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February Bloom Day — First Blooms

Iris douglasiana

This’ll be a short bloom day post. We don’t have a lot in bloom, but things are starting up with the promise of more to come. This past week saw several plants open their first flowers. We have our first Doug Iris, first Cal Poppy, and first Daffodil. The Tree Coreopsis, Ribes ‘White Icicle,’ and the New Zealand Tree Fuchsia have been blooming for a couple of weeks. One of the Sidalceas has had a clutch of flowers for the same amount of time. And the ever-bloomers have flowers, Alyssum, Geranium ‘Bill Wallis,’ Calendula, and the Iochroma. Of the deciduous plants, the Ninebark broke leaf at the start of the month and the Snowberry is breaking leaf now. That’s early for the snowberry, but right on schedule for the ninebark.

Coreopsis gigantea

Thanks to Carol for hosting bloom day. Click over to MayDreamsGardens for links to many more blogs showing off their flowers.

Bloom Day — Construction Zone

This is probably the paltriest bloom day I’ve had in a long time. A few months ago, when we started working on our new garden shed, I cut a lot of the plants back hard to get them out of the way while we’re working. I expected them to come back with the winter rains, but that was depending on it actually raining this winter. We’ll see if that eventually happens, but until then a lot of the plants are still dormant. Overall, though, the weather has been great for our project. Later today the window goes in; tomorrow we do the sheetrock. Then we’re mostly just waiting on the door. After that I’m going to stucco the exterior to match the house and do a stone floor. By early February it should look finished, though there’ll likely still be more finish work to do.

Between the construction and the time of year, the calendulas are the only plant that really makes a show of color in the garden. They’ve been kicked, stepped on, hit with two by fours, buried under stacks of bamboo, and they just spring right back up and keep blooming. The original seeds were blessed by Amma the Hugging Saint, apparently a powerful blessing.

Anita started looking after the veggie garden after the construction started. Not much happening in January.

The Chasmanthe is blooming well in our hell strip. I should appreciate them more than I do.

The Iochroma has some flowers up at the top of the plant. It seems able to bloom at any time of the year in our garden.

With all the sun we’ve been having lately, I thought there might be a lot of out of season blooms, but the Salvia ‘Green Carpet’ is the only one I would call truly out of season. There are a few token flowers on the Galvezia, the Sidalcea, and the Huechera maxima, but that’s happened in past years, too.

This little manzanita cluster has a berry, old flowers, and new flowers. I feel like this isn’t a good year for the manzanitas, with the lack of rain, but I don’t really know yet. This guy, A. ‘John Dourley,’ is doing pretty well considering he’s been covered in sawdust several times.

We have a few other things in bloom but nothing else of note. Mostly the garden is hunkered down, waiting for the construction to finish and the rains to come. Thanks to Carol for hosting Bloom Day. Check out MayDreamsGardens for lots of gardens showing off their flowers.

August Bloom Day — Last of the Lilies

Black Beauty Lily

Tomorrow is bloom day. I missed last month’s, though there were some interesting plants in bloom: Monardella villosa, Monardella micrantha, Calylophus hartegii, Lilium regale, Lobelia ‘Queen Victoria,’ one or two others that we don’t always have blooming. This month has fewer things of interest. The geraniums are blooming (‘Bill Wallis’ reblooming, ‘Mavis Simpson’ hanging on since June), the last of our lilies , an ornamental oregano that brings large numbers of honey bees into the garden for the only time of the year, and a lot of the more ever-blooming plants like the orange Canna, the Blessed Calendulas, the Galvezias which seem to always have flowers but rarely in significant quantities.

Lobelia speciosa

Calendula and Calandrinia

Oenothera and Pennisetum

Sedum and Rubus pentalobus

Overall, not much else is worth photographing at the moment. Partly because August is the tail end of our bloom season, but mostly because we just began several projects and the garden is in that state of chaos that happens before everything begins to get put back together again. Bamboo leaves are strewn everywhere. Though actually I finished the first of the projects this weekend, and just need to tidy it up and then it will be bloggable. We’ve had this garden exactly five years now, and it is getting some upgrades that should make us want to stay here another five.

My thanks to Carol at MayDreamsGardens for hosting bloom day. Click through to see what’s blooming in lots of other garden blogs. The list of everything in bloom in our garden is below. (more…)

June Bloom Day

Philadelphus microphyllus

Yesterday was bloom day. Our garden’s happy but messy. That storm at the beginning of the month was good for foliage and flowers, though it also spread bamboo leaves everywhere, which we still need to tidy up. The star right now is our mock orange, Philadelphus micranthus, which you can smell as soon as you come up the stairs into the garden.

Brodiaea with Nigella

Brodiaea is in bloom throughout the yard. We have two varieties; the bluer ones are ‘Corrina,’ the more purple ones are ‘Queen Fabiola.’ I always have to look it up to remember which is which.

Brodiaea with Salvia Hot Lips

Brodiaea with Dudleya

Several of the dudleyas are budding or blooming. They are all somewhat close to our walkway and their bloom stalks have a tendency to get damaged before the flowers open. This one is nicely ensconced amongst some brodiaea so it has stayed safe.

