Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


Bloom Day, Underappreciated Bloomers

Happy July Bloom Day. We’re about a month past the prime season in our garden, but there are still a number of things in bloom, more than I guessed when I started out into the garden to take photos, I think because a lot of the plants are ones that I don’t appreciate as much as I should. Most have been in the garden for a number of years, persevering and blooming without much help from me, so I don’t take as much notice when they open up their flowers.

The showiest, happiest bloomer is our canna in the gray-water planter. I found this plant years ago covered with cobwebs in a pot underneath my mother’s porch. I think she put it there when it went deciduous and then forgot to bring it back out again in the spring. Beside it, the Spicebush, also fed with gray-water, is now fifteen feet tall and twelve wide and sometimes referred to as the Spicebeast. At times the fragrance from all the flowers fills the porch with their old wine barrel scent. We’ll have to prune it back pretty hard this winter, which will be a shame. I’m not sure it’s really underappreciated, but I do give it second billing to the wisteria with regards to our outdoor shower, even though the Spicebush blooms for a much longer season with fragrant flowers, stylish seed heads, and big green leaves that give a wonderful tropical feeling to the shower.

The Cal Poppies are doing a second bloom about now, especially this one in the veggie garden. It was overcast when I took this photo, but the sun is out now, the flowers have perked up, and I should probably re-photograph it. I love Cal Poppies, but I sometimes forget to appreciate how great and reliable the plain orange ones are.

I mentioned in the last post that Anita is now running the veggie garden, keeping some things, changing others, and in a couple of cases bringing back plants that I let decline for one reason or another. Violas are one of those things. They were one of the first things we planted here and several large patches did well for a while before declining when the skunks began digging aggressively in the garden. Now that we have a dog in the yard, the skunks are leaving the garden alone, and the violas should thrive again. More below the fold.

We’ve also had Scarlet Runner Beans since our first summer, coming back from the roots each year. Anita trained them early so they’re looking good against the bamboo.

Golden Feverfew is another one of the first plants we put in the garden. I moved it a couple of times, eventually leaving it hunkered down underneath the Indigofera Bush. Now that the Indigofera is gone, removed during construction on our garden shed, the Feverfew gets plenty of sun and is doing its biggest bloom in several years.

The Coyote Mint flowers are getting a little old, but I don’t mind aging blooms if this is the color.

I don’t remember which Dudleya this is, D. farinosa or D. caespitosa. We have half a dozen different ones in the garden and one of my low-priority tasks is to go through and remember which is which. Kind of like the Spicebush, they are a favorite of mine and not exactly underappreciated, but I’ve been neglecting our little collection of them and I don’t show them in bloom day as often as these styley little flowers merit.

Anita made this quick bouquet today. We both thought it would be a struggle to make a floral arrangement or a bloom day post today, but as always there turns out to be more in the garden than we think. Which is actually one of the best parts of bloom day, it makes me realize how much there is in the garden at any given time. My thanks to Carol for hosting bloom day and essentially getting me to go out and appreciate our July flowers. Click thru to see lots of other bloggers appreciating their flowers.

And talking about underappreciated. I forgot to add this Cylamen that has been blooming for literally this entire year. It was left over from a Christmas container we did for my sister two years ago, then sat under the bench in our yard for almost a year until we potted it up and brought it inside. The first flower bud took over a month to open, but it has been in bloom ever since and there’s actually even a small bud out of sight behind the big leaf.

6 Responses to “Bloom Day, Underappreciated Bloomers”

  1. July 15th, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Alana (@RamblinGarden) says:

    I enjoyed your photos and your post because what you have is so different from what I have in my garden in upstate NY. I miss cannas – when I lived in Wichita, KS these grew nice. For some reason, people here just don’t get into them.
    I, too, was a little surprised by what I had – happy July and happy GBBD.

  2. July 15th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Missy says:

    I love the violas in the vegie patch – nestled in amongst strawberries by the look of the leaves(?)
    Cannas are funny plants. Ours always get a fresh lease on life when we dig them up and replant them. They are obviously loving their current spot.

  3. July 15th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Country Mouse says:

    I like your theme of the under appreciated ones. Like that lone agapanthus in my yard! Your spice bush is tremendous – mine is kinda rangy. Maybe not enough sun, maybe not enough water, not sure. I’m also bad with dudleyas and keep meaning to get them straightened out. It’s possible I got mine wrong too in my bloom day post, come to think about it! Our coyote mint are also getting past their prime but the pollinators still throng to that patch. So I also am not complaining!

  4. July 16th, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    James says:

    One of the most recent native plant books warned against using recycled water for natives, but it looks like you’ve proved wrong that piece of common wisdom, at least for this plant. Good to know it thrives. As far as your mystery dudleya, I’m not positive on what it is, but it might not be caespitosa based on how my clones of it look like. But I might be wrong on that one, still. Unlike your underappreciated flowers, a summer salad with strawberries and viola blooms would be really appreciated.

  5. July 19th, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Scott Weber says:

    I still remember the first time I saw Scarlet Runner Bean…just LOVE them!

  6. July 22nd, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Town Mouse says:

    Sorry I basically missed bloom day, good to see so much is going on in your garden. I agree about the coyote mint, it really looks great even when it’s on its way out.

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