Blooming despite the cold

For weeks it was warm and dry;  the past few days have been cold and dry, with daytime highs barely reaching 60F (15C) and nighttime lows nearing 40F (5C).  Here that's what we call "cold".
I've planted rooted succulent cuttings to jazz up edges...
 ...pulled out a dead Pittosporum from the east slope...
 ...and the Maireana sedifolia from the south slope...
 ...bought a Callistemon 'Slim' at Lowe's...
 which turned out to have a terrible circled/knotted root system...
...but I planted it anyway in the dead Pitto's old place...
pulled a few weed seedlings (no rain = no weeds)...
 ...soaked and fertilized the sprouting Clematis...
 ...but other than that, not much gardening.  I've been painting more rooms indoors:  the laundry room, the guest room, two bathrooms.  

It's really time to mulch.  I need to get to it.  

The long stretch of warm weather woke up many plants early.  Flower buds on the 'Cara Cara' orange:
Flower stem appearing on new Anigozanthos 'Big Red':
Tiny buds on new rose 'Easy On The Eyes':
 Good growth on new "dutch" iris, though no sign of flowers just yet:
Dahlia sprout:
A flush of spider-webbed (not green!) foliage, finally(!), on Fatsia 'Spiders Web'.  Whoo hoo!
Some sights to enjoy, despite the thirsty garden.  

Melanerpes formicivorus, Acorn woodpecker  chirping and chittering in the neighbor's oak:
Leucospermum, Aloe, Agave blooms making a swirl of orange and yellow:
The brief glory of Magnolia stellata:
The soon-to-be glory of Leucospermum 'Yellow Bird', weeks early this year.
It's not so bad.  It's quite good, really.  A garden day is a good day.


  1. I've been missing my frequent dose of the best blog on the web. Glad that everything is as per usual. Shivering here. Darn house is not made for cold windy weather but I love them both, the house and the weather. Cheers.

    1. You are very kind, Jane!

      I pulled out the very nice jacket my sister gave me but I never get to wear because it is normally way too warm. I am enjoying the cold we are getting (such as it is), just wish it was a wet cold. Good for your stone fruit trees--I think you have a couple?

  2. I'm glad you got out into your beautiful garden despite the cold. That Leucadendron/Agave/Aloe shot is fantastic! I'm good once I get outside working but find myself hesitating at the door even when bundled up - it didn't even reach 60 here for a couple of days! Still, I tackled some pruning today and even spent time on the back slope chipping away at the mass of messy ivy and honeysuckle that makes me so unhappy. A nice, thick layer of gray clouds is forming overhead here at the moment - dare we hope?

    1. I warm right up once outside digging, but got obsessed once I got started painting, focusing to get to a good stopping point (rooms completely painted, not half-done). There is so much fun stuff you could do on that back slope--perhaps some low block wall terracing in your infrastructure future? That would make access easy and so much safer, and better for your knee.

      Clear blue skies here. :^(

  3. Ha, your cold is our warm spring weather. Your garden looks so alive with all those succulents. The Callistemon with the knotted root looks reminds me of a bonsai plant. I didn't know there was a 'slim' Callistemon. Your sweet doggie looks like he/she just woke from a nap.

    1. It's welcome and refreshing either way. :^) A sign of spring for you and relief from endless summer for us.

      The dogs with their thick fluffy coats are bouncing around with joy. Boris there was staring longingly at his favorite toy which I was holding up in one hand (camera in the other).

      'Slim' is a selection from Australia with naturally narrow growth. It is looking like a superb narrow screen for SoCal (low water, also!), something we all want here with our small lots.

  4. That shot of the aloes, agaves, and Leucospermum is one of your very best. Wow.

    Is that a salvia with fattening buds at the left? It balances the giant tier of pompoms on the right, and also subtly echoes the sway of the aloe blooms.

    Really stunning planting. And photography.

    1. Very kind of you, Nell , thank you. That's Sideritis cypria; grey foliage, green flower stems, minute yellow flowers sitting in the green "cups" on the stems.

    2. Congrats on your webby fatsia! Still waiting for mine to do the right thing. A windy day, whether hot or cold wind, is the worst for me. I always get agitated and unsettled by strong wind, such a chaos agent, whereas Marty loves it. Today it's calm, therefore I am calm. Weird!

    3. "Chaos agent" is an excellent way of describing wind. I hunker indoors on wind days.

      The webby Fatsia growth was indeed a nice surprise--wasn't expecting it.

  5. Sunday and Monday threaten lows of 15C (and we call this summer, but so grateful for the rain we received. Five millimetres)

    1. 15C in summer would be pretty good here. I would go for more than a few days of that in July and August. So happy for you that you got some rain, no matter how little--it all helps.

  6. It's all good! Boris (or is that Natasha?) looks on very approvingly. I do hope you get more rain as I know how much you need it, but I kinda hope it's not next week; we are traveling to to the central CA coast to visit family, and I always count on some heat and dry weather there to counteract our wet, cold, prolonged winter-into-spring that's starting about now. Seems like the entire West Coast has been cold. Time for that to change!

    1. Yes its all good. Central Coast CA is beautiful in any weather. I hope you have a great visit there. Chance of showers this week; not sure about next. Wasn't really cold here--it was just "cold". Nothing compared to the PNW.


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