Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


Bloom Day — More Fun than Taxes

View from the New Office

Happy Bloom Day. This is the view from our new office. I still need to stucco the exterior, so I haven’t really gone through and photographed it for a post, but we’ve been moved into it for about a month now. It’s not a large office, and right now it’s full of stacks of paperwork for our taxes. There are worse things than doing taxes and bloom day posts in a garden office.

Coastal Cal Poppy and Blue-Eyed Grass

Lots of poppies are blooming throughout the garden, mostly yellow-tinged coastal ones in the outer garden and red-tinged ‘Mahogany Red’ offspring in the inner garden, with a few regular orange ones showing up in both areas.

Mahogany Red Cal Poppy and Variegated Iris

Meadowfoam and Cal Poppies

We have meadowfoam blooming in several areas. During construction of the office, I relocated our bathtub bog planting to the outer garden. It get the roof runoff from office now. When I moved the tub, I replanted everything. Mimulus cardinalis came roaring back right away. The Colocasia has been slower to recover, but it’ll start muscle up out of the mimulus soon. A surprise appearance was meadowfoam. I had grown some of them in the tub its first year, but they got out-competed and disappeared until I turned the soil and replanted everything. I’m sure they’ll get out-competed again, but it was nice to see them this year. Kind of funky to see them growing through the agave sitting in a container in front of the tub.

Calocasia Black Magic, Mimulus Cardinalis, Meadowfoam, Agave

Ninebark with some older Heuchera maxima flowers

The Iochroma has been in full bloom for several weeks now. I’m really happy with how it grows up through the spicebush as if it were all one plant, giving it a longer bloom season and making for a more evergreen shrub. The flowers are a different tone of red, but peak at different times of the year.

Iochroma with Spicebush Leaves

Pay No Attention to the Man behind the Spicebush

And the best thing in our garden right now is the plein air shower. Our Wisteria is a Japanese variety, W. floribunda, so the bloom stalks are long, fragrant, and they open slowly. We’re about a week away from when the flowers hang so low they brush against you and get in your hair and it feels like you’re bathing in flowers. It’s already pretty fantastic, though.

Wisteria Shower

Later today, I’ll probably take another break from taxes to post a list of everything in bloom in the garden. My thanks to Carol at MayDreasGardens for creating and hosting Bloom Day. April is always one of the best months to surf around on bloom day, so click through to her blog for tons of links.

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7 Responses to “Bloom Day — More Fun than Taxes”

  1. April 15th, 2012 at 11:18 am

    James says:

    Cool April assortment. I hope you escape the tax ordeal and get some garden time. I’m putting off finishing my taxes as well. Blog reading–much more fun. I planted a Mimulus cardinalis last fall and it’s done well, so well that I started worrying about the comments I’ve read and heard that it can be a brute. The fact that you replanted makes me feel like I might not have made a mistake!

  2. April 15th, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    ryan says:

    I think Mimulus cardinalis is a great plant. I have it in a tub, so it can’t spread, but I never considered getting rid of it. The flower is a lot different than most other California native flowers, so I think you’ll like having it in your garden. It seems like a cool companion for your collection of pitcher plants.

  3. April 15th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Town Mouse says:

    Amazing! Love that red poppy and, of course, the wisteria. BTW, we hope you read our clever “Two Gentle-Mice” post, which features a someone called John Savannah quite prominently…

  4. April 16th, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    ryan says:

    I hadn’t seen it. Thanks, for pointing it out. It was such an intriguing garden and the post looks like it was fun to write.

  5. April 16th, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Gayle Madwin says:

    It must have been interesting trying to take that shower picture without getting the camera lens wet. The view from your new office looks fabulous, and I bet you’re thrilled to have a new office.

    I’m still hoping for flowers like that from my ninebark, but there’s no sign of them yet. Well, at least I get to admire yours.

    It’s very odd to me to see California poppies and meadowfoam intermixed, but after I saw the picture here and thought about it, I realized that I have a poppy plant and a meadowfoam plant growing within a foot or two of one another myself. It’s just that my poppies are always so prone to drowning in the spots where the meadowfoam does so well. Your poppies look so happy and plentiful there!

  6. April 16th, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    ryan says:

    It’s funny about the meadowfoam and the poppies; both plants found their way to that spot on their own, and in general, the meadowfoam has naturalized in some areas that aren’t really all that wet, and the poppies have reseeded in some areas that are actually on the wetter side. I find a number of California natives kind of overlap in their tolerances, that when you have a poppy on the wetter side of its tolerance and a meadowfoam on the drier side of it’s tolerance, you can grow them side by side even though they are supposedly not all that compatible.

    I think our ninebark took a couple of years to start blooming, so maybe yours will bloom next year.

  7. April 17th, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Arleen Webster says:

    You have some great color combos going on between the foliage and blooms of your native plantings. Great idea using a bathtub for bog plants – I have no experience with them, so just wondering if you need to provide any drainage. I also love Mimulus cardinalis, which I have growing in a moist planter bed. They die down in the winter, but are coming back up now with our warmer spring weather. A couple seasons ago, I planted a Mimulus with lovely pink flowers that was a hybrid between M. cardinalis and M. lewisii. I had tried for several years to grow M. lewisii in our warmer climes here in SoCal, but to no avail. So, when I found a source for this cross, which produced a similar pinkish bloom but was much hardier, I was really jazzed.

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