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Archive for February, 2011

The UC Botanical Garden, Late February

I went to the UC Botanical Garden yesterday. Anita and I decided to get memberships for the year. We realized that the garden is actually quite close to our house, not quite as close and convenient as the Tilden garden, but almost, and we should get to know it better. This was the first visit of the year. The garden was in transition between winter and spring, the earliest plants in leaf but most of the other deciduous plants still dormant.

The South Africa section has a new section of moss rock wall. Really nice stonework, dramatic contrast between the boulders and the walls. Be interesting to see what they plant, something with an intense flower no doubt, based on everything else in that section. I think it’s my favorite section of the garden.

It’s hard to think of a flower like this as the natural bloom and not a cultivar that has been bred by humans, but the UC has only wild collected seed.

I don’t remember noticing this vertical stone before. I think that’s a flowering quince behind it.

The ceanothus were going in the native section, but a lot of the other spring bloomers were just getting ready to break. Like the Tilden garden, the UC is a little later than my more coastal garden.

The Summer Holly, Comarystophylis diversifolia, was covered in buds. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one in full bloom. The Oso Berry, Oemleria cerasiformis, is another one that I don’t often see in bloom.

And there is patch of Giant Coreopsis, the star of my recent bloom day, looking like they wandered over from the South Africa section. Such a strange plant; it’s very clear to me why I need one in my own garden and why I’ve never planted one for anyone else.

Bloom Day — Flower of the Year Already

Giant Coreopsis, Coreopsis gigantea

A couple of weeks ago our Giant Coreopsis started blooming. The flowers aren’t totally exceptional, big yellow daisies with a nice color, but I’ve been waiting four years for them and this might be the bloom event of the year for our garden, in February already. For some reason I really like this plant, the strangeness of a perennial stuck on top of a succulent trunk, and it has been fun and easy to grow it even before the flowers. The key, I think, has been keeping it in a container; for the first few years it looked overly anatomical after dropping its leaves and I felt like I should put it away out of sight where it wouldn’t offend anyone. Last year it developed another trunk, eliminating that effect, and now the second trunk is the one making the flowers.

Giant Coreopsis

The Louis Edmunds Manzanita, a February bloomer, is in the ground next to it. Since I began keeping this blog and following bloom day, I’ve gotten much better at knowing the bloom times of the different manzanitas. Louis Edmunds might be my favorite manzanita.

Arctostaphylos Louis Edmunds

Daffodils and Geranium Bill Walls

That ridiculously warm and sunny January has the garden well woken up. It’s now easier to fit multiple flowers into a photo. Last month it would have been hard or impossible.

Ceanothus Carmel Creeper

February is an interesting month for flowers, so be sure to check in at MayDreamsGardens to see what other garden bloggers have blooming. Thanks to Carol for hosting.

The list of other plants in bloom in our garden is below the fold. (more…)

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