Scanning my garden, my perception is that it's low on flowers but, when I check all its nooks and crannies, there's actually quite a lot out there. The large splashes of color characteristic of spring and summer are largely missing; however, by comparison to many gardens on the Northern Hemisphere, there are plenty of flowers to be found in my frost-free climate.
I'll start with the flowers that came as the biggest surprise to me.
|I planted 3 small bulbs of Lachenalia viridiflora in a pot in October 2021. They bloomed last December and here they are back for a second year. The turquoise color of the flowers makes them look like jewels.|
|The first bloom of Camellia williamsii 'Taylor's Perfection' opened just in time for Bloom Day. Dry conditions and untimely heatwaves have cost me the majority of these flowers in some years. I'm hoping the shrub will respond well to our recent rainfall and cooler temperatures and give me many flowers this year.|
|I stored all but one of my dahlia tubers in late October to wait out their dormant season but Dahlia 'Lavender Ruffles' has continued to throw out a huge bloom (or two) at intervals into December. The plant's foliage looks terrible but I'll hold off on digging it up as long as buds continue to develop.|
|I found this Dermatobotrys saundersii (tree jockey) at a Huntington Garden sale in 2017. It blooms reliably sometime between Halloween and Christmas but always manages to surprise me, producing new leaves, flowers and fruit all at once after dropping its leaves and briefly playing dead.|
|This Medinilla myriantha (Malaysian orchid) was blooming last month and it's still going strong with a second bud cluster developing this month. This tropical plant prefers shade, high humidity, and temperatures in the 60s and it's finally got that trifecta.|
A couple of plants have made very brief appearances.
|Hemerocallis 'Spanish Harlem' (left) is a relatively reliable rebloomer in my climate but it's struggled with the colder temperatures we've had recently. This is one of its more presentable blooms. It's been a very poor year for roses in my garden but 'California Dreamin' (right) graced me with a single delicate bloom late last week.|
The plants I often describe as my "old dependables" continue to offer blooms.
|All 4 of our Arbutus 'Marina' are dripping with flowers but, as the trees are scheduled for pruning next Monday, this will be the end of them for awhile |
|Argyranthemum frutescens appreciates cooler temperatures. 'Aramis Bicolor' is on the left and 'White Butterfly' is on the right.|
|Bauhinia x blakeana (Hong Kong orchid tree) also celebrates cooler temperatures and higher humidity levels with flowers|
|The raccoons dug up the Calibrachoas I grew in another barrel last summer but none have touched this peach variety|
|These 2 noID varieties of Camellia sasanqua are putting on a particularly good show right now |
|Felicia aethiopica has been blooming continuously for months|
|My garden wouldn't be the same without Grevilleas. Clockwise from the upper left are: Grevillea alpina x rosmarinifolia, dwarf G. rosmarinifolia, G. 'Scarlet Sprite', G. 'Peaches & Cream', and G. 'Superb'.|
|The Leucadendrons continue to mimic flowers. Left to right are: Leucadendron salignum 'Blush', L. salignum 'Chief', and hybrid L. 'Safari Sunset'|
|The Osteospermums are returning in greater numbers as the cooler temperatures persist. Clockwise from the upper left: Osteospermum '4D Pink' (without the blue blue color it showed off last year), O. '4D Silver', O. '4D White', O. '4D Violet Ice', and a mutant variety.|
|Ivy geraniums (Pelargonium peltatum) in burgundy and lavender |
|Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum', not quite as vigorous as in prior years|
|Tagetes lemmonii (Mexican marigold) in full bloom in partial shade|
I've grouped the best of the rest in color-coded collages.
|Top: Barleria obtusa, Lavandula multifida, and Teucrium fruticans 'Azureum'|
Middle: Lantana montevidensis, Salvia rosmarinus, and Scabiosa columbaria
Bottom: Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy', Viola cornuta 'Penny Peach', and Vitex trifolia
|Clockwise from the upper left: Achillea ptarmica, Primula vulgaris, Westringia fruticosa 'Morning Light', Achillea 'Moonshine', noID Calendula, Gaillardia 'Spintop Copper Sun', and Nemesia 'Banana Split'|
|Clockwise from the upper left: Correa 'Dusky Bells', Cuphea 'Starfire Pink', Persicaria capitata, and Primula vulgaris|
A check of my December 2021 and 2020 Bloom Day posts indicates that there are fewer flowers in my garden this year. After three years of seriously low rainfall, that's to be expected. This December also seems colder than those prior years, which may be slowing the bloom cycles of some plants. The Aloes and Aeoniums are gearing up to put on show in January and hopefully other tardy bloomers will join in.
Visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens to find other Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day posts.
material © 2012-2022
by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party
I don't think I've ever heard of Lachenalia viridiflora, it's crazy cool! Naturally it's not hardy in my Zone 8.ReplyDelete
I think Gerhard grows some Lachenalia, although I can't recall if his collection includes this turquoise variety. I bought bulbs of 2 other varieties as well but, surprisingly, they haven't done as well as this one. Maybe they prefer growing in a pot to growing in my sandy soil.Delete
I've lost my 'mermaid's tail' Lachenalia. Need to find some fresh bulbs!Delete
Those bulbs are very hard to find here, Diana. I had to order them from a specialty nursery months in advance - and even then I was limited to purchasing 3 bulbs.Delete
I have NO flowers in my garden at the moment. I must do with the promises of things to come: buds.ReplyDelete
I wonder: could less flowers this December may be due in part to increasing use of Xera plants: Agaves, succulents etc.
Yes, as the proportion of my garden occupied by succulents seems to increase with every passing year, that could be a factor, Chavli. A lot of succulents do bloom, though. My Aeonium arboreum are preparing to bloom in large numbers but, as I don't particularly care for the flowers, I don't put a lot of emphasis on them. Instead of getting more monocarpic agaves, I should probably be investing in more aloes. Aloes often take a few years to get around to blooming for the first time but, once they start, they're pretty reliable.Delete
So many blooms! The Lachenalias are such an interesting color. And Camellias...sigh. Love them!ReplyDelete
If drought hadn't come perpetual here, I'd have more Camellias, Beth. All but 'Taylor's Perfection' came with the garden.Delete
What a wonderful collection of blooms! Your garden must look a lot like Paradise.ReplyDelete
Paradise is in the eye of the beholder, Dorothy. Mine would have even more flowering plants ;)Delete
Still a lot of flowers without a lot of flowers. 😊 The Lachenalia is an eye-popping color--wonderful.ReplyDelete
What do you think of the Teucrium? Happy with it?
That Teucrium arrived as a tiny cutting from my friend's garden where it was a large shrub. Mine remains a relatively small (1x1') bush after 2+ years in the ground. That said, the silvery foliage and blue flowers are attractive. Maybe my sandy soil is stunting it.Delete
The color of the Lachenalia is just amazing! And I love the Felicia, absolutely adorable!ReplyDelete
Felicia is another nearly year-round bloomer here. All it needs is an occasional bit of deadheading to keep it tidy.Delete
Your count may be down, but it looks impressive to me, Kris! That Lachenalia is fabulous, what an unusual flower color. It's always a pleasure to peruse your bloom day posts, so many lovelies! ElizaReplyDelete
Thanks Eliza. I'm hoping we'll see more rain in January-March and a LOT more flowers but the forecasts are dicey.Delete
Lovely to see some colour. The pennisetum rubra is droolworthy. Here we buy 1 gal speciments every year as an annual. Nice to see the effect it has when it can reach maturity. I have a Lachenalia too that finally flowered after sitting dormant for over a year. Unfortunately, I wasn't really impressed. Had expected more of a show. Interesting flower colours though.ReplyDelete
The Lachenalia's flowers are small but I understand they'll beef up over time, Elaine. I hope that happens for both of us. The L. viridiflorus I planted in the pot have done better than the other varieties I planted in the ground - those were colorful but even smaller than those in the pot.Delete
That Dahlia 'Lavender Ruffles' is such a delight to see! We've had a week or more of frost and ice (with a tiny bit of snow), so much of my garden is looking rather miserable at the moment.ReplyDelete
I've never had a dahlia hang on this long, Nikki. It's cold here by our standards but there's no frost, much less snow.Delete
As always, you have an abundance of beautiful blooms. It is an adventure every time I visit your amazing garden! Happy Bloom Day!ReplyDelete