Strange May

The weather has been more like November than May:  fairly cool, especially at night, and occasional light rains, as if the rainy season were just beginning instead of supposedly over.  No complaints--cool weather in which to garden and six tenths of a inch (15 mm) of rain. 
Except November rarely looks this good.  



The Clematis are blooming.  'Comtesse de Bouchard'

 'Perle d'Azur' is my favorite
 With 'Laguna' climbing roseGloomy weather, so comfortable for gardening, makes for poor photos.  
The lovely rain we got unfortunately made 'Laguna' collapse due to extra weight of water on the leaves and flowers.  
  There's a Jackmanii Clematis in 'Fourth of July' rose, but the rose overwhelms the Clematis. 
 Clematis 'Wisley' on the left always has the most flowers.  I'd buy another but I haven't seen it for sale since I bought the first one about ten years ago. 
Love that there 'Wisley'
While searching for a part to repair a door, I made several big box store trips just before Mother's Day, just when the garden department is stuffed with Pretty Plants To Buy Mom.  The roses were tempting, but I came home with another Jackmanii Clematis, a 2 gallon size with a big healthy root system.  Some Mom missed out.

It got the spot formerly occupied by an 'Endless Summer' hydrangea, moved over winter to a shadier place.  There's also already a  'Burgundy Iceberg' rose, (last year's big box bargain buy) but there was room behind it for the Clematis.  

   'Blekitny Aniol' ('Blue Angel') purchased in 2017 from Joy Creek has quite a few flowers.  Zero or one the first year as it was settling in, two or three last year when our rainy season was 4", better this year.  Clematis in other climates can be huge and spectacular.  Here they are more the icing on the cake than they are the cake. 
 'Blekitny Aniol's color is a very delicate lavender, the tepals crepe-paper crinkled. 


 Purchased at the same time from Joy Creek as 'Blekitny Aniol',  'Venosa Violacea' is also doing well.  
Clematis 'Bourbon' which had done well on the old wooden pergola at the bottom of the garden got moved to the urn fountain area when the wooden pergola crumbled and we replaced it with an aluminum one in the summer of 2017.   'Bourbon' is still recovering from the move, but it is making progress.
'Princess Alexandra Of Kent' has had more flowers this May than it has produced in the past five seven years, since I got it.    

I waited five seven years for these so I'm going to keep on taking pictures of them until I'm satisfied, okay? 
'Apricot Cream' managed to send a flower up through the Tracehlium that has overwhelmed it.  The Trachelium is about to flower. 
The Trachelium is fun to photograph.

 During the long drought of 2012-2016 cuttings of Fuchsias repeatedly failed to root because of endless heat waves and desiccating Santa Ana wind events--long stretches of weather hostile to Fuchsias.  This strange November-like May--every single cutting rooted in a week.  Planted, they began to grow immediately.
Took so long to do this post the sun finally came out, though we have another chance of rain showers tomorrow.  That may be it for the rainy season, but what a rainy season it has been. 


Comments

  1. You surely are the "Clematis Queen of Southern California". I've never seen the likes of yours before. I've still got things coming up that I'm not sure quite what they not having seen them for so many years.

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    1. Actually, I think she lives in Huntington Beach. The Nepeta tuberosa that died abruptly last summer came back. My near-death-last-autumn little 'Emperor I' Acer looks glorious.

      Rain is magic!

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  2. Your garden is a riot of color! I'm not sure it's ever looked this glorious before!

    Speaking of weather, it got thiiiis close to raining again today!

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    1. Happy plants, happy gardener. We've gotten a couple of sprinkles, though the NWS rates our chances today at 80%, so I'm hopeful. At least it's not a heat wave.

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  3. Somewhere along the line I convinced myself that I can't grow the larger-flowered Clematis. I have one small-flowered Sweet Autumn Clematis that's become a reliable performer but I haven't tried any others since the early days working in my shady former garden. Your successes - and this wonderful stretch of cool, damp weather - just about has me ready to take the plunge.

    Best wishes for a a shower or two tonight into tomorrow!

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    1. I have a relatively soggy area (repeat "relatively") here and there in the garden because of the retaining walls (they also, as it turns out, retain moisture), and that is where the Clematis have done the best.

      A sprinkle so far. Best wishes for rain backatcha!

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  4. You take as many pictures as you want to AND share them. That is why we all garden, to enjoy those blooms while they last. Your Piece of Eden looks so lush. My garden is looking better than normal too. The tall lilies are as tall as they should be this year. Normally they only get about 2 foot high. Several are a good 3'. Fun to see.

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    1. I did the Portland OR garden blogger's fling and the Lilies there are unbelievable--8' tall!!! I thought my eyes would fall out, like in a cartoon.

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  5. What a reward you're getting for your persistence through terrifying drought, heat, and severe water restrictions. Revel on! I for one can enjoy as many pictures of 'Lady Alexandra of Kent' as you care to share.

    What's the glittering silver plant in the lower third of the next-to-last image? It sets off the blue of the clematis in an electric way.

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    1. Thanks, Nell. That silver plant is Calocephalus brownii now known as Leucophyta brownii, from Australia. Not long-lived, but so cool! It is like a tumbleweed dipped in silver.

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  6. Oops, forgot to consult Burke's Peerage, that's *Princess* Alexandra.

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  7. It's raining here as I type this, and 57 degrees. I'll be very interested to see how summer progresses- this has certainly been the coolest May I can recall probably in decades. I am getting quite fond of your Perle d'Azure --I might have to aquire one-I can get from Digging Dog. I will also sympathize with you on the collapsing Laguna-my Sombreiul came away from it's support and I'm in the process of cutting it back. My support was insufficient (although the rain was the main factor) so that will be addressed as well. Still, I wouldn't complain if it rained once a week all summer.

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    1. I just read 'Prince Charles' is the same color as 'Perle' but flowers more. I do not know if this is true or not.

      Sombreuil--you have my sympathies. Prickly! Laguna's support is sturdy--Laguna just outgrew it by about 6'. Still a small price to pay for rain this close to --that "S" season I hate to think about.

      While we fantasize about the weather, how about a summer where it is 72F every day and 60F every night? I'd give up the rain for that scenario...

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  8. Your rainy season produced some gorgeous garden scenes. I love your combination of roses and clematis. I am late to discovering how to combine these plants. I just recently planted my first rose/clematis duo: Delicate pink Ballerina rose and a dramatic ruby-red Niobi clematis. I hope they will end up being as beautiful as your selections!

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    1. Ballerina/Niobe, that will be a dramatic combination--great idea!

      Had Niobe but she has faded away...too dry of a spot for a Clematis + the long drought.

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