Scrounging around the garden for something to report this first Bloom Day of 2014 made me realize that although nothing big and splashy was catching my eye, there’s still plenty to give bees, hummingbirds, and other pollinators micro energy drinks throughout the day, especially the acacia and coronilla. But the star attraction for bees is hands down the Agave desmettiana in bloom. This morning Marty and I stood quietly a few inches from the bloom stalk just to listen to the thrum of activity. He was shocked that I had never cupped my hands around my ears to amplify sound before. Just another example of what a sheltered life I’ve led. If like me you haven’t done so, try it. The quiet thrum was instantly transformed into a buzzing, wing-beating roar.
Helleborus argutifolius, whose fresh seed germinates as soon as it hits the ground, with the big rosettes of Echium simplex in front. I’m dying to see those cool white spikes rise up this summer.
Bilbergia nutans with lots more blooms to come. How did this free-flowering bromeliad get by me for so many years?
Nancy Ondra’s nicotiana selection is as charming as ever. Such a good plant for fall, winter and spring here, but dies off when the heat arrives. Seeds profusely.
Acacia podalyrifolia. Until I decide what shape to prune it, shrub or tree, this acacia will continue to whack everybody in the face as they exit the driver’s side of their car. At least it smells nice.
Unlike this really skunky plectranthus.
Echeveria coccinea is managing to bloom in the very dry soil under the tetrapanax.
I launched a massive plant hunt locally for Geranium ‘Ann Folkard,’ so it could weave through the skirts of Melianthus ‘Purple Haze’ this summer. None was found, but instead of mail ordering ‘Ann Folkard’ I opted to try a magenta brethren, Geranium cinereum ‘Subcaulescens’ found at a nursery in El Segundo. This is one instance I would have preferred the trailing habit of AF, but the clumping G. cinereum has already distinguished itself by continually pumping out scads and scads of shocking magenta flowers. Quite the eye-rubbing sight before the first cup of coffee in the morning.
I didn’t realize there was such variability with Pelargonium sidoides until I found this one with a larger leaf but smaller, darker flowers at Robin Parer’s booth at a plant show last year. Always has a few blooms on it.
Coronilla valentina will go supernova, covered in bloom, by the end of the month.
Budding up. Euphorbias, dyckias, and aloes.
I was recently talked into a trial subscription to The Wall Street Journal, which has since been arriving dangerously close to Aloe capitata’s developing bloom stalk, its first ever. (Home delivery subscription cancelled today.)
Carol hosts this invaluable monthly record of blooms at her blog May Dreams Gardens.