Wednesday, May 15, 2024

As spring creeps closer to summer (Bloom Day - May 2024)

I took a LOT of photos for one of my usual Bloom Day posts but frankly felt both overwhelmed by the sheer volume of photos and underwhelmed by the prospect of throwing all of them at readers in one fell swoop.  So I decided to limit this post to my back garden, using wide shots to provide context for the floral closeups.

I'll start with the view from our back door, looking in the direction of the Port of Los Angeles.

The details aren't clearly discernible but selected colors stand out, particularly the yellows, blues and purples.  The area has moved from its spring best to a messy stage, with bulb foliage dying back all over as summer looms ahead.

Clockwise from the upper left, here are the brightest notes: noID Ageratum, with white flowers slowly turning brown; Arctotis 'Large Marge' with its large daisy-like blooms; Berlandiera lyrata, aka chocolate flower; Cotula lineariloba, which is almost a weed; one of many Gazanias; and Phlomis fruticosa, aka Jerusalem sage.  I've already started cutting back the rampant growth of the Cotula and Phlomis.

The blue and pinky-purple notes include, top row: Felicia aethiopica, Iris germanica 'City Lights', and Pelargonium cucullatum
Middle: Self-seeding Polygala myrtifolia, hybrid Salvia 'Pozo', and Tulbaghia violacea (aka society garlic)
Bottom: 2 views of Salvia canariensis candidissima


The previous wide shot routinely ignores the bed that runs along the southeast side of the house, as well as plants on the patio.

This bed is roughly 3 feet wide and 25 feet long.  It gets only early morning sun.

The plants currently in bloom in the bed shown above are Ageratum corymbosum (left) and Campanula portenschlagiana (middle).  One of 3 identical pots, the patio pot on the right is planted with a blueberry bush and self-seeded Persicaria capitata.


The next photos focus on the north end of the back garden.

View from the patio area looking north

View of the same area from the north end looking back in the direction of the patio

Clockwise from the upper left, the flowering plants here include: Aeonium haworthia 'Kiwi Verde', Gazania 'Otomi', Lobelia laxiflora, Lantana camara, and Leucospermum 'Royal Hawaiian Brandi'

Other flowering plants, mostly out of sight in the wide shots, include: Alstroemeria 'Claire', A. 'Inca Sundance', Hemerocallis 'For Pete's Sake', Hippeastrum 'Luna', tree-like Leucadendron 'Pisa' (which has colorful bracts), and Sonchus palmensis (mostly hidden behind the Arbutus 'Marina' (strawberry tree).  Hippeastrum 'Luna' is naturalizing nicely but the last of the blooms were taken out by the wind after these photos were taken.

The blue notes include Prostanthera ovalifolia 'Variegata' (mint bush, left) and noID Scutellaria (scullcap, right)



Most of my wide shot posts also miss the plants on the east side of the patio.

This is the area formerly occupied by the huge mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin) that died out and I replaced with a Ginkgo biloba tree in May 2021.  The tree is surrounded by Agapanthus, most of which are still in bud.

Flowers currently in bloom here are a noID pink Alstroemeria that came with the garden and Limonium perezii (aka sea lavender)


Next up is the view from the flagstone path adjacent to the back patio, looking south.

Many of the flowers visible in this shot were identified above with the first wide shot but there are lots of flowering plants with lower profiles here as outlined below

Clockwise from the upper left: a mix of self-sown blue and orange Anagallis, Anchusa capensis 'Blue Angel', Echium gentianoides 'Tajinaste', Salvia 'Mystic Blue', and Sisyrinchium 'Devon Skies'

From left to right: the first blooms of Achillea 'Moonshine'; more Arctotis 'Large Marge'; and Osteospermum '4D Pink', already preparing to exit for the summer like the other Osteospermums to reserve energy for another flush of bloom in the fall


The final wide shots show the main area of the back garden once again, albeit from different angles.

View of the mid-sections of the beds on either side of the flagstone path

A second view of the same area, taken after stepping back several feet to capture more of the south end

Clockwise from the upper left: Alstroemeria 'India Summer'; Arctotis 'Pink Sugar'; Hemerocallis 'Elizabeth Salter' and H. 'Blythe Belle'; Leucospermum 'Sunrise', blooming only lightly this year; Osteospermum 'Serenity Bronze'; and Salvia africana-lutea, tucked mostly out of view behind Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset' (not shown)

Other plants in this area, clockwise from the upper left: Daucus carota 'Dara', preparing its summer takeover; Gaillardia 'Amazon Sun'; yellow and orange Gazanias, all self-sown; and Geranium 'Tiny Monster', which occupies positions in various areas of my garden



That's it for my official post this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.  I may offer coverage of other areas of my garden in the course of the next couple of weeks.  For other GBBD posts, visit our host, Carol at May Dreams Gardens.


