Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


Archive for the ‘garden bloom day’ Category

The Garden at the Start of April

California Fescue, Festuca californica

I haven’t posted about our garden yet this year. It’s still a little early for the showiest bloomers and I have a few projects to complete, but it’s in a nice phase. It doesn’t have a lot of plants at full bloom, but most of the deciduous plants are leafing out, and everything is happy and enjoying the spring, with a lot happening and a lot to appreciate. Before the recent, welcome rainstorm I made a pass from the street to the front door, taking some photos along the way.

Front Steps, Pots, and Galvezia

Matillija Poppy with California Poppy

Our outer yard has a large mound made of construction rubble covered with soil. Our landlord calls it Nasturtium Hill, though we’ve replaced the nasturtiums with native plants and a fig tree. This spring the Matillija Poppy is making a case for changing the name to Matillija Poppy Hill. We don’t ever water the mound, except for a monthly soaking of the fig tree on the lower shoulder of the mound, but the Matillija Poppy has exploded out with growth, engulfing a number of nice native plants and popping out runners a good five feet from the main mass of the plant. The construction rubble has kept the bamboo in our yard from spreading, so I’m impressed and concerned at the Matillija Poppy’s ability to spread. I think I’m going to rescue the other plants out from its clutches and be even more circumspect about this plant in the future. There are worse things than a large mound full of Matillija Poppy.

Annuals Starting to Fill In

The annual wildflowers, mostly Clarkia, have started to fill in, and the bulbs are starting to bloom.

Front Gate


Lilium pardalinum

We have native lilies in several parts of the garden. The one inside the vegetable garden is now enormous. Carex dipsacea in a container and a mirror are behind it. Pretty happy with the effect the mirror has.

The Veggie Garden

The rest of the veggie garden is looking a little wild with the Miner’s Lettuce, Mache, Arugula, and Love in a Mist that reseeded around the Snap Pea tepee trellis.

Pandorea Vine

We have three different vines on our front porch. The Pandorea blooms first, the Wisteria is just starting to unfurl, and the native Clematis should be last, though it’s still young and hasn’t ever bloomed yet.

Tulipa bakeri

I really like the little pot of species Tulips, T. bakeri, on the steps. I’ve been growing a different species tulip, T. saxitilis, for a few years, and we have a nice patch of them that has already finished for the year. This year I’m trying out a few others, though, I don’t remember which ones and won’t know until the flowers open. So far, T. bakeri is very similar to saxitilis. I like how the blooms have the look of a classic Tulip in the morning before they open up.

Species Tulip, Tulipa bakeri

November in the Garden

Iochroma coccinae

I meant to post for bloom day yesterday but I ended up gardening instead. There aren’t really a lot of interesting blooms happening right now. The California Fuchsia is still going strong, and the Iochroma is in full bloom, plus the Alyssum and Violas are pretty much ever-blooming. Also, there are token blooms from a few other plants: an Agastache, both of our Geraniums, one of the Galvezias, the Feverfew, the Gartenmeister Fuchsia, the Strawberries, and the culinary Rosemary. Nothing I haven’t shown many times before.

California Fuchsia with Black Sage in the Background

I redid a couple of the planting beds, taking out perennials, adding bulbs, scattering seeds, and spreading mulch. It turns out in recent years, instead of buying plants I don’t need, I’ve been buying and collecting seeds I don’t need, so I tried to use as many of them as I could. In the planting bed that is mostly blueberries and native strawberry, I pulled most of the strawberries and replaced them with compost and wildflower seeds, mostly Clarkia varieties, Linanthus, Baby Bue Eyes and Chinese Houses. I also had a packet of Collomia, which I’ve never grown before; I’m curious to see how they do. I left a few of the strawberry plants. If all goes well we should have a good wildflower show next year, and then the strawberry will start to make a comeback by the year after that.

Yesterday's Handiwork

I also took out most of the plants in the main bed beside our new office shed. This bed got a lot of the same wildflowers as the blueberry bed, plus ‘Moonglow’ California Poppy and Tidy Tips, and I added Ipheion and Brodiaea to the Brodiaea and Triteleia bulbs that are already there. Our dog likes to sunbathe in this bed during the summer months, but I’m hoping she’ll wait until after the wildflowers have finished blooming.

Acer palmatum Japanese Sunrise

Our Maples have good color this year. The Japanese ‘Sunrise’ is a beautiful yellow, the native Vine Maple is scarlet, and the seed-grown Japanese Maples are more purple than I remember. Other deciduous plants like the Chinese Pistache, the Spicebush and the Redtwig Dogwood aren’t showing much color.

vine Maple, Acer cirnatum, with Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum

Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum

One deciduous thing out of the ordinary: our Ninebark has already put out fresh foliage. It usually leafs out again in early February, so I’m curious to see if it will drop these new leaves or hang onto them. It doesn’t seem so strange to see it leaf out with the start of the rains, but it hasn’t done that in previous years. Probably the clearest sign the garden is happy the rains are here.

