed!  It came with the garden and has a beautiful scent but I've no ID for it.

Clockwise from the upper left, the other new arrivals include: Alyogyne huegelii (aka blue hibiscus), Hyacinthoides hispanica (Spanish bluebells), Lotus berthelotii 'Amazon Sunset', Linum grandiflorum (red flax), and Centranthus ruber.  I sowed red and blue flax seeds in November and this is the very first flower.


I even had a couple of pleasant surprises.

I purchased this plant by mail order in 2012.  It was simply labeled Abelia species.  The seller no longer grows it and I've never found a species name for it.  The shape of the flowers is like that of other Abelias I grow but but it doesn't have the glossy foliage common to the Abelias commonly sold by garden centers.  It blooms every year but is partially hidden under an unruly trailing Lantana on the back slope.

I planted 3 Hippeastrum papilio in a mostly shade bed next to our living room window a couple of years ago after they completed their first bloom cycle in a basket.  They didn't bloom last year and I was afraid they weren't going to do so this year but one plant has produced a flower now, albeit on a very short stem.  I'll probably move all 3 bulbs in late spring to a spot where they can get more light in an effort to encourage more blooms next year.


Our shelter-in-place order remains in effect until at least April 19th so I guess I'll have time to tackle the variety of garden projects, big and small, that I've been putting off.  If you've found yourself suddenly at loose ends, I hope you're finding positive ways to occupy yourself too.  I'll close with another shot of the Scilla peruviana in my back garden, not because you didn't see it in my Bloom Day post, but only because I think it's very pretty.



Best wishes for a stress-free weekend.


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

33 comments:

  1. Very harsh measures for sure but hopefully will keep more people safe. Thankfully your garden looks beautiful and provides you with things to do. I feel sorry for people who do not have a plot with which they can putter in outside.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've actually had far less time to putter in the garden than I'd thought I would. A little scare close to home this morning put me in a tizzy. Things are better now and I'm going outside soon. Take care Elaine!

      Delete
  2. Just a note to thank you for inviting everyone stuck inside into your lovely spring garden :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting - and for taking the time to comment! Best wishes.

      Delete
  3. How is Pipig coping with her treatment?

    (a little voice in my head says - right, thank you, enough of that! Can we go back to normal now?) Hunkering down for the duration. We are, not yet, on lockdown.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pipig was NOT happy to be hauled off yet again for tests and treatment, Diana, especially as I had to have her on a fast beforehand! Overall, she's doing well but her chest x-ray showed a "shadow" which may be nothing but could also indicate the spread of the cancer to her lungs. She'll have another series of tests when she finishes treatment at the end of April; however, if there's indication the cancer's spread I'm leaning toward palliative care only from there on. I can't bring myself to continue impairing the quality of life of my 12-year old cat with even more extensive medical interventions.

      Delete
  4. Soul uplifting post, Kris. Lots of lovelies in your garden to showcase. That red flax is amazingly vibrant, it glows! Other standouts are the Scilla, of course, and the Lotus and Abelia.
    Hope Pipig is bearing up and you, too, a month is a long time to stay home. We gardeners are lucky for the distraction. I'm glad this isn't deep winter, or I'd be in a fix, as it is, the timing works for me. Spent two hours outside today and the weather was amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband was feeling ill this morning and Pipig cemented herself to his side. My husband joked (half-heartedly) that maybe she sensed he was on his decline but then I pointed out her heating pad had been turned off and, as she had her stomach shaved (again) for her ultrasound test, she was opportunistically seeking warmth. She is now back on her heating pad and NOT serving some death watch over my husband.

      Delete
    2. Is your spouse okay? Please don't tell me he has the dreaded virus! Praying <3

      Delete
    3. He's okay, although we did have a bit of a scare. From a subjective standpoint, he felt feverish but it was a by-product of his vertigo-inducing inner ear disorder. Our digital thermometer (once we found it) didn't work so I ran around trying to get either a replacement thermometer or a new battery for the old one. I got the battery (and ordered a backup thermometer) and finally proved he didn't have a fever. He still feels lousy but it's all due to the inner ear problem, which is miserable but not deadly.

      Delete
    4. I'm relieved to hear that. Hope he feels better soon.

      Delete
  5. These are indeed surreal and scary times Kris and as you say our gardens provide that reassuring touch of the normal. Your first rose of the season is a beauty. Take care and stay safe.

    ReplyDelete
  6. We've had a full week now of "confinement" up here in the Bay Area. Traffic now is seems consistently at a level similar to a Sunday morning. But ironically as we've been told to stay home I see 2x the usual number of people out walking singly or in family groups. In fact a few neighbors and I went for bike ride together at 2pm in the middle of the week - that has never happened before. Working in my garden out front I end up stopping every 15 minutes to have a conversation with latest passerby. Even my own teenagers were in the garden helping me move heavy rocks or just hanging out and chatting. From my corner of the world life is in some ways is a little slower. (work - not so much)

    Btw - love the Leucospermums, 'Brandi' - I have a 5gal specimen I'm babysitting until out Club's plant sale which sadly will most likely be cancelled.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From an official perspective, Hans, we've been under "confinement" for only 3 days but, practically speaking, for the last week my husband and I've left home only to pick up groceries, batteries for our thermometer (!), a medical appointment, and my cat's chemo treatment (where I remained in the car). Events have mostly been cancelled through the end of April here so my local botanic garden's Spring plant sale is off. On my brief drive to the drug store and back for the aforementioned battery, I also saw more people walking, running and riding bikes than I can remember in a long time.

