Cathy of Words and Herbs launched her annual 'Week of Flowers' last Wednesday to brighten the outlook of gardeners in the Northern Hemisphere facing all too many gloomy days during the colder winter months. Coastal Southern California isn't nearly as cold or as gloomy as many areas but, after a long hot, dry summer and a steady decline in flowers, I find myself looking forward to spring, when every day reveals something new. However, reflecting the name of my blog, I'm once again "late to the garden party" in pulling together photos to celebrate a Week in Flowers, delivering these on its very last day.
Spring arrives very early in my frost-free part of the world. We don't have a winter in the sense that most people envision that season. In fact, we often say we have just two seasons: a cool season and a warm-hot season. Our cool season coincides with our rainy season, although we've been seriously short on rain for the last two years and we seem to be stuck in the same pattern this year. But the combination of whatever rain we get and the lengthening days that follow the winter solstice begin the charge that leads to the flourish of flowers that arrive with spring.
I reviewed my floral photos from January through March 2022 to remind me of what I have to (hopefully) look forward to in 2023.
|These noID paperwhite Narcissi, inherited with the garden, bloom early every year. I've already noticed the stems poking up through the soil in this area.|
|Ceanothus arboreus 'Cliff Schmidt' was planted on my neglected and very dry back slope from a 1-gallon container in January 2018. It's 7-8 feet tall now and could eventually grow to 15-20 feet tall and wide.|
|Together with the paperwhite Narcissi, the first bulbs to bloom in my garden are usually the Freesias. They began developing foliage a couple of months ago, although the voracious rabbits may be setting them back this year.|
|The colorful bracts of Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' mimic flowers early each year; however, the gardeners mistook them for a hedge last month and I can't say what that's going to do to their normal "bloom" schedule.|
|The Anemone coronaria may start blooming as early as February in my cutting garden but these bulbs and others really take off in March|
|The foliage of the spring starflowers (Ipheion uniflorum) is already developing in some areas. The tiny bulbs will probably begin flowering in February but should peak in March.|
|The tips of the Dutch Iris are already pushing up in some areas as well. The majority of mine are 'Sapphire Beauty' (left) and 'Mystic Beauty' (right) but I plant more bulbs every fall. This fall's addition was 'Pink Panther'.|
|The foliage of Scilla peruviana began to develop in September this year so maybe those flowers will appear earlier this coming spring as well|
|The pincushion shrubs, members of the Protea family, generally begin flowering in February with a peak performance as a group in March. Clockwise from the upper left are Leucospermum 'Brandi', L. 'Goldie', L. 'Hybrid Spider', and L. 'Sunrise'.|
|This is Osteospermum '4DPink'. It was a new introduction to the genus last year. Some didn't survive the summer and others appeared to develop a muddier color over time. I'll be interested to see if any display colors this vivid next year.|
Thanks to Cathy for launching this campaign to lift everyone's spirits! For other posts in this series, visit Cathy at Words and Herbs.
All material © 2012-2022 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party