Bloom Day March 2018


This past week has been showery.  Over the last four days we got 0.7" (18 mm) of rain, washing dust off the plants and making them sparkle.  Though our seasonal rainfall is still dismal, we're up to 3.45" (87 mm) for the season, with a bit more in the forecast. 

Dainty Echeveria agavoides flowers in the foreground.  

Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' has cheery yellow flowers, too. 
Even a modest amount of rain brings results on the front slope. 
 Leucospermum 'Tango' against a blurred background of Aloe aff. megalacantha
Agave 'Joe Hoak' with its cloud of honey bees. 
The star  superstar of March, Leucospermum 'Yellow Bird'

Also mobbed by bees.  This is the first year for that.  Did the bees just discover Leucospermums, or did it take time for the plant to produce nectar adequate to lure them?

Aloe greatheadii has a tall flower stalk, the better to rise above grass in its native habitat and attract pollinators.  No grass here.
Aloe 'Fire Ranch' flowers are just about to open.  I moved this particular plant last year to a better location and it has improved significantly. 
The 'Bartzella' Peony planted a few days ago is showing buds already. 
There's that new-to-this-garden-this-year  'Eye of the Tiger' Iris again.  The older established Iris are not flowering yet.  Soon.
A few Sparaxis bulbs, also new.  They did not get sufficient water because we got very little rain.  I watered them, but not enough.

A favorite poppy, Hunnemannia fumariifolia. 
Callistemon 'Slim'.   Callistemon was ubiquitous in our neighborhood when I was a child, so common as to be easily ignorable.  It disappeared somewhat from California gardens but the five year drought and new selections like newish 'Slim' and especially  'Little John', have re-popularized it.  It's tough, reliable, low-water, heat-tolerant, and a hummingbird feeder.
Many flowers yet to open

The roses begin.  'Brass Band', of course.  One of the last to bloom, one of the first to start.
 'Wildfire' wet with rain
 This Leucanthemum has bloomed for months, out of season, and still has buds.  Against a background of 'Rozanne' Geranium, of course. 
 I hacked back this 'Amistad' Salvia to the ground a couple of months ago.  It's baaaaack!  The hummers love it. 

 Grevillea 'Peaches and Cream' took the summer off.  Perhaps it will bloom more this coming summer because it is more established and considerably larger.  Or maybe it won't. 
 Orange Drakensberg daisy, the garden-happy form of Gerberas. 
Let's finish with one more shot of that glorious 'Yellow Bird'.  I hope you don't mind. 
Happy Bloom Day!

Comments

  1. So many beautiful flowers! The roses look splendid but I am deeply intrigued by that peony ¿is it a lactiflora variety? I love peonies but the climate here is simply too hot for them, winter is too short and warm and spring becomes hot too soon, the rhizomes sprout but stop growing when days get too hot, I've never seen buds on peonies here. Your winter must be colder than mine.

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    1. That is an interspecies Peony (herbaceous x tree peony) called the "Itoh" peony after the man who originally developed them. It handles our no-chill climate not great but pretty well. If it was just a tiny bit colder (200 miles north, say) they would be even better. They do not like our dry heat of autumn but by then they are starting to do dormant for the "winter" (what passes for winter here).

      I think you may have a colder winter than here. Your average July temperature is 53F I looked up, our average January temp is 68F...now you need to start the search for Itoh Peony 'Bartzella'! ;^)

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    2. HB, I had never heard of the Itoh peonies, I just read they do well in warm climates. Here I only find the lactiflora peonies which need months of very low temperatures to bloom. I'll try to find those Itoh peonies!

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  2. 'Yellow Bird' is certainly a superstar! So sweet to see your garden sparkling with raindrops. Oh, those roses! We won't see roses bloom for a couple of months here so seeing yours is a treat. Happy GBBD!

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    1. I miss the rose blooms even though they are absent here only a few weeks. What is a garden without roses?

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  3. Your photos always give me a sense of warmth on the chilly days here. I don't think my 'Amistad' salvia made it through the winter. I was told that it would not and most just treat it as an annual. I will certainly plant it again this year because the hummingbirds just loved it. There are so many impressive flowers in your garden!

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    1. Don't you think you need a nice big greenhouse for winter? A wonderful way to stay warm. The plants would like it too.

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  4. Your Bloomday posts are always warming, this one especially. It gives me hope that summer will return.

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    1. Unfortunately Summer is on the way. Not a fan. But will have a need for fans come summer. Grrr! Happy to spread warming,(the non-global kind).

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  5. Grevillea flowers close-up remind me of fractals. I don't know why I find them so endlessly fascinating. That's a wonderfully mesmerizing shot.

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    1. There are these wind-spinner sculptures very similar to the Grevillea flower structure seen from the end. That's what I always think of. They do bear a resemblance (somewhat) to Callistemon, which maybe makes sense--both Australian plants.

