Blooms February 2021


Above and below:  new Hellebore x 'Glenda's Gloss'.  Wowza!
One of the 'Penny's Pink' Hellebores
Another 'Penny's Pink'

Yet another 'Penny's Pink' with conveniently coordinating succulents Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' and what used to be Aeonium 'Mardi Gras' (it lost its stripes when it offset). 

Not my Acacia.  The neighbor's Acacia...maybe A. baileyana(?) but not the 'Purpurea' version.  Still, quite nice if you are not allergic to its lavish pollen output.  Reportedly not an invasive reseeder in So Cal (if it is baileyana). 

No flowers yet for a while, but the height of the Agave marmorata flower stem is impressive!
Lots and lots of deep purple flowers on Iochroma 'Purple Queen' after a hard prune in October and a hit of fertilizer.
Quite a display for February.  Major hummingbird draw. 

Here is how it looked back in November.  Pretty impressive winter growth!

Also cut back hard last fall, this Cuphea 'Vermillionaire' has already recovered and is nicely compact:


You knew 'Sticks on Fire' Euphorbia tirucalli bloomed, right?  And that eventually it becomes a 25' tall tree?  The flowers are tiny:

Agave 'Joe Hoak' blooms continue, slowly.  The fairly cold (high 40's F/~8 C) winter nights we've had slowed its flowering down.  Bees and nectar-feeding birds at them all day.
While Metrosideros collina 'Springfire' is not a plant native to California, the birds and honeybees LOVE it. The smallest newest one growing in the gully garden is mobbed with bees, visited by hummingbirds, and constantly--constantly--playing host to goldfinches, warblers, and and several other song bird species.  I have no idea what the goldfinches are finding in there, but they are finding something they like.   

Bee backside in the flowers. 

Our seasonal rain total is a sad 4" (100 mm) or so, but due to that very modest rainfall and a lot of not-hot weather, the gully garden looks good.  The bright orange flowers of 'Springfire'  can be seen on the left.  Green mass on the left foreground is a Leonotus spilling forth, enjoying winter weather, getting ready for spring flowering. 

Also in the gully, the tiny flowers of California native Rhus integrifolia (or ovata?) are opening.  The tiny flower bud clusters  appeared several months ago.  This is developing into a great background shrub that can do without irrigation and will provide shelter and food for native birds and insects. 

I have a couple more roses left to prune.  It's taken so long, the first ones already have leaves and flowers again.  To be fair, along with roses I've been cutting back other plants, digging out some, moving some, and planting some.  Winter is hectic time here.

The koi have had a good winter.  The water is as clear as glass, and so far no huge string algae infestation.  The pond may have finally matured beyond string algae...or so I hope. 

Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star' is over 4' (120 cm) tall now.  I love the snowy white, graceful flowers.  

The Magnolia flowers have a purity about them, like new fallen snow.  Since it doesn't snow here, the Magnolia flowers offer that same feeling--a brief magic moment of newness. 

Some Bloom Day near misses--Freesias just about to open

And Alstroemerias
Too late to catch a Fenestraria rhopalophylla flower.  The remains are that brownish bit hanging over the edge of the pot.  So happy this plant managed to survive my neglect.  It got hidden under a mass of Sedum morganianum.  I put the remains of it in this pot, and it appears to be recovering. 

Meanwhile, in sunnier areas where the conditions are hotter and drier...Dasylirion wheeleri photobombed by Leucospermum 'Tango':

Orange Drakensberg Daisy' enjoying the winter. 
Aloe marlothii
Leucospermum 'Tango' with Aloe petricola
The little Aizoaceae, the ID of which I am unsure  (??Cephalophyllum 'Red Spike'??), in the foreground.  Rhodanthemum hosmariense 'Casablanca' in the background. 
There's Rhodanthemum hosmariense 'Casablanca'. 
Grevillea 'Coastal Gem' with honey bee:
The same Grevillea with Arctotis 'Burgundy' 
Leucospermum 'Wilsons Wonder' with Leucadendron 'Tango' in the background

And to finish up, my favorite photo of the day, Aloe aculeata with Arctotis 'Pink Sugar', the dregs of Aloe cameronii flowers in the background, plus Yucca 'Bright Star', Agave parryi truncata and Agave ovatifolia.   Texture, color, foliage, flowers!

Happy bloomy Bloom Day!


  1. Wonderful post. And holy smokes! That is one tall agave flower stem. This is why I love hardiness zones--- right at this moment, everything is so varied depending on where one is.

    1. Thanks! Yes a very tall stem, the plant is actually below the bottom of the wall.

      Wild weather indeed the past few days.

  2. Thanks for the bright blooms. Everything is under a foot of snow here. I've admired that Iochroma in the Annie's Annuals catalog.

    1. Snow: yiiiikes! Hope you don't get too much damage to your garden.

  3. I didn't realize you had so many hellebores - all beautiful! Your garden in general looks fabulous. I'm always impressed by your Iochroma, especially as I killed two but perhaps putting them into large pots was my error. That Agave marmorata bloom spike is almost scary...My own Freesias were just getting started when I took the last of my Bloom Day photos but today every one of the yellow-flowered variety seems to be welcoming the sun. Apparently, they're not worried about the shortage of rain, even if I am. My seasonal total here is just 2.81 inches.

    1. The old 'Ivory Prince' that was the sole type I used to see for sale here in So Cal, I have one of those plus many seedlings it has produced. Plain, but still quite nice. Such an easy, easy plant, too.

      I think there's a yellow Freesia here about to open as well. Have to go look. We've had over 4" here, up against the hills. March miracle, anyone? :(

  4. How lovely it is to see hellebores, alstroemerias, roses and magnolias growing to perfection - without the battering from the rain, frost, snow and wind!

    1. Well, I could handle some rain battering, actually. But OTOH, the flowers are a joy.

  5. Closing photo like the finale of a fireworks display!

  6. Oh, yes love that last picture ! I think I might need to have H. 'Glendas Gloss'. I seem to be collecting Hellebores. Love your Magnolia too-I'm very partial to white flowers.

  7. I got that California feeling looking at all yor blooms.
    I didn't know that Fire Sticks got to be trees. I never thought about them blooming. I think it is such an interesting plant.
    I enjoy seeing all yor blooms.
    Yor koi are so big. They look healthy. Do they have names?

    1. Happy you enjoyed the pictures. Thank you!

      Rita, Princess Yuki, Hana, Les, and Moore. :) The photo L to R has Rita, Moore, and Les.

  8. Wow, yes... you're garden is looking fabulous! I remember the first time I saw a Euphorbia tirucalli tree... stopped me in my tracks. Amazing to see what that little thing I have in a container will become, if allowed to do so.

    1. There's a big specimen in the Huntington Desert Garden. Amazing how they form a woody trunk with bark.

  9. That last photo just typifies your garden! So many marvelous plants!

    1. There are so many marvelous plants on our planet. Very fortunate to be able to grow some.

  10. OMG - that Iochroma! I bought one plant a year ago at the NWFGShow; it bloomed for me a couple of times, but it's still small and not bushy at all. I need to send it to CA to learn from your plant how to get big and beautiful :)! Your garden is beautiful!

    1. Thank you!

      Water and fertilizer was all it took for the Iochroma. I think they want a rich soil. Not that much water, about the same as for a rose. Yesterday I saw the Orange Crowned Warbler drinking from the flowers, so not just the hummers.


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