A Real Winter For A Change

No endless blue skies this year.

Winter shadows
This winter has been more like the winters of decades past.  We're getting sufficient rain, cool days, and chilly (ish) nights instead of endless heat waves.  It's been wonderful.  It's been "normal".  
No, as a matter of fact, I'm not tired of rain
  Rain means it is a great time to plant. An order of plants from Annies Annuals arrived. 
Anti-clockwise from bottom left:  Seed-grown Aloe vaombe, Chrysocephalum apiculatum 'Silver Sunburst', Phacelia campanularia 'Desert Canterbury Bells', 
three Verbena 'de la Mina's (two for the garden, one for a garden-buddy), Trachelium caeruleum 'Hamer Pandora', and Hellebore 'Peppermint Ice'.  Since yet more rain(!!!) was predicted for overnight,  I got as many planted as possible before nightfall. 

Chrysocephalum and a 'De la Mina' to this spot that is very hot and dry in summer.  Surprisingly, the soil was nearly dry even though we just got over 3" of rain.  There are avocado tree roots in the soil from the tree above the retaining wall lapping up the moisture. 
 The Trachelium went into a space between two 'Ambridge Rose's.
 Another Trachelium planted a few weeks ago has done very well due to all the rain we've gotten .  It has grown and looks to be thriving.  Rain is magic.
 This next one was a seedling from a Trachelium of a few years ago.  The seedling came up last spring and I moved it here, putting it inside the protective screen.  It outgrew the 'Apricot Cream' rose also inside the screen, and grew through the screen, too.  Kind of a mess.  It was completely hidden by a huge Salvia 'Amistad' all spring and summer, so I was unaware of what it was doing.
 A new Trachelium seedling came up a few weeks ago.  I moved it to another empty place between two other roses and shaded it temporarily.  Trachelium will be a feature this year.
 The roses are leafing out rapidly from all the rain. 
This little clump of iceplant is very happy from all the rain.
A wonderful winter, for a change.  
 

Comments

  1. Rain is magic. We learn to revel in it.

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  2. I'm loving this winter too! I've been letting the ground soak up all the rain... It's still too cold to plant (we got snow!) but all the poppy seedlings are coming up!

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    1. Uh...snow? But your poppies will be glorious in a month or so. Many have sprouted here also among the Lupines.

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  3. I never get sick of rain either. My husband sometimes tells me about conversations he's overheard on the train to work, of people complaining about our winter weather. I could maybe do with more hours of actual daylight, but I love the rain. We just got 7 1/2 inches of snow, and I would much have preferred that had been rain.

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    1. I saw the snow in the PNW on the news. Hope it doesn't do too much damage. The Sierras are getting dumped on here--this is good for all the stressed conifers. (And the water supply.)

      To pile on the wonderfulness, we're getting brilliantly sunny days between each rain--could not ask for better!

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  4. It feels like an extraordinary winter! I've been sitting on a list of Annie's plants for almost 2 weeks now and fell my hesitation giving way. (Something on my Annie's wish-list always pops up immediately AFTER I order.) I'd been considering blue or purple-flowering plants for a particular open spot and now you've planted Trachelium in my head. (Ouch, pun not intended.) I've grown those plants here before but never had one self-seed - maybe my soil improvements and rain could change my luck there.

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    1. Yes, extraordinary. Rain then brilliant sunshine then rain then brilliant sunshine. Could it be any better than that?

      Only three Trachelium seedlings total have appeared over the years, which is why they get protection in screen hoops. It may be a matter of sufficient moisture for a sufficient amount of time, which as you know has been difficult! Exactly one Dorycnium hirsutum seedling has appeared in the garden after a whole lot of seed scattering, also now enclosed in a protective cage until it is larger.

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  5. Well, I'm not sick of the rain yet either, but I'm getting close. I need a couple weeks of dry weather so I can start to handle the weed explosion. It'll be a few more weeks before I make my first Annies run of the year. I like your selection !

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    1. I would go hog-wild shopping there in person. How can you stand it? "First" run of the year? Sigh!

      Weeds. There is that. Some here, but it has been so dry for so many years, relatively few.

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  6. How wonderful for you and your garden, and what fun it is to be able to plant right now. Perfect conditions to get plants rained in, a great start.

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    1. It's great gardening here when it is not hot. Happy plants, happy Gardeners.

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  7. Oh I envy your Annies order. The postage is just silly for us East-coasters but the offerings are so tempting!
    I'm glad you're finally getting your share of the rain. Planting is just so much more enjoyable when you feel like nature is on your side, and it's not much fun digging in bone dry soil.

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    1. East Coasters have some good East Coast nurseries for us to envy, so we're even! :)

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  8. I'm glad you garden is enjoying ample rain, roses will certainly appreciate it! Mine are now pruned. Summer here is at its peak and temperatures keep soaring, despite weekly rains the blazing sun dries off everything in a matter of hours, I am not a happy gardener right now but fall will come in some months! sigh!

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    1. You prune in summer? Interesting! I have been thinking of switching to that because of the Chili Thrips, though here it being so dry canes de-leafed would have to be protected from our summer sun. Must be a nasty job though to prune in fierce heat.

      Your beautiful water lilies must be a joy in summer, when you miss the roses.

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  9. I'm hoping the hail that was so hilarious and picturesque on the greens at Pebble Beach yesterday was super-localized and didn't fall on your or any other California garden... It looked *very* brisk there up on the cliffs.

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    1. Missed the hail there. I have been there, it is a gorgeous place. People scurrying around there would have been a hoot.

      Here we had dazzling sunshine and cool temps--the best of winter days.

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  10. When I lived in England, convential wisdom held that rain was a prompt to rush out and water your roses. Now in SoCal, I do miss the 15 varieties that flourished with only my amateur encouragement.

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    1. The UK is a more challenging climate, so you must know something! Gardening there seems to be a far more serious activity than it is here. I wish we had more of a gardening culture in So Cal.

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