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  6. I keep going back to the picture of the unopened buds of Callistemon 'Slim'; the blooms are so showy that I don't think I've ever seen an image of just the buds. They're beautiful in their own right, and such a different effect than the wowie-zowie flowers.

    The images that make me long for real spring, though, are the gorgeous purple and white of 'Amistad', Geranium 'Rozanne', and those daisies. Mmmmmmm. While the recent (and most-welcome!) snow melts and 35-mph winds roar, and we huddle near electric heaters waiting for the furnace repair man, those pics represent the promise that warmth and serious flowering will arrive. Ee-ventually.

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    1. Yes, the Callistemon buds are very attractive also. A plant with a lot of virtues. Furnace repair? Uh oh. Reminds me, we try to run ours at least once a year. Our HVAC guy said it helps to prevent certain parts from getting dried out. Stay warm!

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  7. Fabulous! Your 'Yellow Bird' looks extraordinarily happy, especially when I compare it to my 'Goldie', which has only produced its first real bloom (although it has more buds!). I'm going to have to take a walk around the block to see if the more established Leucospermum in my neighborhood are in sync with your plant or trailing behind in their bloom cycle like mine. None of my roses have made an appearance yet so I'll have to give them a good talking-to while I'm out. Despite the fact that our overall total is still low (mine sits at 2.89 inches as of this morning), the recent rain has been a big boost to the garden and the morale of the gardener. At least the air is clear and the rain barrels are full.

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    1. The morale improved dramatically here also this week. Rain is sunlight for the spirit.

      They don't all bloom at the same time I think, which is nice. Lengthens the season. 'Tango' was way earlier--January?. 'Flame Giant' will be a month or more yet.

      More rain tomorrow night maybe. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  8. 'Hercules' looks magnificent in that shot, and I'm intrigued by the "blurred background" given by Aloe aff. megalacantha -- which looks like a substantial blur and therefore a good bloomer. 'Amistad' is amazing -- I really should be growing it again. There's a local front garden that has had big, healthy clumps of 'Wendy's Wish' in bloom all winter, so now I know there's another salvia that doesn't stop through our winters. Can you imagine 'Yellow Bird' with a dark blue ceanothus like 'Concha,' or is that too over the top? Wonderful post, Hoov.

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    1. Didn't I offer you some Aloe aff. megalacantha? I have plenty if you want some. It bloomed half of spring and all summer, took a two week rest, and has started yet blooming again. I can imagine 'Yellow Bird' with 'Concha', yes. Wish I had room.

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  9. Pretty jealous of all your color...our bottle brush is not blooming in Nor Cal yet. But I am curious about the "Orange Drakensberg daisy, the garden-happy form of Gerberas. " What makes them different from "regular" Gerbera? I think I have the regular type but they seem to grow a lot of greenery and few flowers. Is that the issue you mention? We are getting very good rain here..yeah!

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    1. Great you are getting some rain!!!! Isn't it wonderful?

      The Gerbera daisies you see are plants developed for the florist trade; A man in South Africa did some hybridizing with the species plant to develop cultivars that were more "garden worthy" (longer bloom) than the species and more "garden worthy" (healthier in garden conditions) than the florist type. He called them "Drakensberg Daisies". A brief bit of info here:

      https://www.smgrowers.com/products/plants/plantdisplay.asp?plant_id=3533

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    2. originally Barberton daisies. I think of them as needing summer 'rain' and haven't tried?

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    3. They do need water to get through the summer. Not much, but some.

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  10. Even if we weren't being pummeled with nonstop snowstorms I would still think 'yellow bird' is the most amazing spring show I've ever seen. I love the texture and form of those flowers, and the color is so cheery!
    Of course then the next exciting thing would flower and I'd again be distracted. The aloe on the front slope is huge, how old would you guess it is?

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    1. You have PADD (Plant Attention Distraction Disorder) . I recognize the symptoms since I have it also. The only treatment is--more plants!

      The huge Aloe 'Hercules' I bought in a 1 gallon pot at Home Depot in November 2010. It sat in that 1 gallon pot until January 2012 when I planted it in that spot. It is 12 feet or thereabouts tall.

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  11. Any birds in the garden are a treat but your 'Yellow bird" is definitely a star. All of your blooms are so exotic and pretty. No wonder the birds and bees like them. Happy GBBD.

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  12. What a wealth of exotic blooms you have, and most are unknown to me. I really like the Callistemon 'Slim.' Hard to believe something so beautiful as Callistemon can be ignored because of its commonness, but I suppose that happens with some of our blooms, too. Grevillea 'Peaches and Cream' is another one that I much admire. And 'Yellow Bird.' Wow!

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    1. Just as I am bedazzled by Hostas, which are the exotics here. Someone in the neighborhood planted five tulips, and stunted, wizened, bedraggled, sad things they are.

      We enjoy what we can't grow as much as what we can't. (Sometimes more, since they are problem free when they are elsewhere.)

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