Monday, March 19, 2012

Native bulbs article

Nearly every flower gardener enjoys the beauty of spring and summer bulbs, be that tulips, daffodils, freesias or iris. It may surprise some to know there is a small but interesting collection of native bulbs. I wrote a short piece on these lesser known bulbs for the San Francisco Chronicle (click on link in blue). Check it out. Several of these bulbs are now in your local nursery or can be ordered from the sources listed in the article.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring has Sprung

Well, after a bit of a layoff due to a lingering cold and a busy early spring season, I'm finally finding the time to resume posting. Here in the Bay Area, we've had nearly a week of constant rain. The sun is out this morning, bringing welcome blue skies. Rain may make it univiting to be out in the garden but afterwards the air is fresh and the vibrant oxygenated rain will have done wonders for the garden. Of course that means more weedy grasses. I've been on my knees a lot, weeding planting beds and pots alike. I find this sometimes unpleasant task rewarding, as I'm always discovering new plants poking their heads up once the weeds are gone. Plus, the beds just look so much more ... well ... intentionally planted rather than completely wild.
This is the season for spring annuals and in particular for native annuals. I made my yearly spring trek to Annie's Annuals two weeks ago and loaded up on her extensive collection of native annuals. 2011 was a year I was into yellows but I'm sensing 2012 will be my blue period. I recently overhauled a sunny front yard bed, taking out some plants that had finally petered out and replanting with blue-flowering spring annuals. Those of you who read my Chronicle column will remember I did a recent piece on California bluebells (Phacelia campanularia). I planted that species and three other phacelias in this bed, along with baby blue eyes, the lovely annual echium blue bedder, a nigella and two gilias. It should be quite the show come late April.
I always feel spring is a great opportunity to reclaim, and in some cases, re-make certain planting beds. Be bold! Be creative!
 
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