Bloom Day March 2019

 One in a billion, in the Limonium
It has been reported that one billion Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) butterflies are migrating through California on their way to the Cascade Range in the Pacific Northwest.  
 I'm happy the Limonium were able to provide some of the butterflies with a little nectar.
 Blooms this month:  Hellebores

 This Salvia x 'Skyscraper Pink' bloomed like crazy all winter.  It's looking tired and needs a trim, but it flowers on. I guess it likes that spot.
 Flowers starting on Graptoveria 'Fred Ives', and a cluster of flowers opening on Sedeveria 'California'
Aloe marlothii

 The generous winter rain coaxed a few flower stems from Kumara (Aloe) plicatilis.
 Hummingbirds in the Metrosideros 'Springfire' flowers
 Context for the Limonium perezii
 Because of the "real" winter, Lecospermum 'Yellow Bird' is several weeks behind last year. 
 Aeonium 'Zwartkop' has flower power
 The Eschscholzia californicas (California poppies) began to bloom this past week

 Sparaxis hybrids, also bright orange
 Gazania in brilliant orange as well
 Not to mention Leucospermum 'Tango'

 Aloe petrophila changes from orange to yellow as the flowers open

 Hummer at Agave 'Joe Hoak' flowers
 Hummer at Grevillea 'Moonlight'
Sweet Lesser Goldfinch at the fountain
Update:  Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star'.  Oh, what a lovely thing!
 Just a little specimen.  This is a slow grower.  I bought it out of pity 3 or 4 years ago, after it had bloomed and the nursery put it at 75% (or 90%?) off, to get rid of it. 
And over the winter Lotus x 'Amazon Sunset' grew into a dense 3x3 (1 M x 1 M) green blanket with zero flowers.  At least a Freesia grew up through the blanket:
 But then, finally, this morning, Lotus flowers!  I assume there will be more. 
Almost spring.  It has been a wonderful winter here.  I wish winter would linger.


  1. I hope some of those butterflies stop by my garden! :) Are there any blooming aloes that would be hardy in zone 7? They are so beautiful.

    1. When you built your greenhouse, save room for some Aloes.

      There's an Alpine species that is the most beautiful Aloe of them all, happy down to 0F, but it likes a sunny cold snowy winter, a grey rainy cold one maybe not so much. Aloe polyphylla. See if anyone in your area is growing it. Spectacular! Summers are too hot for it here.

      Here's hoping you get lots of those butterflies, but wow, do they fly fast. Hard to get photos.

  2. Lots of lovely blooms but the Leucospermum 'Tango' wins my vote.

  3. 'Skyscraper Pink' is unknown to me -- no wonder the hummingbirds love you!

    1. Flowers nearly identical to the 'Wishes', but the plant is more compact.

      With the hummers, the feeling is mutual.

  4. Wonderful photos with local wildlife making cameo appearances! I took my camera outside yesterday afternoon and captured a few photos of the painted ladies myself. They were all over the botanic garden when I was there for a tour on Tuesday, forming joyful swirling clouds.

    As usual, your Aloe and Leucospermum blooms are spectacular. I always envy your success with Salvias too. The African species do okay here but not those originating from Central or South America. I'm wondering if my sandy soil is a factor. No California poppies here yet but my hope of getting some to flower on my back slope remains alive. They're such happy flowers. I'd love to see the superbloom but I'm not up to dealing with the traffic nightmare.

    1. There may yet be some on your walk that you blogged about recently? Traffic nightmare--yeah, not into that either.

      During the week is supposedly not so bad.

  5. Wow! I'll have to keep my eyes open for all those Painted Ladies coming our way. I seldom see anything in my garden other than swallowtails and skippers. You have so many bright and unusual flowers, I wish your winter could last longer too.

    1. The hills are green, the mountains snowy, the sky crystal blue, the trees sparkle. A real "winter" is wonderful here. It's the summers that are dreadful.

  6. Oh, that Aloe marlothii! The yellow florets create/emphasize the effect of shafts of sunlight hitting the plant in dappled shade.
    What's the fabulous fiber-optic needle-leaved chartreuse plant supplying context to the Limonium?
    Between the painted ladies, the aloes, Leucospermum 'Tango' (*and* its foliage; wow), you have got the orange going ON right now. I wonder if the L. 'Yellow Bird' will bloom even longer than last year's impressive show; hard to imagine.
    Hellebores peaking here, too, which helps me get past the twinges of Leucospermum envy I might otherwise suffer...

    1. The needle leaves belong to Agave stricta. It got somewhat yellow because of the drought. It is looking better lately. Tough smaller Agave.

      More flowers than last year on 'Yellow Bird'. It will be a show for April.

      Orange is a good color for here. It works with the light and the climate.

  7. Warm fuzzies as you feed migrating butterflies!

    1. I'm making an effort to plant more butterfly plants. The humming birds can't expect to have the whole garden to themselves. Nearby there is a county park with a several-acre field set aside for native Eriogonum, a very valuable plant for native butterflies. So they have a good thing there, but I'm trying to do my bit as well.

  8. What a lovely selection this month Hoov, and your Aloe Marlothii is beyond splendid.

  9. All those hot oranges and reds are astounding, and I love that this is what your winter looks like (and a little bit envious of it as well!) . I think the butterflies will be quite excited to find your garden as they migrate along. We had an eruption of painted ladies a couple years back and it was amazing to have them all around as you walked the garden. Enjoy!


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