Tag Archives: May Dreams Gardens

Bloom Day April 2011

Southern California, a mile from the ocean, zone 10, spring a couple months ahead of most of the country.

With the grasses joining the frothy euphorbias in bloom, there’s now a supercharged atmosphere that animates the garden.
I love it when plants start to inhabit planes other than just ground level and do so with very little bulk. The see-through plants. Aerial fizz.

Pennisetum spathiolatum shooting skyward amongst anigozanthos.

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Luzula sylvatica ‘Aurea,’ the golden woodrush. The bluer leaves are the Tradescantia ‘Concord Grape,’ now blooming, this photo taken a couple weeks earlier.

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Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’

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Continue reading Bloom Day April 2011

Bloom Day March 2011

Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts this exciting monthly event, inspired by garden writer Elizabeth Lawrence’s urging that “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.” Some days are so bleak, it seems astonishing that flowers could bloom at all, but indeed they always do. Some newer things in bloom in my garden here in Southern California, zone 10, a mile from the Pacific Ocean:

Geranium maderense ‘ Alba’ opened its first flowers this Bloom Day morning.
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Variegated Solanum rantonnetii, now pruned into a standard, to cram more plants under its skirts. Amazingly long-blooming shrub.
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Euphorbia mellifera
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Shrublike Impatiens sodenii, flowers so sugary sweet they make my teeth ache. Bit of overkill by Mother Nature.
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Anigozanthos, a good winter bloomer, with new blooms still coming for spring
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Not in full bloom yet, just this one inflorescence on Echium gentianoides ‘Tajinaste.’ I shouldn’t have moved it a month ago. Oh, well.
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Self-sown Nicotiana langsdorffii, seedlings found mostly in dry paving, where I pry them up and plant in the garden.
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Ein passing by the poppies near the porch, Papaver setigerum
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Thanks again to Carol and all the bloggers participating in this Bloom Day, whose blogs I’ll gratefully read while toggling back and forth between news reports about the crisis in Japan.

Dedicating my Bloom Day post to the good people of Japan.
(Huntington Botanical Gardens, Japanese Garden, photo from HBG site)

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June 2010 Bloom Day

A 2-year-old mossed basket with sedums, agave, and oregano ‘Kent Beauty.’ I was surprised to see the oregano return this year. Life in a mossed basket can be rough.

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The urns of arctoctis. Hopefully, the next time I replant the urns will be the day after Thanksgiving, to fill them with tulips. July is not too early to get a tulip order in for the best bulbs!

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Salvia verticillata ‘Purple Rain’ and Libertia peregrinans. This libertia actually is in bloom, tiny and white, but it’s the tawny leaves I’m after.

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Crocosmia just budding up, different kinds of forgotten names. Running in ribbons throughout, not in big clumps. I’m always amazed they find their way up and through at all in June.

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Continue reading June 2010 Bloom Day

May Bloom Day

May is a heady month for gardens. Check them out at Carol’s host site for Bloom Day, May Dreams Gardens.

The pale lavender heliotrope is responding to longer and warmer days, sprawling over Oxalis vulcanicola, both perennial in zone 10. The heliotrope looks ratty in winter, when the oxalis billows and flourishes, while the reverse takes place over the summer.

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Nicotianas, Salvia chiapensis, and Lysimachia purpurea:

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A bigger view, including the white-flowered rehmannia and some gaillardia leaning in. The S. chiapensis is a young rooted cutting and will need lots more space than available in this spot, but it blooms well enough when small and keeps the hummers happy. The dark orange flowers in pots are Calceolaria ‘Kentish Hero.’ (Cover the autumnal, dark orange calceolaria with your hand and see how the other colors hold together better with just the lime green, burgundy and gold, but I do like that “kick” of orange. Does the orange go or stay?) The two dark-leaved shrubs are Lophomyrtus ralphii ‘Red Dragon’:

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Miracle of Peru, Mirabilis jalapa, is self-sowing throughout the garden and comes true for the chartreuse leaf in the selection ‘Limelight.’

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I’m not sure how much longer these Senecio stellata/cineraria will keep on going, but the cannas and castor bean plants are clamoring for elbow room.

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And because there’s a big plant sale at the Huntington tomorrow, I’m sneaking in a “Foliage Followup,” the “shrubby” corner. Not very photogenic but some of my favorite plants are these tough, small-leaved shrubs and subshrubs. Potted agaves nearby add some needed heft, but I love the busy work, the fine patterns the small leaves give against the dark green, creeping fig-covered wall. Silvery Teucrium fruticans azureum and the furry, celadon leaves of Ballota pseudodictamnus make a nice backdrop for the cobaea to flaunt its blooms. A variegated solanum, Solanum rantonnetii, weaves through and is just starting to bloom quarter-size purple flowers, and the low-growing golden clump is Tanacetum vulgare ‘Isla Gold.’ Solanum pyracanthum is barely visible in this telescoped photo, but its orangey thorns are the blur just behind the potted sotol, next to the dark Canna ‘Intrigue,’ where orange arctotis pools at the base of its snail-chewed leaves. ‘Waverly’ salvia, just visible in the lower left corner, in bloom for months already, will probably need a rest by August. I’ll either cut it back or remove it after taking cuttings, since this plant is getting very woody at the base. But what a mainstay for the hummingbirds.

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The Lespedeza thunbergii in the front garden is just beginning to bloom, always an early bloomer here rather than late summer. Gaura is waking up, one overwintering, plus two more bought blooming in their nursery pots. Verbascum, verbena, valerian, scabiosa, lavender, diascia, arctotis for pots and the garden, Calandrinia spectabilis still going strong. The climbing rose ‘Bouquet d’Or’ is in a second flush of blooms. Also in the front garden, the slackers dyckia and hesperaloe have bloomed this year for this first time. Now head over to Carol’s site and check out the amazing diversity of bloom in May.