      Delete
  7. It is a delight seeing more blooms from your garden. Specially today when the weather gods are playing against spring that is supposed to be here now. We have a 95% chance of spring mix and I don't mean lettuce I mean snow, sleet and rain.
    Your poor Pipig. Dealing with this on top of the rest of our worlds problems is not good. I hope your dear husband is just feeling the angst of our situation and not really ill.
    California poppies always remind me of the time I was out in the country in CA and we came upon a field of these poppies. That was amazing enough and then a Burrowing owl popped up behind some. I have the best memory of those golden yellow eyes peering at me through the poppies. Be well and be as happy as those poppies appear to be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a brief scare with my husband (during which we discovered that the battery in our thermometer was dead, necessitating a quick trip to the local drug store on my part) but it was just that - his inner ear disorder was throwing his system off, not the virus.

      California poppy fields are spectacular, especially in the midst of a "superbloom" like we had following last year's rainy season. I've actually had a hard time getting them established in my own garden. There are only a handful of plants coming back on my back slope, and they've yet to bloom. The ones in my south side garden bed were grown from plugs rather than seeds.

      Delete
  8. Such pretty colors. How much yard do you have that you can grow so many varieties of flowers? It must be bliss to sit at the end of a long day and take in the gardens and the view of LA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The entire property is just over 1/2 an acre Cindy but of course the house occupies part of that. However, I tore out all of the lawn that came with the house in increments and created garden beds instead. We get too little rain to maintain a decent-looking lawn area and I prefer flowers and ornamental foliage anyway!

      Delete
  9. Well, I've discovered that I can leave a comment on your blog when using my work laptop, but the comment doesn't go through when I use my own Mac. Makes no sense to me, but now at least I know where not to waste my time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. System compatibility issues perhaps? I wasn't able to make comments from my iPad when I tried that either.

      Delete
  10. I’m sorry to read about your cat, Kris, and hope that she comes through the chemo safely. Your garden is beautiful as always and must give you a great deal of comfort during such distressing times.
    Your Scilla peruviana is rather stunning. I have one in my garden and it has been totally disappointing, pale greyish flowers on a very short stalk. Its leaves have just popped out ready for a new season so I’ll cross my fingers and hope it comes to its senses before spring!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The garden brings the only real sense of normalcy to my life at the moment, Jane. And even it's quieter than usual. The Port of Los Angeles below us, usually busy 24/7, has had less and less activity since the virus hit China and now the neighborhood itself is almost devoid of activity as well.

      Delete
  11. The times are weird, for sure. So stressful for all of us. I've been working to get family members back home from Florida and India lately, on top of all the COVID-19 scare. It's getting to the point where it's just too much. Take care and stay healthy, Kris!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Helping family get home, especially from overseas, has got to be difficult now, Beth. Best wishes to you, and them!

      Delete
  12. Our gardens certainly give us a sense of normalcy during these unbelievable times.You must walk around and drink in the beauty of your own garden every day. I remember the smell of early spring form when we lived in California. But even with a garden to retreat to our weather here has been as crazy as the chaos the virus has wrought. So much rain in recent days and masses of overgrowth and weeds. Much to keep me busy. Hope the treatment your cat is receiving is successful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My garden is a blessing, Jenny. I hope your weather improves soon and sets you free to putter in your own wonderful garden. We've had rain on and off for most of this month but it's appreciated after virtually no rain in January and February, usually the rainiest period of our short rainy season. I'm focusing on the weeds and the out-of-control ivy on the back slope at the moment.

      Delete
  13. Your garden looks awesome and spring is just starting. I don't mind staying home but it's been tough for Alan. He's working at home but what he works on involves a lot of complex computer hardware set-ups and he ends up missing one piece he doesn't have. Small worries in the face of much bigger problems.

    Best wishes to you for Pipig.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks HB. I hope Alan and his work team can find some creative ways to manage under the circumstances.

      Delete
  14. So many beautiful flowers! I've been way behind in my blog reading, with Andrew working from home and life rather disrupted all around things aren't happening in their usual order. I hope you're doing okay...your garden certainly is!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're doing okay, Loree. Even though my husband and I are retired, our schedules have also been disrupted so I entirely understand the situation.

      Delete
  15. What a joy to have a virtual stroll round your garden and share some of your beauties Kris. As usual there is so much to enjoy. That abelia is very unusual.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I only have the grower's testimony that it IS an Abelia, Chloris, although the leaf and flower shapes both suggest that identification. I haven't thought of trying to propagate it but I guess I should as the seller doesn't grow it anymore and I haven't seen it anywhere else.

      Delete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions!