Blooms March 2023

 Dutch Iris--consistently cool weather this winter enabled flowers to last several times as long as they usually do while retaining their deep, rich color.

This winter's plentiful rain promises a glorious spring for the garden.  Our latest storm began yesterday morning and will continue until mid-day today.  So far, we've received over an inch of rain (25 mm) bringing our seasonal total to 18.5" (470mm).

We'll worry about a hellish fall fire season this summer.  For now, the joy.  

Rhodanthemum 'Casablanca' with Agave 'Blue Glow':
Especially celebrating Felicia amelloides this month, because these are the first successful ones I've ever had.

 Plants in the past have barely flowered and then died in summer heat.  Delightful to see them succeed.  

Felicia amelloides with Carex testacea and Senecio serpens:

Echeveria coccinea:

Grevillea 'Moonlight' in early morning light:

 Salvia 'Pavement Purple', which is not purple:
Two of the Garvinea series Gerberas:
Aloe marlothii:
Aloe striata:

Leucadendron 'Cloudbank Ginny' beginning its spring display.  Grevillea 'Moonlight and Aloe marlothii at lower extreme right:  

The plain white Freesias with the strong scent.  The rain really helped them.

Another color of Dutch Iris.  Many more yet to flower throughout the garden:
Orange blossoms.  Awaiting a warm sunny day when their fragrance will fill the air and intoxicate the soul:
Agave 'Joe Hoak' flowering progress slowed to nothing by the relatively chilly weather we've enjoyed this winter:
Leucadendron 'Cloudbank Ginny' on the left, Leucospermum 'Tango' on the right.  Blue foliage is Dasylirion wheeleri:
Ooh!  The Pimelea ferruginea is soon to flower!  (Just not today.)
Leucadendron 'Wilsons Wonder' quieting down after a glorious show most of winter:
Matthiola incana, common name Stock:
Recent purchase Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman' has flower buds and new foliage while it awaits planting.  It must be the rain:
One of the 'Colorita' series of compact Alstroemerias, 'Colorita Kate':

 Mr. Froggie likes 'Kate''s instant bouquet feature.  One stem in a vase = instant bouquet, foliage included:

Growing under the still-dormant Acer palmatum:

Too late for today--Clivia flowers open soon:

Ditto the first Tall Bearded Iris of the year:

The roses are all still leafing out--except these 'Ambridge Rose' buds--leftovers I couldn't bear to cut off at pruning time--they waited unopened on the plant for weeks.  Now finally open, miraculously undamaged by all the rain we've received:

Heuchera 'Canyon Duet', a dwarf Heuchera, is a petite cross of California native species that lack the dramatic variety of foliage colors found in other Heucheras.  Besides plain green foliage, what they do have is wonderfully dainty, beautiful flower stems and the ability to thrive under our native oaks for many years.  

The Heucheras with the wild burgundy, purple, yellow, orange, and chartreuse foliage have all proven to be expensive annuals in this garden.  Recently I had a chance to ask a gardener at Sherman Gardens how they were able to keep their colorful foliage Heucheras alive and beautiful:  "Oh, they don't last long.  We just replace them with new plants."  

Okay, yeah.  Not going to do that.   

'Canyon Duet', theoretically not an expensive annual:

The sweet peas are thriving but not yet flowering, except for this lone beauty.  Soon, soon...

 A Clematis stem made use of Euphorbia 'Sticks on Fire' for support last year.  An experiment this year to see if Sweet Peas find the Euphorbia supportive as well:

Salvia 'Roman Red' planted last summer didn't handle our winter that well.  However it is beginning to wake up from a winter rest.  Aeonium 'Kiwi' is the background:

Hellebore, planted last year.  It spent summer and fall engulfed and covered up by a Hydrangea, but bounced right back to flower after the Hydrangea was cut back:
Grevillea check:  yes, they still flower on and on year round:
Overwhelmingly acid yellow Aeonium 'Zwartzkop'  flowers are less glaring when first opening.  With the Aeonium's black, silver Didelta, and blue-grey Senecio 'Everest' foliage:
Ipheion uniflorum makes do on rainfall alone--even when rainfall is only 4" for the year.  It can also handle a lot more. 

The Felicia once more, with Leucadendron 'Blush' the bokeh background:

Happy March flowers! 

7:00 am We're at 2.17" of rain over the past 24 hours, 19.67" for the season.  Wheeee!!!!!!!!!!!

Rain today, spring next week. 


  1. Yes, rain today! I'm listening to it now and it sounds wonderful.
    I'm positively giddy about it. You have such a wide variety of plants in your garden, from old-fashioned to new-fangled, roses to succulents, exotic to everyday (which is NOT the same as boring), and it all works well for you. A cacophony into a symphony. I haven't heard you mention your koi pond in quite awhile. Do you still have it, or did I miss something? I was wondering how the fishies liked the rain. Enjoy this beautiful gray drizzley wet day. Elizabeth

    1. I sometimes think I'm a conductor and the plants are the musicians who are much better musicians than I am a conductor.

      Koi are fine. Pond has some annoying issues but nothing that affects the koi's health and safety. I can't do anything about that just yet. Summer is the time to work on a pond. We first built the pond in 2006 and two of the koi we got in July of that year as year old fish meaning the are now 18 years old. The other is 17 years old. The fish like the rainwater actually but it must be monitored in case it changes the pH. But it never has.

      Enjoying the rain, oh yes, oh yes! :)

  2. Spring has certainly sprung in your garden. You've capture some fantastic vignettes here: Rhodanthemum 'Casablanca' with Agave 'Blue Glow', Felicia amelloides with Carex and Senecio serpens... but my favorite is the Ambridge Rose blooms with oranges in the background. I love that photo!
    My garden could be jolted awake from it's winter slumber: Seattle may hit 50° for the first time today :-D

    1. I like that scene too of Ambridge and the oranges. Amazing they came though all the rain so perfectly. Spring is almost here--enjoy! Your garden will be waking up and quickly!

  3. Your combinations are heavenly! All these blooms have really given me something to look forward to here, we are behind by 3 weeks I would guess. Funny, I purchased a Ray Hartman as well - and it is sitting in it's 4" pot with blooms. Hopefully will go in the ground tomorrow.

    1. 'Ray Hartman' is a good one--I hope we both have success with it. Lots of plants here are several weeks behind last year--but that's fine. I'd rather have the rain than drought. Happy planting and good luck with 'Ray'!

  4. My brain stopped working when I saw your Dutch Iris. I don't have a single bud yet, much less any flowers. I'm glad you're Felicia is coming through for you at last. Thanks for sharing Sherman's comment about their lovely Heucheras - the only one I've had survive over the long run is H. maxima.

    My rain total has reached 18.64 inches. We picked up nearly 3 inches with this storm. We're down to a spitting mist now, which seems to make the birds very happy. Another Tuesday-Wednesday rainstorm is looking more likely.

    1. The iris buds appear overnight--so fast--I saw more this morning that were not there yesterday. There might be some on yours like, tomorrow.

      The look on my face when the Sherman person said oh we just plant new ones must have been priceless.

      Yeah, another storm forecast. That's a surprise. We didn't get as much as forecast but no complaints. It's not as if we've had a dry winter. It finally stopped drizzling here. We're at 19.25" now--I think you will surpass us yet!

  5. Both the garden and gardener's exuberant, rain-filled happiness come through in this BD post -- what a spring it will be!

    1. I love rain. The plants seem pretty pleased with it, too.

  6. Love the Dutch Irises! And the photo of the Felicia amelloides is incredible. You're a great photographer. Such a beautiful collection of blooms!

    1. You are very kind, Beth. Happy you like the pictures. Thank you!

  7. Looking good. It looks like another month that I fail to meet the bloom day post deadline. Wonderful to see all that you have in bloom with all of the rain you have had. I've always loved Gerbera daisies and such sweet little leaves on your Pimelea. Your garden gives me hope that I can still achieve beauty despite the outlook for a very dry climate in the future.

    1. Thanks! The Garvinea series of Gerberas have been outstanding.

      There are a surprising number of plants that produce beautiful flowers and foliage with modest water. There's a learning curve, but well worth learning.

  8. That Rhodanthemum 'Casablanca' and Agave 'Blue Glow' photo is positively dreamy. I wonder if my poor potted Aloe marlothii will ever bloom? Such a gorgeous sight.

    1. Marlothii takes quite a long time--at least mine in the ground did. Several years longer than ferox.

      Crazy number of blooms from the Rhodanthemums this year. I guess they like winter rain!

  9. Still reading a month behind. And listening to rain here!


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