Plants, Stone, California Landscapes



This warm weather and lack of rain has me a little unsettled. I remember some winters like this when I was growing up, but that was before my gardening days and I don’t remember how it affected the plants. I guess I’ll be finding out. In the meantime, I’ve stopped at Tilden several times this winter to check out how the manzanitas are responding to this lack of a winter. I thought I could look at past photos to see if the different varieties are acting any different this year, but I couldn’t figure out anything conclusive. I think I’ve seen bigger bloom clusters in other years and I think they started blooming a couple of weeks late this year, but I couldn’t say for sure. In any case, they’re looking good right now in the heart of manzanita season.

The one in the photo below, Arctostaphylos montana-regis, has one of the best tree trunks I’ve ever seen. This little cluster of trees is probably my favorite spot in my favorite garden.

The next thing to keep an eye on is when everything deciduous wakes up. A few things in the garden had buds, but nothing had broken into leaf yet.

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8 Responses to “Manzanitas”

  1. February 5th, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Elephant's Eye says:

    well timed – I needed a picture of a manzanita. One of the plants I envy Californians!

  2. February 5th, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    ryan says:

    Yep, they’re just about the best thing California has to offer to the world. There are lots of South African plants I envy.

  3. February 5th, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Gayle Madwin says:

    My golden currant has been getting new leaves for about a month already. I think it’s going to bloom earlier than it usually does. Usually it reaches full bloom in the second half of March, but it’s pretty well leafed out already now, so I’m expecting flowers soon. (Actually, it’s had a few flowers around the base since late December, but it gets those every year. I’m expecting it to start really getting serious about flowers soon.)

  4. February 6th, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Arleen Webster says:

    Most of the manzanitas on our property bloomed early but prolifically this year. However, the blooms also didn’t last very long, and I attribute this to our generally wacky weather (except for a couple days of light rain last month, we’ve had almost no precipitation since December and some rather balmy weather for winter). Your photos of those mature manzanitas are amazing. The sculptural quality and rich hues of manzanita trunks make them real standouts in both nature and in the garden.

  5. February 6th, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Town Mouse says:

    Yes, it’s certainly been very creepy. I finally turned on the irrigation, and I’m handwatering the front where there is none. Manzanitas are a mixed bag in my garden. Pajaroensis is not blooming at all so far, others (St. Helena) seem to be ok. We’ll see how it goes.

  6. February 6th, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Matti says:

    Yes, creepy indeed. What, isn’t Dec and Jan the wettest usually? Those manzanitias are gorgeous. It took me awhile before I connected the dots between arctostaphylos and manzanitas…yes, still living that one down. Oops. Matti

  7. February 9th, 2012 at 1:14 am

    ryan says:

    Thanks for the comments. Creepy and wacky are right. It’s interesting to hear how the plants are responding in your gardens.

  8. February 15th, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    James says:

    It was a good manzanita year down here from what I’ve seen. But the trunk on the one you show is the #1 reason to covet the genus: great form, great color. Great plants!

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