Lilium parryi

I grew a bunch of these native lilies from seed, germinating them three four years ago. They’ve been impressively tolerant of neglect, but slow. This is the first year I’m getting a significant number of blooms; last year we had a few, this year maybe a dozen. I think the leopard lily is the cooler flower, but the lemon lily is less common and also beautiful, so I tend to prize it more.

Leopard Lily, Lilium pardalinum

Scarlet Monkey Flower Mimulus cardinalis with Stream Orchid Epipactis gigantea

All of our monkey flowers are in bloom. The orange monkey and the scarlet monkey are thriving; a red monkey, Mimulus puniceus, is getting swallowed up by Matilija poppy and a hybrid monkey seems to be in decline after several years of heavy flowering.

Mimulus aurantiacus

Bloom Day is hosted as always by Carol at MayDreamsGardens. My thanks to her. Click over for links to over a hundred and fifty other blogs posting about their flowers. The list of everything blooming in our yard is below. (more…)

May Bloom Day, a Day Late

Ach, I’m a day late for bloom day. I haven’t been paying much attention to our garden or posting much about it lately. I’ve found myself focusing my attention more on other gardens, the ones I work in and a number of ones that I’ve visited this spring. One reason is that Anita and I have been thinking about moving. I think I’ve mentioned before that our house is only 480 square feet (many living rooms are larger than that), and it gets very small in the winter. Anita has an office but I do the design part of our design/build from home. Summer we’re able to spread out into the garden so space isn’t such an issue, but we genuinely need more space and we don’t want another cramped winter. Instead of moving, though, we’ve made a tentative deal with our landlord to build a small garden shed/studio space. I’m not sure if that would lose us our small house movement credit. Anyways, there’s an old existing shed in the garden already, and the plan is to upgrade it to a proper little structure, which I’m sure I’ll have some posts about in the future. For a while there, while we were thinking of moving, Anita and I were physically and psychologically getting ready to leave the garden, but now that we’re staying I can feel myself re-engaging. May is a great month for gardens, a lot of our plants are blooming.

Coreopsis, Triteleia, and Penstemon

Allium unifolium

The Allium unifolium has increased steadily each year. It has reseeded politely in a couple of places, with several of the volunteers blooming this year. I thinks it’s an under-appreciated, under-planted native.

Sacred Flower of the Incas

The Sacred Flower is in a container and would move with us, but tit’ll be happy to stay. Our foggy coastal sun makes it happy.

Canna and Western Spicebush

We had a mishap with our gray water planting a few weeks ago, accidentally switching the hot and cold water hoses on our washing machine, dumping hot water into the planter box. The Canna didn’t care, if anything the hot water made it happier, but the Fuchsia ‘Gartenmeister Bonstadt’ burned to a crisp. We think it will recover, but it lost all of its foliage and at least some of the wood. A gray water risk I wasn’t aware of. The Spicebush is located a little further from where the gray water comes out of the pipe, so it doesn’t seem to have noticed. It has definitely taken over the space.

I thought I might take a few more bloom photos this afternoon, but it has started raining quite hard. The list of other plants in bloom is below. Thanks to Carol at MayDreamsGardens for hosting Bloom Day. Over 150 blogs have posted links to their bloom day posts; I recommend clicking over to check it all out. The list of everything blooming in our yard is below. (more…)

April Bloom Day

Unidentified Freesia

Happy tax and bloom day everyone. I was set up on our front porch yesterday, enjoying the garden and the weather while I went through our receipts, and it was actually quite pleasant. Our garden is in full spring mode, with almost all of our deciduous plants leafed out and most of the spring bloomers in bud or blooming. For some reason, my photos this month mostly show stray plants that ended up in our garden after they were leftover from installations. As a result I’m a little more vague about their identities than usual. For instance, the freesia is from some bulbs that were salvaged in the process of building a path. We put them in some pots to find out their colors. Orange!

Allium unifolium, Tellima grandiflora, Dicentra formosa

Allium unifolium we can identify, though they also end up in our yard as leftovers from installations. We have them in pots and in the ground. The ones in pots are all budding or blooming, while the ones in the ground are just starting to bud.

Unidentified Allium

I don’t remember what type of alliums these are. We forced them in some containers a few years ago and then I forgot about them while they were in the ground recharging. The digging of the skunks has moved them around the yard a bit, too, so it was a surprise to me when they bloomed in a patch of Sysirinchium.

Unidentified Orchid

Anita brought home this orchid after she divided my mom’s orchids several years ago. Not too bad.

Meadowfoam and Geranium Bill Wallis

Meadowfoam I planted on purpose. It’s one of our main spring bloomers, naturalized in several different parts of the garden.


Unidentified Babiana

We have a couple of different varieties of Babiana, in varying shades of purple and blue.

Cal Poppy

This Cal poppy is in the veggie garden where we’ve grown a few different strains over the years. It looks like it has Mahogany Red in its parentage. For a while I was going in a purist direction with our poppies, taking it down to just the coastal form in our outer garden, but now I’m glad I left some of the hybrids around the veggies. It’s good to be surprised when the flowers open.

My thanks as always to Carol for hosting bloom day. Click through to MayDreamsGardens to find links to over one hundred and fifty other blogs doing the same. I try to keep a record of everything blooming, but I haven’t compiled the list yet. I’ll add it tomorrow or Sunday. (more…)

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