S'up? Not Blogging.
Above: after-Christmas discounted "Amaryllis" (Hippeastrum) bulb finally flowered. That color! Worth the wait? Oh, yeah!
I've been gardening more than garden blogging, moving plants, cutting back plants, and planting potted ones in the ground, and...just looking around out there.
However the vivid, saturated colors of "Amaryllis" (Hippeastrum) hybrids offset our inability to easily grow tulips. These bulbs are happy with a dry summer, perfect for our climate. They wake up with winter rains and are ready for a summer sleep in dry soil. The flowers are two or three times larger than tulip flowers. They last two or three times longer. They give four or six or eight flowers per bulb, not one or two. They come back to bloom year after year and form clumps in time without spreading rampantly.
In the soil here when established, they usually bloom in late March or early April.
Without the poster board background:
Out there, looking around, I discovered the dark foliage of Aeonium 'Zwartzkop' is echoed in the dark foliage of Cordyline 'Festival Grass'. The colors are not quite the same, but at the distance apart they are, close enough. To be filed in the inadvertent unintentional good idea drawer.
I love dark foliage that is also glossy--the gloss provides a sparkle that prevents dark from being dull. New plant, the very dark and glossy Cordyline
Best foliage color with morning sun, afternoon shade:
The two new Callistemon 'Slim' went here, in front of a wall. Eventually 10' tall, they will screen a part of the neighbor's house from this angle and provide yet more hummingbird food. Because you can never have too much hummingbird food in your garden.
These roses moved to make way for the Callistemon...you can just see the little Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star' at upper left of the photo. M. stellata is a very slow growing small tree, so the roses will have years of sun yet.
Not slow at all, because of our rainy winter, the Clematis are already shooting upwards. This is 'Viola'. For years and years it had a terrible undersized inadequate support. A few days ago I thought: "Hmm. For years and years Viola has had a terrible undersized inadequate support. That's stupid." And gave it this one instead. Much better.
And the Sweet Peas begin. I can't remember what variety I bought, and it doesn't matter--it's all about the fragrance. I like blue-purple better, though.
The roses are all foliage, with a first few flowers opening.
Gruss an Aachen, with some rain-induced foliar disease, but I'd rather have the rain than perfect foliage:
Orange 'Wildfire' has one flower and a bud showing color:
A rich yellow bloom on 'Molineux', which suffered horribly from Chili Thrips last summer. So thrilling to see it looking this good:
More rich yellow in the foliage of Abelia 'Kalaidescope'. I know not about the rest of the world, but here a well-established Abelia can be cut to the ground, to grow back perfectly fresh and beautiful again. I chopped it a couple of months ago. The spot is a little small for its mature size. Silly me: I went by the dimensions on the plant label.
Yellow again--the first flowers, too, on Leucospermum 'Yellow Bird'. The show will be impressive this year. Yellow is by far not my favorite color, but lately it seems the plants that really thrive have yellow flowers or foliage. What's with that?
Kind of fabulous in any color. The Lagerstroemia on the left is just beginning to wake up.
As a part of the slope...nice!
Aloe greatheadii has large flower stems this spring because of all the rain. Silver, burgundy, orange...
It's good to see the lizards again. They've been half asleep through the winter. Awake now.
Last year I bought, at 90% off, one of those sad tiny bagged rooted Clematis cuttings the big box stores sell. It was still alive. I couldn't bear not giving it a chance to live. I've done this in the past and failed, but this time it may survive, after having been nurtured and protected in a pot on the patio all of last summer. Now it's large enough to take its chances in the ground. Good luck, kid.
And the flowers won't be yellow:
So that's what I've been doing, more gardening than garden blogging, while the weather holds cool.