The question that Bay Area gardeners are asking themselves is: are we tempting fate by buying and planting early spring plants? It is after all mid-February and if we don't think that's still winter, the East coast might have something to say about that. Still, it's hard not to get a bit of spring fever when temps are up in the 60s and there are blue skies up above. And of course nurseries are tempting us with colorful spring plants like sweet peas, all manner of poppies, nemophilas like Baby Blue Eyes and the overachieving nemesias and million bells. So ignore the news, don't talk to your relatives in Canada and the Midwest and get out in your garden.
Here are a few flowers in my mid-February garden, doing their best as forerunners.
Lachenalia mutabilis. I'm a sucker for blue flowers.
Jelly Bean sedum. Just about the coolest sedum ever! And well named, don't you think?
Lachenalia tricolor. Definitely the show-off in my lachenalia collection. The first to bloom and the brightest colors. Enough to make PT Barnum proud.
Hebe speciosa. I'm a hebes fan and this species is the real workhorse in my garden.
Primrose 'Sunrise.' One of the delicate Primlet series, the colors here are more like a glowing sunset!
Nemesia Cranberry. You want red? Well, I got yer red right here, boasts this vigorous nemesia.
Temple + dwarf conifer. Had to take a shot of my new statuary, located in my Japanese-themed dwarf conifer bed.
Magnolia grandiflora. Although way too early for a full flowering, I had to capture the glistening alabaster tone of this tight bud.
Alyogyne hakeafolia. This less common Blue Hibiscus bush had pale yellow flowers. It took a bit of a hit in the freeze but it's already bouncing back with new flower buds and this one early flower.
Camellia reticulata 'Winner's Circle.' I've watched this bud progress with some anticipation as it's the plant's first ever flower. The variety is so new that even its grower, Nuccio's, doesn't have a photo of it on their website. No one else does either apparently.