All material © 2012-2024 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party



23 comments:

  1. Cotula lineariloba! I buy them occasionally from Trader Joe's. The happy yellow ball is so sweet. I hang them upside down to dry and they keep their color in a vase for a long long time. I'm surprised to learn it's 'almost a weed' in your area. Maybe I shouldn't be :-D
    Your Gingko tree has grown nicely, thought I suppose not as quickly as you'd like it to.
    Chavli

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    1. I suspect the Cotula would clamber over everything in that large bed given enough time, Chavli! I was a little alarmed recently when I found a tiny patch of it growing between the flagstones yards away...

      I can't help comparing my Ginkgo to those growing across the street but I've reminded myself that they've been in place for 15 years or more.

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  2. This time of year I can relate to your intro paragraph. ;-) So much is blooming, I had to pick one area for the Bloom Day focus. Your area with the morning sun is delightful. I love your colorful pathways and plantings...and of course the view of L.A.! Happy Bloom Day!

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    1. In recent years, all my Bloom Day posts have begun to feel more than a bit much. It's about time to trim them back!

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    2. Oh, they are wonderful--especially appreciated when it's cold and snowy here! ;-)

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  3. Beautiful! Fantastic! Amazing!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

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  4. Wow, so many gorgeous blooms you have shared. I love seeing blooms from other area than where I live in Kentucky. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Judy. The climate in coastal Southern California is a good one for plants, at least until summer sizzles.

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  5. May is hard to beat in my book. Your flowers look great - it seems you have the same high volume every month of the year ! My Cotula kicked the bucket last year-maybe too much rain ? I love that plant as long as you can keep it in bounds. Happy Bloom Day Kris !

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    1. My garden is heavy on flowers it seems, Kathy. We were lucky to avoid serious heatwaves last year but I don't know if we can count on that this year. August-September is generally the low point in my garden year but dahlias have helped even there!

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  6. Loved all your photos, you must have a fantastic space to have such a huge variety of plants.

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    1. Our lot is a little over half and acre, which makes it huge relative to the norms in densely populated Los Angeles County, Martine. I always said I'd like 2 acres to garden but I've discovered that even half an acre can become difficult to manage, at least when plants are packed together. (We removed all our lawn areas after moving in over a decade ago.)

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  7. It's crazy how fast things can go from neat, tidy beds to just plain wild! Everywhere is looking just fabulous. I love the flagstone path shots, I'm a sucker for a path. And your very long bed next to the house, too. Beautiful garden! I'll keep an eye on my Cotula's they are tiny compared to yours.

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    1. As something of a neat-nik, the dying foliage of all the bulb plants - Amaryllis belladonna, Scilla, Dutch Iris, Freesia, Narcissi - makes me a little crazy but that's the price of growing them ;)

      Your Cotula may be 'Tiffendell Gold', which produces much smaller (but also more manageable) flowers. I used to grow that as well but it seems to have died out. Cotula lineariloba is more robust on all counts.

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  8. I had large gardens about 40 years ago and now, I'm happy for my small yard and being able to virtually enjoy the work of others. Your garden is beautiful! I admired all your Alstroemeria, which is not hardy where I live in New York State. I enjoy seeing gingko trees in the fall when their leaves turn a beautiful yellow (at least here they do) plus the unusual shape of their leaves.

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    1. My Ginkgo has yet to produce that wonderful fall color, Alana. So far, it's dropped all its leaves in the heat of late summer. But 2 older, more established Ginkgos across the street color up nicely so I'm hoping that additional age and vigor will result in a better fall display in later years.

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  9. I never get tired of seeing your flowers so post as many photos as you want. Now is the peak, it seems, before the summer heat arrives.

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    1. I've got my fingers crossed that this summer will be as mild (relatively speaking) as it was last year, Gerhard. However, the climate scientists are making it sound as though the shift to La Nina conditions may make that unlikely.

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  10. Garden looks great, Kris. All your careful planning and work have paid off big time!

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    1. Thanks HB. I just wish there was a way to hide all the ugly decaying bulb foliage. I noticed that the local botanic garden showed photos of braided Narcissus foliage, which surprised me as I'd read that can be detrimental to plant health. I have to look into whether there's a change in the philosophy on that.

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  11. Kris, your garden is a marvel! This time I was particularly admiring the stone path that leads through your flowers--such an attractive way to show off the plants!

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    1. Removing all the lawn that dominated the garden when we acquired the property made room for LOTS of flagstone paths ;)

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