This week has been moving plants to better locations, buying a few new plants, and watching new roses leaf out.
And waiting for a butterfly to emerge:
New plant: Penstemon heterophyllus 'Blue Springs'. I've tried Penstemons in the past--they all very quickly died. This one at least has not--yet.
The mature roses are leafed out and beautiful. About every fourth one has a flower or two opening. Our meager rainfall seemed to make them happy, meager though it has been.
Aloe megalacantha has a huge cloud of yellow flowers. A. marlothii still looks fabulous, A. cameronii already finished blooming.
There's a volunteer Lavender that needs moving. I'm waiting for a cool, overcast stretch of weather; rain would help. And apparently this Saturday through Monday will bring exactly that, (Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!! Yeeeeeeeee haaaaaawww!!!!!!!!!)
The black-leaf Lagerstroemia survived its first dormancy in the garden. So nice to see that foliage again. Welcome back, gorgeous!
I first became acquainted with Sideritis cypria via A Growing Obsession blog, Sideritis is what I thought Stachys byzantina would be--a neat clump of fuzzy silver grey foliage. Stachys byzantina was a disaster in this garden. Sideritis is a gem. Planted last June as a tiny seedling, it thrived in our drought. Now it's going to bloom, and I hope to get seedlings, because one plant is not enough.
To my surprise I had a credit at a local chain garden center. A second Abelia 'Kaleidoscope' came home and immediately went up on the east-facing slope. Another outstanding plant: tough, uncomplaining, always striking to look at. The summer flowers are incidental, but are yet another source of nectar for hummingbirds. The foliage color agrees nicely with several Yucca 'Bright Star', already in residence up there.
Added a new Rhodanthemum (aka Pyrethropsis hosmariense). I pulled out the old one after more than a decade, but small bits are coming back from the roots, and I'm glad. The local rabbit sampled this one, but spit out the bits.
Another new little plant, a California native, Solanum xanthi. No idea how this will do, though Late To The Garden Party reports initial success.
New Salvia 'Waverly', said to be an outstanding performer in Southern California, but big, not petite. Perhaps this will be temporary--I meant the spot for a yellow rose.
The white and lavender flowers will agree with the 'Climbing Iceberg' rose to its left, and the Geranium 'Rozanne' at its base.
I had initially moved a 'Molineux' rose to the spot, but it did not survive, killed off by the move and a hot, rainless February. New rose 'Home Run' is just under 'Iceberg', as a red accent diagonally placed to red climber 'Altissimo'. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.
New climbing rose 'Tropical Lightning'. The flowers are an intriguing mix of dark orange striped cream. Oooh! How could I not? It's been protected from February's hot sun by a shade cloth draped over the cage. Hoping, but not expecting, a cooler March.
'Tropical Lightning' might be a gaudy combo with nearby 'Fourth of July'. Oh, well. I'm good at gaudy.
The last new rose of the year is at the top of this next photo, with a transplanted 'Rozanne' indicated below center. 'Dee-Lish®' is supposed to be extremely fragrant. I hesitated to buy it because of the stupid name. Dear rose marketing departments of the world, people who grow roses are not idiots.
Oh 'Barcelona', how I've missed you! Welcome back.
Planted last year at the start of last summer(!), Grevillea 'Peaches and Cream' has exceeded expectations, inducing Springphoria.
In the very shaded back gully, a newly planted big-box 'Kramers Supreme' Camellia, meaning it is probably mislabelled. I have the idea of turning this once sunny area into a kind of Camellia theater.
The Camellia takes the place of a 'Mrs. B. R. Cant' rose that got shaded out by the Italian Cypress above and the Syzygium to the west; I intended to move the rose, an excellent variety, but it had extensive crown and root gall. Trashed.
Camellias, established and with shaded roots, have extremely low water requirements. I have a couple of healthy C. sasanquas that get 1/4th the water of most of my Agaves. Consider that.
Elegant 'Pink Gruss an Aachen', I have missed you!
New plants, new roses, fresh foliage, fresh flowers. Springphoria!
Winter can continue as long as it likes, however. For a Southern California gardener, that's when the fun is.