Returned From The Missing

 Certain plants were badly affected by our five year drought.  Acer palmatum 'Oshio Bene' declined.  Last year during our terrible start-of-summer heat wave, it lost most of its foliage.  This year it  looks vastly healthier. 

I was concerned for the Itoh Peony.  Although it has managed to bloom every year throughout the drought, this past fall there were no visible new leaf buds.  Rain to the rescue! 

'Cobras Eye' 
Despite a reputation for modest water needs, Tall Bearded Iris in this garden hardly bloomed during the drought.  Flowers reappeared this year. 
 Continual heat waves all winter in the five winters past made rose 'Ascot' a non-bloomer.  It has five buds this year--a sad number, yes, but five better than zero.  

Another German rose, 'Laguna', also suffered from lack of even a  slightly cool winter.  Vastly better this spring
 'Laguna' is a large rose.  With scanty foliage and few flowers, for years it hurt to look at it.  I was ready to remove it, but the rain worked wonders. 

 Clematis 'Etoile Violette' was fair through the drought, but rose 'Sombreuil' declined badly--so badly I was going to remove it.  Good thing I didn't--it's back to beauty. 

While 'Etoile Violette' was okay, Clematis Comtesse de Bouchaud hasn't been visible for a couple of years.  Lovely to see it again. 
 Then there is what I prefer to go on missing.  They are welcome here, Pituophis catenifer, aka Gopher Snake, I simply don't want to encounter them

 There's the rest of him/her.  This was a juvenile, not yet large enough to consume a gopher.  I got the impression she/he wasn't interested in encountering me, either. 

A different sort of missing--I got this little annual daisy a few weeks ago, and the tag is missing.  
 Missing tag, whatever.  Name, at this moment, whatever.  Cool!


  1. Wow so many beautiful flowers showing up in your garden Hoover Boo. You must be very
    happy to have patience not digging out plants and roses because you had in mind it had every
    thing to do with the drought. It's lovely to see what your garden is bringing you at the moment.
    Have a wonderful weekend ahead Hoover Boo.

    1. The winter rain has made a wonderful spring. Have a beautiful weekend filled with flowers, Marijke!

  2. :: Despite a reputation for modest water needs, Tall Bearded Iris in this garden hardly bloomed during the drought. ::

    More and more I'm coming to believe that the description 'drought tolerant' means "will survive drought", not "will perform regardless of rainfall/heat". That 'Cobra's Eye' is worth waiting a few years for.

    Thanks to you, clematis 'Etoile Violette' has been high on my plant lust list for a while now. I have a pergola 20 feet long that's been completely bare for a shamefully long time, ever since rose rosette disease killed the formidable rose 'Alberic Barbier' that covered half of it so gloriously. Every spring I plan to go transplant Clematis virginiana from the fencerow as a replacement, and this year I've finally done it. But even once that gets going, there'll be plenty of space at the other end, and 'Etoile Violette' seems like just the ticket.

    1. I'm making an effort to avoid the term "drought tolerant" for southern California, because it isn't quite right--"climate appropriate" seems better. In most of the rest of the country, "drought tolerant" makes sense--for those month or two month periods when there is no rain and gardeners must drag the hose around. (Leaving aside extreme years long events.) Here where no rain at all from May to November is normal, a plant that ca go for a month without water is "drought tolerant" for those other places in the US, but not here.

      I adore 'Perle d'Azur', so would recommend that one. But 'Etoile Violette' has been outstanding as well.

  3. Stunning photos of spectacular plants. (I'll just forget about the snake.) I hope my own bearded Iris are just late bloomers - after years without blooms, I've no recollection of their timing. I did feed them after reading your earlier comment but perhaps I was too late. They've put on foliage growth but, other than the dwarf variety at the bottom of my slope, I've seen no bloom stalks (yet). There are no buds on my Itho peony either. *Sigh*

    1. Darn that Itoh! Maybe put the shovel next to it for motivation? What is its problem?!? Is it getting sufficient sun?

      As to the Iris, the ones I hit with fertilizer are blooming, and the ones I forgot are not blooming. This all in multiple places in the garden. Surely there's a connection?

  4. Hooray on the roses and clematis. Boo Hiss on the snake. I hate them too.

    1. Gopher snakes who eat gophers and rats are good! I just want to be indoors when they are patrolling the garden. With the windows shut and the doors locked! I suspect this little beastie was the culprit who ate the towhee eggs out of the nest by the front door, but that's how nature operates.

      Roses are pooh-poohed by some native plant enthusiasts as being of no benefit, but in this garden roses have been popular with the birds for nesting.


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