After one of the coldest and wettest Decembers on record for California, January thus far has been warmer and completely dry in the southern part of the state. The long-term projections for the remainder of SoCal's rainy season aren't auspicious but, as long-term forecasts are always questionable, I'm trying to remain optimistic. At least our December rain total put us above the total for the entire 2021 water year and moved our current drought status from "severe" to "moderate." The outlook for Northern California is better than that for SoCal, which means the state's water system as a whole should be less stressed than it was last year and I can't complain about that.
While January is a sluggish month for blooms, flowers are far more prevalent here than in the colder parts of the country. I suspect that's particularly true this year with the upper midwest and eastern parts of the country being hit with an arctic blast.
|This is perhaps the brightest spot in my garden at the moment, featuring Aloe wickensii, Grevillea 'Superb', and the flower-like bracts of Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder'|
I'm going to start my bloom review with the succulents this month.
|Clockwise from the upper left, other succulents in bloom include: Crassula multicava 'Red', C. ovata, C. 'Springtime', Aeonium arboreum, Sedeveria 'Fanfare', and Senecio kleiniiformis. I counted 68 Aeonium bloom stalks at present.|
Taking my cue from the photo at the top of this post, next up are the Grevilleas and the Leucadendrons. The large-flowered Grevilleas bloom year-round but the small-flowered varieties join in during our cool season. The "blooms" of Leucadendrons are actually colorful flower-like bracts.
|Top row: Grevillea alpina x rosmarinifolia, G. lavandulacea 'Penola', and G. rosmarinifolia|
Middle row: Grevillea sericea and G. 'Scarlet Sprite'
Bottom row: Grevillea 'Ned Kelly', G. 'Peaches & Cream', and G. 'Superb'
|Top row: Leucadendron 'Blush' and L.'Safari Sunset'|
Middle row: 2 views of Leucadendron salignum 'Chief'
Bottom row: Leucadendron 'Summer Red' and L. 'Wilson's Wonder'
The other stars of my winter garden include the following:
|Bauhinia x blakeana (aka Hong Kong orchid tree) rebounded with the return of drier weather. The perfect bloom on the bottom right fell from the tree onto a shrub below.|
|The two noID Camellia sasanqua species (top row) are still blooming if somewhat shabby. Camellia williamsii 'Taylor's Perfection' (bottom) has just started its annual run.|
|The flowers of Felicia aethiopica 'Tight & Tidy' are small but prolific|
|The Osteospermums take off during our cool season too. Clockwise from the top left are: Osteospermum '4D Silver', O. 'Berry White', O. 'Double 'Moonglow', and O. 'Violet Ice'.|
|Tagetes lemmonii has mostly recovered from the gardener's poorly timed pruning|
As usual, there were a few surprises.
|The native Dodecatheon clevelandii (syn Primula clevelandii aka Padre's shooting star) on the left was a Christmas gift from a friend. The Lachenalia aliodes v quadicolor, on the right, purchased as a bulb, was supposed to a different variety.|
|I'd expected Hippeastrum 'Luna' to be white with a green center but it's more lemon-lime in color|
|I got this Teucrium fruticans 'Azureum' (aka bush germander) as a tiny seedling from a friend in January 2019. I feared for its survival several times but it seems to have taken hold at last.|
I'll close this bloom update as I normally do, with the best of the rest organized by color.
|Clockwise from the upper left: Antirrhinum majus, Cuphea 'Vermillionaire', Lantana 'Irene', and Lobelia laxiflora|
|Clockwise from the upper left: Argyranthemum frutescens 'Yellow Butterfly', Gaillardia 'Arizona Sun', noID Grindelia, Oncostele 'Wildcat', Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum', and Phylica pubescens|
|Left to right: Argyranthemum frutescens 'White Butterfly', noID Narcissus tazetta, and Westringia fruticosa 'Morning Light'|
|Top row: noID Ceanothus, Globularia x indubia, and Lavandula multifida|
Middle row: Limonium perezii, Rosmarinus 'Gold Dust', and Viola cornuta 'Penny Peach'
Bottom row: trailing Lantana, Ocimum 'African Blue Basil', and Polygala fruticosa
|Top row: Cuphea 'Honey Bells' and Cyclamen 'Djix'|
Bottom row: Gazania 'White Flame', Pelargonium sidioides, and Ribes viburnifilium
For Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day reports from other parts of the US and the world, check in with Carol at May Dreams Gardens.
All material © 2012-2022 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party