Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


Bloom Day — First Cal Poppy Edition

Coastal California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica var. maritima

Coastal California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica var. maritima

A lot of our plants seemed to make an effort to open their flowers for Bloom Day, including our first Cal poppy of the year which opened yesterday afternoon. Look at all that sunshine it’s been storing up.

Tazetta Narcissus, Falconet and Golden Dawn

Tazetta Narcissus, Falconet and Golden Dawn

We have two kinds of Tazetta Naricssus blooming. I think Golden Dawn is the slightly paler one, Falconet the slightly more orange one, but I’m not actually sure. It turns out that when you buy very similar-sounding varieties, you end up with very similar-looking flowers. Between them, they have our yard smelling of Narcissus.

Blue Eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium bellum

Blue Eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium bellum

The Blue Eyed Grass seemed to do the California poppy thing, where the first flower from the plant is unusually large and the subsequent flowers are smaller. I have about a dozen throughout the garden. I think they are all blooming at this point.

Unopened Tulipa saxatilis

Unopened Tulipa saxatilis yesterday morning

A few of the species tulip, Tulipa saxatilis, have been trying to open for about a week, and then yesterday’s sunshine popped several open. My first time growing a species tulip; supposedly this one will naturalize here. I’m happy with them even if they don’t come back.

Tulipa saxatilis

Opened Tulipa saxatilis in the evening

New Zealand Tree Fuchsia, Fuchsia excorticata

New Zealand Tree Fuchsia, Fuchsia excorticata

The New Zealand Tree Fuchsia, Fuchsia excorticata, is probably the strangest plant in bloom right now, with flowers that change color over a long period of time. I’d seen them in New Zealand and was curious to see one in bloom, so I bought one a few years ago. Now that I’ve been growing one, I’m still not sure what I think of it.

Heuchera, Ninebark, Wind Grass, Hardenbergia

Heuchera, Ninebark, Wind Grass, Hardenbergia

The Heuchera maxima is another plant that opened it’s first flowers yesterday; the hybrid heucheras have been blooming since last week. The ninebarks are budding and about to open, which seems really early for them. The hardenbergia in the background has been blooming for a while, maybe the plant most fully in bloom right now.
I’ve been trying to maintain a list of everything in bloom on bloom day, but I haven’t had a chance to do that yet; I’ll probably add it to this post later tonight or tomorrow night (11/21 — it’s now below the fold). The list will be quite a bit longer than last month, as one would expect in the Bay Area in March. My thanks, as always, to Carol at MayDreamsGardens for creating and hosting Bloom Day. Click over to her site for links to about a hundred other garden blogs showing off their flowers.

In full bloom:

Tazetta Narcissus
Ribes sanguineum
Sisyrinchium bellum
Ribes sanguineum
Ceanothus ‘Concha’
Fragaria vesca
Alpine Strawberries
Fuchsia excorticata
Miner’s Lettuce
Tulipa saxitilis
Heuchera hybrids

Light bloom:

Fragaria chiloensis
Asarum caudatum
Fava Beans
Salvia mellifera
Salvia mellifera “Green Carpet”
Ceanothus Carmel Creeper
Coastal California Poppy
Aquilegia sp.
Heuchera maxima
Sidalcea malviflora (2 of 3 plants)
Ribes viburnifolium
Ribes ‘White Icicle’
Sedum sp.
Gernium ‘Bill Walls’
Fuchsia ‘Gartenmeister Bonstadt’
Culinary Rosemary (very light)
Creeping Rosemary (very light)
Oxalis oregana (2 flowers)
Brugmansia sp. (one flower)

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12 Responses to “Bloom Day — First Cal Poppy Edition”

  1. March 15th, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Darla says:

    I can’t wait for my poppies to bloom….everything looks great in your gardens.

  2. March 15th, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Dreamybee says:

    I love your description of your California poppy-“storing up sunshine all winter and is now ready to give some back”-wonderful!

  3. March 15th, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Gayle Madwin says:

    The Hardenbergia and windgrass in last photo are both stunning.

  4. March 15th, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Dirty Girl Gardening says:

    i’m in love with cal. poppies…. so gorgeous.

  5. March 15th, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Town Mouse says:

    Well, and this evening I had 2 poppies! I love them when they first show up in the spring.

    The species tulips really look like fun as well. Much more interesting than the hybrids.

  6. March 15th, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    lostlandscape(James) says:

    I don’t know the exorcist fuchsia at all. It hardly looks like the tawdry hussies that pass for fuchsias in the nurseries, but I realize there are sorts of species in the genus. It’s definitely different, which is reason enough to grow it as far as I’m concerned. I didn’t get a shot of my Cal-poppy, but I think ours opened on the same day. Get set for a great season of orange!

  7. March 15th, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    chuck b. says:

    I LIKE the tree fuchsia! Very cool. Save me a fruit..? Most fuchsias are self-fertile and super-easy to germinate. I’d love to try. Did you get it at Strybing?

  8. March 15th, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Brad B says:

    Hmmm the NZ tree fuchsia sure is interesting. If as James said most fuchsias are tawdry hussies, maybe this one is the goth girl from your high school. You know the one.

    My first poppy just popped today, after I posted for bloom day. They seem later this year. I’ve missed their bright light in the garden.

  9. March 16th, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    ryan says:

    Thanks for the comments. I’m glad to see other people appreciating the poppy and the tree fuchsia. I think Brad and James are right; the fuchsia is not a tawdry hussy, it’s the misunderstood member of the fuchsia family. ‘I’m not garish,’ it keeps telling me when I ask why I have to walk up to a member of the fuchsia family to see if it’s still blooming. Very interesting to watch the flowers change color slowly over the weeks.

  10. November 3rd, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Kerry Hand says:

    The California Poppy grows well here in Central Otago, New Zealand. It came here with the gold rush in the 1860s. In those years there was a great wash of people around the Pacific, including the Australian god rushes. Many of the local families here came from San Francisco.

  11. March 5th, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    DryStoneGarden » Blog Archive » Starting Up says:

    […] it seems that the plants are leafing out on a similar schedule, and looking at last year’s March bloom day post I think the bloom times are nearly the same. I’ll be able to compare on bloom day, and […]

  12. March 15th, 2011 at 10:05 am

    DryStoneGarden » Blog Archive » March Bloom Day says:

    […] be early for the ninebark and late for our Hardenbergia, but looking back at last March’s bloom day, the garden seems to be on a remarkably similar schedule. The bloom list for this year is […]

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