Ninebark, Physocarpus capitatus

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. (more…)

May Bloom Day with Young Dog

Various Plants with Woodland Strawberry Groundcover

This bloom day we have a lot blooming, mostly in our outer garden, including Alliums, Sidalcea, and Campanula in the photo above, plus Hebe, Columbine, Salvia and others in full bloom off-camera. The inner garden has some things in bloom, but in transition between the first wave plants like the California Poppies and the Meadowfoam which already finished, and the second wave plants which are mostly just budding. The inner garden will probably go back to being the star by this time next month.

Carla with Poppies Blooming Last Month

Last month, I took a photo of the garden’s newest inhabitant posing courteously beside the Cal Poppies, but for some reason it didn’t make it into the post. This month she mostly seems to pose on top of the blooming plants, in this case Snow-in-Summer, rather than beside them. We actually have three different patches of Snow-in-Summer, and each of them seems to be the most comfortable at a different time of day, so Carla moves between them as the sun moves. Past dog inhabitants of our garden have also really liked to lie on the Snow-in-Summer, so it’s not just her. Those past dogs were fosters, but Carla is ours for keeps. Overall, she’s been pretty nice to the garden, which wasn’t originally designed to with a young dog in mind.

Carla with Poppies Cut Back This Month

Dicentra Bachanal

The garden has been accumulating Bleeding Hearts over the last couple of years to where we have almost a dozen now, mostly in containers. “Bachanal,’ above and in the foreground of the second photo with Carla, is the darkest, and the rest are the straight species but vary in how much pink they have. The one below is the palest, with just a touch of color.

Dicentra formosa

Blue Dick, Dichelostemma capitatum

I dumped some Blue Dick seed in a few containers of potting soil a couple of years ago, and this year they’re putting out their first few flowers. One of the easiest plants I’ve ever grown from seed, but slow. Next year they should be mature enough to make a decent show. The native alliums have reseeded a bit in our yard and we’re getting our first flowers from the volunteers this year.

Allium unifolium

Allium christophii

Some of the biggest flowers that we get all year are blooming right now. This non-native allium, A. christophii, has pom-poms bigger than my fist, and several kinds of hybrid Irises are going. There would have been some of them in that first photo at the top of the post, but they were cut for a Mother’s Day bouquet that Anita made. I handed off the bouquet and then realized I should have photographed it to add to this bloom day post. Ah, well.

Dutch Iris

Matillija Poppy aka Fried Egg Flower

The first Matillija Poppy opened this weekend.

Exterior Wrapping

Also our first Breadseed Poppy. We have a lot of them for some reason this year, in several parts of the garden. They’re more like a gift-wrapped package than any other flower I can think of, tissue paper on the outside and Fabergé egg inside.

The Prize Inside

My thanks to Carol at MayDreamsGardens for being the creator and host of Bloom Day. Click over to her blog for links to tons of other bloggers showing off their flowers.

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.

March Bloom Day — Hello Rain!

Welcome to a wet bloom day. I haven’t posted since last month. I don’t usually go bloom day to bloom day without a post, but it’s my busiest time of year. This week’s storms have given me a reprieve from work and have made our garden wet but happy. It’s still early for the garden to reach full bloom strength but a lot of plants have woken up. Most of the deciduous plants are in leaf or budding. The ninebark behind the Huechera was the first, coming into leaf around the beginning of the month and inow getting ready to open it’s first flowers. I thought that might be early, but it did this at the same time last year. I’ve tried to find things that might be early in our garden, but so far everything is close to its regular schedule.

The species tulip, Tulipa Saxatilis, is on the same schedule, but it has doubled in quantity since last year. They’ve taken a beating in this week’s storms, but they were probably the best thing in the garden last week.

The Doug Iris I photographed last month still has a bloom most days, but now we also have a couple of non-native irises blooming too.

The hellebore was blooming last month too. It’s in a container that sat next to the post our Clematis grows up, and last year a tendril of the clematis found its way into the pot and layered itself. We haven’t decided what we’re going to do with it: plant them both together somewhere, pull the clematis out and plant it, or discard the clematis. I like the clematis, but it’s just this kind of behavior — propagating itself in another plant’s container — that makes it hard to find a suitable home for it. In the meantime, the foliage looks pretty beside the hellebore.

Both of our hardenbergias are in full bloom.

Our Drimys winteri is blooming for the first time. I planted this a couple of years ago and more or less forgot about it. After taking the photo, I couldn’t remember what its name was. I saw these years ago in Chile, but had never seen the flowers before. Supposedly they’re mildly fragrant, but I couldn’t tell today with all the rain.

The poppies in our veggie garden these days seem to all be children of Mahogany Red. We used to have ‘White Linen’ and some pink ones from a mix. I’m pretty happy to have these red ones as the enduring variety. There are some other plants in the garden blooming, mostly looking wet and rather bedraggled from the storms. I’ll post a list later.

My thanks to garden blog impresario Carol at MayDreamsGardens for hosting bloom day. Click over for links to over a hundred other blogs posting about what’s blooming in their garden.

You are currently browsing the archives for the garden bloom day category.