Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Seeking Inspiration

Even in coastal Southern California, January is not a particularly exciting time of year in the garden.  I've got holes to fill all over my garden.  While I've ideas in mind for at least some areas, I know that the shelves of local garden centers tend to be relatively bare at this time of year.  I nevertheless paid a visit to my local store hoping to find inspiration to fill the empty half-barrel my husband bought me as a Christmas present.  Unfortunately, I found little that appealed to me.

The shelves really were quite bare


Rather than go home empty-handed, I selected seasonal plants as temporary fillers.

The barrel sits in the front garden in a bed partially covered by the canopy of our Magnolia tree so it's in partial shade.  The bed has a variety of foundation shrubs and the soil is so riddled with roots I've found it difficult to establish anything in the bare area around them.

I filled the barrel with packaged soil, planting mix, and pumice to improve drainage.  I planted Pericallis 'Senetti Violet Bi-color', Calibrachoa 'Cabaret Sky Blue', and Viola 'Penny Peach Jump-up'.

 

I'd hoped to see a new flowers popping up in my garden on their own following the heavy rain we had during the early part of the month but the reality is they're creeping in all so slowly.  It hasn't been warm enough yet to get things moving quickly in spring's direction.

Recent arrivals include: Top row - Arctotis 'Pink Sugar' and Echium handiense (propagated from cuttings)
 Middle row - noID paperwhite Narcissus
Bottom row - Senna artemisioides and what I think is Narcissus 'Geranium'

 

Unlike my perennials and bulbs, some things are moving along at a quicker pace.

The bloom stalk of my largest Agave 'Blue Glow' grows taller by the day and is now nearly straight
 

 

My thanks to all who offered good wishes for my cat's recovery.  We still have to look at the potentially serious issues underlying the sudden onset of her medical distress last week but, at least for now, she's stabilized and seemingly much more comfortable than she was.

She still likes to find a pool of sun to bask in and, because she had trouble jumping onto surfaces, like her favorite sleeping area at the foot of our bed, my husband built her a ramp out of cardboard and leftover carpet.  Her aim has improved when jumping but she's still using the ramp on occasion.

 

As this post is already a hodge-podge of topics, I'll throw in another photo of the view from my back garden at dawn on Sunday to brighten your day.

View looking northeast from our back garden

 

Best wishes for a happy hump day!


All material © 2012-2023 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

12 comments:

  1. I don't think I've ever made it this far without setting foot in a nursery. Basically, I'm afraid of finding exactly what you found: empty benches.

    I really like the fillers you bought. That's actually a great idea. I never buy "temporary" plants, but maybe I should this year to lift my mood and find my gardening mojo...

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    1. I'm not really one for temporary plants either, although I began seeding annuals in my cutting garden a few years ago so perhaps that's made me more accepting of them. I've always loved Pericallis (Cineraria) so this seemed a good opportunity to enjoy the plant up close while I can. Late winter/early spring is its season - it and the violas will exit on their own as soon as temperatures start to climb.

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    2. I was just at Green Acres in Sacramento yesterday, potted dormant roses and dormant fruit trees seemed to be the emphasis. There were a few perennials and shrubs, but nothing like there will be in March. I was hoping to get a winter blooming Grevillea, but they were all in five gallon pots for fifty bucks, so I passed. A suggestion for your garden, is Christmas Cheer Knifophia. This sends out dozens of spikes of flowers from mid November to February, and hummers love it.

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    3. Thank you for the suggestion, Sue. I have one noID Kniphofia, inherited with the garden, but in the 12 years we've lived here, it's bloomed once. Sunset says it needs moderate to "regular" water, which may be the issue. I get significantly less rain on average than the Sacramento area and rainfall has been particularly poor in the past 2 years. I should probably try moving the existing plant to an area that gets more irrigation to see if that makes a difference.

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  2. So glad to see photos of Pipig cat-napping. That Senna artemisioides is a looker. I tried it in my garden years ago, it should be Zone 8 friendly, but it didn't make it.

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    1. Compared to my Senna bicapsularis, S. artemisioides is a wimp but it's offered those bright yellow blooms annually for about 3 years now. It blends into the background after flowering but it's hung on to bloom another year despite its placement in one of the driest areas in my garden.

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  3. Oh, it looks exciting to me, but I get it. :) Your barrel planter is very pretty, and that Agave is amazing! Happy hump day to you, too!

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    1. It's going to be interesting watching that Agave reach its bloom stage, Beth - and sad when it dies out afterwards. It'll leave a big hole to fill!

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  4. The mere fact that your garden has green and growing things is exciting to use snow-bound gardeners. Glad to hear your cat is doing better. Our lives become so intertwined with our pets that their problems quickly become ours.

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    1. I know I'm luckier than many gardeners in the Northern Hemisphere, although I can't help wishing for optimal conditions year-round, Linda ;)

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  5. Good news Pipig is more comfortable. A pool of sunshine on cool days is a fine place to bask.

    Here too garden is on pause, except for Aloes. Also terribly Santa Ana windy here today--tried to do something outdoors but everything so whipped around I gave up. 50' Eucalyptus fell in the park down the road. County crew there chopping it up when we took the pups for a brief walk.

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    1. Somewhat unexpectedly, we seem to be getting only relatively light wind here. I was surprised to hear how strong the winds have been elsewhere. Eucalyptus should be sold with warning labels! There are a lot of them in my neighborhood, some distressingly close to homes and, if these atmospheric rivers become common events, I expect to hear about more of them coming down here too. Our Santa Ana wind events aren't always as mild as this one is. I'm glad our Eucalyptus is gone even if the decision to remove it was pushed down our throats by a neighbor who wanted it eliminated from her view of the harbor.

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